SR0059: NATALIA MAUS
Welcome to the first St.Romain mix of 2021...
We've invited Soho Radio resident, freelance music video commissioner and stellar DJ, Natalia Maus, to the decks. After spending 2020 putting mixes together for the likes of Ransom Note, we're very excited to have Natalia kick-off St. Romain's 2021.
As a kid in the suburbs of Belgium, I just soaked up whatever was around me.
I grew up in Belgium, I’m half English and half French and have been living in London for 12 years. As a kid, I always loved classical music, but when I started buying my own music, I got into things like Foo Fighters and Radiohead from randomly picking up CDs at my local second-hand shop. I segued into electronic, like Cassius 99 (so Euro), Basement Jaxx and Fatboy Slim. My school friends were listening to Nas’ Illmatic obsessively which got me into hip hop which got me into the origins of samples and that blew my mind.
And then, of course, there was my brother’s CD collection. I wasn’t so much into his Guns n Roses albums, but he had this ace street soul comp that included Salt n Peppa, En Vogue, Massive Attack, Cece Peniston and Janet Jackson. I could get down to that one. Oh yeah, and then there were my Drum n Bass and Breakcore years. I wish I could say I had a really cool, underground and eclectic taste from the get-go, so I’m going to blame my parents who exclusively listened to Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder (still love Stevie obvs).
I feel like I’m still just starting as DJ really!
The reason I finally started is because it never really occurred to me that I could before. In a new wave of confidence, I thought, ‘why not?’. As a young adult I was always forcing people to sit down and listen to music (whether willing or not) and I genuinely love sharing music. DJing is a great way to do that without having to hold your friends at gunpoint to listen to this ‘amazing tune’. If I’m 100% honest, my relationship with music has gone through its ups and downs, and DJing has been a really important part of healing that.
I feel like my tastes have changed enormously over the years.
A pivotal moment for me was moving to London and meeting Alex Robinson who at the time was European Label Manager for Stones Throw. He had his own label One-Handed Music that put out Paul White’s music. We ended up becoming friends and they both introduced me to so much stuff. I think this is when my interests turned more towards more underground and psychedelic sounds. Paul would make beats out of obscure Swedish psychedelic rock like S.T. Mikael or a Rick Wakeman tune, and he put me onto outsider music.
London’s underground club scene has also massively inspired me.
I love Beauty & The Beat which is a descendent of David Mancuso’s NY Loft parties which has an incredible ethos and atmosphere and carries on the tradition of playing super eclectic music with a psychedelic feel from all genres.
I seem to be drawn to music and musicians that are non-conformists, who want to make their own world and sometimes have more of a DIY or punk attitude to their art. Music with grit and character. I also just really like funky beats, interesting percussion and badass basslines, which is probably why I love disco, new wave and leftfield dance music so much.
Exploring new and old sounds from all around the globe is something I love to do. particularly from South America / Cuba, West Africa and the North Africa & Middle East. For something to get my attention, it needs to sound different and interesting to me, or just make me feel something. It’s always hard to explain!
The clubs are shut, so I’m hoping that people can get down to my mix for St. Romain in their bedroom or as the soundtrack to their oven cleaning or run around the park. I’ve made a house, Italo and disco mix, with some old classic or underground gems and some newer tunes. And some heavy percussive tunes with big basslines and LOL lyrics.
Who am into right now?
Kay Suzuki is a brilliant producer, he’s got a project called Afrobuddha with Koichi Sakai and I’ve included in the mix their banger ‘Obame’ that they made with a Ghanaian drumming ensemble. C.A.R. is an exciting Canadian, London-based producer that is released by Ransom Note.
Telemachus also from London is an amazing talent that I’ve only just discovered but has been a prolific force on the scene for a while. A-Tweed is a great producer from Rome who defines his sound as Acid Weird Disco / Afrofuturism / Global Bass / Cosmic Dark Electronics - which is all very much my jam.
Special shout out to my friend and probably the best and most entertaining DJ in the world, Oli Keens (resident DJ for Little Gay Brother). He puts the most inventive and fun mixes together and is responsible for putting me onto ‘Moist’ which is in my mix and is essential listening for anyone that likes dirty dance music.
I have a monthly show on Soho Radio called Mausbound.
My friend Stephen Bass who runs the label Moshi Moshi introduced me to the station, did a few trial shows and been doing it regularly since July 2020. I play mostly brand new music that intrigues me, from any genre. I started off playing a lot of global electronic and dance music, but it has gone more acoustic and gentle since we’ve all been locked indoors and become more introspective.
The last 12 months have been very still like most people. I’ve mainly been cooking, eating, running and hanging out with my housemates and neighbours which has been super lovely.
Alongside my freelance music video commissioning work, I’ve just started working for Fire Songs (Fire Records’ publishing arm) which is really exciting, so I’m going to be getting to know the very rich back catalogue and working with their incredible roster. I’ve also got a side project called Volumes, getting artists to put together soundtracks for books which took a bit of a hiatus but will be putting out a few more of those this year.
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