Not many musicians in our expansive commonwealth are in touch with the vibrations of the world as MAHLION, who is based in Richmond. Working with Steve Owen of SILO EFFECT, he helped make the Richmond Electronic Collective what it is today, while building his spiritual connection to the music and the world at large through his meditative, transcendental portfolio of mixes. We spoke with MAHLION about his true identity and its astrological significance, how his music is influenced by RADIOHEAD, his role with the Richmond Electronic Collective, as well as his campaign to fund a trip to Egypt and how it is effecting his music.

What is your real name, and why did you choose to go by MAHLION?

My real name is Andrew, and MAHLION is an anagram of my last name, which is Hoilman. I needed a name for my music so I came up with that before I realized the astrological significance of it. My sign is Leo so I had a good chuckle about that.

On your Tumblr page, you have a quote that says, “music makes The universe”. What is the meaning behind that?

The way I look at that relates to how music is at the core of everything, and I have come to an understanding through my readings and life experiences , that all matter is comprised of vibrations of various frequencies. Therefore, essentially everything is music. A table is just molecules and matter vibrating around each other. It’s like when you are in your car listening to music with the bass turned up, and when a big bass note drops, everything starts vibrating at that frequency.

How would you describe your sound to someone that has never heard it before?

The best description that I have come up with is that it sounds like Jonny Greenwood, who is the guitarist of RADIOHEAD, rolled up in a yoga mat, dipped in DMT.

Are you a big fan of RADIOHEAD?

They have always been the gatekeepers for me. I can trace all of my musical influences back to them.

I know that you are also a member of the Richmond Electronic Collective. Can you tell me about your role in that project?

Steve Owen and I met up through Sam [Friedman] playing SILO [EFFECT] and SCHACK shows. Within the last six or seven months I have been doing a lot more with them. Their show on December 14th of last year, which was also my birthday, was my first live performance at The Camel. I also have a mix on volume three of the REC comp, which is set to be released next month. I am also on the bill for next month’s show on August 12. Steve has a deal going with The Camel so we can have a show there [called the REC Room] every second Tuesday of each month.

Who else is on the August 12 show?

Right now, we have a duo called JAX, which includes STOOPKID and SOUNDGENESIS, STRONG HANDS, and more TBA. Check out the REC Facebook page for more info.

Do you have any new mixes you are currently working on?

I don’t think I really put together “songs”, but I do like putting together sounds to help paint a picture of bits and pieces of audio samples. I have a clip in one I’m currently working on from The Wizard of Oz, where the wicked witch says, ‘I’m melting! I’m melting!’ with a loop going and going, down and down. It’s just something clever I could throw into my live show.

Have you thought of a title for that mix yet?

Not yet. Sometimes I think of a collection of words before making something to have a blueprint for the vibe of the track, or I make the music first and name it after, like I did with my mix “The Initiate” because it felt like the music for someone that would be going through some sort of initiation.

I also saw that you started a Go Fund Me campaign for a nine-day journey on the Nile in Egypt. Can you tell me about why you feel called to go there and what you hope to accomplish?

I have felt a very strong push to go over there with my yoga teacher, who is also an astrologer, and I have always been fascinated with Egypt at such a young age. I remember studying hieroglyphics and being really inspired by them. The trip is in November, and I am currently at the beginning stages of figuring out how to fund that. Egypt is, and always has been, a central hub as far as historical evolution. Our origins are in Egypt, and I think that going there to do healing work will help balance out whatever the hell is going on in the world. In fact, there was once a group of 20 or 30 people who meditated in DC to readjust the energetic balance of the city, and the crime rate went down significantly. We hope our efforts will have a similar impact.

How has your music been effected by this mission to “create spaces for high-vibrations of love to enter into the collective un/consciousness”?

I feel like the music I’ve made and released online to date has come through me rather than just made by Andrew Hoilman. One song in particular that is an example of this is “There and Back Again”, which is a cool intro track, and when I was walking down the hallway at University of Richmond, the song came into my head, and everything that I saw was set to that song in perfect time. The song in my head matched my reality two weeks later. I hope my music may unlock something for people to be able to move forward with issues that they may be having. I am making keys to interpret in audible form.

For more updates on MAHLION, be sure to follow him on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, listen to his mixes on Soundcloud and Bandcamp, and join the Richmond Electronic Collective Facebook group for the daily happenings of the electronic scene in RVA.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Fairfax, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with his girlfriend Alex.

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