The last time Marcello Baccheschi aka M-Theory aka CIMI was featured on here, he’d just released an epic artist album as M-Theory, Mental Amplifiers, and was about to showcase it at legendary London night Tribal Village. Just over two years on, he’s created a whole new psy techno project, DM-Theory, who’s already produced three EPs on Ibogatech, a remix on L.S.D., and is about to release the incredibly uplifting Pixie Nature on Lunar Phase, the new compilation by Amaluna coming out this week on Free-Spirit Records.
With DM-Theory playing a live set of his own productions at the Lunar Phase launch party in the second room at Tribal Village at The Steel Yard on Saturday 18th January, we managed to catch Marcello while he was on the road to Brazil to play at the awesome Universo Paralello Festival over the new year…
Hi Marcello, thanks for taking some time out from your travels to answer a few questions before the release of our Amaluna ‘Lunar Phase’ compilation, released this week on Free-Spirit Records, which contains your lush atmospheric track Pixie Nature!
Hi Tara, it’s always a pleasure answering your questions under the spotlight.
You’re on your way to Brazil to play at the incredible Universo Paralello Festival: I bet you can’t wait to escape the London winter?! What are the three things you never leave the country without?
Yeah!! I’m getting ready for a proper Brazilian mad New Year celebration and of course, any excuse is good to escape the UK winter. Three things I never leave behind are: music, ear plugs and… my lucky knickers. Yes, I admit it, I have a pair of funky knickers I take with me every time I play away from the UK.
Universo looks like an incredible event. Will you be staying long to party or just heading there for your set?
Universo Paralello happens every two years and last time I played there was 10 years ago. Brazil is a beautiful country but it’s really far away, so it would be silly going just for the gig. I’ll be there for the whole festival and few more days afterwards to enjoy Brazil and relax under a palm tree with a Caipirinha and a fatty.
It’s been just over two years since you were last interviewed on HF, what’s been happening over that time? What have been the highlights for you?
Well, I can surely say the last couple of years have been quite eventful. From renewing my whole studio set up, to signing my M-Theory project to Blacklite Records, to creating the brand new project DM-Theory… to finally quitting the 9 to 5 job and dedicating my whole time to music production. I hope I won’t regret this!
As this coming NYE illustrates, you’ve already got a seriously solid career DJing at festivals all over the world and producing awesome tracks as M-Theory for psy trance and CIMI for progressive. What inspired you make the move into the techier side of things as DM-Theory?
Boredom maybe? I’m a Gemini and as we all know, Geminis get bored quickly by the same routines. I’ve always liked techno music since my teenage days, but I became more and more unsatisfied with the traditional style. So, one day I sat in my studio and went like… OK, let’s make something new.
Was it hard to make your first tech track after so many years making psy trance and prog, or did it just flow naturally?
To be honest with you, I think I still haven’t made my very first techno track, I’m getting there though. Coming from a total psy sound, it takes time to reset your mind and skills. It’s a long process of refinement I guess.
I remember my first track was possibly 80% psy and 20% techno. Now that I’ve written about 25 of them, I can say I’m more or less 30% psy and 70% techno and I like this ratio. That’s also when people started calling it psy tech.
How would you describe the DM-Theory sound?
Psychedelic-infused deep hypnotic groovy techno.
In a fairly short space of time, you’ve had some epic DM-Theory productions out on some top labels: can you tell us a bit about them please?
I always wanted DM-Theory to be part of a respected label and of course Ibogatech was on top of my list. I kept sending them tracks for over a year until we agreed it was the right time to let people know about my new project.
I’ve had the pleasure of releasing three EPs in four months on Ibogatech and at the same time I also did a remix of one of my favourite artists, Saafi Brothers, released on the legendary L.S.D. label.
And what new productions do you have in the pipelines?
Since the Saafi Brothers remix, I have been collaborating with Gabriel Le Mar on a few tunes including M-Theory & Gabriel Le Mar – Temple of Repetition, which was released on my new EP on Blacklite records a few days ago. I’m also already well into full production of my DM-Theory debut album, scheduled for release late spring 2020, of course on Ibogatech.
Did you find yourself having to buy a load more plug ins and synths to produce your DM-Theory tracks, or have you produced everything you’ve made so far on your psy trance studio set up?
I didn’t have to buy special techno plugs in order to create this new sound; I believe it’s more like having a techno state of mind and have a different approach when constructing and layering the tracks. I must admit I do use my Korg Minilogue a lot more now for techno sounds than psy.
Can you tell us a bit about Pixie Nature, your track on our Lunar Phase compilation, which we absolutely love for its beautiful atmospheric build up and crescendos. Did it take long to produce?
Pixie Nature is one of the first tracks I wrote under the new alias and it has gone into surgery several times until one day, I felt I nailed it. I’ve always loved and had special feelings about this track. I never wanted it to go in the bin or leave it unfinished – and perseverance has paid off!
This isn’t your first release on Free-Spirit Records though is it? I believe you and FSR have a long history together...
Absolutely: I’ve been releasing tracks as M-Theory and Cimi on FSR since the creation of the label many years ago and I also compiled a really successful compilation Plexure in 2009. Now with DM-Theory we are complete.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you have liked to be? Do you reckon it might have been pixie-like in nature?
If I wasn’t a musician I would like to be a… space hopper perhaps?!
It can be hard to get creative in London, especially at this time of the year. Are there any non-music related activities that help put you in a better space creatively to write music?
When I’m inside my studio I lock myself in, there is no London nor UK nor the crappy weather. I also do not have windows, so I don’t get any outside distractions.
The activity I love the most that helps me out with studio life is yoga every Monday. It cleanses you from a heavy weekend and it straightens you up for the week ahead. Maybe it helps that my wife is also an accomplished yoga teacher!
We’re really excited to welcome you to play at our Lunar Phase launch party at Tribal Village at London’s Steel Yard on Saturday 18th January. Will you mainly play your own tracks, or do you like to mix things up a bit and play tracks from other producers?
Thanks for having me playing at TV, I’m sooo looking forward to it. I will play a live set of my own tracks only – so be prepared to hear a lot of new tasty tunes.
We’re also both playing the main room at Planet Shroom the following Saturday in Bristol, where Amaluna is warming up and you’ll be taking it home as M-Theory. Have you played in Bristol much before? It’s the first time we’ll have played out west, so please let us know any tips you might have.
Yeah!! We gonna rock it Tara and we don’t get many chances to play on the same stage so, we will blast it for sure! I’ve played in Bristol for Tribe of Frog many times over the years, but it’s the first time I’ve play for Planet Shroom and I can’t wait to headline it to be honest. They are a great crew and they deliver killer parties.
The end of 2019 marks the end of a decade: do you have any new year’s resolutions?
I stopped making new year’s resolutions as I never manage to fulfill them hahaha!!
How about any resolutions for the new decade?
Being healthy is my main resolution; all the rest should consequentially unfold.
Finally, what else do you have planned for 2020? And beyond?
I must say that this political turmoil in UK over the last few years is affecting our plans. We are actually unable to make any until the future of the Europeans is clear. The only thing I can think of now is my own Brexit, even though I still love London and the UK.
Many thanks for your time Marcello and looking forward to your set at Tribal Village on 18th January!
Thank you too Tara and see you under the arches soon! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!