My friend Astronomar is wielding monstrous sonic energy with his recent productions. I’m buzzin’ off these recent promos from Marlon and his Main Course label. After some time apart, we’ve reconnected and here’s our conversation. See how he’s doin’ in his new home of LA, the mindset behind some of his tracks and the inner-workings of the super-rad Main Course label.
DD Whatsup man? It’s been exactly a year since I had you on Disco Droppings. How are you doing?
AST I’m doing very well thank you! Hard to believe a whole year has passed!
DD Originally from Alaska, we met during your time in Seattle where I’m still at. Your now in L.A., and I’m happy the Emerald City is part of your list of hometowns. How has your most recent move impacted your life?
AST Yeah man I love Seattle! Still come to visit and/or DJ relatively frequently. Being in LA is amazing. Creative energy is through the roof, and it’s so easy to feel inspired.
DD The new tracks of yours that first perked my ears up were Like This / Pay Attention. These two sit between a few styles in their own distinct and fun way. Equally playful and demanding. To me, you are a breath of fresh air to the dance community and a formidable producer/DJ coming up. It doesn’t surprise me that your tracks have sparked the interest of DJ’s playing clubs and festivals all over. What was your intention with this release? These tracks seem perfectly made for the environments I mentioned above.
AST Thanks dude happy you like them! Ya I kind of imagine them fitting perfectly somewhere in the middle of a banging club set. Not over the top face melters nor are they very deep; rather something wide & hopefully groovy enough to help people get loose and prepared for a more demanding set of tracks.
DD I think “Untrapped” is a brilliant little term and you really nailed these 3 remixes for your self-released Untrapped Vol. 2. My favorite is your edit of Djemba Djemba’s “Stahp”, really kool! These all seem very fun to put together. What’s your mindset like in the studio? Is a high fun factor something you aim for? I keep coming back to this theme of your productions being colorful and also filled with attitude.
AST I really enjoy making edits! There is so much inspiring music coming out all the time I can’t help but want to ruin them, haha. The whole untrapped thing started from liking what was happening in EDM trap, and I wanted to incorporate those into house paced sets. So the mindset is really to destroy/rebuild while still respecting the original piece, as well as pushing my personal genre boundaries. For Untrapped 2 I made an old school jungle edit of DJ Fresh VS Diplo “Earthquake”. I sent it to Diplo, then a couple days later I got an email chain back from Diplo with Ministry Of Sound guys saying they wanted to do something with it. I doubt anyone would ever expect me to make a jungle edit of anything, but it was a personally enjoyable musical exercise and to have it be embraced is pretty rewarding.
DD One thing I notice in a lot of interviews are the same questions being thrown around like, “where does your name come from?” I like that your playing with people a bit, based on these different responses you’ve given to different people. No question there, I just think it’s funny.
AST f you want to know where my music name comes from its in a different interview lol!
DD I think we are kindred spirits in a few ways, one of them being that we both operate labels. You now have Main Course; which is co-run by Neoteric and Bot. I relate to your guy’s approach of getting good music out there, regardless of genre. How is the work load split in the running of Main Course? And how has this area of management improved other areas of your artist world?
AST Main Course is awesome! I run it with two guys I have great respect and admiration for. There are very few clear lines as to where the duties are split; we all help where we can, when we can, and make decisions on a 3-way basis most of the time. My role is a bit of a mover & shaker on the ground, listening to lots of promos and talking with the artists whom naturally grow into friends (if they aren’t already). But I feel like working with a lot of the incoming music has helped me listen much deeper than I used to, and has helped me give clearer and unbiased feedback. Then, I turn that same ear to my own productions.
DD How was your trip to EDC Vegas 2013? I went in 2011 and 2012 and I wish I could’ve seen you at that time!
AST EDC was incredible!! was unreal and hope to make it back to play again in the future.
DD I’d say you are a highly passionate and motivated individual. Are there reminders or pieces of wisdom you use to stay on your desired path?
AST Ayye I appreciate that! I am just grateful that my output is appreciated & realized. Any success no matter how inconvenient is one worth pursuing. Nourish the vibes where you can, shake the hands and recycle the cans.
- Jimi Jaxon