In a rather short lapse of time Greek solo-project Metal Disco has released an impressive number of productions. Driven by Werkstatt Recordings label owner -and involved with other music projects like Paradox Obscur, Beatbox Machinery, Resistance Of Independent Music, Hardware Pulse… Kostas Stavropoulos aka ‘Toxic Razor’, the sound of Metal Disco is composed by only hardware equipment. The sound features different influences mixing EBM, Minimal-Electro, Electro-Wave, Electroclash ao. 2021 has been an extremely prolific year for Metal Disco while a new EP has been already released this year. Time for an interview and introduction in the world of this great project. (Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: You’re involved with multiple projects so what makes the specificity of Metal Disco in comparison with all others? What kind of sound and production did you have in mind when setting up Metal Disco?
TR: Metal Disco delivers a more darkened electro sound especially in the first releases. What I had in mind when starting this project was having punchy drum rhythms with dirty driven basslines in a kinda more minimal approach with not many instruments/sounds involved.
Q: The way of composing your music is very important and especially the use of hardware equipment! Tell us a bit more about your way of working? And does it mean you have something against software equipment and tools?
TR: Indeed hardware instruments is more fun to work with and play, feels like becoming one with a synth or a drum machine when recording or rehearsing and that is something that I can’t find in the virtual software world. The sound is much more richer and breathes like a living entity unlike the sterile virtual instruments which no matter how good they sound it’s like something’s missing.. sitting in front of a screen making music is not my cup of tea, I have tried it in the past and had absolutely no fun but I don’t have something against software as for other people might work better.
Q: Metal Disco has been very prolific during the past few years. Where does this inspiration come from and what’s the usual way of composing when working on Metal Disco?
TR: Inspiration comes mostly after jamming in the studio, synthesizers can offer a wide palette of sounds and mood, sometimes feels like these waveforms devour me, luring me into their deep endless spiral of synthesis.
When starting a new track I mostly give emphasis and work on the bassline parts along with some basic drum rhythm, from there I try to find a fitting lead/melody and later come back to the drums again in order to build the main groove, fills, changes etc. But once the main idea is set the song drives me by itself until it takes the final shape.
Q: You clearly like to release EP’s while each EP sounds like having a different focus and own influences. Tell us a bit more about the most recent productions and how did you see the project evolving throughout the years?
TR: 2021 was a very busy year with one compilation and 3 EPs released, while also working in the collaboration EP with Incirrina and trying to put together ideas for the next full-length album.
In the “Καμία Εξουσία”-EP I also tried for the first time Greek lyrics in the Metal Disco project since I had the self-titled track sitting for around a decade in my studio, so I thought why not record a few more tracks in Greek.. this how “Καμία Εξουσία”-EP was born.
The recent “Misbehave”-EP delivers a more Electronic sound with groovy basslines and I feel it turned out more melodic than what I expected and had in mind when started composing it.
As for evolving this is something I could say for my other band Paradox Obscur since we always try to explore new paths, but for Metal Disco things are simpler, music is more raw, stripped and direct.
Q: You already mentioned the new EP entitled “In Motion” featuring Incirrina. How did this collaborative work happened and what has been the input of Incirrina?
TR: I have collaborated with many other artists for the Metal Disco project in the past and Irini from Incirrina was also part of the latest full-length album “Sex, Drugs & Hardware”.
Since I was looking for someone to take over the vocals in the new EP I thought Irini would fit great in these new songs and all evolved very naturally.
She has taken over the vocal parts in all songs of the “In Motion”-EP and I think this must be the more melodic work for Metal Disco so far..
Q: I can’t get away from the idea you’re devoted to 80s Electronics. What made the magic of this decade and what are your personal ‘masters’ when it comes to musicians? And do you have contemporary ‘masters’ or simply musicians/producers you respect for their way of working?
TR: The 80s was a rather obscure weird era in many aspects but had a great renaissance in the music scenery in various genres It’s impossible to mention all the artists I listen but names like Mylene Farmer, Sandra, Jean-Michel Jarre, Pet Shop Boys, Yello etc are on my top preferences together with some Metal acts like Venom, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Slayer, W.A.S.P. which are not Electronic but evolved and experimented over the years and always has been a great inspiration to my musical ventures.
Concerning the contemporary scene I listen a lot to Electro, Tech-House, Progressive Techno, Trance, EBM, Future-Pop, Synth-Wave, Italo and artists like Motor, Arnaud Rebotini, Black Asteroid, John Dahlbäck, Mind.In.A.Box, Soman, Juno Reactor, Apoptygma Berzerk is always a pleasure to listen their work.
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