Name: Mosaik Kollektif
Members: Dejan Trajkov, Ivan Saramandov
Nationality: Macedonian
Occupation: Producers, DJs
Current Release: Mosaik Kollektif's Innerstand EP is out via Analytic.
Gear Recommendations: Substrate is a free plugin from Mastrcode Music from Germany and works as a subharmonic bass booster. You can use it for drums, bass and everything that has a lack of bass punch and fatness.
Korg Drumlogue is extremely powerful hybrid drum machine with a 64 step sequencer and VPM (variable phase modulation) and a noise generator engine. Also, it’s very easy to load your own samples simply with drag and drop on its memory via USB.

If you enjoyed this interview with Mosaik Kollektif, visit the duo on Instagram, Facebook, and Soundcloud for more music and upcoming live dates.  

What was your first studio like?

Aaround 12 years ago we started with an old PC, Steinberg audio interface and two old Hi-Fi speakers. (laughing)

Yes, it’s not much. But it did the job for us at least as a starting point.

Some see instruments and equipment as far less important than actual creativity, others feel they go hand in hand. What's your take on that?

We think creativity should come first. However inspiration comes from many things which means not everyone is the same.

In some cases equipment helps a lot for the creative process and sometimes it doesnt. It‘s very important to find your own workflow. If you, the music will speak for itself.

A studio can be as minimal as a laptop with headphones and as expansive as a multi-room recording facility. Which studio situation do you personally prefer – and why?

Yes, that's very true. Technology nowadays is combining the analog and digital world in one space.

More to the point, we are PC guys, however curently working on a new hybrid setup. There is so much you can do by combining hardware and software and getting the results way more faster.

From traditional keyboards to microtonal ones, from re-configured instruments (like drums or guitars) to customised devices, what are your preferred controllers and interfaces? What role does the tactile element play in your production process?

Currently we work in two small studios with very basic acoustic treatment, a bunch of old school synths, some Boss retro drum machine. All of that is sent through am Audient and a Focusrite audio interface, paired with Focal Alpha 65 & Yamaha HS7 studio monitors which give us a solid picture to compare the tracks in two different enviroments.

On the midi keyboard side we use Arturia. We love their products. Sometimes we record samples from our Technics 1210 but in most cases we are producing them from scratch.

As DAW we use FL Studio and Cubase for the final mix. Just trying to achive the best we can with the latest VST and a midi controller. Yep, very simple (laughing).

In the light of picking your tools, how would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?

It is really important to be original in what you do.

We try as much we can to make something unique but to still have the roots in the music we are inspired by.

Most would regard recording tools like microphones and mixing desks as different in kind from instruments like keyboards, guitars, drums and samplers. Where do you stand on this?

Like we said, we're always experimenting and working on our new hybrid setup. We're really looking forward for this in the near future.

Within a digital working environment, it is possible to compile huge archives of ideas for later use. Tell me a bit about your strategies of building such an archive and how you put these ideas and sketches to use.

We start with a 10 seconds loop, save it, leave it for a few days and if we feel there is potential, then start working on the arangement. In most cases, some of us will start the demo and later we'll finish the arangement together. After that, we test the track in the club and gauge the reaction.

Usually, it takes time for the final decision. Most of the tracks take years before they are released. Take our recent “Innerstand” track which was made 10 years ago, but is now part of our last EP for Audio Analytic Records.

After we decide there is an final version, Denny takes care of the final mix before we send everything off to mastering.