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M. Zachary Mellion, the “M” stands for Michael which is actually my first name, fun fact.
What is the best thing about making/mixing tunes:
Maybe the fact the fact that it keeps me sane (relatively speaking of course). In all seriousness though there is just something about creating a piece of music, or visual art on your own that is gratifying on a very personal, esoteric level. That time spent in the studio creating, and taking something from inception to completion all on my own is a therapeutic process. Each tune started is kind of like a new soundscape ready to be explored for the first time. Maybe I have a rough idea where it’s going to lead, but there’s no absolute end result in sight. I know it probably sounds a bit cheesy but there’s just something incredibly fulfilling about knowing that once I’m long gone, all of the music and artwork I’ve created will still remain in some form or another.
Your favorite studio gear:
From a creative standpoint I would have to say my Virus Indigo 2. It’s old school, dusty, the screen is broken, and it doesn’t have the same VST connectivity as the newer TI models; but there’s just something about all the knobs and keys that really does it for me. I guess it’s just a more physical approach to sound design, actually working with your hands to some degree rather than being 100% in the box.
If we’re talking more technical studio gear, I would have to say my Adams A8x studio monitors. Ever since taking the plunge and picking up a pair, my production / mixdown game has progressed tenfold. Having a proper monitoring setup is absolutely essential.
What artist inspires/motivates you:
Everyone I’ve worked with in the past few years has inspired me in some way. Deco, Warsa, Deafblind, Kial, Kelly Dean, Dubtek, EshOne, all my stateside crew, and of course my Chestplate fam. In fact it wasn’t until I heard Distance’s first full length LP on Planet Mu in 2007 that I was completely sold on dubstep. Coming from a Drum & Bass background I’ve always looked for a certain level of depth and energy in dance music that I wasn’t hearing in other productions at the time. Tunes like Night Vision, My Demons, and Traffic really stood out and got me motivated to set my sequencer to 140, so to be releasing music on Chestplate now feels like things truly have come full circle. I’m also equally inspired by visual art and film as well.
Life changing album:
Growing up I was diving head first into a new style of music every couple months so that makes this a really difficult question. There are quite a few albums from different era’s that have played different roles in who I am today as an artist. If I had to pick one on the spot I guess I would have to say it was Anticon: Music for the Advancement of Hip Hop. I bought it at a record shop in Philly having absolutely no idea what it was. Being an extremely visual person, I think there was something about the cover art that spoke to me. This was around the same time I got my MPC 2000XL and was sampling loads of old vinyl, so there was this transformation from listener to producer that I was going through which made it extra influential. The end of the 90’s and beginning of the new millennium was kind of a weird time for hip hop. Everything was quickly becoming over-polished, the beginning of the “bling” era in a sense. So from a bedroom producer’s perspective it was refreshing to see a very DIY take on production and avant-garde lyricism.
Get weird in the studio, don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s always good to set certain goals when you sit down to write a piece of music no matter what point you’re at in the process, but you also have to make sure you give yourself a few sessions here and there with absolutely zero structure. In fact get away from the computer, break out the field recorder and go nuts. I’ve compiled a pretty massive library of original percussive and atmospheric elements simply by recording the things around me.
Something people don’t know about you:
The origin of my alias I suppose, I get asked that a lot. I was heavy into graffiti art in my teenage years and that was just the name I had chosen. Maybe it’s short for mescaline… maybe it isn’t, haha.
Favorite food joint:
Aside from my own kitchen I would have to say Father’s Office in Venice, hands down. Best burger I’ve ever had in my life, ridiculous amount of beer on draft. Can’t go wrong.
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01. Guilty Simpson – American Dream (Stones Throw)
02. Mesck – Collusion (Forthcoming Chestplate)
03. Mesck – Last Light [Truth Remix] (Dub)
04. Shu x Ziplokk – Phurba (Dub)
05. Mesck – Lucid Form (Forthcoming Chestplate)
06. Sleeper – Hostiles (Dub)
07. Biome – Closed Minds (Dub)
08. Content – Origin [Mesck Remix] (Dub)
09. Mesck – Conquista (Forthcoming Chestplate)
09. << Mesck – Conquista [District Remix] (Dub)
10. L 33 – Rupite (Forthcoming Platform Music)
11. Warsa – Deadleg 75 (Dub)
12. District – Earlsdon Funk (Dub)
13. Mesck x Living Proof ft. Ill Chill – Codebreaker VIP (Dub)
14. Deco x Mesck – Clear Depth [Mershak Remix] (Dub)
15. Razor Rekta – Marina (Forthcoming Deep Tuna)
16. District – Aftermath [Mesck Remix] (Dub)
17. Sleeper – Stronghold Dub (Dub) 18. Mesck – Arcane Glimpse (Forthcoming Chestplate)