Posted by Spice on June 6, 2012
Progressive house, that luminous, frission-inducing genre, is at a bit of a crossroads. While it is as much in flux as everything else occurring under the umbrella of EDM, I’d go as far as to say that it is also approaching critical mass. Progressive hooks once reserved for dance floors and DJ sets have entered the commercial mainstream. Trance heavyweights formerly known for their work at 140 bpm now borrow from it liberally. And not only is the genre one of the more massive and heterogeneous subsets of electronic music, it also happens to boast some of the biggest names in the business (Avicii, Tiesto, Alesso, the Swedish House mafiosos), all of whom cast long shadows and seem almost uniquely positioned to eclipse emergent talent.
But talent is talent, and today it is my pleasure to introduce you to two Los Angeles-based producers who have been quietly churning out breathtaking original progressive anthems and electro bangers while breaking into the performance DJ circuit. Logan Light and Alex Seaver — known together as Mako — bring musical training, practical experience, and abundant talent to their craft….and it shows. The two are a formidable team; Logan performed under the moniker DJ L1ght during his time at the University of Michigan, opening for heavy hitters like Wolfgang Gartner and Afrojack and even taking the decks at Coachella, while Alex attended Julliard, is classically trained in the French horn and wields some impressive compositional skill. Are they the full package? The free download below, “Beam,” would seem to indicate that they are: the top quality production, lush, orchestral synths and uplifting melodies speak to a well-honed musical ear, while the build through the chorus is tailor-made to wind up a crowd.
Read on for my interview with Logan, Mako’s set from Electro Beach Puerto Vallarta, and previews of tracks that are in the works. Be sure to keep an eye on Mako’s Soundcloud for upcoming releases.
FNT: How did you guys get started?
LL: It all started on a kind of fluke encounter. Our parents were college roommates but we never connected. When Alex had come into town to meet some people regarding ASCAP and film scoring we went out to dinner with our parents and met. I was leaving a few days later to attend EDC and offered him, someone who had never heard of EDM, to come with and see what he thought. The experience was a great one and he fell love in with the music so we began to try and craft some music.
FNT: Where does the name “Mako” come from?
LL: I DJed for years under the name L1ght, but when Alex came on board I couldn’t use that name. We knew to start building we had to chose a name quickly. We each went through countless things that were important to us and compiled a list of 10-20 names that came from these things we loved and narrowed it down to Mako. Mako, from our online research, means “magical light” in japanese which is pretty cool due to my last name. The name comes from my favorite childhood video game where it is a mystical light that serves as a life force.
FNT: Can you talk a little bit about your creative process – what inspires you and what do you each bring to Mako?
LL: Alex is the catalyst for the creative end in terms of productions. He is the musical genius and can answer more to the creative process on producing. I work more in the live realm and try to build create, enjoyable sets that to a degree tell a story throughout the night but allow the fan to still enjoy themselves. All in all its about continually bouncing ideas of one another. There are days where we are super productive and days where nothing gets done but that’s all part of the process and I think we enjoy it for what it is.
FNT: Who are some of your favorite DJs/producers? Is there anyone in particular who influences your work? What about other non-EDM artists?
LL: For me in the EDM world it is Daft Punk then everyone else. Without them I, nor a lot of other producers would be in this business. I love Mat Zo and Hardwell. Inspirationally we both come from opposite ends of the spectrum. I love alternative rock and electronica while Alex is strictly from a classical and orchestral background. I show him major songs in my fields I feel like everyone would know and he has no idea, then he’ll play me a Beethoven symphony and I’ll have a puzzled look on my face. I think that is what makes us unique, we are coming from two completely different worlds to try and create something new and fun.
FNT: What is your dream venue/festival to play?
LL: Coachella Sahara tent for me. Seeing Daft Punk there in 06 was a life changing moment. To get to play where they played would be life altering for me. As for Alex, I’m not sure you’d have to ask him.
FNT: What is your favorite venue/event that you’ve played so far?
LL: We’ve only done a handful of shows since colloborating, two at Electro Beach in Puerto Vallarta and two opening for Porter Robinson in the Midwest. The show opening for Porter in Michigan probably meant the most to me as I spent a lot of time there as a college student and was pretty cool to go back to see a bunch of buddies.
FNT: What is your favorite thing about DJing? Why does EDM appeal to you?
LL: It all stems from the music. If you don’t enjoy the music you are playing then you cant enjoy DJing. I love playing the music I love and creating a fun time for those who come to see us play it. The community atmosphere in the EDM world is a major appeal as it isn’t as much about the DJs as it is about the fans enjoying a communal event.
FNT: If you could collaborate with any one artist, who would it be?
LL: Radiohead are my favorite artists, but I would almost be too intimidated to work with them. From an EDM perspective I’d love to work with Mat Zo.
FNT: What is your plan for the next few years and where do you ultimately see yourselves headed?
LL: We aren’t really too sure. We are taking it one month at a time and are along for the ride.
If you need further proof that Mako is in it to win it, just give the following tracks a spin. First up, “Ignition,” an electro banger in the grand tradition of Wolfgang Gartner or Laidback Luke. In a word: this track goes hard.
“Strip It” is progressive house with a sharp edge, combining rich melodies and builds with grungier synths and a thumping bassline.
Finally, check out Mako’s set from Electro Beach Puerto Vallarta, where they performed with some of the industry’s most well-worn names.