Track By Track: Maoupa Mazzocchetti – UXY DOSING©
Maximalism lies at the centre of composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Maoupa Mazzocchetti‘s new album UXY Dosing©(UD). A new genre and experiment into the resulting effects of joining seemingly disparate electronic genres together, regardless of style or aesthetic, Maoupa pushes the boundaries of sound design, shunning conventional approaches in favour of finding new, complex systems of juxtaposition.
In a climate where categories and tags are slapped on releases without thought or care, it’s the work of artists like Maoupa that reminds us that subverting, or completely erasing, what we’ve always known helps us to expand our musical universes into the unknown.
The release follows more valiant efforts to transmute the codes of dance music on labels like Mannequin, Knekelhuis, Dark Entries and Brothers From Different Mothers, where this new release sees the light of day. On top of his own singular experimentation, Maoupa has joined forces with artists and collaborators like Beau Wanzer as De-Bons-En-Pierre and Clara! as Clara! Y Maoupa, while this specific LP sees him work with ZULI, Emma DJ, Vica and Phillip Jondo.
Following the release, Maoupa let’s us into his sound world (and the impact of a hefty dose of Maximum Dextrose and Milk), guiding us through the inspirations behind the album, track by track…
Sceptre Chases Away Shadows
Color: Pink Doggy Style.
Season: Red spring
Inspiration: Sceptre is the street name of my music studio.
When I finished the song it was the beginning of the first lockdown, so I’d decided to be locked in my studio.
The title came from this naïve idea that, this studio where I’m feeling at my best is the only thing that could chase away all shadows from outside. As with most of the music in this album, I wanted to do a forced marriage between different genres in a maximalist way.
Here it’s about a quite epic Baroque melody played through a white bright trance and aggressive texture, with tension applied by its own syncope, really intense in terms of variety of rhythm patterns. Sometimes the notes are in suspension, or triolet cascade, or a canon out of rhythm, sometimes the notes are cuted, or with a long decay — all that compartmentalised in temporality by this kind of easy trap drum pattern.
Moon Is A Bell For Meteor (feat. Vica)
Colors: Blue light from a screen in a middle of a night.
Inspiration: I met so many medium spirits the last few years around me. I tried to become one of them with this answer about the moon. I was reading something about the theory of the flat earth and it was written that “the moon is in reality an empty metallic sphere”. At that time it was the most inspiring surrealistic poem I’d read, so much that I imagined a meteor hurting it. As a metalic bell the moon should create a huge sound reflected across the entire universe.
When I finished the instrumental, I asked my friend Vica Pacheco if she would like to try to singing something surrealist on the instrumental. She’s really into this kind of disconnected surrealistic world. She was the perfect writer and singer for this song.
Serenade To a Gelatin (feat. ZULI)
Color: Red gelatin
Inspiration: The new music genre UXY Dosing© I created with this album is associated with the high consumption of MDM (Maximal Dextrose & Milk). This song is inspiring by the effect of the MDM (most of the time through a capsule) while listening to this genre.
Ahmed and I are sometimes sharing music. Back in 2019 he was the first I sent some of this new research of maximalist approach with that new sonic palette, obsessed by the digital copy of organic elements and generous textures. He liked it a lot. So I proposed him to send me a loop which I could start to compose and add stuff on it.
It became this serenade. The initially loop ZULI sent me is unrecognizable. So we’ll probably make an other song more fidel to the main loop. Spoiler alert : At the end of the song, the cello drama melody is blocked in a gelatin candy. This is why it’s so melancholic and drama. Just to handle the gelatin. This ending song will be in a future advertising for apple.
Luxembourg Station And Me(n)tal
Color: This white and flat light from the winter weather in Belgium that erase all shadow.
Season: Winter night under yellow light.
Inspiration: This music is all about the silent noise navigated as a ghost behind all the element of the song.
All the metallic sequences are from a field recording of metal barriers composed of cross bar of different size (notes) along rails from Luxembourg train station in Brussels to my studio. I tapped on it as a xylophone with drum rods while recording it.
For this one, my approach was more about electroacoustic, but I didn’t want to fall into all this conservative rules from this genre. So I added a sharp and strong rhythm on it to create an effective temporality that not only a master graduated dude of electroacoustic could enjoy.
There is a duality between the hi-hat and the attack of the metallic sequences to create a tension and a peace when it stop net.
I didn’t really clean the field recording to keep all the ghost melody and noise from the metal bar and the city to feel the atmosphere there is along this rails in a cold winter night in Brussels.
