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Desyn Masiello interview: In Desyn we Trust

Author: Terry Goldfain
Tuesday, 6 December 2005
KNOWN AS THE HARDEST WORKING MAN IN SHOWBUSINESS, DESYN MASIELLO HAS JUST COMPLETED THE LATEST CHAPTER IN THE BALANCE MIX CD SERIES AND HE'S RATHER PLEASED WITH THE RESULT.

There's no doubting his sincerity. Yet Desyn Masiello's utterance of sympathetic camaraderie after my light-hearted complaint about our late night interview time-slot leaves me feeling slightly embarrassed. I am, after all, talking to none other than the person hailed by John Digweed as 'the man who's too busy to ever sleep'. Aside from his touring commitments as a DJ, London-born Masiello has a hand in running three record labels (Alternative Route, Sexonwax and, most recently, Symphonic) and produces and remixes both as a solo artist and under the Idiot's alias with Omid 16b and Leon Roberts. Additionally, Masiello recently completed 'Balance 008', his first double CD which follows on from previous single mix albums such as 'Yoshitoshi 3: In House We Trust' and Bedrock's 'Original Series'.

Masiello bursts into laughter, breaking what could have turned into an uncomfortable silence. 'John [Digweed] made that statement on his Kiss 100 show. Everywhere I go now people say "it's you - the man who never sleeps!" And sometimes it's true, actually. Despite occasionally being a really lazy git, I'm generally a bit of a workaholic. Maniac is probably closer to the truth, trying to do 10 things at once and usually ending up with egg all over my face. But sometimes I pull it off.'

Those familiar with Masiello would regard the remark as a substantial understatement, with his reputation only growing via the latest release of EQ's groundbreaking CD series, 'Balance'. While his highly acclaimed Bedrock 'Original' compilation had the honour of being that series' inaugural mix, due to the brilliance of 'Balance 008' it is with no disrespect that many regard the 'Bedrock OS_1' mix as a stepping stone. An interesting point of comparison lies in seven out of 20 tracks he requested for 'Bedrock OS_1' being refused for licensing reasons as compared to only two of 80 for 'Balance 008'. 'A couple of the tracks I wanted to use for Bedrock had dodgy samples and some of the labels the tracks were signed to got really poncey as they wanted to save the tracks for their own compilations before allowing them to be used by anyone else. I was shocked that the guys at Stomp/EQ were able to pull it off. Much of the reason is because Tom (Pandzic - EQ and Balance's initiator and driving force) is such a maniac and basically hounded everybody so much that he closed all the deals really fast. He's as passionate about the CD as me, and the final product wouldn't have happened if he didn't work his butt off.'

While 'Balance 008' will satisfy the most ardent dance music enthusiast with its quality upfront tracks, there is also a rich appreciation of classics from bygone eras represented by Orbital, Killing Joke and a synth-driven track that bares a strong resemblance to New Order's 'Blue Monday'. 'I guess it's partially a reflection of my own struggle to find balance as a DJ,' admits Masiello. 'It's important to keep playing new, fresh sets, but you can fall into the trap of placing too much importance on always playing the latest stuff and forgetting past gems. Most people on the dancefloor want to hear really interesting music from all eras, and at the end of the day we're there to entertain. Compiling 'Balance 008' was a fantastic experience. It allowed me to refocus and put certain aspects of DJing into perspective, which can occasionally be forgotten when you're going a million miles an hour. I took the time to sit back and really listen to my records, as opposed to getting caught up in the relentless pursuit of new material necessary for two or three gigs a week. Many of the tracks I used have, what I consider, timeless appeal. I try and do that in my sets as well, but typically sets on a weekly basis are more upfront club stuff while 'Balance 008' showcases a wider range.'
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