Desyn Masiello and Tom Morgan are touring Australia for the first time under the banner of the newly formed collective, Faciendo, this month.
Faciendo is an international music community which presently unites over 20 DJs. Faciendo all about their DJs putting the best of their musical collections into a single playlist which they all share to create a single flowing dj set from. Their ethos is:
“Faciendo’s core sound is the universal language of dance music. At our core, we play any genre of house music that speaks to and comes from the heart, be it labelled minimal, techno, garage, funky, progressive or breaks. Music that speaks to the heart can be found in many genres of music though, and so on the right occasion we showcase our eclectic, downbeat, dubstep or drum & bass sounds. No matter what the style or tempo though, you will always recognise the Faciendo heartbeat.”
Symbiosis got on the phone to Desyn Masiello whilst he was in New York the other week to chat before the tour.
A teenager at the time the rave scene exploded in the UK over twenty years ago, Desyn Masiello has been part of the house music and rave scene since the start. Desyn was a dedicated vinyl junkie from day one, and has a tireless passion to create DJ sets that lift the soul, move the body and open the mind. A full time professional touring DJ for the past 10 years, he has played almost every mega club and every major festival in the world, from a career he started from one mix cd that he sent out in 1999, which earned the respect of various promoters around the world who started to book him. Career highlights have seen him appear on the front cover of DJ magazine (Jan 2010, with SOS) and release over 5 DJ mix CD compilations into the stores worldwide on labels such as Balance, Ministry of Sound, Bedrock and Yoshitoshi. Desyn has also appeared in the DJ magazine “Top 100 DJs” three times, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Once introduced by John Digweed on his radio show as “the man that never sleeps”, this was really recognition from one of the legends of the scene of just how much passion and work is required to craft his sound and stand out as a DJ. Desyn is a self confessed vynil addict, admitting that he spent most of his youth in dusty second hand record stores, amassing a musical knowledge and taste that stretches across many genres.
Desyn’s career was built almost purely on his DJing ability, having only released a handful of low key underground co-productions in his career, it was instead word of mouth and reports from the dancefloor of his DJ sets that sparked his rise and recognition. He has a work ethic that is focused almost entirely on the production of DJ sets. Desyn states “I really focus all my work time on preparing and editing tracks and dj tools for my DJ sets that take you on a special ride and open your mind to new feelings.”
In 2006, having been voted at that time no. 54 DJ in the world, Desyn and his fellow SOS’ers (Omid 16b and Demi) took a U-turn and decided to focus their work away from a solo direction, and instead team up and create the musical DJ-trio of SOS. SOS was a project born out of three like minded friends who lived in London and all grew up with similar musical tastes and passions. Their journey together saw two CD compilation releases into the stores and took them on a four year tour around the world playing together as a back to back DJ-trio. “Working in a team and trying something totally new with two very talented other music heads was an invaluable experience for me as a DJ, we all shared knowledge and skills and helped each other grow as people and artists.”
2011, Desyn is now fully focused on DJing individually again, a new weekly radio show and forthcoming new album release are all lined up, and the non stop world tour continues. Watch this space.
Hey mate, how are you?
Hello Simon, pretty good man.
Cool…Thanks for making some time, I know it is pretty late in New York.
That’s alright. Where are you based?
I am in Melbourne. So, that is a very English sounding accent and a very Italian sounding surname. What’s the deal?
I have the blood of the Italian, but hopefully the man is of an Englishman cause my mom is English. And I was brought up by my mom, who left my dad when I was six months old. Because he was living out being an Italian and sleeping with God knows how many women in just within six months of being married! So my mom left him and brought me up on her own. I was stuck with the name and became an Englishman. It is a bit odd and that is how the cookie crumbles for me.
So this is the Faciendo collective’s first time here…
Yes. As a solo artist I have been going to Australia for maybe seven or eight years. I played in various clubs in Melbourne and Sydney and I actually did a big festival there, Good Vibrations. I did that in 2006. I think 2006; I did that all around Gold Coast and it was a really good experience.
Good vibration is a lot of fun actually.
So I love Australia and I love the crowd but this will be the first Faciendo event in Australia. It’s a pretty new organization.
From what I gather, it is kind of about avoiding the cult of the DJ’s in some ways. Is that the right understanding to have about Faciendo?
That could be one side of things, probably. To be honest, it did not come about being anti DJs. It came about because we have DJ’s for a long time. I have been a DJ as a hobby for twenty years and as a career for ten years.
