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Marco Nastic Interview


We catch up and interview Marko Nastic the head honcho of house and techno labels Recon Warriors and Traffica.

Marko discusses his DJ set up, his essential pieces of studio kit, what to do if you are getting into digital DJing and what to do if you are producing your own tunes plus much more!

What’s does your DJing set up consist of?

My performance components include records, cds , c – loops sampler and delay, boos digital delay dd-7 and Traktor Scratch Pro. Depending on the performance, I do make variations to my set up, including extra fx , like corki, which happens to be one of my favorites. Specially because of the noise it produces and as it is so easy to use.

How has digital technology changed your DJ sets?

The digital technology movement actually totally stopped me from buying records. I used to buy lots of records, experimenting with them a lot. However now because of the move across to digital music I only buy really good old classic records.
When recording my “Music is for a Body and Soul” radio show I don’t use vinyl anymore mainly using cd’s and Traktor.


Which midi controllers do you use and what do you like about them?

I love the Native Instruments X1 controller, but i also use a Faderfox controller a lot, where i actually have customized my own setup. So it’s now really easy to work with. It’s also a really good size for producer/dj traveling on the go 24/7

Do you have a piece of DJ kit that you can’t live without?


You’ve been producing and releasing tracks quite frequently over the past two years, how would you describe your sound at the moment and where do you see it heading in the future?

I am trying to find myself between techno and house, also in the same time not to be to trendy, trying to avoid fx and noises and to make simple stuff with big beats. I like to use old school beats with analog sounds.

I’ve actually just had two releases in recent weeks.

“Morocco” – Marko Nastic Drumpunch remix on Estrada Records. On this track i collaborated with one (in my eyes) of the new wave of upcoming producers – Igor Krsmanovic. The 2nd release “Meltin Point”. This is ia an original track of mine and is being released by Amazing Records on their 2years Amazing Compilation album.

Can you give any advice to any up and coming producers on how to get their music heard and signed to a successful label like Recon Warriors?

Recon warriors was really successful in the era of tribal techno and in that time it was a bit different to today’s scene because we printed a whole lot of records and we would send those records all over the world to promote the track, the artist and the label.
Now a days in my eyes with the digital music culture and how easy it is to make music, lots of people are setting up labels selling the dream to producers and artists; however aren’t putting any or very little time, work or money promoting the releases properly.
I would suggest in today’s market if you are getting music released on a label don’t just leave the promotion to them, get out and about with the tunes, network with other DJs give them a copy to play out. Put (un-downloadable) snippets of the track on Social media platforms like and Facebook. Help promote the track yourself. If you do that, other bigger labels will take notice of you.
At present the direction of Recon Warrior and Traffica label, we are open and growth minded to new music but in same time its hard to listen to the multitude of demos we receive on a daily basis. Our main focus now is on our niche crew and network of upcoming and accomplished producers and their referrals of new producers or more or less a friend of ours :)


What are your key bits of studio kit and what is your most essential piece?

I have become totally digital lately! I have only kept a Fatso compressor. As of late, I was and am still testing lots of Summing mixers and to be honest i still have no clue on which one to make a collective action to buy. I always liked analog eq and distortions and mostly now use software plug-ins like Universal Audio’s UAD, Waves, TC Powercore, SSL, Duende and off course Native Instruments. I am very grateful to Native Instruments, the Serbian branch of the company as they have
been very supportive and a huge part of the Marko Nastic brand. I am very much in gratitude for the partnership in working with them and look to build on this relationship going forward!

When you are in the studio making a new tune what process do you follow?
Usually i start with laying down a beat and than start sampling sounds. Sometimes it can be the other way around. I now use a lot of machines to help me craft the different sounds.

What projects are you currently working on?
At this moment I’ve just finished in Ibiza, Spain and have been developing lots of different beats and ideas. I finished most of my latest projects in late June.
My new forthcoming project “Sake &Vinyl Only” on Traffica will be out, hopefully by the end of the year.

What’s your top tip for anyone getting in to digital DJing?

