Positive Vibes: Mortem

Positive Vibes: Mortem

Words: Damian B

Mortem may not be someone that you’d associate with Positive Vibes. In fact a quick online translation of the word ‘Mortem’ reveals that it means ‘Death to your village! The lamentation of your women and ransacking of your grain silos rank high on our To Do list’.

Even the titles on this week’s release on Demand Records suggest a similar sense of doom… Bring It Down and Malfunction. Downers right? Spartan, heads-down minimal ones where the dancefloor shuffles about depressingly. Is that it?

You may be in for a shock…

Bring It Down is an elevated and wholly other-worldly revelation. How does it manage to sound so “big room”, so anthemic, so damn HIGH… yet so underground? Insular, yet strangely familiar. Meanwhile Malfunction throws down its posture, strikes a pose as a masterclass in restrained, super-finessed funkulation. They simply work: no dancefloor would not move to this industrial, sinewy workout of Mortem’s.

I had to find out more. So I asked…

Mortem: what makes you feel positive, vibes-wise?

My Positive Vibes choices won’t be all D&B tunes as my love for music is wide. First one will be Max Richters On The Nature Of Daylight. It’s an amazing piece of work, not electronic but classical music which takes me to another dimension. For a few minutes anyway!

But D&B can’t be far off?

Yeah, my second one will be from D&B. It’s Alix Perez Playing Games. Such brilliant production, amazing vocals and that bassline!! It’s perfect for dancefloors.

And your final selection?

The last but not least will be a house track by Ben Watt called Lone Cat. It’s the tune which brings the memories back from my beginning as a DJ…

So is this new release on Demand a new point of view?

You can say so. I’m focusing more on making dancefloor-orientated stuff but in a deep, progressive style that I’m known for. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop experimenting; it’s just nice to progress yourself in a various ways.

Progression must be a key factor. Awareness and ability must change by default. Is that the case? Time’s Arrow and all that.

I think that yes, my sound has changed a bit. Apart from improving my production skills, the sound of my tunes is more “warm” for me.

So what can we expect from the next phase of Mortem?

Well now I’m working on some new tracks. They’re rolling tunes with some nice vocalists… hopefully! The problem with me is that I’m working relatively slow. I spend too much time on listening to one loop over and over.

And in the face of Death by Loop, how does Mortem retain sanity?

Watching films like Enter The Void or getting into Yerka… which I recommend to anyone with an interest in art to check. And of course I do enjoy going to the local bar from time to time with my friends to have a shot of vodka… Or ten!



Bring It Down / Malfunction is out now on Demand. Listen and download.

Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.