Mario Basanov interview

Seven things you didn't know about Lithuanian house DJ


Lithuanian house DJ Mario Basanov has already been labelled as one to watch in 2012. His work with DJ Vidis has gained high-profile fans, spun live by the likes of Gilles Peterson and Pete Tong, while last year’s breakthrough solo single, ‘Lonely Days’, ushered in a new vocal style. Known as a grade-A producer for hire back home, the twentysomething talent recently picked up an award for best producer at the Mnet Asian Music Awards 2011. Making his first appearance in Dubai on Friday January 27 to spin at 360°, promoters Audio Tonic are already murmuring that it could be a one-off as the DJ’s star continues to soar. We pinned him down to garner a few key facts about this hot talent.

He’s never been to Dubai before.
‘Yes, this is my first time in Dubai. I’m very excited about it. I’m looking forward to playing there and to having a good time in the surroundings of beautiful nature – I think it’s some kind of paradise. I want to see The Palm, and the highest building. I’ve heard about 360° from my friends Downtown Party Network, who have played there. I listened to the stories and dreamed that some day I would go to Dubai.’

He’d rather let the music do the talking.
‘I want to play my own music as much as I can. I play nu-disco, deep house…’

He took his DJ name from a certain Italian plumber.
‘My real name is Marijus Adomaitis, so Mario came from the world of video games. Basanov is because I was listening a lot of bossa nova music in my teens.’

As well as digging fellow DJs, he also has an ear for classical composers.
‘My biggest DJ influences are Andre Lodemann, Marcus Worgull and DJ T, but the non-electronic music that has affected me most is by composers such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni, Paul Hindemith.’

He’s from Lithuania, where there is a thriving house scene.
‘There’s a wide spectrum. We have a strong nu-disco scene, house, dubstep and full urban stylistics. It would be difficult to specify which scene is stronger – we’re all friends and we all try to keep up the quality
of good music.’

Critics have dubbed his music ‘cosmic disco’ – and he doesn’t disagree.
‘My last work with my colleague, playing as “Mario & Vidia”, was our Staar Wars EP, and it’s exactly what you’d call “cosmic disco”. It’s my favourite vinyl. Silence Music is the name of Vidia’s record label, which was created after we made the song “Who’s Shot the Silence”. That was the start of our serious work.’

His biggest hit, last year’s ‘Lonely Days’, saw the elusive DJ exercise a new talent.
‘I’m singing for the first time in this song, so therefore I’m making my own debut! I’ve said that if somebody asked me to sing, rather than do remixes, I will really smile. Because of my background in classic music
I appreciate vocals. It doesn’t always go with electronic music, but voices such as Yukimi Nagano could always be matched with electronic music.’

Mario Basanov plays Audio Tonic’s Sunset Sessions on Friday January 27, 4pm-2am, free entry. 360°, Jumeirah Beach Hotel (050 107 6405).

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