We chat to the Hungarian DJ duo while they gear up for a Melbourne club appearance
Myon and Shane 54 (or MS54) have a reputation for euphoric trance sets, clever remixes (Lana Del Rey, anyone?) and crazy mashups. They filled the floor at Stereosonic last year, and DJ Mag has ranked them in their top 100 DJ list for five years running. They've also got a radio show called International Departures and an antic-filled video tour diary, available online.
So what's it like at the top of the game? Weeks out from their Melbourne club show, we chat to the guys about touring, music taste and the "goosebumps" moment when making mashups.
What is it about a track that makes you want to remix it or use it in a mashup?
S: First and foremost you need a good song. You can have big drops and larger-than-life synth riffs, but a great vocal performance will always have the power to be remembered at the end of a long night of partying.
M: There is the "goosebumps" moment, when a mashup comes together for the first time. A sure indicator that it'll work.
As a duo, how similar are your music tastes?
M: We pretty much like the same music. We used to say we can finish each others’ musical sentences.
S: We are on the same page about pretty much everything. Like brothers.
You’ve said in a previous interview that while most people consider you trance artists, you consider yourselves more as pop artists. Why is that?
M: We don't like to be pigeonholed into one particular style of music. If you listen to our radio show, you can clearly see it's hard to find any "proper" trance tunes in there. Our music evolved into something different, even though we maintained those elements from trance we still like, but there are so many other influences, you can't really put it into one category.
S: We were the only ones at ASOT 650 at Ultra Miami earlier this year who didn't play a single trance track and got away with it! We think pop music can be a lot of things, but at the very core there are good songs, and that is what we're after. The crowd loves singing after all and so do we like them to do so.
There is a strong vocal, melodic element in your mashups and your sets. Are lyrics and melodies what you’re drawn for inspiration?
S: It is funny that we grew up not understanding any other languages but Hungarian. That also means we so got used not to understand English lyrics, that we automatically don't pay attention to them. It was all about feel, mood and emotions.
M: Yeah, we have a weird approach. But of course a good melody is the most important thing… as long as it's not "move your body" it's OK for us.
You’ve played at many of the world’s biggest dance music festivals, including Stereosonic last year. This time around, you’re doing some smaller club sets. Is there something you get out of doing intimate sets that you don’t get from bigger festival appearances?
S: It's the mentality of underground DJs. A festival gig is always less personal (after all it's hard to get REAL close to thousands of people), and club gigs tend to be more in your face. Pears and apples.
M: Also there is nothing like the sound of thousands and thousands of people cheering and having a good time. That sheer energy is simply mindblowing. But our best ever gig was in a 2000-person club in Seattle.
Can we expect anything new and exciting at your upcoming Melbourne appearance?
M: We have a few new tracks we're adding the finishing touches too, so we of course will play those. There's loads of tracks from our discography we simply can't leave out of the set. Lets keep it this way: we'll maximize the available fun.
You’ve been sitting in DJ Mag’s top 100 DJ list for a number of years now and are almost constantly touring around the world. Where would you love to see yourselves in the next few years?
S: We'd like to work with artists whose music inspires us, people who can take us beyond our comfort zone.
M: If we can keep on doing what we do now, I'll be completely ok with it.