One to Watch… Mason Collective
Unless you’re a social media ninja or you’ve been hidden under a rock for the last few months, you will no doubt have heard of Manchester-based ‘Mason Collective’. After a recent Beatport #1 with their ‘Whippin’ EP on Wow! Recordings, we were lucky enough to grab some time with the talented trio and get to know them a little better…
As you may know, Manchester is a hotbed for great House and Techno artists, it seems to be a great producer of unique and pioneering sounds too. These gents are clearly no exception to that statement and it’s clear to see why they stand out from the crowd at the moment.
“We feel like a lot of artists are focusing on big buildups and drops at the moment, whereas with our tracks we tend to focus on the textures and the groove. Our stuff is a little bit faster as well, at first people thought it was maybe a bit too quick but they seem to be feeling it now it’s working for us”
Many people have made a comparison between them and The Martinez Brothers, which is evident in their signature sound. It’s obvious that through their shared appreciation for the same acoustic stamp, there has already been a great amount of support and companionship between themselves and similar artists.
“For us, they (TMB) have influenced us not only musically, but in everything they do. The way they carry themselves in the industry and the fashion side of it, we’ve been good friends for a while with their whole crew and they have shown us love. RPR Soundsystem is another big influence on us”
The guys have been making musically collectively since 2014, and have come a long way since then before arriving at their current sound. With such a unique character that stretches way beyond your conventional 4×4 house rhythms, we were intrigued to know how they have grown in that space of time.
“Our sound has changed as we have got better as producers, we’ve worked at it and crafted it. We didn’t bring anything out for the past 2 years, we had a release on The Mekanism’s label which came out as a vinyl-only small release. Our sound has always been there but we’ve been waiting and perfecting it before we brought any new music out.”
It’s no secret that they’re really into their fashion either, they are always looking fresher than fresh. We were interested to know their thoughts on the public’s perception of their model look and how it might influence their credibility from a musical perspective.
“We think music and fashion go hand in hand, we’re just doing us. The way we dress isn’t forced either, it’s just who we are. There’s a big streetwear movement at the moment, we’re not like your typical black t-shirt wearing artists. It would be an issue if the music wasn’t with it, its 100% part of our generation’s culture.”
While we were on the topic of fashion, we also asked them about their upcoming collaboration with clothing brand ‘Gramm’.
“That just came about naturally, the owner of Gramm has been one of our close friends for years. What he’s doing with Gramm at the moment is pretty sick, he’s putting out some stuff that we really feel so it made sense to link up and put something out together. We’ve done Mason t-shirts before which did pretty well, we feel like with the summer coming up now would be a good time to put out something fresh”.
According to the cliche… “Three’s a crowd”, and it can get pretty crammed in some DJ booths. As you can imagine, the prospect of three voices/sets of ideas when making a track sounds pretty hectic too. We were really intrigued to understand why it works so well for them, especially as they have a way of making it look so natural.
“It’s better in a way, there are more ideas when we’re in the studio or when we’re mixing. To be fair, sometimes we don’t all fit in the booth. It’s never been an issue for us, it’s what we’re used to and it never gets too hectic. We’ve got a strict policy of one track each, it’s an ongoing test between us but we always get it right, that’s the beauty of it”.
In January the boys released their ‘Whippin’ EP on Wow! Recordings, it wasted no time in flying up the charts and landed them their first Beatport #1 release. For a young trio with a fairly small catalogue of releases under their belt, you can only imagine how much of a big deal it must have been for them. “Even to see it in the top 100 for us was crazy, but to then see it at number one was surreal. We just didn’t expect it, we’ve been using Beatport since we were 16 so to go to the homepage and see our name was surreal as well. The title track ‘Whippin’ was played by Patrick Topping and Jamie Jones at Paradise in Ibiza last season, we’ve been going to DC10 for years and for us it’s like going to church so to see something you’ve made in your studio being blasted out was sick”.
We think it’s important to talk to artists (especially the younger guys and girls), about some of the more sensitive subjects that surround the industry. Out of all the things like mental health issues, gender and orientation equality, drug abuse etc. and we were really keen to see what their response would be to the many room dwelling Elephants there are out there… “Equality is something that’s massively important to us, we’re three ethnic kids from south Manchester. One of the reasons we started our own events was because there were certain clubs that we would always get turned away from, just because of the way we looked. We started our own party where everyone is welcome, it doesn’t matter what race, gender or orientation you are, that’s the ethos that house was built on and should be preserved”.
They had some great advice for up and coming artists too. Tried and tested guidance that was refreshingly accurate. “Just do you, it’s always good to be unique. Don’t be boxed in to just doing what’s relevant, that’s what got us where we are today. Find your inspiration, find what you really feel and crack on with your mission!”
When we asked about the trio’s upcoming schedule, they had a lot of awesome things to look forward to in the not too distant future as well. “We’ve got our own stage at Parklife, it’s in our hometown and we’ve been playing there for a few years but to have our own stage and across both days is a pretty big achievement for us. We’re playing at lost and found in Malta which will be pretty sick, we’ve also got Hideout locked in with the Kalypso stage and Housework boat party. Aside from that, we’ve got some pretty big releases coming up on some pretty big labels but we can’t say too much about that at the moment. Lots and lots of new music coming, our upcoming gig at fabric will be sick as well because some of us haven’t even been there before and we’ve been wanting to go for ages!”
We thought we would end our amazing encounter with the Mason lads by throwing a curveball their way:
Q – If you could fill a swimming pool with anything in the world, what would it be and why?
A – “Hennessy, a pool full of Hennessy. It’s good for your skin, or is it? We’re not alcoholics by the way”
Reaffirming what we already kind of knew anyway, Mason Collective are three hugely talented young chaps from Manchester with a great outlook on life, a strong passion for the appreciation of music, fashion and the relationship between the two. They have their heads screwed on really well and are great role models for the rest of their generation of artists on the come-up and it was an absolute pleasure to chat with them.
Don’t sleep on these gents, they are set for a rollercoaster ride in the coming months and years. You can buy their latest EP ‘Patti’s Groove’, released on the legendary Stacey Pullen’s imprint ‘Blackflag Recordings’ on Beatport now: