Moleman is back after a four-year hiatus, and we couldn’t be more excited
We’ve sat down to chat about what he’s been up to, Fat Tape Records, YouTube’s Content ID system and more, as well as his latest release, ‘Overload’ in this MA exclusive interview.
‘Overload’ is a vibrant, buoyant DnB track that is perfect listening for summer. Opening with an upbeat, slightly whimsical melody, things stay energetic from start to finish. The way the sounds bounce off each other gives it a really light, playful feeling – the kind of track that helps take your mind off things and puts a smile on your face.
New sounds are continuously layered into the mix, but the flow of the track is never interrupted. ‘Overload’ is such a sentimental tune with an infectious, dazzling intensity – yet there’s just a slightly bittersweet note to it that makes it all the more powerful.
There’s definitely a lot going on (hence the name), but Moleman manages to still deliver a sense of elegance amidst all the competing sounds that truly speaks volumes to his skills as a producer. With glistening melodies and a whimsical charm, Moleman certainly has made a strong return with this one.
Hey Moleman! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us, how have you been?
Hey, thanks for having me! Yes I’ve been nice and busy!
You’ve certainly had a strong 2017 so far with a few huge releases – what’s been the highlight of the year for you so far?
It’s been so great to get the tracks I’d written with Pipistrelle out – they had been in the pipes for a very long time indeed. I’ve been blown away by the support on ‘Put The Fires Out’ which reached 100k streams on Spotify in the first month! A huge thanks to Spotify and everyone that streamed for the support!
Before this year, we hadn’t heard much from you for a while – what did you get up to over that four year hiatus?
I’ve still been writing the odd bit of music here and there, but never got anything finished. I was also running Subsphere Records, although I didn’t put out many releases. I think I got a bit disheartened after YouTube introduced the Content ID system for music. Since 2012ish YouTube set up a digital fingerprint system (content ID) where when a song is uploaded on YouTube the video is automatically claimed, which runs ads on that upload and gives all revenue to the artist. In a lot of cases this is great that the artist is paid for those plays, but in some cases it isn’t beneficial. It deterred YouTubers using the music because they couldn’t run ads on their own uploads. These YouTubers would use the tracks as background music and were a great source of exposure for the artist.
I’m a big believer that promotion and exposure is better for artists than a few extra quid (cue the memes about paying rent with exposure, haha.)
What motivated you to return to making music again?
I think ditching the perfectionist approach I had towards music and producing.
I went back to basics, not caring about perfect production values, what other Djs would think and what labels would think. I enjoyed making music in the early days so much because the only reason I was doing it was because I loved making it – not about all the other stuff that goes with it.
The influence of people I looked up to and bigger labels messed with my judgment of my approach to music. It just totally sucked the fun out of it and killed the creative process for me.
I’ve sold a lot of my equipment and have just gone back to basics: my computer, a pair of inexpensive speakers, and my headphones. I’ve just really enjoyed writing recently; it feels like a big sense of freedom again. I’m moving away from the music business but moving towards creating more.
You’ve made a powerful comeback with your latest release, ‘Overload’ – can you tell us a little bit about the track?
I wrote overload in a time of great stress and pressures in my life. The track is busy melody wise with a lot of competing layers, with a constant arpeggio synth line throughout, giving quite a fitting overloaded feel! The track to me has a bittersweet feel about it.
In addition to producing, you also run Fat Tape Records – can you tell us a little bit about how this came about, and what it’s like running your own label?
I started Fat Tape last year, but properly started releasing at the end of 2016. The reason I set up Fat Tape was to release music that YouTubers / Twitch streamers could use with no copyright worries. Also it was a way to release my own Moleman music on with no middle man.
Running a label is a labor of love, it’s so great to see music you really believe in get such a great reception! It’s equally difficult pouring in a lot of time and money into a release you really love and no one really feels it. But that’s just the business really. I’m still going to be running Fat Tape but with fewer releases from others, mainly focusing on the Moleman tunes.
What do you do when you’re not producing or running Fat Tape Records?
Well I’m 23 but most of the time I feel middle aged. I’m really into Bonsai and visiting nature reserves with my partner. But I also rock climb and go bouldering which brings my age back down a bit!
And finally, what can we expect from Moleman in the future?
I’m looking to put out a new track each month for this year, really excited to get them out, they vary quite a lot in style. I’ve started a Patreon so people can support me directly and get new tracks a bit early, as well as some insight into my musical process. My patreon can be found at https://www.patreon.com/moleman
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us and can’t wait to see what’s next!
Thank you! J And the same with MA!