Serbian Progressive Trance producer Marko Cubric AKA Vintage & Morelli is on quite the hot streak, having just wrapped up his U.S. Debut Tour this summer. A name that often pops up in the tracklists on radio shows and live sets alike, Cubric has quite the catalog already. His latest album “Hymn to the Night” is an eclectic mix of serene four-on-the-floor vibes, atmospheric electronica and even a trip down the Drum n Bass side of the road.
From the opening Cosmic Overture cycling into Ascencion‘s infections vocal sample and chord progression, the album is an immediately arresting 14 track experience. With several diffrent stories told through vocal tracks and instrumentals that speak for themselves, it ends with a cathartic slow burner in the form of the title track to close things out. DJs get an extra special treat at the end of the album with seven extended mixes from the album. With an album this well done, we had to grab a chance to speak to him ahead of his dynamic return to the states for an NYC debut.
How was your tour and coming to the states for the first time?
It’s been crazy, I’ve been playing 90 percent my own stuff. [America is] different, but I’m kinda used to it, I used to watch a lot of American movies and TV shows so I kinda just feel like I fit in (laughs). Chicago is freaking amazing, all of the Skyscrapers. Same thing with Seattle and all these other places. There are a lot of different vibes, but the people have been super nice.
What were the inspirations behind Hymn to the Night?
I’m a night owl, I spend most of my time up at night and sleep during the day. It’s my time, nobody’s bothering me and I can do what I want. The only light on in the street I live on is mine sometimes. (laughs). [In general,] inspiration varies; for the most part it comes from nature as well as the good and bad stuff that happens in life.
What are your experiences making an instrumental track like Love Is with Brandon Mignacca vs. a purely instrumental track like Senshi?
It depends on how complex the track is, or if i feel it needs a vocal. If it has a catchy melodic hook it doesn’t need a vocal. But if I feel like it needs more than music to express what I want to tell, then I do vocals. Senshi is about your inner warrior. if things go bad, you need your inner warrior to fight.
Brandon is super talented and he’s such a sweet guy to work with. “Love Is” in particular was a mutual effort. We just went back and forth until we were both happy with it. We both said “Let’s make a beautiful love song.”
I won’t ask what your favorite track is because that’s like picking favorite kids, but what is another track with a backstories that stands out to you?
It would have to be Breathe with Arielle Marren. That song is the peak hour monster track. Hopefully people pay attention to the lyrics because when things don’t go your way, most people react with anger, right? But in stead of anger you should just take a deep breath— form a new state of calm and make rational decisions. It’s a song about mental health, and inner peace basically. She has a beautiful voice and it’s so well written. It’s peak hour progressive: just breathe. Let it in, let it out.
It’s great to hear about artists focusing on music to help their fans get through life! Do you have any self care practices yourself?
I do meditate occasionally. It’s more guided meditations until I can do it on my own. But yes, I’m a heavy gamer.
Out of all of the phases of the music creation process, which would you say is most challenging?
For me, it’s all about getting the melodies and chords together. I went to music school for three years and ended up dropping out, but I learned so much. It’s all about trying to put my emotions into sound. That’s my favorite part. The most challenging part of the process is getting the final structure of the song. Things like trying to find a kick— I think I go through about 100 kicks at a time. It’s never going to be perfect of course. I used to be a perfectionist but now [I realize] you just have to let it go. I sometimes wait for the last minute deadline to finish stuff. I guess I work best under pressure(laughs).
What was your path getting from a “normal” job to your career as a musician?
It’s still kind of hard right now, I’m still considered a “starving artist” but I always say baby steps. I’m not in a rush.
I used to do all kinds of jobs. But at a point I figured out this wasn’t making me happy. I didn’t have time to make music, I had social life…and I couldn’t do it. So I quit my last job in 2012 to focus on music. It was hard because I had no income. But slowly with all the help from family and starting to make royalties, I kept growing as an artist. Luckily Serbia is a cheap place to leave.
Do you imagine yourself moving soon if you continue your career?
I was thinking about it, but I kinda want to stay in Europe because it’s in the middle of the world, near both the U.S. and Asia.
Anything else you want to express about your music, fans or both?
All of the love and support on this tour has made me realize exactly how many people around the world like my music. I didn’t think about it till I got to the states!
Vintage & Morelli has two huge shows planned. First, a gig at New York City’s Bogart House and the Amsterdam Dance Event alongside other Progressive names like Matt Fax, Sound Quelle and Dezza. Get tickets on his official website.