Craft your music folders slowly and concentrate! If u loose that focus on the style you are after it will end in a big mess like no other. Be very careful with the quantity of tracks and sounds you use in a set, make sure they suit the style you are after. An old habit of mine was that I used to find myself cramming in too many sounds into a mix and that actually resulted in me loosing the feeling that i was looking to create. That is why i like vinyl records so much! :-)

ricardo villalobos

Who is your favorite DJ at the moment?
Marko Milosavljevic, he is my long time buddy from Serbia. His unbelievable sense of music and ambient good touch especially with vocals. He is top notch! When we play together we just hook up easily and Rock like no other Tag team you can imagine! Also i need to mention Dejan Milicevic who in my eyes has some of the best technical DJing skills on this planet!
At this present moment having just been in Ibiza, I would say Ricardo Villalobos at Amnesia has been the best. Smashing the dance floors, making crowds jump off the balcony! His style is like no other and he is at the forefront in my eyes in moving the crowds when he performs!

Marko Nastic & Dejan Milicevic @ Dance Valley festival in Amsterdam Part 5
June 29,2011

Who are your favorite producers at the moment?

Koze, Den Anderi, Ricardo Villalobos

Do you have a pre DJ gig superstition?

I always, (after years of looking for the best solution) try to find the best way to spend my time creatively while in hotel’s, plane’s etc. I watch a lot of movies to relax and because of being able to take time out I can relax and find my focus and peace. Which helps me to be purpose driven and allows me to create and plan (like no other) a magical presence with the exact right music for the people on the dancefloor.

What do you like and dislike about DJing?

I really dislike it when i can’t provide what actually i do best. Playing at parties that have horrible sound systems, bad mixers etc is terrible. I can get super irritated and pissed when these things are not working as they should be. Note to all promoters, if you want to run a successful party you need to make sure your equipment is in good working order and allows the DJ to perform at the top of their game.

The best moment I love is when i can be at my best to show what i am made of, taking my fans on a musical journey.
I totally love the best tropical gigs. You can’t beat the atmosphere as they are always great fun; Ibiza, Brazil and Columbia. Hint to all!!!! :)

What is your top tip when making a mixset?

My advice would be to really recognize the mood of the dance floor or style you are trying to create for a mix set and then play what u feel feels right at that moment in time!

You can check out Marc Nastic and his music productions at these sites:

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Interview: The UK House Legend Steve Mac

Steve Mac House Legend

Article courtesy of Sounds To Sample

The UK house music legend talks about his analogue-packed studio, offers up an EQ tip and explains why the artist should always read the contract.

He has remixed for the likes of Michael Jackson, INXS, Jamiroquai, Junior Vasquez, David Morales, and Roger Sanchez, released records with Paul Woolford and Todd Terry and has also scored a UK Top 20 single. Now the UK house stalwart takes to the S2S hot seat.

What is the prognosis for the music industry: terminal decline or steady recovery?

It’s not in decline or recovery. The music industry will always be here but there’s no denying it has changed beyond recognition in the last ten years. Long gone are the days of the local record shop and many of the bigger music stores are on their way out too – the main market place for music is online.

While it might be easier for people to get their music out there I think the flip side has been that it’s become harder for artists to get paid. One search of Google and reams of music show up for free on blogs and torrent sites – it’s almost impossible to keep up with where the music is being illegally shared. This is just other thing that the industry will have to come to terms with. On a personal level it means I have to work that much harder to make a living.

Does the industry these days dictate that artists need to be both creative artists and businessmen in equal measure?

It does help if you know the ins and outs because there are a lot of sharks out there that will take advantage if given half a chance. Always make sure you know what you’re signing and try and follow a few basic rules like not signing your music away for life and making sure that the master rights always come back to yourself.

As an international touring artist who can regularly find themselves on different continents in the same week, how do you strike a balance between your touring schedule and time in the studio?

I take time out of touring throughout most of the winter to spend time in the studio making new music. However, now the summer is coming and I have an album to promote I will be out on the road a lot more!

Overall I’d say I ‘m more of studio person, as that’s where I spend most of my time, but I still love the buzz of the party and playing my records on an amazing sound system.

Who’s currently rocking your world as a producer and why?

Sirusmo, I find what he is doing very interesting. Musical and clever.

