Last weekend, I got the chance to talk with Morten Breum before his performance at the Harlot in San Francisco. Morten has been making big strides since his move from Denmark to the US and embracing the Los Angeles music scene. With huge releases on Big Beat and Ultra recently, expect to see his name more and more in the upcoming months.
Your EDM (Derek): So how long have you been producing and DJing for?
Morten Breum: I started DJing when I was 13, so like 17 years and I’ve been producing for like 4 or 5 years.
D: Have you been working with house music pretty much that whole time?
MB: When I started playing it was more hip-hop, gangster hip-hop.
D: Was that pretty big over in Denmark?
MB: Yeah, at that time it was. The commercial scene [wasn’t] but there was a subculture of hip-hop and that’s where I was. Then hip-hop became very commercial and I turned to house ’cause house music 10 years ago was kind of sub and then it grew and became very big.
D: I listened to your recent mixtape that you just put up yesterday, and you threw some trap in there. How do you feel about the whole trap movement going on right now?
MB: Well, I think for me as a DJ it’s important to have a lot of people following you and listen to what you do so I want to play the music that they [maybe] haven’t heard before or haven’t learned about. Just send them the good music, and I think that a lot of trap music coming out is really good right now. It’s a cool movement and especially me being in LA where it’s growing so big. It’s becoming a part of me and my music and I must say I love trap.
D: Are you going to try and produce any in the future? Is that something we could expect?
MB: Yeah. You might even hear some tonight.
D: Well I’m excited for that.
D: Now the way the scene has changed since January of this year has been crazy. How do you see things going in 2013?
MB: 2013 is short term, I think in the long run there will be a huge scene coming from different genres of house music. I think deep house and tech house will have a big rise in the states. Now that all this commercial house music is all over the radio, and when music becomes so popular and everybody listens to it, it’s going to grow a lot of genres. I’ve seen the movement in Europe and seen the way it moves. And then I think trap is coming hard.
D: I am excited to see how trap can work it’s way into more DJs sets. I was down at HARD Day of the Dead in LA pretty recently and a lot of DJs were playing trap songs in their sets.
MB: The thing is, the whole trap thing is from Atlanta, and it’s the sound of hip-hop productions meeting the electro scene. LA has always been about hip-hop but it was taken over by house music, so house music and hip-hop meeting each other is kind of natural. LA really embraced that.
D: So you hooked up with Betatraxx for ‘Get Static,’ how did that happen?
MB: That happened because both of us had a meeting with Dirty Dutch in Hollywood, and he was sitting waiting at the meeting and I was sitting and waiting too. We started talking and he came over to my place, I lived in LA at the time, I played him some beats and we started working from there.
D: That’s awesome.
MB: I think he’s very talented.
D: Do you have any collaborations you’re working on now that you’re excited about?
MB: Yeah I have a lot of new stuff.
D: I saw you tweeted you were going to be playing a bunch of new stuff tonight.
MB: I think we have like 40 productions waiting.
D: 40 productions?
MB: If not more. Everybody has a lot of productions waiting but I think we have a lot of really strong productions coming out soon.
D: When you hit the studio what does a typical session for you look like?
MB: It depends, I mean normally I have a lot of catching up to do because I work on so many different things. But, basically I just have fun, you know, try to make a good environment around it. It’s not so much work for me, it’s more just having fun creating music. It’s a good think. A lot of my productions are being done on the road; on the plane, on the train.
D: Do you usually go in with an idea or do you just sit down and see where [things] take you?
MB: That’s 50/50.
D: Do you have an all time favorite dance track? Or what are some of the songs you’ve been playing in your sets recently that have gotten good reactions?
MB: Well, there are some classics I really love. I mean I love the old sandcastles, I really have a big heart for that. A lot of the old things that came out, the old Steve Angello, Axwell, those house music things I had a lot of love for them earlier, I love them a lot. Then there are great producers like deadmau5, Tiesto, all these people. The people that have been around a long time I have a lot of respect for.
D: Since you’ve moved out here have you found you have to play differently towards the crowds out in America versus over in Europe.
MB: The thing is the [house] scene in Europe has been big for many years, so people are more used to hearing different kinds of music and they’re very used to listening to DJs who know how to DJ, and not just play a hit. Over here it’s very orientated about hits. Playing hits hits hits hits. Which, I don’t mind people playing hits, but if I’m listening to a DJ I love to hear a DJ who actually feels and pays attention to the room, and is prepared, and has listened to his tracks and his sound. It’s an art form for me, it’s not just be there and push play.
D: Of course. Do you usually go in with some certain tracks you’re hoping to play for the night or do you just feel out the room?
MB: Just feel out the room, but I do know some tunes I want to drop too.
Just yesterday, he released one of the trap productions he was hinting at. He remixed Rihanna’s Diamonds and turned it into a bassy trap tune with some crazy chopped up vocals. Stay on the lookout for his upcoming track, Larva (Far Away), out on Beatport on December 3.
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