From knowing each other as great friends and individual artists to forming a duo in 2019, releasing fresh and soul-soothing music consistently throughout 2020 and within 3 years of their inception, releasing an album on one of the most esteemed labels in Electronic music with Anjunabeats, gardenstate have come a long way.
Marcus Schössow’s rich relationship with club music as a phenomenal producer and Matther Felner’s tour with him in 2008 blossomed their friendship and proved to be the catalyst in their bond as artists, which eventually led to the formation of gardenstate when Marcus Schössow spent a week at Matthew Felner’s house in New Jersey.
The duo like to weave their music around a wide array of styles and influences by fusing 90s Trance, Melodic Techno, Peak-Time Breaks combined with emotional songwriting. Along with releases on Ajunabeats, the duo have also released their music on labels like Odd One Out, Statement! Recordings, Spectrum, and Wake Your Mind Deep Records.
gardenstate recently released a soul-stirring 16-track album on Anjunabeats called ‘Inspirations’. The album along with their solo productions features collaborations with the likes of Paavo from Above & Beyond, Gabriel & Dresden, Andy Moor, KhoMha, Nandini Srikar and many more.
We had the duo with us for a chat about their debut album, styles encapsulated in the showpiece, their India tour and lots more.
- From knowing each other as great friends and individual ar8sts to joining forces for gardenstate in 2019, delivering great music consistently throughout 2020 and finally an album in 2021. How would you guys like to describe your journey so far?
gardenstate: Intense and crazy. Everything has gone so fast and sometimes I have to pinch myself to understand that I am awake. I’ve had the luck to work with some of the best artists on the planet and been taken under the wings at Anjunabeats. They have been nothing but fantastic and we try to push boundaries in everything we do. Halfway through this journey, we had the pandemic and our agent and manager, Dimitri de Wit died of cancer (Rest in peace brother!) so it hasn’t been the most smooth journey ever but it has only made this stronger.
- When did the idea of an album come about?
gardenstate: Well, it just happened to be honest. There was no plan to do an album, but suddenly there were so many tracks and we somehow had to put it all together! I think that’s the best way to work, purely producing towards an album can be a very stressful situation, especially under pressure. I try not to give a single fuck about this, but it still goes to my head from time to time and I must remind myself that we have nothing to lose in this world.
- What we love about the ‘Inspirations’ LP is that it encapsulates a wide array of styles and genres. Was it always the plan to keep the album expansive?
gardenstate: I just do what I love and don’t think about genres for a single second. It’s such a waste of time, if it’s a good record it’s a good record! The influences are wide and it would be a shame not to embrace everything just the way food works.
- The artwork of the album is intricate and fascinating. What was the idea behind it?
gardenstate: We wanted to create something that would have our faces on but still not be a photograph, were simply too ugly for that hahaha! We are the opposite of a perfect boyband and I’d like to keep it that way, this is the way we are, take it or leave it. The full art reference of the album is that the plants always win and take over, no matter what we do.
- We would like to pay special attention to ‘Aurora’ with Paavo and Nandini Srikar. Can you tell us a little more about how such a special release came together?
gardenstate: This record started as a jam between me and Paavo from Above & Beyond. I took the project file with me to a holiday, continued to work on it and finished it a few weeks later. I sent the track to Nawed Khan (He always gets to heat things first hand before most people) and he suggested to add a vocal to it, and I said I wanted something from India, but not in a pop way like most people do it. I wanted the vocal to celebrate the long rich history of India and its cultural heritage. So together with Nikhil Chinapa we set out to find the best possible vocalist and the first time I heard Nandini Srikar’s voice I was sold. A few days later I was on a video call with her from her studio and she recorded this absolutely amazing vocal. One of the best vocalists I’ve heard in my entire life.
- An India tour on the horizon. What are the things that you are looking forward to when you tour the country?
gardenstate: The people of course! India is like nothing else on earth and you have to embrace it. I haven’t played in India for about 6 years and it’s one of the few shows we do in Asia for 2021. We’ve been trying to make this tour happen for about 9 months now but Covid-19 hasn’t made it easy. I can’t wait to meet everyone and the Anjuna family over there.
- A little sneak peek into what 2022 is going to look like in gardenstate’s eyes?
gardenstate: Don’t even know where to begin…. Looking at the calendar it’s going to be many sleepless nights in airplanes, massive shows and a ton of diverse music coming your way! I think we all looking forward to set a punctuation for the time we have behind us and I’m hoping we all can come out better than we were when we went into Covid-19. Listen, we only got one planet and we gotta start to realise that 99,9999% of everyone out there has felt like shit during these times. Now we come out together, let’s treat each other with love and respect, don’t waste a second on bullshit.
Buy/Stream gardenstate’s ‘Inspirations’ LP – HERE
Also read: TF Spotlight: Arjun Vagale’s Debut Album