“Lisbon’s natural light makes me ‘disco'” say Mirror People, a name you may already be familiar with. Having released a series of quality tracks on Permanent Vacation, Gomma and Discotexas over the past two years and remixed tracks for Mario Basanov, Munk, The KDMS, to name a few, the talented Portuguese producer/DJ and avid music lover Rui Maia, better known as Mirror People, never ceases to amaze us. It looks like he has the magical touch to turn everything into something special. That’s why we’ve already featured most of his stuff here on La.Ga.Sta.
Today sees the release of Mirror People’s great second single “Kaleidoscope” on Discotexas, which explores a different path from last year’s “Feel The Need”, featuring Rowetta of Happy Mondays fame on vocals. It also comes backed with an amazing remix by fellow producer Xinobi.
We jumped in our car and took a ride down to Lisbon for a small chat with Mirror People about music, the local dance scene, their influences and disco rides. You can read our interview below. When we look through Mirror People’s “Kaleidoscope” what we see is colorful shapes and people dancing to disco music: things that make us really happy.
La.Ga.Sta.: Can you tell us a few things about your second release on Discotexas?
Mirror People: The new release is called “Kaleidoscope”, and it was influenced by 60s psychedelic bands like Os Mutantes and by the Ethiopian jazz artist Mulatu Astatke. My idea was to create a dance tune with different arpeggio layers combined with some ambient analogue elements that you can find in Mirror People’s previous work.
What was your life like before Mirror People, living in Lisbon and being into music?
This is my 10th year as a full-time musician. I play in a couple of bands here in Portugal (We Trust and X-Wife) and I collaborate with other artists on the studio work. All my life I was connected with music, when I was 5 years old I started to play guitar and drums. In the 90s I was a lot into Stereolab and Air’s “Moon Safari”, so I had the opportunity to buy some Synthesizers – I found my passion. That’s the story of my life.
What were you influenced by in the past years?
In fact I’m still a lot into 70s glam-post-punk-new-wave-indie thing, and I like to bring that to the dance scene. The Norwegian artists like Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, the DFA and Italians Do It Better’s work influenced me a lot.
From “Echo Life” to “Kaleidoscope”: Do you feel like your sound has evolved a lot since your first release as Mirror People?
Every day I feel that I’m developing my sound. At the beginning the Mirror People “sound” was more experimental, I was a lot into acts like The Knife, Throbbing Gristle, Emperor Machine or young Simian Mobile Disco. Nowadays I’m more focused in other aspects of the songs, I like to try to match different genres in one tune, but always with an eye on the dance floor.
Discotexas has been responsible for some truly great music over the years. Give us your view on Portugal’s dance music scene today…
There’s well-known names like Xinobi, Social Disco Club, Tiago or Moullinex, all artists with records on cool labels. Our scene is getting very “international”, but most of the Portuguese clubs are still into commercial house or drum & bass. I feel that we’re getting more cool parties here and there, people are paying more attention, so I believe that this “scene” is growing.
What makes you “disco” in Lisbon?
It’s my first year here in Lisbon, I’m from the north, from Porto. I think that Lisbon’s natural light makes me “disco”.
Which record do you love to listen to while driving your car?
“Gone to Earth” by David Sylvian.
Which are your favorite albums of 2012 so far?
I’m really into the Grimes’ album “Visions”, Chromatics’ “Kill For Love”, Django Django’s “Django Django”, and John Talabot’s “ƒIN”, among others.
Three things we should know about Mirror People…
Mirror People is my solo producer/dj project that hopefully one day will become a live band.
Mirror People released tracks on such cool labels like Permanent Vacation, Gomma or Discotexas.
I don’t use samples.
What do you see when you look through your “kaleidoscope”?
I see John Lennon and flowers.
What’s next for Mirror People?
I’m releasing an EP compilation of old material by the end of 2012. Then hopefully in mid-2013 I’ll release the first Mirror People’s album.