The choir in this song are from a recording i did in repetition I had during a residency in Amsterdam with Boris Post (Eindkrak) in 2019. Same with that paper noise floating left/right during the break. Boris and I putted a piezo microphone on a huge paper and we asked to the choir to paint on it while they are singing.
EDMeme (feat. Phillip Jondo)
Color: Full white clothes, with one flashy color teenage clothes.
Season: Spring in a huge festival completely under a surdose of MDM.
Inspiration: The Cobrasnake, Steve Aoki, Wizzz (msn) and Myspace. Everything is in the title. This song is the sonic meme of the album, lost in the middle of a world he certainly doesn’t really get.
Phillip and I are often listening lot of r’n’b when we are together. We’re also making some music without any goals. So we made this one initially for Phillip’s release that is supposed to be out in this uncertain near future — so you can consider this song as a promo meme.
Season: Christmas in Marseille.
Inspiration: Blue sky, “Mistral” wind, Meta venue in Marseille. This song could probably be the most significant maximalist fiasco of the album. This a pure UD/MDM* re-constructed club music. The track was first released on the huge various the Meta crew compiled during the first lockdown to keep their venue alive.
The title 7NE is a French blaze we found with some Marseille friends a couple of years ago, meaning « C’est Vénéneux » with a typical French bad English accent. The main cello/violin melody on the first part gives a really strange melancholic vibe, but in the second part where the rhythm is easier to follow it sounds more like the walk of an army of boggarts ready to party and to eat a bunch of MDM capsules after a long week of work.
Setting: In a party with an army of boggart ready to eat a bunch of MDM capsule for a long party road.
Rekt II (feat. Charmaine Lee)
Colors: Green as the green washing’s brand selling food.
Inspiration: During a tour in the U.S back in 2016, I passed by Issue Project Room in New York, invited by my friend Leila Boredreuil. We made some music together and at the end we organized a show in situ, where Leila invited Charmaine Lee to perform too. I met her at this time and her performance blow my mind. Later Charmaine sent me the recording she called Rekt. I used to play it a lot during DJ sets, radio show and live.
Last winter on NTS I mixed her voice with a kind of ambient instrumental I’d made, initially the instrumental was made as a solo ambient song. It works so well to me that I came right back to my studio in Brussels to make it into a proper song.
Virtual Odorat (feat. Emma DJ)
Inspiration: This song was first released on the Ransom Note Pen Pals compilation during the first quarantine.
My morale was quite down at this period, not really about to lose my job for at least 12 month yet. But more about the way our government managed this epidemic as a start-up manager. We should have called this song “Virtual Ordonnance”.
So I liked the idea to produce a new song in collaboration with a friend from a distance. I’ve never worked like that before. I proposed to my dude Emma DJ and he sent me a loop where I added elements and textures and did this narration. At the end, the track was made quite quickly. The vibe is chaotic, you can feel the emergency of creating.
Color: Orange from sunset.
Season: End of summer.
Inspiration: As a teenager I was listening Demi-Portion, an MC from Sète in France. I sampled the oriental violin from his song “Mon Dico”. It was during a period where very conscious and political French hip-hop music was the norm. In this song Demi Portion throws a missile about the inaction of French politicians on class injustices.
Nothing has really changed since that time, it’s almost worse. I contacted Demi Portion through email to show him the song and what I did with the sample, he was quite surprised in a good way by the difference from the original.
Setting: On the roof of a French city with a veggie barbecue.
Colors: Black and green
Inspiration: When I finished producing the Luna Nueva LP for Clara! y Maoupa project I’d accumulated some break and texture I liked and I needed to explore. I tried to create something percussive maximalist and deconstructed far from a reggaeton pattern.
In this song you can here a choir too (the same one as Luxembourg Station and M(e)natal) and some drum elements from the song Gavilán. It was one of the first trys with my new sonic palette including a fresh patch from this new Kyma, which is very much present in the sound texture of this LP.
When I started doing this song I was quite influenced by some strange dubstep, English hardcore from W3C, G. Jones, Eeprom, Aphasic etc, but I wanted to keep the vibe of the trap rhythm and the choir peace atmosphere. At moments you can hear my friend Eindkrak reading a dutch poem where I erase all his vowel sounds to keep an unresolved speaking in there.
Setting: For that one, imagine you’re dancing on a carpet in a club, and sometimes it’s quickly removed from under your feet to make you fall to the ground.
Inspiration: I like to start my live show with a long advertising jingle as if it were a summary of what you’re going to listen to. It’s really radiophonic and textured, impossible to catch a logic with all the rewind, voice, short samples of rhythm, melody, horns etc all packed into 15 seconds max. It’s really intense. I used to create this type of jingle including some Clara! fragmented voices, which I decided to develop more in this song. The sample voice you’re listening to on ‘UXYTalking App©’ is from a 1 second noise voice from Clara! that I completely destroyed, stretched, sequenced, cut etc.
