In Session: Shaun Moses - Music - Mixmag

In Session: Shaun Moses

Shaun Moses shares an hour-long mix fuelled by throwback trance and techno basslines, and discusses his musical roots, growing up in Goa and his journey to international dancefloors

  • Words: Vee Pandey | Photos: KURØ
  • 28 June 2023

Hailing from the land of raves and waves, Goa-based Shaun Moses is a DJ and producer known for his signature deep, pulsating techno and meaty bassline riffs. His capabilities span across a variety of genres such as the trance sound which developed southwestern coast of India, crafting relentless grooves and atmospheric synth-induced hazes that transports listeners to other realms. With subtle nods to home in his sound, he has been a fundamental part of the up-and-coming underground electronic music scene coming out of the Indian subcontinent in the last decade.

A master of the turntable, in just a few years, Shaun Moses has releases on multiple notable labels under his belt, including Octopus Recordings, Gem Record, Senso Sounds and OFF Recordings, and has played dancefloors across Europe as well as India's top clubs and festival. He continues to champion unconventionally interesting soundscapes, textures and make them his own. With validation from the likes of Charlotte De Witte, Paul Ritch, Amotik and Enrico Sangiuliano, Moses is now rightly regarded as one of the most exceptional techno connoisseurs to come out of India.

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Shaun Moses curated an hour long In Session mix revisiting some classic trance numbers that transports us to Goa before moving into his signature bassline-heavy techno tunes, with some surprises thrown in. We also caught up with Shaun to chat about his musical roots, journey to international dancefloors and what we can expect from him in the year ahead. Check the mix and Q&A out below.

Growing up in Goa, you were probably surrounded by plenty of dance music festivals and parties. As a listener and fan, what was special about experiencing that in a place like Goa, secluded from the mainstream dance music environment?

I think growing up in Goa was a blessing in disguise, especially when it came to the music culture, as I was exposed to some absolute quality music from an early age that gave me an amazing foundation that I'm so grateful for today. A pre-conceived notion that a lot of people have is that Goa was primarily a psytrance hub back in the day, but I can honestly disagree to that because there was so much more.

I read that your dad owned a small bar in the night market, and that your dad’s bar was known for throwing quality parties, what was that like?

My father (Daniel Moses) along with my mum (Thelma Moses) started a small bar called Boutique House in 2007 at the night market in Arpora Goa. My dad had a different love for cocktails and quality music, and with the help of a close friend Sasha (who handled the curation), he launched this project. In a matter of two years it became the bar to be at in Goa on a Saturday. Some of the biggest names in the world performed there and the concoctions shaken up by my dad, week in and week out, ensured that we had a full house every single weekend. I would make it almost every Saturday to slam a few yummy mocktails, assist dad where I could, and last but not least hear all the different artists perform their signature styles from start to finish. I have no words to describe how grateful I am to my father for providing me with a platform like this, that I believe has got me to where I am today.

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Where was your first show and what was that like?

My first show was at this cool spot in North Goa called The Living Room. It was the opening party and so it was packed to the brim! I was obviously a nervous wreck, as I had a ton of people (friends of mine, my parents and a few promoters) come to check me out that night. Even though I prepped my tracklists at least a 100 times before the gig, the feeling of being in the moment with the crowd In front of you is a whole different ball game. By the time my set was done, you could say I looked like a person who'd just finished a rigorous cardio workout, but I had the biggest smile on my face and in my heart. I almost cried but somehow held back. I'll never forget that night.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound? Is there a specific track that you’re particularly proud of?

I love experimenting with various textures, sequencers & vocal chops. I feel the right textures add a different dynamic to your track and make it sound more full. One of my favourite tracks 'till date is an original of mine that I produced in collaboration with a good friend and also a fantastic Indian producer (Aardy). If you listen closely to the track you'll hear the textures I've added and the vocal chop which compliments the main hook really well. I'm not a trained musician and so using sequencers makes life a bit easier for me and speeds up my creativity process. I tend to produce melodies, riffs, polyrhythm and chord progressions with the exact pitch, rate and pattern length way faster with sequencing.

Do you make a conscious choice of alluding to home or your roots when you put out music or is it something that just comes naturally to you?

It's something that comes naturally to me.

I love that you have a signature meaty bass riff - where did you receive the most memorable response from a crowd and how did it make you feel?

Last year I played my first festival in Spain in front of almost 2000 people. I never experienced an energy like this before. The vibe, the crowd, the sound and hospitality all amalgamated together made it a vibe like no other. The response I got from the crowd during and just after I finished put the biggest smile on my face & heart.

You've released on some massive labels as your career has progressed, how has it felt to secure these milestones?

It feels quite surreal to be honest when I look back at my catalogue and see all the labels I released on 'till date. Not that I'm a huge fan of only releasing on A list labels cause that honestly doesn't guarantee success single-handedly today. But yes, it does feel amazing when some of the biggest names in the industry who you've followed right from the start of your production career invite you to release on their imprint. It not only makes you feel special but also gives you an important confidence boost regarding your productions.

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What do you think about the techno scene in India garnering wider international recognition now and how has that affected you?

I think the scene in India has been on a steady rise for a while now and we're definitely in a good place especially in terms of international recognition. It's only going to get better from here. As an artist, I've personally seen more doors open for me internationally (in the last two years) with some really cool festivals and clubs booking me to perform and I could say the same for a lot of fellow artists in the country who are doing exceptionally well at the moment which makes me proud!

Who are your favourite artists and what are your favourite labels in India?

A few of my favourites artists in the country right now are Aardy, Dotdat, Zokhuma and 8-bit Culprit. In terms of labels, Qilla, Krunk Kulture and Observant have been putting out quality music on a consistent basis for a while now and their releases are a staple in most of my sets.

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Do you have any plans lined up you can tell us about?

Other than my fifth Europe tour that is currently underway now, I've got a few interesting EPs planned for release during the course of this year. I'm also in the process of re-inventing my sound a little and the mix that I've recorded for you all is a little snippet of what I have in mind. I also launched an IP with three friends called 'Forms Of People' in March which was a huge success and we're currently planning the second edition that should hopefully happen before this year ends.

Can you talk to us through your In Session mix?

The mix has various influences amalgamated into an hour-long set. I've brought in some old school trance sounds that I've been digging a lot of late, my signature bassline driven grooves, some electro and a little drum ‘n’ bass to close it out.

Marlon Hoffstadt - With You By My Side (Original Mix)
Hiver - Stateless (Original Mix)
Babylon X - Road To Foradis (Original Mix)
Redshape - Release Me (Base mix)
Guy Contact - Out Of My Body (Original Mix)
Kaiobarssalos - You Got To Keep Going (Original Mix)
Dj Deep - Stressed (Original Mix)
Andre Galluzzi - Bold (Original Mix)
Reflex Blue - Mystic (Original Mix)
Reflex Blue - Back 2 Earth (Original Mix)
Zeta Reticula - Star's Wobble (Original Mix)
Sterac - Teknitron (Original Mix)
Shaun Moses, Secret Cinema - Beat Da Dawn (Original Mix)
Shirt T , Maribou State - Blue Kiss (Original Mix)

Vee Pandey is Mixmag's Digital Trainee, follow her on Twitter

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