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Behind the Beats: Ray Monsieur Unveils the Heart of ‘Stronger’ – A Musical Odyssey.

Kono Vidovic March 11, 2024 60 7

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In this track talk, we delve into the influential sounds that have shaped the career of Dutch DJ and producer Ray Monsieur, the visionary behind the fresh label Holybro. Born from the pulsating heart of Amsterdam, Ray Monsieur’s music is a rich tapestry of depth, warmth, and emotion, meticulously woven through his debut release ‘Stronger’. Each track in this hypnotic collection is not just a piece of music but a chapter in the story of Ray’s artistic journey, influenced by a myriad of experiences and sounds that have touched his life deeply.

Crafted in the nostalgic confines of his parents’ attic, a forced retreat that turned into a creative sanctuary. Ray employed his Roland TR8S drum machine and SH101 to sculpt the soft synth sounds that define this EP. The final touch, mixing and mastering, was expertly handled by Nachtbraker, known for his work with Quartet Series, Red Light Radio, and Doka Amsterdam.

Ray Monsieur - Stronger EP track talk and interview

Ray Monsieur – Stronger EP.

From the very start, ‘Forget’ promises to be an uplifting anthem, designed to elevate spirits and command the dance floor. Similarly, ‘My Love’ captures the essence of joy with its vibrant synth melodies and lush electronic strings. The title track ‘Stronger’ reflects Ray’s capacity for introspection, offering a bright, reflective piece that resonates with a compelling melodic sheen. The EP concludes with ‘Sunshine’, a testament to the power of electronic music to induce a trance-like state, propelled by a rich tapestry of hypnotic electronica and vibrant chords.

Track Talk with Ray Monsieur.

These tracks, while showcasing Ray’s unique sound, also serve as a homage to the myriad of influences that have carved his path in the music world. Each selection offers a glimpse into the moments, artists, and experiences that have inspired Ray Monsieur to create music that not only moves the body but also stirs the soul. Join us as we explore the foundational tracks that have informed his career and the stories behind the creation of ‘Stronger’.

Bonobo – 7th Sevens 

When this track dropped, it got the gears turning for my own project. The vibes were deep, and it hit me with a lot of inspiration. Honestly, I wasn’t big on the four-on-the-floor beats back then, but this track changed my mind. A few years back, I was in Essaouira, Morocco. I discovered a picture of Bonobo hanging in the riad lobby, standing alongside the owner. The realization that I was staying in the same riad as Bonobo left me in wonder.

16 Bit Lolitas – Deep In My Soul

I saw them at the first club night I ever went to. These guys got me more into deep house and was the start of going to parties and clubs more often. 

Rodriguez Jr. – Ellipsism 

This track made me become a big fan of his quality sound. I love the spacey piano with the plucky synths grooving with the drums. I even recreated the piano in a remix contest for his track ‘Synthwave’; I wonder if he noticed?

Despite not winning, having the stems provided a closer look into his impressive kitchen. Seven years ago, he played a set in Ibiza at one of Solomun’s parties, and I’ve been replaying that set ever since.

London Grammar – Wasting My Young Years (Henrik Schwarz Remix)

For me, the original track is truly outstanding, and it goes deep with such great vocals. When it was released, it gave me goosebumps every time, and I was inspired by this style. When Henrik Schwarz made the remix I was stunned. I played this one a lot.

Nachtbraker – Randy

Years ago, early in the morning, I came home from a party, and my oldest brother handed me a headphone with ‘Flambo’ playing. I was truly amazed by the sound and creativity in the production. The track ‘Randy’ was one that I discovered afterward. It played on repeat because of the incredible switch around the third minute. The track really tells a story without any vocals. 

Chaos In The CBD – Emotional Intelligence (feat. Nathan Haines & Dave Koor)

I like the good vibes in this track. It has made me happy many times. Their sound is impressive, and the rhythm sections in all of their tracks are unmatched in the scene. I play lots of their music. 

Jansons – Ensemble 

I love to play this record in a set. It’s hypnotising and it gives some kind of undefeatable feeling that I like in music. Great buildup style and elements that gave me lots of inspiration. When it drops on 4:13 you can carry me out.

Romy, Fred Again.. – Strong

Of course, she is 1/3 of ‘The XX’, and when their first album came out, I was impressed and inspired at the time. Now, she did it again for me because I discovered she had her own project after I finished the ‘Stronger EP’. It felt like a confirmation that I’m heading in the right direction with the ‘therapeutic message’ style.

ANOTR – Amplia 

I’m very much inspired by the whole album. While combining house and disco has happened before, these guys created something new. It got me back into using my guitar in my productions.

Ray Monsieur – Forget 

This is the first track I created for the EP. At that moment, about a year ago, I was trying to move on from a breakup because I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Originally, I used a sample from Blur’s ‘Boys and Girls’ and built the rest of the track around it. However, the track still stands out without the sample, which I couldn’t use due to music rights.

I take pride in this one because it marked the first step in truly accepting and loving my own music.

End conclusion.

As we bring this sonic exploration to a close, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Ray Monsieur for sharing his world with us. ‘Stronger’ isn’t just an EP; it’s a gateway to the depth of human emotion, masterfully encapsulated in melodies and beats. To our listeners, I urge you not to miss this extraordinary musical journey. Dive into ‘Stronger’ and let Ray’s rhythms and harmonies transport you. Thank you, Ray, for the music, the stories, and the inspiration. Explore ‘Stronger’ today and be part of this unique auditory experience.

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Kono Vidovic at Dirty Disco

Kono Vidovic

DJ | MUSIC CURATOR & SELECTOR | PODCAST MAKER | BLOGGER Professional online interpreneur. Coffee practitioner. Electronic music culture maven. Total music guru. Infuriatingly humble problem solver. Food & sports fanatic.

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