Mollono.Bass is a well known face within the scene since quite some time, not only
as a founding member of the legendary quartet Kombinat100. His deep passion for electronic music caused the foundation of Acker Records in 2006, which he leads as its mastermind, as well as the launch of 3000° Records in 2008.
He is also involved in the projects Rundfunk3000 and Eulenhaupt & Mollenhauer. Behind the turntables as well as live all around Europe, Mollono.Bass presents organic and melodic beats which directly aim the dance floor and therefore always contain a proper portion of bounce.
The efficiency of his grooves has been proved by various successful productions, cooperations with acts like Monolink and remixes on well known labels. His latest collaboration with neo-classical pianist Martin Kohlstedt attracted one more time international recognition and shows his musical diversity.
Your recent collaboration with the pianist Martin Kohlstedt has been gaining a lot of attention. Can you share the creative process behind the single and how the collaboration came about?
It all began in 2019. That year, Martin Kohlsted performed at our 3000Grad Festival. At the end of his magnificent set -which, by the way, he didn't play on stage, but in the middle of the audience- he announced his last song: “Let’s see where this goes”, he said… That moment, and that last song made it into our festival movie – and it stuck with me ever since. Soon I found myself loading the recording into my sequencer. My idea was to build a closing track, exclusively for my DJ sets, infused with all the intense emotions of that moment and that song. It turned out great. So one day I just sent it over to Martin. And he liked it – very much so. And that's how our collaborative track “AMS” was created.
How has this release influenced your approach to future productions, and do you see more collaborations with live musicians in your upcoming work?
Working with live musicians has influenced me as a musician ever since I started off around 1998. I'd even say it's an essential part of my identity. For instance, there's our four-person Kombinat100 project. This was pre-laptop times, and among various hardware sequencers, drum machines and effects there was Marc Vogler, who played the melodica and the organ. We first played live at Fusion Festival 2001, if I remember correctly. Much later I worked with Ava Asante, who sang and played her violin, in the studio as well as at our live performances. I produced tracks with Pupkulies and Rebecca and Tibau. There's my collaboration with Monolink. And, more recently, the music I created together with Kuoko. And that's really just some of the most well-known musicians, I have worked with many others over the years, especially singers.
Looking back at your artistic journey, what do you consider to be the turning point that shaped your signature sound as an electronic music producer?
I guess “Die Liebe”, released in 2009 on Ostwind Records, stirred up some interest on the dancefloors. And that interest was probably solidified with my “Solo Para Mi” Remix for Be Svendsen in 2011, which we released on our own Acker Records. I think these two releases put me on the map. Apart from that, I think every musical career is highly dynamic, ever changing, and it's really hard to pin down any turning points. If I listen to those tracks I just mentioned today, I still feel the vibe – but in terms of production skills the world, and I, have evolved a lot. So I think it's the ongoing creative process, rather than a particular turning point that shapes the signature sound of any electronic music producer.
The electronic music scene is constantly evolving. How do you stay inspired and what advice would you give to emerging artists trying to find their own musical identity?
As for inspiration in the ever evolving world of electronic music: It clearly flows from the dancefloor during my sets. I am lucky to be involved in our own party series, so I'm a resident at my own events. That really keeps me in touch with my fans and the vibe of the moment. I do whatever I feel like, whatever genre or subgenre, and I think I don't care too much about the latest trends and hypes. For example, right now I'm into classic House again. So at the 26th anniversary of our SOS parties, I'll play a proper, traditional House set.
My advice for emerging artists: Go the extra mile and find your own, unique style. It might be much harder than just adapting to the latest trend, but it is the only thing that will make you stand out. Trends come and go. Find out what your musical identity really is, what your own style is. That will take some time.
From club gigs to festival stages, you've performed in diverse settings. Can you share a memorable moment from your DJ career that has had a lasting impact on you?
Well, there are some annually recurring moments. On the one hand that is most definitely our own 3000Grad Festival. Playing there is always memorable, always gives me a smile when I think about it. On the other hand, there's Fusion Festival. My closing sets at our Sonnendeck stage, together with Eule, or in years before at Seebühne, are among my fondest memories as a DJ.
As an artist who navigates both the studio and the stage, how do you find the balance between creating music in a controlled environment and delivering high-energy performances to a live audience?
Studio and stage are two different worlds for me. I live and produce in a remote place in the countryside, surrounded by forests and lakes. I love the quietness and slow pace of this world. But what I do wouldn't make any sense without the buzzing energy of the clubs, the big city, the festivals. So I really need these moments to see my music to unleash and erupt. Both are very important to me – I guess it's the rather stark contrast that is so appealing.
Looking ahead to the future - could you share a glimpse into your roadmap for 2024?
Coming up first, there's a new remix for Pupkulies and Rebecca, it will be released on their own label. And another remix for US based duo Haddadi von Engst is coming up end of february.
Then there's more and more tracks for my next album piling up on my hard drive, the first single is scheduled for the beginning of march. End of May I'm invited to play at Distortion Festival in Copenhagen, right before Sven Väth is going to take over. If I got that right – that's something new and exciting. And, again something I really look forward to is our Sonnendeck stage at Fusion Festival, and of course our own 3000Grad Festival in August.