Mystic State: Systematic
Trust Mystic State to casually walk in, flip out the lights and leave you completely disorientated: the recent Tactic Systems ep is disarming, bealk, uplifting & disorienting all at once. They are flanked by an array of great, great collabs: Gremlinz being one example.
We talked about it all and they gave us five totally wicked random music choices too.
Hey Mystic State, what an ep! when did it start to form?
Thank you sir! We didn’t originally intend these tracks to be an EP, they’re all just pieces of music we made in the last two years that happened to get released at the same time! You have Tom from Flexout to thank for putting them all on the same release.
There’s something about that title…
‘Tactic Systems’ is an anagram of Mystic State. Give or take.
We just thought it sounded cool.
Would you say this is more built for the floor or… ? I’m thinking of ‘Far Cry’.
‘Far Cry’ has done some damage here and there, and has picked up some good support across the scene, which made us really happy.
It’s funny you should say that, as when we were putting it together we kinda had a feeling that most of the tracks would be more for sitting at home and listening to, but you’re right, they have proven to be quite effective on the dance floor.
Now I note the collabs on here, can you lead us through who’s here and how it came to be?
Right, well first off we have Dan [Pandaka] and Elias Traynor. These guys are close friends of ours, and both make really good music. We’ve made a f*ckload of tunes with Dan, as we hit the studio with him on a weekly basis, so this is just one of the ones that will be seeing the light of day.
We also have collaborated with Lucy Kitchen. This was more of a one-off collab, as we’ve never actually met her, but we heard her singing on Technimatic’s album and really loved her voice. She’s got a lovely, folky sort of twang to her voice that is exactly what we love in a vocalist.
Sam Tension is another featuring artist on the EP. He’s a close friend and neighbour, and is a really talented pianist. We love piano, but with the sort of music we make we never really incorporate it, so it was good to work with him on a track. Keep an eye out for more music featuring Sam, we’ve got some tracks in the pipeline with him that are sounding really interesting.
Last but not least on our long list is Gremlinz and Megatron MC.
Gremlinz is just a generally wicked artist, so it’s quite obvious why we wanted to work with him. His style is very similar to ours, so the music flowed really easily.
Megatron is a long-time MC from Bristol that we met at a night at Timbuk2.
He hosted our set and caused absolute mayhem in the dance, so we hooked up afterwards and he suggested doing a tune. We sent him the beat and within a week he had the final lyrics written.
Again, look out for more stuff with him coming soon!
Can you take us through ‘Don’t Start’? A big look.
‘Don’t Start’ was originally a venture with just us and Megatron MC. The first copy was written a long time ago, probably over a year. Gremlinz hit us up after he was sent it, saying that he would like to remix it. Because it wasn’t the finished version, we thought it would be a good idea if he just finished it! Some people may call us lazy, but the finished product ended up pretty good… ha ha.
What sort of things went into influence this? The tone of the ep is something else – part threatening, part mystery, part Autonomic, part Clarity but it’s something all your own.
To be honest we take influence from a lot of things, so picking one would be a toughie! We love dark, moody music, and we’re pretty grumpy bastards so making sinister, threatening stuff is probably second nature by now.
‘Faded’ was a complete fluke, we were all messing round with some sounds at Will’s house and it sort of just pieced itself together. ‘Slip Away’ took more time, it started out as a jungly, two-step roller but because we wanted this EP to be innovative, and not just your run-of-the-mill D&B release: we decided to make things a bit more relaxed, and to let the musical elements breathe.
Do you guys have a particular space you like to work in? These days lots of stuff is done on a PC or whatever but I feel that space is really important here, to get the mood right…
We have a makeshift studio at Mike’s house, basically a little room with our keyboards and speakers.
It’s nothing special, but it gets the job done. The most important thing in a studio space is to have somewhere you feel relaxed and comfortable. We would love to have a proper studio space, but we’re skint as f*ck.
Do you feel D&B changing? I do, feel like it’s becoming really fractured in its approach, not just about tempo or whatever… more the soul. It’s interesting times.
Yep. Not just D&B either, music as a whole. People are experimenting a lot more with their sounds, and pushing boundaries. This is what the scene needs.
In our opinion, the days of sticking to a template are over… long live experimental music!
What’s five tunes you’re into right now?
Pact Infernal ‘Circle II’, Cristobal Tapia de Veer ‘Bekki On Pills’, also
Brambles ‘In The Androgynous Dark’
KA ‘To Hull And Back’
SP:MC & LX One ‘Kingsland Dub’
Mystic State playing soon? What dates?
You can catch us at Basement 45, Bristol on May 1 with Amoss, DBR UK more, check details here.
We’ll also be playing at Let It Roll with Dillinja, Break, Maztek, Gerra & Stone, and a shitload of others on May 22.
Shouts to everyone supporting our music, our lovely families and friends, and everyone else as well! Peace!