Moullinex makes his debut on Damian Lazarus’ Crosstown Rebels.
Moullinex is a Portuguese artist from Lisbon who co-founded the Discotexas record label which is a regular outlet for his original music along with featuring remixes by the likes Anja Schneider, Patrice Baumel and Rampa.
He is known for his avant-garde style of melodic house/techno that often features haunting vocals and intricate synth lines layered with crisp percussion sequenced into techy rhythms. He is also a talented DJ who is resident at Lisbon’s Lux Frágil when not playing international shows in places like London or New York.
Although Discotexas is a main outlet for his original tracks, Moullinex recently made his debut on Damian Lazarus’ Crosstown Rebels with a three track EP titled ‘A Fistful Of Stars’
We invited Moullinex for this interview so we could learn more about his debut on Crosstown Rebels plus some of his passions outside of music…
Hi Moullinex, it’s great to be talking with you today. Can you start by letting us know what part of the world you live in, and what the local music scene is like?
Hey there! I’m based in Lisbon, Portugal. The scene here is thriving, as many people are relocating to the city. Besides the local labels and crews like Principe Discos, Mina, Enchufada and our own Discotexas, new venues and festivals pop up every week. We’ve got the weather, the food and a very own sense of community. On the flip side, it’s a city in fast gentrification, and foreign real estate speculation is making it ever more unaffordable for locals to live in.
Electronic music is often associated with Sc-fi and futuristic ideas, so it came as no surprise that you are also interested in the concept of Artificial Intelligence. What do you think is the future of computers and sentience?
I think we’re not far away from achieving sentience in machines, what philosophers in the field refer to as Artificial General Intelligence. Many people consider that an event horizon from which our history as a civilization will forever be changed. It’s both scary and exciting, as we have no idea under which light this entity would see our species. That potential AGI’s “alignment” to our values and goals is currently a field of huge debate, but I think that point of no return will arrive way before these ideas and discussions reach the general population.
Is your music ever inspired by the idea of Artificial Intelligence, and what are some of the films or books on that subject which have captured your imagination?
It very much is. I love science and sci-fi literature and films, not only because of the aesthetics only (with amazing commissioned soundtracks in the 80s and 90s), but mostly because of the way it allows us to think “big”, and put oneself into perspective. In books, ‘Cosmos’ by Carl Sagan was a huge influence, and later Ray Kurzweil’s ‘The Age of Intelligent Machines’ and ‘The Singularity is Near’, and Yuval Noah Harari’s ‘Sapiens’ and ‘Homo Deus’. As for film, ‘2001: a space odyssey’, ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Ghost in The Shell’, ‘Bicentennial Man’ and so many others…
Transhumanism is another subject that links with Artificial Intelligence, and it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this topic?
The idea that we’ll be able to fully transfer our consciousness (including memory, knowledge and emotions) to a digital realm is a door opener to many other conversations: it could be the only future of our species after a potential collapse of earth’s ecosystem, it could allow teleportation as our own data could be transferred from a body in Paris to a body in NYC in seconds, etc, and would potentially allow us to be an interplanetary species. But then there’s the questions of matter, flesh, and how that is tied to our sense of self. We would create a new species, modelled on us but entirely different, and we have no idea what its values, goals and purposes would be.
In some ways, it could be argued that some software/hardware is bringing transhumanism to music, as random note generators and other types of programs are fused with human elements. Do you think this is true, and what do you think future music innovations could look like?
I think for now AI is another brush in an artist’s toolkit. We’ll very soon be able to generate entire music pieces based on input prompts, and while the curation process will in certainly be human, art will definitely be changed forever by this technology. I can imagine it was very scary for painters when photography, film or digital painting showed up as an art form, so I try to resist that idea and learn as much about it as I can.
I think music will be more and more “customised” in realtime to our lives, routines and personality. As a musician I’ll be able to create an infinite piece, based on an algorithm that makes it react and adapt to what the listener is feeling, whether they are alone or with friends, waking up or partying at night.
Talking of music innovations, I’m a big fan of your new release on Crosstown Rebels, and I’d love to know more about its concept?
Thank you! These were tracks inspired by my time working in Astronomy research at the European Southern Observatory. They are designed as a stargazing journey, so they take their time to develop, in hopes the listener gets enveloped in a sonic narrative. ‘A Fistful of Stars’ plays with the idea of scale, how a star can be a huge object in relation to a human hand, but is nothing but a speck of dust in the scale of the universe. ‘Atacama Skies’ is like a starry night in the Atacama desert, where the near absence of light pollution allows us to see the sky that had always been there, like putting on a AR goggle, but with nature.
Is this your first time working with Crosstown Rebels and how did you first make contact with Damian Lazarus who owns the record label?
We met in Lisbon in 2020. I had been a huge fan of Damian and Crosstown’s output and vision throughout the years. Not many people are able to do this for years and retain passion and drive for the music. Damian superbly remixed a track from my last album, ‘Minina di Céu’, and now having my own release on Crosstown feels like another dream come true.
What are some of the other music genres you listen to or how do they link with your own production style?
I love Brazilian MPB, soul and jazz, and that certainly influences my sound design, drums and sonic palette a lot. As for experimental electronica, it’s always been about the synths, the glitches and the weirdness.
Please could you pick out a couple of melodic house/techno tracks that you feel are timeless or inspiring?
Patrice Bäume – Glutes — this track is huge, arrangement, mix, sound design. Will sound great on a bad PA and massive on a good one. Just absolute perfection.
Metro Area – Miura — this is the definition of timeless to me: it sounds like the past, the present and the future of dance music
Eric Prydz – Pjanoo (Club Mix) — it’s an absolute masterpiece and completely changed my relationship with the genre when it came out
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, is there a message for fans or anything else you would like to add before we finish?
Thank you so much for this interview and I hope to catch you in one of my live shows or DJ sets! xx
You can buy a copy of Moullinex’s new EP ‘A Fistful Of Stars’ on Crosstown Rebels from HERE