Experience The Alleys with We Are All Astronauts & Mango Alley

Lauren Krieger

Mango Alley joins DEEP with the launch of The Alleys hosted by We Are All Astronauts

Mango Alley has distinguished itself among the dense landscape of labels through its distinctive style and careful attention to detail. Each release is lovingly designed to create an all encompassing story, showcasing their signature blend of melodic progressive and intricate techno with tracks that fit their selective level of quality and substance. As Director and A&R for Mango Alley, Alex Golovanov has molded the label into its current state, creating a place where talented producers such as Quivver, Ryan Davis, Gai Barone, Michael A, and many more, can find a home.

The Alleys takes the spirit, style, and substance of the label, and brings it into a special one hour mix, hosted by We Are All Astronauts. With an eclectic style that ventures into ambient, electronica, progressive, techno, and beyond, We Are All Astronauts creates unique mixes that travel across genres with a seamless flow and an in-depth journey. The Alleys combines the desires of both label & DJ to share meaningful music that forms deep and lasting connections, all which can be experienced when you tune in.

It was fantastic to catch up with Alex and We Are All Astronauts, to get their insight on the music and discover what we can expect with the launch of The Alleys, premiering January 22nd @ 3PM EST [convert timezone] on DEEP.

How did Mango Alley first begin?

Alex: During my artist career I felt I needed my own outlet, not only for my music, but also to express my current musical preferences. The idea of running a label captivated me so much I just dived into it, not bothering much about details and learning a lot of things in the process. What really helped at the very start is a tremendous support of my artists, friends, and the industry professionals who believed in the project. By the time Mango Alley had been on the scene for 5 years I felt much more confident in my label and a lot more experienced as a label manager, realizing that MA needed a fresh new concept. I took a half-a-year pause with the label, invited my friend Andrew to be my fellow assistant, came up with a completely new branding, new designs, and at the same time finished my highly anticipated artist album, which became the first release of the renewed Mango Alley imprint.

What are the core philosophies behind Mango Alley?

The philosophy is simple: music is not just the sounds you hear, it’s everything that comes with it.

Alex: With Mango Alley we want to not only deliver good music, but also to surround it with details which help create a complete story (attention to details is our specialty). Since around 2015 we’ve found our sound niche that I would describe as melodic progressive house fused with techno influences. Still, as a creative person, I draw inspiration from transient emotions and ideas and that is why I decided not to limit MA’s format to strictly one genre. We find it more interesting to showcase different music to our audience. Our fans know it and appreciate it. Perhaps that’s what makes MA releases special and gives the label that personal character. That’s why it all looks and sounds natural when we feature Kaito, Ryan Davis, Gai Barone, and Quivver all on the same imprint. Complement this with some inspiring digital booklets that unfold the idea behind each release, wrap it in memorable cover designs, add some intriguing release texts, accompany it with a distinctive radio show, and you get the real music story that Mango Alley is sharing year after year.

What has been your favorite part of running the label?

Alex: Two things always keep me excited about running a label: “discovering” and “creating”. By “discovering”, I mean finding new music and new talents. Mango Alley has never been shy about releasing aspiring artists. Moreover, there are a lot of artists who have been discovered and introduced to wider audience by Mango Alley. For example, Shingo Nakamura, We Are All Astronauts, Meeke, Seawaves, Swoof, and many more. By the way, Swoof’s “Luminescent”, first released as an opening track for MA ADE 2016 Compilation, has later became a soundtrack for an award-winning indie short film at the Jameson Film Festival. [“Odio los Paraguas” with Swoof “Luminescent”] Currently our annual Summer Chillout Compilation series is where we showcase mostly new artists. Check out Informat, Yasda, Siarate from our recent Summer Compilation – it’s amazing they had not been in the spotlight before we found them!

As for “creating”, this is what thrills me the most. When you first sign the original track, you start imagining how the remixes should sound like, you think about how the designs should look, and you come up with a complete release concept in your head. Then you begin finding the remixers who fit this concept, and start working on the designs. That’s where the magic is to me: no matter how elaborate the initial concept is, you already know the result will be something completely new and unpredictable! Even though you know the style of all the artists involved, you can never tell how the remixes will sound in the end. When the remixes are finished, most of the time the initial designs will be altered too, to best complement the music. Basically, what you had in your head in the very start and what your fans see on the store shelves are always two different things. But if everything done right, the result should exceed your initial expectations.

What do you love most about the music?

Alex: Music is a one-of-a-kind substance. It’s both a limitless source of inspiration and a best keeper for your past memories and emotions.

What makes The Alleys show special?

Alex: With music, words can’t explain why this or that song captivates you. The same is true for our show. You just need to listen to it to realize it’s not just ‘another radio show’. In the end you might totally love it, or decide it sounds too unusual for you, but it definitely won’t leave you feeling indifferent.

I really love the name “We Are All Astronauts”, how did it originate?

WAAA: The name came to mind in between jamming sessions and watching Carl Sagan back home in Leeds. I’ve always been obsessed with space (I studied physics at university) and I love the fact that we are all constantly flying through the universe on a planet without every realizing it. We Are All Astronauts has a sky-facing, all-inclusive, empowering feel to it. Exactly what I’m searching for with the music.

What are the messages or stories you aim to communicate through your music?

WAAA: I’ve been to more raves and big parties than I can count; they all blur into one. But I always remember the amazing friends I’ve spent time with in those places, the feeling of elation and unity that you share with people while playing and listening to the music. You feel part of something bigger, much bigger. There is a yearning for those moments to never end, so you’re left with a kind of bittersweet nostalgia. I wanted to capture those feelings. Sometimes that means exploring dark places with the music too, but I think the message in the music is ultimately a hopeful one.

How would you describe your style?

WAAA: It is all about the emotional journey. The music is sometimes progressive, sometimes techno, sometimes shoegaze, sometimes ambient. Club-oriented music is amazing, but now and again it can be a little too limiting, so I enjoy bringing in raw orchestral elements and organic drums to tell the story too.

What do you love most about the music?

WAAA: It is all-encompassing. It helps people think better, makes people train harder, helps people relax faster, gets people more excited. I see music as a way of connecting people that have never met each other before in some shared experience.

There’s nothing else I know of that can do that in such a visceral way.

What makes The Alleys show special?

WAAA: Alex and I both shared the vision that the radio show should expose people to new music they might not have otherwise found, all the way from ambient to techno. With an eclectic blend, the mixing becomes even more important so we work hard to make sure everything flows, so that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I think listeners really dig the fact they don’t know where the mix is going to go, but they trust us to take them on a proper journey.

You won’t want to miss this one! The Alleys premieres January 22nd @ 3PM EST [convert timezone] & can be listened on-demand anytime after with FRISKY Premium & on the FRISKY Apps.

The Alleys