Darker and more mysterious than his usual sound.
Many of us turn to Motez for party playlists or vibey Instagram stories. The South Australian music producer and DJ is renowned for creating bass-laden, electronic tracks that can best be described as dancefloor fillers, while his name often headlines festivals across Australia.
But 2020 has seen Motez subvert his usual style. This month, he’s teamed up with The Kraken Black Spiced Rum to produce an ocean-inspired track that’s darker and more mysterious than his usual sound, but no less alluring. It’s to celebrate the brand’s new limited-edition rum ‘The Unknown Deep’.
Listening to the release, it’s a clear departure from the Motez we’ve come to know and love. Perhaps the recent sonic shift is due to the year’s lack of parties and festivals, a natural maturation in his sound, or maybe his partnership with The Kraken gave him the freedom to experiment beyond his usual style. Rather than speculate, I simply asked.
Hi Motez! What’s up?
Hey! I have just arrived at my studio in Adelaide, getting a few things done for the day.
What are the restrictions in Adelaide like currently?
It’s still fairly disappointing. Last week, the Government announced that we were allowed to stand, rather than sit, in clubs and bars. But we still aren’t allowed to dance. It’s not very conducive to what I do and doesn’t work well with the music I create.
What does a music producer do during lockdown?
I released my ambient EP Solitude back in June. It was different to what I normally do, but it was timely and relevant. It’s about the universal experience of being alone during lockdown, becoming more introspective and how our priorities change.
You have also released a new track titled ‘The Unknown Deep’ in collaboration with The Kraken Black Spiced Rum. How did that come about?
The music that I listen to most, both now and growing up, is soundtrack music. It’s the thing I cut my teeth on. Some of my favourite composers have done collaborations in a similar setup and I wanted to do the same. I thought that a project like this would really allow me creative freedom, so I jumped at the opportunity when The Kraken approached me.
Are you a rum drinker?
I was never really a spiced rum drinker. I am more of a gin man! But where I live in Adelaide, there is a strong bar culture, so I knew of The Kraken and its great reputation in the hospitality scene. The Kraken approached me, and I instantly loved my first taste of rum. There’s also just something about rum that screams ‘fun’. I had my birthday celebration last week and it was all I drank.
Your ocean-inspired track ‘The Unknown Deep’ shares the same name as The Kraken’s limited-edition bottle. Was this a different process to creating your normal type of music?
The story behind the ‘The Unknown Deep’ is that the bottle was salvaged from the lair of the mythical sea beast, the Kraken. I piggybacked off this story, and created a whole sonic narrative to accompany it. I have been doing a lot of soundtrack and installation music, so it all came quite naturally!
The track begins with the sound of a storm and the mysterious echoes of the ocean. Where did you find these eerie noises?
When I started working on the collaboration, there was a huge thunderstorm in Adelaide. It was incredibly loud and every 30 seconds the sky would flash with a huge thunderbolt. I went out with my recorder and captured the noise, which is what you hear at the beginning of the track.
Creatively, I channelled a track by one of my favourite composers, Jean-Michel Jarre. His EP En Attendant Cousteau, inspired by the French ocean-explorer Jacques Cousteau, perfectly captures the sense of calmness underwater but the feeling that something is there with you. There’s a palpable sense of suspense that something is there to be discovered.
The track almost feels like it is broken in two parts. The first half is calming and serene, and then it switches into an electronic, dance style. What was this effect done for?
After the ‘building suspense’ crescendos, the sound changes. The ocean-like music begins to take on a club sound that people normally hear in my music. To me, this represents a moment of discovery. It’s the moment of finding the bottle or the ‘unknown deep’ in the Kraken’s lair.
As the silly season approaches, can we expect any new house tracks?
My latest track ‘Give Your Heart Away’ is a great one for those who love my usual sound. I also just released a remix of Northeast Party House, which is a completely different sound to ‘The Unknown Deep’. It’s very techno. There’s a lot to come next year. There will be some very big names and releases! I’m looking forward to sharing more details when I can.
If you are ready to satisfy your ears with the immersive sounds of ‘The Unknown Deep’, you can find the track here. If you want to sip as you do so, you can find The Kraken Black Spiced Rum at Dan Murphy’s and a range of independent retailers.