It seems absurd to think that a few years ago Hybrid Minds, as we know them today, didn’t even exist. Josh White and Matt Lowe have done a bloody good job of cementing themselves as masters of liquid over the past couple of years. The duo initially ran a record label together, until they realized they had a penchant for the smoother side of drum & bass, and burst onto the scene with the beautiful The Place. Since then they have crafted a sound distinctly recognizable as their own.
With smooth bass lines and emotive piano melodies, topped off with vocals by Canadian Jeff Crake (Grimm) the duo have a knack for producing music that hurts the heart and feeds the soul. Recently stunning us with their debut album Mountains – not to mention huge remixes of Jakwob and Daughter – it’s clear that these two will be important figures within drum & bass for years to come.
Catch them this Friday at Spearhead Presents, Plan B in Brixton London where they’ll be unleashing their signature blends alongside Cyantific, BCee, Utah Jazz, Need For Mirrors and many more!
We caught up with Josh ahead of the show on Friday to see what they’ve got in store for us and what’s next on the agenda.
Thanks for catching up with us Josh, where are you joining us from?
Hey guys! I’ve been in the studio today trying to get a new batch of tunes wrapped up. Taking a while but slowly getting there! Matt has found himself in Russia ahead of a gig in Moscow.
You’re playing at Plan B London on Friday- what can people expect?
It tends to always be a mixture of the melodic and the rolling. We also like to throw a bit of neuro in from time to time to spice up the lovey liquid. I always love playing London. It’s always guaranteed to be vibes! The whole club usually knows the music you are playing which makes all the difference. You can drop certain classics knowing they’ll put smiles on faces.
You do play a perfect balance of heavenly rollers and relentless bangers! Do you have a preference these days between the lighter or darker stuff?
We like it all. When it comes to making music we are automatically drawn to make the smoother sounds. Our tastes have both progressed from the heavier side of the scene so it’s only natural that we love dropping the bangers as well. I find it really rewarding to match up heavier tracks that gel with a nice melodic tune to get the feet moving but keep the vibe and feeling from the liquid. I love watching peoples faces when some utter filth drops out of something calm. We will get round to actually making some heavier bits sooner or later.
On Facebook you and Matt seem to have a brotherly type of relationship. Does having that type of relaxed relationship make it easier to collaborate on tunes and allow you to be more honest with each other?
We were friends before I started producing so we didn’t start off making music together on a professional vibe. It was all just for the enjoyment of it. We are very honest with each other in the studio but I think you have to be. And if you don’t get on then what’s the point. I always have to make sure I’m logged out of Facebook on all my computers when that bastard is at my house though.
Is there one particular place or event in the world that you’re itching to play at?
We would love to play some of the big festivals in the UK or abroad. Lets say main stage Glastonbury to keep it realistic.
Do you prefer the smaller venues where you can connect with the crowd, or the bigger events where you can vibe off the crowds energy?
Each have their perks but the smaller ones win for the vibes. You really feel like part of the party when a guy front row can twat you round the head whilst you’re mixing. Big crowds are an absolute buzz but unless you are dropping anthems and the whole place is jumping up and down then it can be quite hard to read if people are feeling the vibes. Clapping and singing along in the breakdowns usually reassures us but it can be quite daunting. As long as we can see smiles on faces then that’s enough for us to feel the vibes and enjoy it.
Are there any particular tunes of yours that are favourites and still hit you when you play them out and give you goosebumps?
I really like playing our ‘Youth’ bootleg as it often gets a good sing along out of the crowd in the breakdown. It’s nice to hear people sing back anything you play.
You’ve got your own range of shirts and hoodies- are you looking to make any other merch available?
Not for the moment. Its something we will think about in the background but nothing immediate. I’m lucky enough to have made the right links in the scene that its all just been handed to us on a plate regarding printing T-shirts. There was no excuse not to make them available to anyone who wants one.
Any artists you’re liking at the moment?
We are massively into LSB, Tokyo Prose, Etherwood, Phil Tangent, DLR, BCEE, Neonlight, Anile and Bredren at the moment. They are all doing it for us.
Anyone you’d love to collab with?
It would be really interesting to work with some amazing acoustic artists such as James Vincent McMorrow or Ben Howard. Maybe one day!
What’s been your weirdest encounter with a fan?
There was a guy a year or so back in Austria who was working behind the counter in Subway and he didn’t believe we were us. Matt was still wearing his name tag from the night before and the guy recognized the name. He didn’t buy the fact we were actually Hybrid Minds, which was very strange as we didn’t think anyone outside of a club would have heard of us in the first place. It was a reasonably heavy one so we were looking a lot closer to Big Issue salesmen rather than DJs!
What’s up next for you apart from the appearance at Plan B?
We have a healthy string of gigs and on the days in between we will be hitting the studio. We are also working with BCee on a little project, gathering a whole bunch of remixes of tracks from the album. We have got some of our favourite producers and friends involved and it’s really interesting to hear what they do with the stems!
Mountains is available from our shop.