The young Budapest-based producer Péter Koczák behind the Mongoose moniker is one of the first graduates of Hungary’s only electronic music school called ImPro. While studying he got involved with the local glitch-hop movement, which had a great inspiration on his new album We Drink Palinka that came out earlier this year at Dub FX’s Convoyun.ltd label. Replacing funk samples with folk snippets in his tracks Mongoose created his own sound and received much positive response. We talked with the beat maker to find out how a bedroom producer could make it with a remix contest.
How did you first get into music production, who inspired you?
I got the initial shock from a very good friend of mine, who currently has a band in Germany. When I was watching him working, suddenly something caught me: music became an ultimate passion. Apart from this important moment, I learned for myself the tricks of music making process.
How did you get involved with DJ’ing?
So far, no matter who interviewed me, they always thought that I don’t like DJing. But I wouldn’t say that. I like mixing, but I enjoy making music even more, just because it’s more fun. I think a producer needs to be a DJ too, if he or she wants to perform his or her own music. Now I have only one gig in a month in average, but I hope that it’ll be more soon.
How was your album We Drink Palinka born? Did you have any releases before?
I had some other releases before, but only remixes, so I thought that I need to show people that I’m not only able to rethink and rework ideas of the others but I also can produce as good tracks as the others out there. And I thought if I had made one track, why not to create a concept and make some other similar ones, so at the end of the day I can have an album.
Do you prefer using samples or recording from new sound sources? What is your work process?
I like sampling from other tracks, but it’s the same excitement like recording new sounds. On ‘We Drink Palinka’ I preferred samples, but if you see my latest tracks, it’s 50/50.
Which are your favorite music production tools? What are the tools which have shaped your sounding the most!
I’m using Logic, because it has the most comfortable surface for me to work. For the percussions, or the vocal recording, I prefer a condenser microphone, which is connected to a firewire sound card. Actually I haven’t discovered the advantages of a firewire yet, however I have been using it for four years. Most likely a very silly Logic plug-in shapes my sounding. This is the overdrive in Bitcrusher. I love it. It’s primitive but beautiful.
What’s your relationship with ImPro, the only school in Hungary dedicated to electronic music?
Yeah, I’ve been looking forward to this question. My relationship with ImPro can be divided into two parts. First of all, I studied there. I’ve improved there as a music producer very much. 75 percent of the practical studies were familiar to me, even though I learned new things as well. I think it was the best investment of my life because of the attitude I’ve learned there. I mean, after my graduation, now I have a much more realistic insight into the music industry which means a lot to me.
On the other hand, there is the Bassment. This is a studio for DJs and performers to practice and rehearse. It’s launch is due to the end of September, in the beginning of October. Later we plan to start classes for DJs in cooperation with ImPro school. It’s also for beginners who never met with DJ tools.
As a producer from Eastern Europe how do you see your carrier path? Your album has the name of a typical Hungarian alcohol, is it that you consider your nationality as an advantage, right?
There isn’t any patriotic overtone of it. I like Hungary, and the cool people living here, Hungarians, Jews, Gipsies, Croatians and Serbians, etc… But the album doesn’t want to reflect any of this kind of issues. I’m just bored of the constantly repeated funk samples, that’s why I preferred using folk music inserting them exactly to the same places where the funk samples would be. My goal was to make the tracks more interesting, and I think I could achieve it somehow.
What’s the story behind the Dub FX remix?
I did the remix first and after that I signed to his label. There was a public remix contest I took part at as well. After I submitted my remix version, the personal response came very soon from Dub FX himself, he liked my track. I couldn’t believe it, but it turned out that he really thinks that my remix is brilliant, and he wants to use it on his remix album.
You signed to Dub FX’s Convoyun.ltd label, what are you thoughts about it?
It’s more than the right one for me. They absolutely support the indie direction, which I also like to represent. In this way I can directly be in touch with my fans.