Moon Unit man Paul Mogg graces this week's RA podcast.
The Psychonauts certainly had very humble beginnings, starting out as two crate digging sample freaks in the Somerset town of Yeovil during the '90s. Paul Mogg and Pablo Clements' first break came when they sent one of their mixes to DFA co-founder Tim Goldsworthy, who was at the time part of James Lavelle's UNKLE project. The mix became a favourite of the Mo Wax boss, who brought the duo to London and set them to work on a rapid fire mix of the Mo Wax back catalogue as well as giving them a residency at his Dusted party. The studio soon beckoned, with the pair getting their first taste of production action with Major Force's Masayuki Kudo. Resulting single "Hot Blood" may have gone over the heads of more traditional Mo'Wax heads, but the track proved to be quite the cult hit, with James Murphy citing its punk-funk sound as an inspiration for his production work on The Rapture's debut album.
A move to DJ Hell's International Deejay Gigolos imprint followed for the release of their first and only album, Songs for Creatures, a sublime mix of electronic disco, psychedelic folk and dreamy downtempo that Hell reissued this year. Both producers have kept busy in the years following the original release, with Clements joining UNKLE full-time, and Mogg pursuing various collaborations that touched on futuristic Italo disco (Moon Unit with Xaver Naudascher) and '80s-referencing electronic rock (Italian X-Rays with Jason Rowe). Now based in Berlin, Mogg is combining all these past influences into a single electronic pop package as Boy Of Girl alongside previous Moon Unit vocalist Rosie Blair, but he continues to show his dance floor credentials with his solo DJ sets, becoming a regular visitor of Ibiza's Space club in the process. We caught up with Mogg to ask him about the mix, Songs for Creatures, and what the future holds for The Psychonauts.
What have you been working on recently?
At the moment we are planning a Psychonauts tour to coincide with the album release. I have just finished the next single with my band Boy Of Girl, and we're just about to shoot the new video. The package will be the fourth release on my new label Off The Uncertain Button.
How and where did you record the mix?
I recorded the mix at my parents' home in the Somerset countryside during my Christmas visit a couple of weeks ago.
How is Berlin treating you?
It's been well below freezing for the last five weeks (it's bloody minus 21 today) and its been the longest period of dull sunless weather since 1933. I've just been out with the axe chopping wood for the fire. It's all about keeping warm at the moment. Taking the weather out of the equation, Berlin is treating me very well.
The Psychonauts' Songs for Creatures has just been reissued. How do you think it stands up seven years on?
Pretty well actually. As a whole, I think the album sounds as current now as it did when we recorded it seven years ago, maybe even more so now. Seven years is not such a long time, but things move pretty fast in electronic music, so I would say it's quite an achievement for the album to have stood the test of time, be it only this short amount of time.
Will you ever team up with Pablo again in the studio, or is The Psychonauts now a dead entity as far as that’s concerned?
Pablo and I are close friends and have been since we were 5 years old - that relationship will hopefully never die. As for The Psychonauts being a dead entity, I don't think so. Pablo was here in Berlin recently and we spent quite some time discussing new ideas that we have for songs. We are both busy for the next couple of months, but sometime in spring we will produce a new single, and if that goes well then the new album will follow.
What are you up to next?
Writing demos for the debut Boy Of Girl album - I guess we are halfway through the writing process. That's going to keep me busy for the next few months. We are also going on a small European tour in March, so rehearsals for that are just around the corner. Then there's Dave I.D. - he's the next artist to release on our label Off The Uncertain Button, which will be a collaboration with MUTE Records.