Italian DJ and producer Michele Savasta, has been kicking up a lot of heat over the past year or so, as one of the pioneers of midget house; a term coined for a genre that sees stripped down fidget house meet with a minimal sound. Playing under the pseudonym of Mowgli, Savasta’s dropped a host of different tracks and EPs, but really started turning heads in 2008 when he released a collaborative EP entitled Oriente Espresso with another Italian producer Solo. Since founding DeadFish, a label which he also runs, Mowgli has been taking Europe by storm over the past nine months, and this week GottaDanceDirty were lucky enough to bag an interview with the London-based producer. Here’s how it went…
GottaDanceDirty: Thanks for taking the time out to chat with us.
Mowgli: No problem.
GDD: How did you initially break into electronic music and when did you start?
Mowgli: I started making hip-hop beats when I was around the age of 15, then I made drum & bass for a few years, but by the time I was 25, I was fed up with D’n'B, and started to produce house music. A year later, I released my first EPs and remixes on Italian label: Mantra Vibes, moved to London soon after, and it’s now been two years that I’ve been doing this professionally.
GDD: Which artists would you say were your biggest influence as you were developing your sound, and what sort of stuff influences you now?
Mowgli: I don’t think I had any particular artists that influenced me; but it was mainly individual tracks that affected me. Sometimes I would hear a song and say, “Whoa! What the F**k is this?!” With that, it could be any genre, from pop through hip-hop to techno, it didn’t matter.
GDD: Why is it, do you think, that the percussive midget house sound from the likes of yourself, Round Table Knights, Camel and Riva Starr, is being supported so much right now by an increasing number of electronic artists?
Mowgli: To answer your question fully, I think it’s supported for three reasons: First of all, it’s a well produced sound. All the artists you mentioned are good, highly innovative producers. Secondly, it makes people dance. This is actually not as obvious as you’d think; there is well produced dance music that can be trippy, melancholic, or angry, but what we do is party-funky-groovy music. Thirdly, after a couple of years of the big electro sound, people wanted to have fun again and not take it too seriously.
GDD: Amen brotha, I feel you on that last one. What’s the most important thing to you when you make your tracks? Is there a special sound or backbone you can’t live without when you’re producing?
Mowgli: To make a really good track that everyone plays, unfortunately every element is important. You need the idea, like a catchy melody or good sample, a super groove, and it has to sound big – This means it has to be engineered well. I don’t really have a sound I can’t live without, as I try to change it up almost every time to avoid sounding repetitive.
GDD: We’ve been giving your I Want Everything EP a lot of airplay lately. Are you able to tell us what else you’re working on right now, and any collabs or remixes you’ve got lined up?
Mowgli: Yeh. I have a new single called “We Think It’s Cool” coming out on DeadFish at the end of May. Also, a new track with Tara McDonald called “Can’t Stop Singing” which is about to be released on DATA. Right now, I’m remixing Cassius “Feeling For You” as well as another couple of remixes for some friends. On DeadFish, I’m also releasing an album of remixes to celebrate our first anniversary at the end of June.
GDD: So a pretty busy time then?! Both performance and production-wise, who do you tip 2010 to be the year for?
Mowgli: I think Camel is gonna be big, and Solo as well. There are many others I like, but I can’t list them all!
GDD: We heard a rumor that you’ve plans to play some gigs out in the US pretty soon…?
Mowgli: Yes, it’s definitely true. I’m really looking forward to coming over. I want to find out if the US is starting to get our sound. I should be out in America around August time.
GDD: Glad to hear it, looking forward to catching another of your shows. Finally, we’ve got to ask you: when you’re not on the 1s and 2s, would you say you dance dirty?
Mowgli: I don’t understand this question, sorry. My English is still not good enough!
GDD: Thanks again for your time.
Because he’s such a nice guy, Mowgli was also kind enough to hook all you Dirty Dancers up with this:
02. Mowgli & Solo – Tatanka (Luca Lozano B&W remix)
03. Tom Flynn – Just Can’t Play
05. Camel – Bamboo
06. Tom Flynn – Twisty
07. Beckers and Gabe – Hell’s U
08. Reset Robot – Bangdrum
10. Camel – Boogie Nights
11. APDW vs Tim Deluxe – Just Won’t Do (Mowgli remix)
12. Malente & Dex – In Nightclubs (Camel remix)
13. Mowgli – We Think It’s Cool
14. Jesse Rose – You Know It
Sick b-side on Mowgli’s ‘I Want Everything’ EP. You can buy the EP in full 320: here.
Trademark house edit from one of the founding fathers of fidget.
Picked this up back when ‘London to Paris’ was first getting airplay. Big fan of this track, it’s really underrated in my view.