‘The tune for some reason reminds me of stray dogs barking and, on big sound systems it almost feels like a dog is biting me… ‘
Mindscape has certainly lived up to his name with the gravity-defying Phantoms ep: a quantum jolt on the mental image front – just look at the visuals – as well as being rather sonically imaginative and far-reaching. Was time to catch up, not to mention look for an excuse to talk about the new Star Wars, and dogs.
Hi first of all love that cover and the concept… who devised this?
I usually like to make the artwork myself for my records, but when we started talking about the concept and artwork for the EP, Micha from Black Sun Empire mentioned that I should check out a guy called Kuldar Leemen as he had just recently made some cover art for Current Value, which turned out awesome.
So I did and was instantly amazed at how good his art was! His graphics are all very futuristic, beautiful and unique at the same time. I really loved his style so we asked him to create the cover for this record.
The title tune? I love the word ‘Phantoms: they’re not like ‘apparitions’ or ‘spectres’. ‘Phantoms’ is more fleeting and a little threatening. Like promises made and stolen away in real life…
Exactly, that’s why I love that word too! It’s funny you mentioned “promises made and stolen away”, because that concept echoes the juxtaposition of the lower and higher registerbasses in the tune.
The title is ambiguous as well, as it can refer to ‘inner demons’ or even a squadron of fighter jet pilots, but I think it’s also refers to those dark, airy and dreamy sounds at the beginning.
When did the ep start to take shape? I like to lose myself in this world. I know you like sci-fi.
We had been talking about a possible Mindscape EP on Blackout for a while now, but this EP project started when the BSE guys heard a preview of new tune I had been working on that turned out, in the end, to be the tune the EP was built around: ‘The 4th’.
And can you take us through ‘The 4th’? What’s it refer to?
This was the first tune that the BSE guys put on the EP. The aim was to make a rolling, minimalistic dancefloor stomper, without any trendy laser sounds and stuff, just a techy D&B tune.
The title came from the old school sci fi movie quote in the tune “Deadliest Force of the Universe”… there’s a D&B tune called ‘The Universe’ by The Upbeats and Bulletproof, and ‘Deadliest’ sounded a bit cocky.
So it had to be called ‘The 4th’ instead.
So in general this ep was challenging for you I believe…
All of Blackout’s previous releases are top notch, so the pressure was on to make sure my EP was of the highest possible quality too so I didn’t rush it at all, it had to mature instead, like a good cheese!
I also had a lot of other stuff going on in my life at the same time, I had a few remixes to do, and I had just moved to a new flat – which was a big task- but my main focus was this EP.
In fact what sci fi are you feeling in recent times. And no: you can’t cite Interstellar.
Fortunately we get a lot of Sci-Fi to watch these days, but only a few of them are really good.
RecentlyI would say my favourite film was Ex Machina, what an awesome movie!
I loved the minimalistic approach to film-making – a small crew, no big CGI explosions and stuff, just a good storyline and atmosphere. Also the character of Ava, the AI girl, is great, she’s beautiful and innocent, but frightening and very weird too – beyond the uncanny valley maybe?
I’m also looking forward to ‘The Martian’ which is coming out soon, that seems interesting. I hope it’s going to be as good as it looks. And then of course, there’s ‘Star Wars VII’. To me Star Wars is like a pizza, when it’s good it’s great, when it’s bad it’s still pretty good.
‘Bloodhound’ is pretty hectic, frenetic, frantic…
This tune started with the bassline and it’s all about this rough and tough analogic vibe.There’s not much precocity in this one, it’s a simple, straightforward, honest and loud tune that for some reason reminds me of stray dogs barking and, on big sound systems it almost feels like a dog is biting me.
How’s the scene near you right now?
It’s pretty healthy now, its getting back to where it was when it last peaked, ’98-ish. We had a few years though when dubstep became popular over here and – as the crowd is kinda the same – it affected the D&B parties. Attendance was pretty bad for a while. But now D&B is back with a vengeance and it seems stronger than ever!
We have big parties almost every week and lots of smaller label nights as well in Budapest, and there was a dedicated D&B stage at nearly every festival again this year.
It all means that we – as local djs and producers – also have a big and growing fan base, which is great.
What tune is in your head right now and why?
I’ve just started a new track actually.Its looping around in the background at the moment, so I can hardly think of any other tunes!
What’s something you’ve read or seen recently that made you think… something that you didn’t know beforehand?
“Most toilets flush in E flat”
Any shouts Mindscape?
Yeah, big up the Black Sun guys: Micha, Milan, Rene; Kryptomedic, Hylke, Kuldar, Jade, Chris.SU, the whole Blackout crew and the Eatbrain horde!