EXCLUSIVE! Interview With The Danish Duo Soulmagic
Soulmagic are the combined forces of the two Danish producer/DJ’s, Morten Trust and Mikkel Wendelboe, who first met 13 years ago on the local club circuit, Mikkel a promoter and Morten a DJ. Together they have an impressive production portfolio including releases on respectable labels such as: Purple Music, Soulfuric, Strictly Rhythm, Z Records, Swing City, Salted Music, MoreHouse, Shifted Music, ITH & Hed Kandi. They are also highly sought after DJs and have played all over the world including Pacha (Ibiza), I Like Bar (Moscow), El Divino (Ibiza), Plan B (Dubai), Nikki Beach (Miami), Sosho (London), VAG (Norway) Vega (Copenhagen), Bigclub (Padova, Italy) and NB Coimbra (Portugal), to name a few.
1) Firstly, thanks for taking the time out to chat with us. Tell us where you are and how you are feeling right now.
We are in cloudy and rainy Copenhagen trying to cope with the fact that we didn’t make it to Miami this year :(
2) Obviously, the topic for today is the ‘I Wonder’ release – tell us in your words a little bit about how it came to be and what you were trying to convey to your listeners…
We wanted to do a sort of a follow-up to “Someone Like You” even though it’s been a while since that came out. Same kind of vibe and same vocalist (J-Sun) but obviously we didn’t want to copy our own recipe totally.
“I Wonder” has been quite a journey and the track has been 99% done many times. Early in the process we were happy with the chorus vocal but the rest of the production has been completely changed several times. In the end it turned out exactly like we wanted it and we even have some nice Soulmagic remixes of it in the pipeline.
3) You have a great artist featured on the ‘I Wonder’ release – how do these types of collaborations differ from producing solo work?
They don’t differ much. Some producers prefer to do the session when everything is completely set. However we always include the singer – in this case Janus (J-sun) – in the writing process and go through e.g the lyrics together so we all feel they are 100% right and give us the feeling we are looking for. We were very happy with the melody and feel of the vocals for “I Wonder” quite early in the process and from there it has just been us two trying to get the production right…which for some reason took us a long time and many production ideas…and then when we finally nailed it J-Sun got back in the studio with us and we changed the lyrics a little bit again and then recorded the final vocals.
4) What keeps you both motivated after all this time? Tell us about the highs and the lows…
The great love for House music keeps us motivated. We get to go around the world and play the music we love really loud…what’s not to like? Lack of time is definitely a low. We both have a lot going on in our lives right now so we only have very limited time together in the studio. It’s been nearly 2 years since the last release under the Soulmagic name. We think that is too long and we have been frustrated about it at times, but we never compromise. The fact that we don’t burst out productions every other week is not a sign of laziness. It’s a fact that quality means more than quantity for us. If we are not sure about a production you don’t get to hear it :) and this time we were only 99% sure a couple of times. The motivation was that we just knew it could get a little better and today we are very happy that we didn’t release any of the early versions of the song.
5) What is the one machine, program, sound, drum machine, technique that characterizes your sound?
That’s a tough question! Morten is a bit of a gear nerd and has a lot of vintage outboard gear, microphones and instruments so there will always be some of that in the mix. If you listen through all of our releases you won’t find many without the beloved Rhodes mark 1 in there somewhere. Maybe that’s not exactly defining our sound but it’s probably the one instrument that we use the most. We run it through a bassamp and record the direct output from that. Always sounds nice! and we nearly always use session musicians to add some of that magic human touch that you just won’t get if you program everything and use only soft instruments.
6) What’s you’re opinion on the current state of house music?
House music – or at least the kind of house music we really love – is still quite a small scene compared to EDM or whatever the flavour of the month is. But it has been like that for many years as it goes up and down. Right now it seems that some of the old school sounds and some of the warmth are coming back but you never know for how long. But no matter what the core of the scene will always be there. In some ways the whole EDM thing has been good for club music in general but it seems that is has now grown too big and too commercial. Some artists seem to be more about circus tricks than music and that is not the right direction for any music scene!
7) Where does a music media store like Traxsource fit into your musical agenda?
Traxsource has actually become very important to us. Obviously it is a store where we can sell our music – but it is much more than that! It’s the record outlet of choice for a big part of the scene and a whole little community of it’s own. It’s where we present – and you could say “test” – releases first. In the case with “Someone Like You” which is our biggest release so far it got picked up by Strictly Rhythm largely because of it’s success on Traxsource. It held the no. 1 spot for 6 weeks as our own release so the bigger labels just had to check it out. And Traxsource is also where we buy music ourselves!
8) Tell your fans some interesting facts they may not know about you…
Ha ha…Well….hmmmm….Mikkel rides a Vespa scooter and Morten is a keen fly fisher!
Soulmagic’s latest release ‘I Wonder’ is out now on Traxsource.