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Moplen Exclusive: Bergamo’s Leading Voice in Disco and House Evolution.

Kono Vidovic August 30, 2023 131 4 5


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Who is Moplen?

In the heart of Italy, amidst Bergamo’s ancient streets, beats the pulse of global disco and house rhythms. Moplen, a mastermind behind some of the freshest remixes that continue to reverberate in clubs worldwide, opens up about his journey, his craft, and the inspirations that have shaped his sound. From early radio days to the current musical scene, get ready to step into the groove of this exclusive interview.

Moplen

Thanks for taking the time to talk. Where are you today and what are you doing with the time?

My pleasure! I’m in Bergamo, a small town in the north of Italy enjoying the last part of summer and remixing/producing stuff that will see the light hopefully in the next few months.

Where were you born? Paint a picture of where you grew up?

I was born in Bergamo (close to Milan) in 1980; my passion for music is something I’ve always had. In my youth I used to listen to a lot of music through the radio and I knew there were clubs over here where music was played, but I was too young to attend the nightlife, so I was aware of this world only through radio shows and magazines. 

Where are you based today and what is the music scene like where you are?

I’m still based in Bergamo! There are a few places where disco and house are played nowadays; techno, tech-house, edm or reggaeton are still the most played genres here, so it’s quite hard to play disco and house. In 2013 my partner in crime Jopparelli and I started a monthly party in our hometown called Tropicalismi and since then we have been playing disco-centred music.

When did you first start to play around with music? 

I’ve been into music since ever. My mom has a pic of me at 2 with headphones listening to an album by Italian artist Franco Battiato. At the age of 9 I started studying guitar, I think I went on for about 4 years and suddenly decided to quit. That was one of my biggest mistake I guess because I don’t remember anything about how to play a guitar nowadays.

Around 13 years old I discovered dance music on the radio, I used to buy a lot of cds compilation, then a few 12” and in 1995 my first pair of second hand turntables and a very poor quality mixer as a gift from my parents when school finished. 

When did you start to DJ? What were some of the first records you were into?

I started to DJ at home at 14 when I got my first equipment. I remember practicing on records like Billie Ray Martin “Your Loving Arms”, De’Lacy “Hideaway”, EBTG “Missing”…

What was the first record you bought? 

Honestly, I don’t remember, it may be The Bucketheads “The Bomb” or Gusto “Disco’s Revenge”.

When was your first proper gig? Where was it? 

Even though I had some gigs in small pubs or venues before, my very first proper gig was in summer 1999 in a now defuncted cheesy club called Snoopy. Despite that, I had to play cheesy dance music and I accepted to be the resident DJ for that summer because the club used to buy the records (I would have never spent money for any of them LOL) and because I thought it would have been useful for practicing and learning about how to spin in front of a big crowd. I was wrong LOL.

I used to work there on Friday/Saturday night and Sunday afternoon; it was packed on Saturdays only so instead of wasting my time I decided to record mixtapes with my records during the remaining nights.   

Morales and Munzibai

Who were the artists and DJs you were into at that time?

I really was into house music, MAW, Mood II Swing, JohNick, Frankie Knuckles, Tommy Musto, Farley & Heller, Blaze, Romanthony, Dj Spen, Ashley Beedle.

When did you first get into production?

I actually started thinking about putting my hands on tracks around 2007/2008 when I had no more gigs. I felt the need to do something with music to keep the focus on it, so I decided to make some simple cut and paste edits of tracks I used to play with two copies at my gigs. For example: I used to make a “live” edit of the B side with the A side of The Clash “Rock The Casbah” until I made my own version.

What was your first release? 

My first official release was an edit of Klein & MBO “Dirty Talk” out in 2012 on BBE Music on the Johnny D compilation “Disco Jamms”; I will always thank Johnny for believing in me since day one. 

What do you think was your most notable release? The one that made the most impact.

Well, I think there are 3 releases that made the most impact, also because they are still played by the top DJs around the world:

  • T Connection “Do What You Wanna Do”
  • Carl Bean “I was Born This Way” 
  • Johnny Hammond “Los Conquistadores Chocolates”

When did you first step into the edit world? What is it you love about making edits?

With edits before and remixes later, my aim has always been to respectfully create an updated version without destroying the original feel and core of the track.

Is there a process you follow when you rework a track or does it vary every time?

I need to love the track otherwise it does not make sense in my honest opinion, and if I love it, I have to be sure to do a good job, something that makes people think that the remix is at least as good as the original; I usually start listening to the track a lot of times, to assimilate all the details, then I think about the possible arrangements and when I’m confident with it I start working on it. Most of the time I completely change the initial idea while working on the track LOL. 

How did you get involved on the new release on A’s + Bees?

David James of Prime Direct Distribution contacted me months ago asking me if I was interested in remixing a Jackie Moore song and of course I was 🙂

Give us some background on the original release? Have you been a fan of the original track before?

It’s a great boogie track I was aware for the John Morales & Sergio Munzibai M+M remixes, so it’s been a challenge for me to remix it because I loved their version so much, but I have to say I’m very happy with the result.  

Tell us a little about your remix? What did you do to the original?

I created a proper intro with a build-up, extended the instrumental parts trying to make the track breath a bit more and of course pumped up the sound. 

What other projects are you working on that you can share?

A remix of Tom Moulton’s Loose Change “Straight From the Heart”, a remix for Unidisc and a remix for SoSure Music. 

Thank you so much for your time!

My final thoughts.

A heartfelt ‘grazie’ to Moplen for sharing the tales and tunes that define his musical voyage. As summer sets in Bergamo, the beat goes on. Dive into the heart-thumping, foot-tapping symphony of Moplen’s music and let every remix transport you to the club scenes he so passionately revives. Dance on, and keep the disco alive!


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Kono Vidovic at Dirty Disco
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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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