Of course you know. For once we all know… 21.12.12. The very same date the Mayans have been harping on about for 144,000 days: the dawn of an apocalyptic catastrophe!
According to some news sites one in 10 westerners has been genuinely concerned about this. According to others, thousands of us have flocked to Mayan sites of heritage and the French have even closed a mountain as there’s been worrying speculation of mass crowds seeking salvage in the peaks’ safety as rogue planet Nibiru collides with planet earth at some point today.
Fools. Drum&BassArena have got far too many wicked plans for 2013 to even toy with the concept of the world ending. And if we did want any outer-planetary advice we’ll go to someone we can trust. Someone who’s just dedicated an entire album to aliens conolising Mars. Someone like Mindscape.
Yup, turns out Mindscape’s a massive sci-fi fan. He’s also a cat owner. Most importantly, though, he’s given us an amazing mix to giveaway. So read on, find out all about the Martian Chronicles and bag yourself the third and final mix this week’s cheeky festive giveaway!
Hey Gergely, how’s things at Mindscape HQ?
“Hey! I’m quite busy recently with all the album related promotion: recording mixes, doing interviews, promo pictures and stuff. But I’m happy! I can work on the promotion now as the album is finished. It was a big project for me and Suicide so now we can take a breath. Can’t wait to go back to fix some new beats though.”
Once there were three, now you’re a solo operator… Is it scary working on your own now, or refreshing?
“I became solo when I was working on the first album called Black Lotus. I made that one alone and of course with my collaborators together. So it wasn’t a big change when Andor and SKC decided to work on their own projects. I love to make tracks alone, I just do what I want to do. But sometimes I just can’t decide! Fortunately my good old D&B buddies Jade, Chris.Su or Zero Method help me out if I’m stuck with a tune. And of course I help them out too in case.”
“I’ve always been a big fan of every form of science fiction; movies, books, everything and of course I love sci-fi sounding music. When I started to work on the album I had an idea in my head to build it around a theme, to tell a story and obviously I had to make something sci-fi related. I love the vibe of old skool posters and classic stories, I love the books of Arthur C. Clarke, Stanislaw Lem and Ray Bradbury; his book Martian Chronicles is one of my favourites. Basically it’s a collection of novels about the colonisation of Mars, just like my album which is a collection of tunes around a theme, so this title translates my thoughts and what I wanted to tell. I had the chance to make the cover art for the album myself, I tried to reflect this theme visually too, and make it feel like a movie, or a book, with tracks in it instead of short stories or chapters. It’s an obeisance to one of my favourite writers as well. It became topical, sadly, as he died this June. R.I.P sir!”
If Martians existed, and you had a chance to speak to them, what would you say?
“I’d say ‘hey my fellow aliens! This is not the planet you are looking for!’ It’s not an easy question though; but they exist for sure, I just made an album of their chronicles!”
Care to take us through some highs and lows of the creative process?
“It’s always fun to start new tracks, and I make playable versions in a few days usually, then I start a new one again and play them at gigs. But before they’re released I must go back to the projects and finalise them. Making the final arrangements and mixdowns, is not too easy sometimes. You can work on one track forever, but at one point you must say it’s done. Then I had twelve tunes to finalise. I was stuck a bit sometimes, but it was the best feeling when I had every track finished and had the tracklist in order finally!”
What have you learned from making the album?
“It’s a technical thing but I’ve made a cool little pre-master preset for myself and ran all the tunes through it, so even if they are completely different tracks and different vibes, at the end of the day they are sounding similar in volume and frequency ratios, it helped a lot to make a proper unique album sound. I should have done this with my previous albums too, but it’s too late.”
As a whole the album seems a little harsher and techy than the Bounce album…. would you agree? And what influenced that?
“Bounce was more like a collection of my tracks that came out on Commercial Suicide earlier, so it wasn’t built around a concept like this one. I don’t like to limit myself to a particular sub-genre, basically I love the whole palette of D&B, but I feel the harsh and techy vibe closer to myself. As it’s a science fiction related album it had to be techy consequently.
“I grew up on tech step and neurofunk (and a bit of jungle), essentially this is D&B to me; so I didn’t have to rape myself to make some techy tunes. But I love to listen, play and try myself out in other styles too. It would be boring if I would listen and make only one subgenre all the time, so I’m trying to be open minded… But I can’t break my roots.”
There’s some big collabo action with the likes of Chris.SU, Audio and SKC all making appearances. Are they done over the internet or do you invite them over to your studio and show them some Hungarian hospitality?
“We made Truth Hurts with Audio here in Budapest when he was playing here once, we started it in my studio in the afternoon laid down the beats and main basses, and we made a playable version with Stapleton’s vocals – which he had recorded already – the same night. So we both played the tune on the next night! It was fun to work with him really, it was a cool and effective brainstorming session, I felt we never ran out of ideas, but we ran out of time!
With Chris it was easy as we’re living in the same city, so he came over to my studio, and made the track together in a few sessions. It’s always fun to work with Chris, we are good friends and he’s a professional.
To work with SKC was a bit special. We started this tune Nightmare a few years ago, but we never finished it properly. When I decided to put it on the album, we had to make a proper finalised version. Unfortunatelly SKC isn’t doing tunes anymore really, so I had to convince him to finish it together, he came to my studio, and we made a final version together. And now it’s a special tune, like hey whoa here’s a new SKC collab, can you believe it?
For the tune Critters, I made some beats first, shot them over to Coppa and he wrote these awesome lyrics immediately and recorded them properly. I just had to fit those into the tune, and finish it. We were talking about a collaboration for a while, so we both were happy we made it finally!”
Finally, please tell us something about yourself that you’ve never told an interviewer before…
“The first creature who heard these tracks is our cat Erik. He was with me all the time when I was working on the album. Cats have better hearing than humans, so I can’t understand how he managed to sleep all the time, when I was working on the mixdowns very loud. It’s weird… Are these tunes so boring? Or maybe he’s a Martian spy disguised as a cat? He helped a lot though when I was sitting in the studio alone for hours and days. Thanks Erik!”
Mindscape – Martian Chronicles is out now.Listen and download