Sascha Weisz aka MEGABLAST is one of the finest and most passionate music lovers and producers and DJs in the Austrian club music scene. Winning his first DJ contest in the age of 16, inspired by Dope Beats, Reggae and Hip Hop, he soon developed a passion for analog vintage studio gear and electronic music. As producer and one part of Vienna Electronic Dub Duo Makossa & Megablast, he is a master of mixing Latin looseness, Afro-centric grooves and Baile beats with the more structured format of House and Techno.
Following his own spiritual path and vision of good music, Weisz decided to found Luv Lite Recordings, where he released Makossa & Megablast`s second studio album in 2011. Next to his DJ shows across the globe, Megablast and the Luv Lite crew are starting their own label nights in Vienna where they recently invited Henrik Schwarz & Michel Cleis (Cadenza) to join them for an unforgettable party in an amazing location.
Weisz took time out to chat with Hennessy Artistry India about his partnership with Makossa, setting up a label business and his plans for the European summer ahead.
When you won that DJ competition at 16, did you imagine that you’d be playing a gig in the southernmost city in India some day? Do you recollect the contest and what did you win as part of it? What do you think of DJ competitions? I had no idea that one day I would travel around the world living my passion back then, although I always knew that my big love and best friend in life was music. This contest in 1991 was a, kind of, Hip Hop contest and an important step for me to enter the Viennese music scene as I grew up on the countryside. I was totally impressed with what people were able to do in their bedroom studios and how creative you can be with just some low-budget equipment.
We had no samplers or studios, all I had was an old Lenco turntable from my parents and two tape decks with those smooth “pause” buttons where I played on one deck a track and recorded that specific sample part on the other one. I cut the loop by hand for the next take. That was crazy. In the end, I won my first Technics 1200 turntable and at that time “competition” was a good thing for me. It was about showing skills and being creative instead of hanging around and doing nothing. DJ DSL was a big influence in those days, as he mixed in such a smooth way and you could listen to the same record for hours without getting bored.
At present, I don’t see any good thing in music combined with competitions. All these “talent” shows are made for making money and being a “star”. Music should be a mission and not a competition.
How did you come up with the Megablast moniker? I got my name Megablast from a track by Tim Simenon aka ‘Bomb the Bass’. It was one of the first dance records my uncle bought for me back in the days. I loved his album, Into the Dragon, which was an interesting electronic fusion he’d produced. He lives in Vienna now and I felt honoured to finally meet him.
How did your partnership with Marcus (Makossa) happen? How important is to have someone to bounce ideas off every now and then? I know Makossa for a long time. He was one of Austria’s first DJs who impressed me with his legendary Swound Sound Radio Shows together with Sugar B. He was always very open-minded towards good music and his sets always had that kinky fusion of dirty, dubby, disco-influenced electronic music. One day, I finished a track (Weisz-UFo in Brasil) and he liked it and helped me to get in touch with Afro Art, a label by Paul Murphy in the UK.
They signed it and from that point on we decided to collaborate together. We are from two different generations and that makes the productions very interesting. Makossa hears a lot of music every day as he is music programme chief at Radio Fm4. He definitely knows what sounds fresh or boring.
The last time you were in India ‘Soy Como Soy’ had become an anthem and you were in the process of getting remixes out. Now that you’ve had some distance between the track and its success, what do you think made it such a big hit that summer? It was definitely Luciano who made that track huge. He played it in so many of his sets and this helped a lot. On Youtube, you will find DJs like Loco Dice, Ricardo Villalobos and Sven Väth, all playing this track. That was a sign that we can communicate with music all over the world.
Your official bio says that you “got tired of business and artist egos” so you decided to found Luv Lite Recordings. What aspect of the business frustrated you? How has it been different with Luv Lite Recordings? Most of the producers and artists I got to know had huge ego problems. There is no “fair” business at all out there, just a lot of undeserved respect. I respect people who are grounded and spiritually minded. I am fascinated by other artist’s actions and not by their success. I chose music as my path in life for trying to put timeless music out there so it was clear that we have to build our own platform, Luv Lite Recordings, with a team that has the same vision.
At the moment, the label is continuously growing with fresh artists (Claudio Ricci, Weisz & Schrenk, Mikele Dio, Weisz² and of course Makossa & Megablast) , great musicians (Stefan Seelenwald, Christian Einheller, Stephan Maas, Pablo J. just to name a few), awesome vocalists (Hubert Tubbs, OG Spiritual Godess, Cleydys Villalon, Aminata) and a team that focuses on the label management.
With the onset of the European summer not too far away, what does the Megablast calendar look like? Any festivals/gigs in particular, you’re looking forward to?
My calendar is full with productions as we are planning to start a regular release schedule around fall 2012. Watch out for our artists Claudio Ricci, Weisz² (which is a project I do with my brother), Mikele Dio, Weisz & Schrenk (who already did a great remix of ‘Soy Como Soy’ last year), Stefan Seelenwald and Makossa & Megablast.
We are also starting with our own Luv Lite Label Parties in June. Our first line-up features two of my favourite DJs and producers at the moment: Henrik Schwarz (Innervisions/!K7) and Michel Cleis (Cadenza). In July, we are hosting a floor at the UAF Festival in Graz with the whole crew. And we are going to Ibiza, so a lot of things are going on at the moment.