The instrumental is more influenced by English amen breaks and jungle with many changes, but this song is a real and badass common duel in bad mainstream clubs/festival. Press play and feel this vibe.
Setting: You decide to go to the dance floor to dance to the new hit you love so much and you know by heart thanks to your Spotify playlist, but you start to feel someone very close oto your back, balancing at the same tempo as yours.
There’s not enough time to act or ask “what’s happening?” as there is this perverse voice asking you something you can not hear due to the high music sound level, while he’s dancing his pelvis forward against your ass, a bottle of vodka in his right hand, trying to handle you with his left arm, and of course still completely sober.
Guido Always Wins In The End
Colors: Green / White / Red with stars.
Inspiration: The ending song of the album. The kind you hear at the end of a movie during the credits.
I have a bunch of instruments in my studio, like guitar, trumpet, bass, drum etc. I really love playing them and looking for melodies and harmonies that create a deep feeling about some sonority you already know, without a particular willingness to experiment new future sound for that one. Looking for « madeleine de proust »… The kind of melody it seems you always knew.
This ending soundtrack of the album is an echo to many classic Italian/American mob movies from the 70s that I was watching as a kid back in the 90s on French TV.
Black screen… 20 years later. A door is left open in the luxury nursing home where Carlotta Mondello, 77 years old has just been praying with her priest. Time has passed since the whole New-York Digiovanni family, except Carlotta, fell under the crushing blow of American justice. Every member of the family, one by one, is now finished; killed or in prison. From the Capos, to the most loyal henchmen they are all gone, except Carlotta.
When you ask her a question about this period, since she’s been close to the mafia for 25 years, it’s always the same well-rehearsed speech, “I was a driver you know, a private driver, full time job, and trust me, you seen lot of rich people, but I don’t talk, and I’m even less a taxi driver who interferes in client’s private lives by questioning them about their job… it’s not my business. The only words I’d need to hear, is the destination, and basta! If I drove some mafia members, maybe, who knows? If I drove political figures? Certainly…”
Did she protect the family? Of course she did, and not just halfway let’s say… Did she make people disappear? She’s saying; “Never… Just cops, but they aint really people” and she laughs…
So, is she a rat who snitched to save her own ass? Neither. In fact she’s still alive. And a rat wouldn’t be alive.
So, you’re probably wondering, how the hell did she to manage to stick around in the end?
This little old lady simply sat on her ass and played her cards right when she married Vito Mondello, the son of the D.E.A director, Mr. Franck Mondello. No doubt that it was the best choice she ever made in her entire life. The ultimate hustle. And at this time, her sweet Vito had a big beef against… guess who? His own father. It was like taking candy from a baby when Carlotta met this sweet and lost 19 year old boy.
When Carlotta took Mondello’s name, it was more than just a union in front of god, she just secured her own freedom for the rest of her life. I don’t need to paint you a picture. The bottom line is, if she falls, Vito and his father go with her too.
In the end, they tried to defend themselves through the best lawyer from Manhattan. But Carlotta had accumulated so much dirt on Vito and his father Franck that the judge couldn’t even drum up a charge on Carlotta, her name barely came up.
And it gets worse, even more vicious, Carlotta hired her mother-in-law, an accountant at the end of her career, to help her with this supposed, dental practice, which served as a front and a “private surgical clinic” shall we say.
You know, in this mob business, guns don’t just fire the bullets, pulling someone’s teeth out is also very effective and there’s no body to hide. Besides, the old generation rarely killed minors so…
Twenty years later, rumors were still circulating around Brooklyn saying that Carlotta always left a business card with the toothless victims. Whatever, obviously Carlotta managed to negotiate her freedom with ease.
Today, her son rarely visits her and Carlotta’s husband died three months after his sentencing while surprisingly out on bail. He took the easy way out, stepping in front of a packed rush hour subway train, the bloody mess looked like the back of a butcher shop before Easter Sunday. He didn’t he even have time to sign the final divorce papers, poor bastard.
If she ever stepped outside and faced the reality of what she did, she wouldn’t be able to live with herself. Denial has become Carlotta’s line of defense. Plain and simple.
But as she always said, “Kids my dad told me, guidette always wins in the end,” she stops and a grim look comes over her face, as she pauses with her rough smoke damaged voice; “but how can you know that you won, if you had nothing to risk to begin with?”
Fade out to black. Put the song ON !
UXY Dosing© film’s closing credits starts.