Hybrid Minds: Rocky Terrain
‘The album was a perfect opportunity to get experimental.’
Great minds… you know the rest of the saying.
But minds that are… hybrid? Then that infers that they’re completely different, or at least differing. Ever-changing. Two completely different entities.
Which then spontaneously come together to create a unified-but-varied work as good as Mountains? Mindblowing! Carry on reading what Matt & Josh from Hybrid Minds had to say while I get MY mind around it.
Guys, my impression of your work over times is that there’s a sort of ‘stately’ vibe about you. A BIG presence, large vistas of sound: it’s not simply ‘liquid’.
Matt: It’s quite surprising as we never thought our music would go down as well as it has. We didn’t really think we were making anything that different! I think the love and support from people such as Luke at UKF have really helped us come in with a bang. The way our first few tracks went down really gave us a confidence boost and convinced us that we are doing something right and should try and keep going with music.
The album title Mountains: was it meant to convey a sense of something, well, big?
Matt: We wanted a name that made sense and so we went with that track as the title. We thought the whole process of writing an album felt like climbing a Mountain, the highs and lows.
Speaking of such tension then, we had ‘Trauma’ as a sort of tease to this album, a gateway. Who is the vocalist on ‘Trauma’, Rocky?
Josh: Rocky is a solo acoustic artist from Milton Keynes and is MASSIVELY underrated. We started to network with him after doing a remix of ‘Jakwob – Blinding’, a track in which his vocals featured. His voice worked so well. He has recently released a free ep with some cheeky D&B remixes from ourselves, BCee & some others.
Could you perhaps nominate another tune from Mountains then, talk us through? Your use of vocals is a very interesting subject.
Matt: ‘Broken’ was a really interesting one for us to make, it was something we hadn’t done before. We looked at that one as a song for the album and something that wasn’t aimed at the dancefloor at all. We created a rough version of the instrumental and sent it over to Charlie P. We knew we wanted him to sing the chorus and that we wanted someone else to do the verses. He absolutely smashed it which made us very eager to get the track finished up.
In the end we decided to get Ad-Apt on the verses, we sent it off to him to see if he could work with it. He instantly decided he would be able to do something to fit with the vibe and he delivered. We wanted to try and translate our sound into a lower tempo and have been meaning to do so for a while.
The album was a perfect opportunity to get experimental.
Mountains works at home as a great listen but must be amazing live: did you roadtest it much?
Josh: We always play our new tracks out to see how they go down. It’s hard to test with certain tracks and there are some on the album we had never played out due to tempos. It’s not that long ago since people have started to recognise our tracks in clubs. It’s a special feeling seeing people singing along to your music! The tracks from the album went down especially well in Western Europe.
The recent mix on Friction’s show was a killer, if that is any indication of the live firepower…
Josh: We wanted to try and go in similar to how we would in a live set. We like to mix it up with a lot of our stuff blended with some deep rollers and a couple classics to keep energy levels high. We believe that a good track is a good track no matter how old it is. Our sets are always just based on what tracks we are feeling at that time.
So in regard to recording do you guys have a big studio? The music makes me think you do!
Josh: We both work from different, pretty basic studios. We try to meet up as much as possible as we find the for most part it gets us much quicker results. Most the time we are working on tracks separately sending files back and forth to each other. It works really well as we can each take time working on projects simultaneously.
We don’t think you need a big studio really, some of the best producers in D&B hardly have any gear. We do find it more fun playing around with hardware and it can help a lot, but isn’t compulsory as such. We have bits and pieces of hardware sure.
When did the point come when you thought ‘ALBUM!’, a living breathing thing?
Matt: We were making an EP for Steve [Spearhead] and he had six tracks from us he liked. We thought that we might as well try and turn it into an album so we went with it. It was a lot more work than we thought initially, we wanted everything to sit together as a package and not just sound like a compilation of random tracks.
It’s been a long process but worth it. It’s a big personal achievement for us and feels a lot more rewarding in comparison to our usual singles.
Who do you see as peers in the scene, as the people of a certain similar mindset?
Josh: Etherwood is definitely someone who we feel we can relate to musically. I think we have similar visions of what we want to make. We love the stuff LSB and BCee are coming out with at the moment but we would say they make a more raw sound which we love.
Lastly I feel that we’re just seeing just one side of Hybrid Minds: anything else you’d like to confess?
Josh: I played the roll of Joseph in Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat in my year six school play.
Matt: And I like to play Skyrim and pretend I’m an elf!
Let’s… stop there. Thanks guys!
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