Morgan Page: In the Air
This year, Coachella cloned itself.
While the promoters’ intention may have been to bring different sets of fans to the Indio, Calif.-based festival for each semi-identical weekend this past April, it required double trips for the actual talent.
So, we caught up with Morgan Page as he was about to hit the road for Coachella’s weekend No. 2 and take over the Sahara tent for his daytime slot. During our chat, the L.A-based Page gave us on a ride through In the Air (Nettwerk), his latest artist album. Featuring a pair of tracks with indie-fave folk duo Tegan & Sara—including the ultra-catchy club hit “Body Work”—In the Air offers up Page’s regular serving of melodic gems and ethereally influenced cuts.
As Page prepared for a busy season of summer festivals, we discussed with the 2012 America’s Best DJ nominee how his studio collaborations come together and how he finds his vocalists. One male vocalist in particular may come as quite a surprise from this project…
DJ Times: So you’re in the middle of a Coachella sandwich—what’s going on with your sets in Indio?
Morgan Page: I’m keeping it more basic with the emphasis more on the visuals, like the content we’ve developed for Coachella. It’s become a much bigger thing.
DJ Times: Specific visuals?
Page: The big thing we’re trying to do with that is having the lyrics in sync with the music. It’s relevant, it’s guided. Mixing between my logo flashing up there with lyric videos for the songs—we spend a lot of time trying to do it.
DJ Times: Yeah, I like the video for “Body Work” with the flashing vocals. Is that what you used for Coachella?
Page: Yeah, very lyric-videos driven and the words turn into a symbol or a shape—just having it lined up is really cool. So, basically, when I play a song, it will trigger the video so we have it all linked up in kind of a cool way.
DJ Times: How’s it done?
Page: It’s through Ableton Live and just firing MIDI clips, basically.
DJ Times: Speaking of Ableton, tell me about your set-up in the studio?
Page: In the studio, basically, I use ProTools and Ableton. I’m using a lot of Ableton these days. And I have mainly soft sets and I have a couple of hardware sets like Prophet 08 and a Moog Voyager. But for the work that I do, that’s mainly it for software and then I’ll come back to the studio and flesh out a song with analog stuff.
DJ Times: Because you have to do a lot of your stuff on the road, right?
DJ Times: So why have you leaned more towards Ableton throughout the years?
Page: It’s just the easiest program to use when I need it done quickly—and it’s the most stable. So just using that on the road—and I perform with it—it just seemed like a natural transition. I do my national radio show [“In the Air”] on it, I perform with it, and I produce with it.
DJ Times: Speaking of performing, we think we heard a familiar voice on some songs off on the album. Was that you?
Page: I sang on “Missing” and “S.O.S. (Message in a Bottle),” which is a Police cover.