What one piece of kit or plug-in can you not live without?

I have so much kit so it’s difficult to say because I don’t like to be without any of it!

I use a lot of vintage analogue outboard gear – I’ve got a rack of Neve 1084 originals that I use on just about everything I produce. I also have a stack of Urei compressors, 2 1176 Revision A and a Revision D – the A is amazing for vocals and tracking.

Recently I’ve just started tracking all my sounds through my Studer ½ inch tape machine and it gives bottom end like you wouldn’t believe! It’s a long process but for me the results justify the extra effort and time.

One great unit I use on the mix buss is the SSL buss compressor – they call it the magic button. It just glues the mix together like nothing else. In fact I have 3 of them as I use one for the mix, one for drums and one for backing vocals.

Analogue kit is still fundamental to what I do in the studio. I’ve got about 17 analogue synths, I still mix on a big analogue desk, I track through tape and I EQ mostly on outboard gear. That said, I’m a fan of plug-in technology and I’m not an analogue purist – get the best of both worlds because they’re both completely different and they both have lots to offer.

When building a track how do you normally work? Do you start with the drums and build from that?

Drums always come first. I like to mess around on a drum machine for a few hours to try build a good rhythm. I feel that if you get a good beat then your track is half way there and a good rhythm gives you musical ideas.
Sometimes I use my old Emu SP-1200 which just has a sound like nothing else. But lately I have been using Native Instruments’ Maschine. It’s so cool. I build all my drums with one shots. Sometimes I like to sample records, it just gives you another feel, but I also like to make my own drum sounds with synths. I have an Arp 2600 which is just brilliant drums, you can get one hell of a kick drum out that synth!

Any advice on monitoring? Quiet? Loud? Do you prefer flat and boring speakers, headphones or big, phat and chunky monitors? Do you reference on multiple systems?

I like a bit of both depending on where I’m at in the mix. I go loud when I’m working on the bass – that’s when I want to really feel the track. Then I’ll lower the volume for the more detailed mixing.

I own a few pairs of speakers, I have a pair of boring flat Yamaha ns10s which I love to mix on. The great thing about them is they sound crap so If you get a good mix done on those you know it’s going to sound good almost anywhere. I also have a big, big pair of Genelecs and some smaller Aura Tone Genelecs.

What are the biggest barriers new producers face?

Dance music is becoming a bit like the X Factor, everybody thinks they are a DJ or record producer in the digital age. It’s the market saturation that results which is the biggest barrier for new producers. That said, I think if you’re good and have something special, people will find out about you sooner rather than later.

What three pieces of kit / software could you not mix without?

Sony Oxford EQ, L1 limiter and Sound Toys effects.

The oxford EQ is just an all round good sounding digital EQ. It’s a workhorse and the cut frequencies on it are great.

I love the L1 for over pushing and distorting everything, you get a great sound out of the L1 using it like that.

The Sound Toys FX bundle contains some of the best plug-in effects I have ever heard. The guys making these use to work for Eventide, the analogue FX company.

If you could give one piece of advice to yourself when you started out in music, what would it be?

Listen to the people around you and learn from them

What do you find hardest to get right when making a track?

The mix down, it takes longer than making the record in some cases but in a way it can be the best part of the process, but it can also be the worst when its going wrong!

I always try and get the frequencies right on the sounds in the first place, and I try and set the levels as I go.

My best mix secret is cutting with EQ. Most people add on the bottom and the tops, I cut them. It makes more space for the entire mix. The mastering engineer will only cut the frequencies anyway but if its already done, your mix will be much louder. For instance, when you get a sub bass, it’s good to put an EQ cut on it (everything under 45), because you can’t hear that those frequencies anyway. This should tighten up your mix, and doing the same on the high frequencies can really help too.

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Imagine the excitement at when we heard Carl Cox had answered our questions about digital djing and music production.

Not only in our opinion is Carl Cox the best DJ on the planet and a thoroughly nice bloke but also a true inspiration to budding DJ’s and music producers, which is why we’re extending a huge thank you to Carl for being kind enough to answer our questions.

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The Top Man In Action!

Watch out for our forthcoming interview with Danny Rampling.

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