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Monday 07th, July 2008
Alex Morph Interview

Alex M.O.R.P.H. is one of today’s most wanted producers/remixers in the scene. He’s done over 80 remixes, more than 30 of his own productions and successful collaborations, which all found their way into the record boxes of the worlds top jocks like Paul van Dyk, Armin van Buuren and Above & Beyond, to name a few.

Alex’s recent remixes include Armin van Buuren and DJ Shah’s collaborated track, ‘Going Wrong’, which he and Woody van Eyden managed to include some ‘right’ in it, Jean Moiree vs. Pheel’s Heavy Session and Funabashi’s ‘Legacy 2.0’. With remixing and producing credibility like his, it’s no surprise that many producers out there are shoving tracks for him to work on. Right now, Alex’s concentration lies on his upcoming album and more collaboration with Woody van Eyden. We recently scored an exclusive interview with the German to get the low-down on what he’s been up to, what he loves about remixing tracks and why he loves collaborations.

We know you’re working on an artist album now. Tell us more about it.
Yes, I am working on it now and hope to release it by end of this year or early next year. The album will mostly focus on the sound I’ve been producing over the years with new upgrades, new styles and new influences that shows my view of my music and the kind of music I love.

You’ve worked over 80 remixes over the years, are there any challenges for you while working on them?
First of all, before I work on a remix I have to like the original – there must be something in it that I really like. I can’t do a remix for something I don’t like or don’t feel because I get so many remix request and when I don’t hear anything special in that production I can’t deliver my best. Some people will still do it for money or whatever but I have to like and feel it and when I do, something good comes out. That’s how I work with remixes.

Most of your recent work have been collaborations, why is that so?
Sometimes I like working with other people. It’s good to team up for a track and some people have diverse influences and very different from mine and we combine it together it just sounds right. The best example would be ‘Life Is Ordinary’, my collaboration with Rank 1. It doesn’t sound like a typical M.O.R.P.H track and it doesn’t come close to a typical Rank 1 track either. But the combination of two different ideas resulted in one of the most successful tracks ever.

This is a very cliché question but where and how do you get most of your inspirations from?
When I’m working on remixes, it’s the original track that gives me the ideas but when it comes to productions, it’s very random. I’m not one of those to sit down and think of something and wait for it to come out. My ideas come to me in random places – sometimes it comes when I’m touring in other countries, when I sit on the plane or the car and sometimes I get inspiration from other songs I listen to.

How have you managed to remain consistent in your productions over the years when new sounds and trends seem to emerge?
It boils down to the passion for what I do. It’s this kind of feeling and instinct in me that I can’t change. I know many DJ’s and producers have compromised their work to accommodate to the changing trends. If trance is in then they play and produce trance and if it’s electro, they tend to follow that particular sound. I’ve had the same feeling and instinct in me since I first began producing and DJing and I think that’s the reason why I’m consistent in that particular range of music I play.

Why have you remained so faithful to trance after all these years?
For me, music has to give out energy and has to touch me and trance is the best example of a genre that provides both. Of course I like other stuff like techno, tech house and electro but I can’t listen to them for one whole night or for many hours because I don’t hear much transition in those kinds of music. If I listened to techno for two hours, at the end of the night I find that I can’t recall or remember any of the tracks because I won’t be able to differentiate them or find a unique element that I like in them. But when I listen to a trance set, I can pick out at least ten tracks that I like based on whether the melody was good, or the breakdown, maybe the vocals are nice because there are more vocal tracks in trance than a lot of other genres.

Being a German trance producer, do you think there are any differences in sound and melodies with other producing trance countries?
The thing about the German brand of trance is that the locals see it differently from people outside of Germany. Take Dutch and UK trance for instance, its high quality music that’s known worldwide and the scene is respected. The problem here is that German recording companies love producing music compilations with the word trance in it which I think is pure bullshit. But people in Germany think its trance when it’s all about hard stuff and Mickey Mouse melodies. I really hate it that a lot of Germans call that rubbish trance. So I guess that is the difference between what people call German trance compared to the rest of the world. Personally, I don’t think there’s much difference in how different countries interpret trance, it’s the record companies who sell the records in the name of ‘trance’ that misleads people into thinking that there are so many different type of trance.

What’s your secret recipe for producing a kick ass Alex M.O.R.P.H tracks?
You need nice melodies, pumping basslines, good beats and the production itself must sound clean and polished. If you can find a good vocalist, add that in as well. It has to have a good balance – not too cool and not too commercial. But it has to be catchy enough to blow the roof off and remember making a track isn’t about the money.

Out of all your productions and remixes, which ones do you like the best?
At the moment I have two favourite remixes – my remix for Paul van Dyk’s ‘Let Go’ and Armin van Buuren’s ‘Going Wrong’. As for my productions, I would have to say ‘Turn It On’, but many prefer ‘Walk The Edge’.

If you had one last chance to do collaboration, who would you choose to do it with?
I’ve got to say Junkie XL – he’s a really good producer. I don’t know what kind of track we can do together because our music is worlds away. What he makes is totally different what I do but I admire him because he’s responsible for my all time favourite track, which is Sasha’s ‘Xpander’.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Believe in yourself. Why? You simply need to because it’s a long journey to get where you want to be. When you start to make music and want to begin your career, a lot of people will want to give their opinions about you and some of their comments will make you think, “Why the fuck am I doing this?” Sometimes you’ll meet not always nice guys in this business. There’ll be assholes who will want to talk shit about your music and make promises that they’ll never keep so you need this kind of positive attitude, believe in yourself. Opening a Myspace account to group hundreds of fans isn’t the way to build your confidence because at the end of the day, it’s all about you and not the amount of fans that you get on a website.

Will there be anymore Arc In The Sky productions in the future?
No, there are no plants at the moment or any time soon. We put it on hold about two years ago already. We might want to re-born it but the main focus now is Alex M.O.R.P.H stuff and more back-to-back with Woody van Eyden. I need to focus on something because too many side projects confuse the fans so I just want to focus on my own thing, to create that signature sound that everyone can identify with, especially with the album coming out soon and I’m releasing three singles from it before that happens. That’s already so much to do so I really don’t want to think about anything else at the moment.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with all the up and coming producers out there?
The most important thing is to buy a good PC or better still, get a Mac because it’s one of the best machines that hardly crashes. I prefer to use Logic 8 and I would recommend everyone to get good monitoring boxes because you need really good speakers to listen the tracks clearly. If you have bad speakers and you’re not aware that it sounds like shit, chances of you sending it out and getting released is highly unlikely. So take care of the sound, get good sound systems and I think you’re all set. And most importantly is to not give up. Just work and work your way up.

Links: http://www.alexmorph.com

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