Simon Ebener-Holshcer, who goes by Moglii, just released his debut EP titled 'Naboo' inspired by the planet from Star Wars. His first EP was a collaboration with Novaa, with whom he also released the song 'Golden Light.' Fixated on alternate reality, Moglii transports listeners to his own fantasy world inspired by organic sounds.
“I intend to create something like a parallel universe,” says Moglii. “Fantasy worlds, like Pokémon, are fascinating to me.” Simon Ebener-Holscher, aka Moglii, meshes analogue and electronic production to transport listeners to his landscape. The 24 year old from Germany has plugged in coffee machines, crunched shopping bags, and gently brushed cacti to sample sounds. As an “organic electronic” music artist, Moglii weaves everyday noise, like the clacking of pencils, into an electronic canvas.
Forming a unique ear early on, Moglii learned the piano at six years old and listened to his mother’s mandolin. “My mom is a teacher for mandolin, so I was often in contact with music in my childhood,” he says. Growing up comfortably in Düsseldorf, he experimented musically with support from his parents. Hip-hop first grasped his attention before the electro-French house movement showed up in 2007. At 16, he pivoted to electronic music and learned the producing software Fruity Loops, which he still uses. “Dancing with my friends to Justice and Boys Noize on Ed Banger Records was a real awakening,” says Moglii. Later exploring the UK and Australian scene, he bumped Mura Masa, Jack Garratt, and Flume on repeat.
Always combing for new sounds, Moglii can’t pinpoint a crossroads where he flipped to making music professionally. “It wasn’t a moment or decision,” he says. “I just made music my whole life and didn’t have other interests besides producing.” Enrolling at the Institute for Music and Media in Düsseldorf, he focused on production and jazz piano. School sparked a more professional mindset for making music. Still at the institute, Moglii formed a five piece electronic-based band called Moglebaum. A singer, a saxophonist, an additional producer, a violinist, and Moglii makeup the group. The German word for a second generation Pokémon, the name Moglebaum alludes to a separate reality. Looking like a tree with green orbs for fingers, Moglebaum the Pokémon shares a natural element with Moglebaum the band.
While all five members still make music together, Moglii chose to carve a solo path. This past month, he released his own EP, Naboo, named after the planet from Star Wars. He doesn’t obsess over the films, but he connects with the universe. Like George Lucas, Moglii pushes to displace his audience to an alternate existence. Propped up by a fresh soundscape of organic-electronic mixtures, the project harnesses natural elements. “The mixture in the EP is symbolized by the planet Naboo,” he says, “which is completely full of nature and surrounded by a highly evolved technical environment.”
Channeling this mixed environment, Moglii spurs song ideas on the fly. He shuffles through new tracks on Spotify and SoundCloud to catalyze ideas for his own beats. “My free time is always filled with listening to music or making music,” he says. After about an hour of queuing up tunes and tapping the keyboard, a plan starts to form. “Often I don’t even notice I’m working on a new track,” he says. “When I’m playing the piano or discovering new tunes, I get inspired to start a new song.” Once an idea sticks, the process takes over. Working with other singers and instrumentalists, Moglii does not think about the end product. He lets the connection between artists flow freely towards the final sound.
To carry that natural connection into shows, Moglii places plants on stage and wraps microphone stands in leaves. He thumps the beat pads with glowing drum sticks under flashing lights. Pulsing synths and break beats form the heartbeat of a performance echoing far away feelings. The same organic elements that grace his melodies and cover art emblazon the setup across stage. The audiences pack venues not only hear his music, but to visit his world.
This world hides out in Moglii’s lyrics. “My lyrics attempt to plant small, subliminal ideas like a seed into someone else’s mind,” he says. In most songs, the words fade like a dream, never drawing too much attention. Both current and broken relationships drive these lyrics. He captures actions of those who have left a mark. “That’s a big influence,” says Moglii, “the nature and behavior of human beings.” Defying the nature of the mainstream, Moglii clings to untapped natural sounds and lyrics rooted in the subconscious. He never tries to align himself within the industry. “I always made music for myself and for my friends,” he says, “and to offer something special.”