It just got to a point where I already tried out working with other people before; I was in a group called SOS and it was three of us, we toured the world for four years. We have a mix CD in the Balance Series from Melbourne.
I have a little bit of insight about DJing with other people, then the group just got together and wanted to work together in whatever shape or form we could. Combining all our experiences of being DJ’s together. Not just being back to back, which is generally very chaotic and the results can either be good or bad.
We just thought that working together would be good and kept on going to see how we can move forward.
When I start going out, it was not going about the DJ idol thing. It was purely about music and the organization behind that music whichever the people are running. You never really care who the DJ is, but the DJ word stole that limelight in its way. I am not against it but it was just definitely very beautiful in the beginning.
Yeah I don’t like it when crowds stand in front of the DJ booth and just face the DJ nowadays. I much prefer people to dance amongst themselves and show appreciation to the DJ occassionally.
I totally agree. In the good old days it was more pure because all the music was so fresh, something so new that it is almost like a revolution of music. When acid house and house music started in the late 80’s, it was a constant revolution of music.
While nobody was really interested at the point, I started gaining interest in it. No one at that time was interested about their career or the money that they will make out of it and ego was not involved; making it a lot purer and fresh.
Maybe through time, it became like an industry. My heart and passion for music belongs to the grass roots a little bit, wherein people will just show up because they know that we are going to deliver good music not caring who are the DJ’s involved.
You have twenty DJs in the collective, is that right?
It’s growing and growing. Community would be better word because it is not a hierarchy. The original six members that started Faciendo knew each other for a very long time. One of them is a maniac at listening to records – he once listened to one million and I am not exaggerating it; I downloaded those clips. I used to be into computers and manage to download one million sound clips of records from a record site in London called Juno. I thought that I will save these for the rainy days; I listen to a lot of music online as a DJ.
Anyway, this guy was asking for music so I gave him the 100 gigabytes of music and it took him six months to listen to all of them! These are the type of people who started it.
There is a girl in US called Dory, I had a mix tape of her five years ago and it sounded like the most world class produce mix CD that you can buy in the shop. I contacted her and was in touch with her for five years.
Wow, that smooth mixing philosophy is really very important for you guys isn’t it?
Yes, we do still think that we are DJs. Recently the scene is more about the producers then the DJs, wherein the producers right now are the DJs.
DJing used to be a skill, not everyone could do mixes and it was really hard. A lot of producers couldn’t do it and would stick to producing. But now with technology and laptops, producers can now get out and earn a lot more money that they can sitting in the studio making tunes which is great.
But the DJs are being forgotten these days since the best products that you can have in the industry are the records, as this is the best marketing tool. Due to the digital revolution, the mix CD now is very low profit for a lot of the mixed CD companies.
There are not as many as there used to be, meaning DJs don’t have as much of a product like they used to. The industry has changed a lot these days.
We take this kind of pride ourselves that there is still an art to the DJ where you are really making a one hour piece of music with DJing. It’s not meant to be just twelve of your mates’ tracks or promos that are joined. That doesn’t really make a DJ set.
It is one of the best feelings on the dance floor to be able to lose yourselves in a mix…
I think that too. A real DJ mix is like a continuation; there’s something carried on. It’s like a relay race that is passing the batton between the tracks. If you do it well all the way then something happens; and there is a great result. If there is a break or you draw a bit half way through, you do lose something. A good DJ mix is an art in itself.
That is another thing with the six original members of the group. We are mostly DJs but there are some producers in the group. And talking about the 20+ people, we realize that maybe every DJ can put in 20 tracks into a folder each week and suddenly we will have 100 tracks.
We realized that anyone can put tracks in and anyone can take credit. There are so many DJs out there who are trying to get a little bit of recognition as it was always been tough to breakthrough as a DJ. So we just decided to open the doors and said that if anyone who wants to be involved in this can be involved.
You can put a track in the mix and if it makes it into the final mix; we will publish your names like putting your links on our Soundcloud and put you on our websites. That alone is a big thing for a lot of people who want to breakthrough, because it is a bit of recognition.
They don’t have to sit down for days making mixes each week. They just have to put a few tracks they think are worthy towards the mix. It’s like a community all working towards making mixes, and it has just grown.
When we started off it was 6, then it went to 10, then went to 16 and now 9 more people are coming on board this week. We’re not even asking people to come on board and they are contacting us now.
I don’t know where it’s going!
