Jimmy Van Mellegham (pictured above left) has always been a step ahead of the pack. The Belgian DJ/producer started out his career mixing records in Orlando, Florida in the ’90s, later launching Balance Promote Group record pool in 2000 with Chris Fortier and eventually earning an international rep. He went on to help mastermind Sasha & Digweed’s Delta Heavy tour and play at legendary clubs like Twilo in New York City. Van Malleghem’s global perspective takes a new and interesting turn as he’s joined forces with Diego Tuñón (pictured above right), of acclaimed Argentine band Babasónicos, to launch two labels, Mater and Xperimental.
Mater will develop a roster of emerging dance floor talent from all over the world, with Xperimental focusing exclusively on Latin American artists. The pair will host the globally syndicated Xperimental Mater Radio Show that will further fan the flames of musical cross-pollination. In addition to running both imprints, Van Malleghem and Tuñón are working together in the studio. They teamed up to remix a track on Hungarian artist Peet’s excellent Watermelon Stories EP, a release on Mater that exudes deep techno and warm, gorgeous electronica.
Curious about what prompted two artists from seemingly different musical worlds to unite, we caught up with Van Melleghem via e-mail and asked him to tell us more about the new venture.
You both come from different musical worlds. How did you meet Diego and when did you decided to join forces?
Jimmy Van Mellegham: It’s one of those situations where things just fell together. In 2015, we met at a friend’s bar in Buenos Aires, and shortly after that, we got in touch and met up at Diego’s studio to jam. Thinking about it, it didn’t take long for the ideas to start flowing from there. We started talking more about our projects and getting a better idea of where we’re both coming from. Mater was already in the works and he told me about Xperimental, which at that time was meant to be an online media platform for Latin America. After getting a good feel for his history producing the Babasonicos and projects of mine like Delta Heavy, Diego’s thoughts on supporting Latin electronic music producers started morphing with the framework set up for Xperimental. We then took the idea of going into the studio with producers and jamming with live artists. We’ve got ideas to highlight the live aspects with events down the road and we’ll have a look at it the best way to do this, once we develop the Xperimental/Mater project a bit more over the coming months.
Is it safe to say Mater and Xperimental are sister labels?
You could definitely say that. Basically, what ties them together is that they are both releasing music that really gets us ticking at the end of the day. The main difference is that Xperimental releases original music from Latin artists, while Mater releases music from artists outside Latin America. I guess it’s the focus on quality electronic music, at the end of the day. That’s what gets us excited and ties the labels together.
Peet’s debut release is amazing. How did you discover him?
Yes, thank. It’s been getting positive feedback which is nice. Had, who helps me manage the label, and I have been keeping up with Pete’s music before signing him for Mater. As soon as he sent a demo our way, we were stoked to hear from him. We knew he was onto something and it was just a matter of time until we finalized his original work and is a good fit with a like-minded artist.
What was it like working with Diego on the remix of Peet’s “The Other Side Stand of the Giant Marble”?
Things came together pretty quickly. We had a good idea of where we wanted to be coming from, so we just got right into it. We tried to use as many of the original samples to keep the integrity of the remix, and when we had decided which samples best resonated with us, we went into the studio and had it pretty much done after five hours. A couple of days afterwards, we spent a few hours refining and mixing it down. Diego’s a talented and esteemed musician, so ideas started flowing quickly once we started jamming.
Where would you like both labels to be in a year?
Our main goal this year is to put out quality music on both labels. We’re keeping our approach organic and taking things one step at a time. If we build up the right momentum this year, we’ll keep it going and see what next year brings.