Michal Menert has been giving his listeners beautiful mixed sounds from Eastern European and Western influences since co-producing Pretty Light’s debut album Taking Up Your Precious Time in 2006. Born in Kielce, Poland and growing up in Denver, CO, Menert has the musical background and ear to compose eloquent and touching elements on his tracks. After releasing his second album Even If It Isn’t Right and working on many other side-projects, you can find Menert headlining at the Gem and Jam Music Festival. The festival, being thrown by conscious and forward thinkers Euphonic Conceptions, is an interactive musical and art experience coming to Tuscon, Arizona, Feb 7th-9th. This is one of the largest gem and mineral shows in the world, and features other jewels like psychedelic artists, Alex and Allyson Grey, as well as musical jewels: Michal Menert, NiT GriT, Vibesquad, Random Rab, and many more fine electronic producers. Please check out Menert’s interview and beautiful world-infused sounds below, and remember to check out this headliner at the Gem and Jam early February.
The title has to do with choices and sacrifices, both personal and business, that you have to make when you tackle the life of being a touring musician. It also stems from the length of the album, and the fact that I wasn’t doing what was selling in the EDM world. I was making an album that was 101 min, and wasn’t trying to be a collection of singles.
With 27 tracks, It was a longer than average album. Did you include a lot of the tracks you produced since Dreaming of a Bigger Life was released in 2010?
Yes, EIIIR was basically a musical biography of the 18 months after DOABL.
I’ve heard you produce and perform with Paul Basic as Half Color. You guys have plans for any releases this year?
Paul is finishing up his 2nd release, which is to be a full-length, and i’ve got Elements wrapping up, so we will FINALLY have time to bunker up in a studio and make some magic.
You just released the Twilight Frequency EP a few months ago with Break Science and wrapped up a tour promoting that with them last month. How was producing and touring with them?
Adam and Borahm are incredible musicians and producers. It was a great experiment in working in each other’s cities and on the road. And live, they kill it.
You were the first artist signed to Pretty Lights Music and had a hand in the production of Derek Vincent Smith’s first album Taking Up Your Precious Time in 2006. How did you two meet and become friends?
We grew up together. In 9th grade, I went to a different school but we lived in the same hood. We skated at the same spots, and one day he brought a bass guitar there, before taking the bus to a lesson. I asked if he would be in my band, and we worked together since then. so we’ve know each other and worked musically for 17 years.
When did and guys start making music together?
In Fort Collins, CO, in 96.
Who are your musical influences?
David Bowie, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Beastie Boys, Chemical Brothers, El-P, DJ Shadow, Prince Paul, Trent Reznor, Gabriel-Era Genesis, Yes, James Brown, Quincy Jones… There’s literally hundreds of albums i grew up on that I could list, because they all made me think differently about making music.
Name one place you would love to play a set and why.
I’d love to play a set at the Castle in Poznan, Poland, because i saw Coco Rosie play there at dusk and it’s a beautiful outdoor castle courtyard in my homeland. A close second would be Paradiso in Amsterdam, which has a giant stained glass wall behind the stage.
If you could make music with any musician ever, who would it be and why?
I’d love to have worked with Hendrix. He was amazing, and had an incredible range of intensity and dynamic in his songs. plus NO ONE has been able to come near him on the guitar.
The second track of your new ELEMENTS series Quiet Earth was co-produced with Mux Mool. How did you guys come to work together?
I met Mux in Brooklyn a few years ago, and have been a fan of his music for a while, but didn’t really connect until he played out here in Denver with me last March. we kept in touch, and became good friends, so it was only logical that we tried making music together. We’ve got some stuff in the works for down the road.. he’s one of my favorite people, and I think he’s seriously underrated in this scene, because like me he’s trying to do his own thing rather that just playing what everyone else is playing.
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