It is a very nice state to be, I often thought that once a DJ, producer, band or any sort of musician achieves a certain level of status and success they almost have a responsibility to help the people who are coming up.
I think that Faciendo is really interesting way of doing that since it is not a label and it’s not trying to do events. It is just like saying ”What is the purest form of support?”
It’s the community and its people getting together and supporting each other in whatever they do in life.
Exactly, and the other thing is the six elders, we call them “elders” cause they have been around for a long time; people like Tom listening to a million tracks. That kind of stuffs are put to use in the community. A lot of the new DJs kind of revolve and they will email us like “How do you find tracks guys?”, “Give us some guidelines?”.
We have been doing this for so long so it’s nice to actually have this kind of organization where we can then pass your knowledge on. It’s not just “here’s a radio show that you can get involved in”. This is trying to bring the people through. It’s also not them just giving their tracks, we are trying to encourage them to send in little pieces of mixes even if it’s just two or three tracks. We try to encourage them to evolve as DJs as well.
So there is really a community ethos in place and that has being there from the start. That is why it worked up to now, because they feel that they are part of something where there is some care involved. We have a lot of feedback from the new people coming onboard and they have said it feels like a family.
We feel like there is a healthy competition but it’s not like that they are jealous of each other. Sometimes one person would get tracks in the mix one week and the 9 of the others would not get anything on the mix. They are still happy because we try and teach them and involved them and past information unto them. That is why it worked and not broken down.
It is actually quite difficult to get DJs to work together, because DJs don’t like sharing. Sharing is giving yourself away; that is what DJ is, a DJ is made up of his music and its taken two years to get it functioning, put it that way.
I think that sharing aspect, you are right, the sharing aspect is the most difficult part to cultivate but, in some ways, now you have got it it’s your biggest strength. Do you see yourself putting a limit of people who can be involved?
Not at the moment, because at the moment the show is every two weeks and there are over 20 DJs involved now. I don’t see the point stopping yet. Maybe if we have more come on board, we might do the show every week. We might ramp up the show and have a weekly show instead of the two weekly shows, because there will be that much more people making mixes. So that might be the next step but I haven’t thought about it and nor have the others really. It’s working at the moment and hasn’t gone out of control yet. (laughs)
Absolutely (laughs), you guys are coming across Sydney playing two shows in Australia, playing one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. Concentrating on pretty much house sounds for your set?
Yeah, pretty much, yeah. Drum and bass is a bit of a risky one to just drop to people who are not expecting it. But we do like drum and bass, we do like dubstep, we do like disco and the new disco. We like pretty much the best of everything.
I guess house, the minimal techhouse, and the housy stuff is what we will play for sure. I think that is kind of universal music. We have 9 hours in Melbourne so we’re obviously going to be playing a few different styles for the first few hours. They’re going to be really spaced out.
There won’t be many people in the club early on after all. 9 hours is like a DJ’s dream!
So you guys are playing for the whole night?
Yes, we are in Melbourne and 7 hours in Sydney.
That is the whole idea is that we soundtrack from the beginning to end. One thing we found when we were around the festivals in Europe, it struck me the most recently listening and standing in a tent and listening to 6 different DJs. Sometimes you would hear very similar set one after the other, even though everyone is pretty individual, we are all attached to the latest fashion to music so they tend to play a lot of similar records several times.
We were finding that in the festivals especially when you have a twelve hour period and we normally have 6 DJs that play 2 hours set each; that there was not much variation. So the idea also of the Faciendo event is because as a unit we can decide from the beginning to the end how the sets are played we can actually structure it properly.
Obviously, this is an idea has been around for ages by having a really good warm up DJ playing mellow first and then have someone build and have the guy play peak time at the end. Sadly, not that many clubs actually program their nights that well. Sometimes everyone is banging their action stuff at the start.
I think that kind of variation in a set is really important. I am looking forward very much to seeing it. I won’t be there for the whole 9 hours though! (laughs)
Come early on, I would say, if you have a choice. The music will have subtlty early on and it will be good if you appreciate your music. Later on people are just going to want to have energy so it will be a little bit more obvious later on.
That will work well for me; I will have my 5 year old that weekend so I will come down for the early part of the set.
Oh nice, you have one son?
Just one son.
My wife is about to give birth to a daughter in six weeks. I am joining the dad club. Our first one
Congratulations, it is life changing but it is a wonderful wonderful part of life.
Sounds like a beautiful gift.
Sydney: Saturday 2nd June @ Deeper Sounds @ One22