Premiere: The Kite String Tangle unveils a dark remix of Mild Minds' EMBRACER
The remix arrives alongside an interview featuring the pair chat to one another about COVID, club music, and songwriting.
When it comes to 2020's most over-looked electronic records, Mild Minds' MOOD is somewhere towards the top. Released back in March, the record saw the Melbourne-raised, LA-based producer embrace the potency of often-minimalist, lo-fi dance music that over the course of nine tracks, sweeped between emotion-rich, down-tempo ambience and striking, upbeat electronica alike; balancing between cliff-faces within electronica that together, feels comparable to some of the genre's most esteemed heavyweights: Four Tet and Bonobo particularly.
It was something really quite special for the long-time electronic heavyweight - Mild Minds is the solo project of Benjamin David, someone who has had his fingers tipped in many successful indie/electronic projects over the years - that really introduced his creative experimentation and production prowess on a solo level, showcasing the wide-ranging influences that build into his work and how when built upon, they can warp and build into something quite special, and something you couldn't quite find from anywhere else.
This Friday, he's releasing a remix accompaniment to the record that features some of electronic's most adored names - both cult-adored and commercially - taking on his stripped-back productions and turning them into shattering moments of their own; the first - featuring Canadian producer Jacques Greene - arriving last month as a prelude to the greater record, which will also feature names including DJ Boring, ford., Hidden Spheres, Laurence Guy and others.
Today, however, we're premiering a special one from The Kite String Tangle, who takes the subtle minimalism of the album's EMBRACER and turns it into a heavy-footed explosion of rushing dance music that feels built from club culture and the accompanying, sometimes over-sensory maximalism - an example of someone adding a unique twist that really gives the record a 180-degree spin.
It's a remix that builds from The Kite String Tangle's latest record C()D3X and the underlying darkness that really pushed the long-time Australian favourite into a heavier, club-focused direction - something that in an interview with the release earlier this year, The Kite String Tangle said he was even further keen to explore after a recent trip to Berlin. The EMBRACER remix is a snapshot of that. A rush of darkness that heaviness that really builds towards a climactic release that sits far heavier than much of both artists' works; laden with the sense of personal experimentation that a good remix often presents the opportunity for.
It's brilliant and we're going to let you dive straight into it as it premieres below ahead of the official release this Friday, but underneath that, we got The Kite String Tangle and Mild Minds to interview one another about whatever their hearts desired, and it's a snapshot into the minds of two remarkable electronic musicians pushing Australia's dance core into new directions.
Check it out below:
Mild Minds interviews The Kite String Tangle:
Wondering how you've been dealing with creativity during Covid, has it been a positive or negative experience for writing?
Weirdly I’ve moved my whole studio to a seperate place from my house so I keep joking that I’m the only person that stopped working from home during COVID haha. So yeah, I’ve gotten into a new space and set it up and it’s been really great actually, I’ve really found my flow and rhythm. Especially with the live show aspect being largely taken out of the equation it really enables you to focus on just the songwriting which I’ve really enjoyed.
Do you think the music will return to normal after we have made it through the pandemic or do you think the industry will be permanently changed? If so what do you think those changes may be?
I think the industry is going to permanently changed to be honest. I think already people were seeing more and more value in songwriting and putting more and more music out with streaming becoming so popular, and for artists just starting out, touring can be really tough and expensive, whereas writing and recording music and putting it out almost immediately comes with very little risk and a big potential upside and I think COVID has really highlighted that divide.
Are remixes something you've always done and enjoyed doing?
Yeah I love doing remixes, and covers too. I just really enjoy the process of taking something that already exists and dressing it up so that it’s a completely different offering. I guess that’s what is so great about sampling too, which changed the game for so many music genres.
You opted for a heavier club orientated direction for this remix than your originals, what inspired that choice?
I think my tastes kind of differ depending on whether I have my producer hat on or my singer songwriter hat on. This was definitely coming from a producer angle. I’m a big fan of textured beats and really interesting journeys as a music listener so that’s something I was trying to achieve with this.
How has your workflow/inspiration changed from when you started making music to now?
In some ways it hasn’t changed much because it’s all very laptop focused. However now I’ve just set up my studio so that i have a bunch of synths, drum machines, a piano, guitars, bass and a drum kit all permanently patched in so that all I have to do is pull up the channels and press record, so i’m excited to get stuck into that as a new workflow.
When making music, what is one thing that is more important to you now than when you started out.
Great question. I always think about these kinda things. For me at the moment it’s all about vision. You can be as talented or hard working as you want but unless you have vision you can’t get very far or create something really beautiful and cohesive. So to serve that purpose I’ve been trying to listen to more music and make less of it. haha.
The Kite String Tangle interviews Mild Minds:
When writing new music, do you usually start with a clear vision in mind, or do you experiment until something starts to stick and let that lead the way? or something else entirely different?
With this project, the intention was to be a lot more experimental, but with at least half of the songs on the album I did have an idea of what i was going for. However some of the more original tracks like MOVEMENTS and DOPAMINE were purely experimental.
When writing vocal melodies / lyrics, is the melody or the lyric more important?
For this whole album melody was definitely more important, the lyrics were an after thought beyond a few songs like SWIM and EMBRACER, however going forward I do want to step up the lyrics to really deepen that connection between the vocal and music.
How do you find living in LA vs Australia informs your sound (if at all)?
On this project I'm not too sure if it has had much of an impact. I do like the idea that it makes me feel a bit independent from the dance music world and consequently less concerned about what others think within a smaller scene like in Australia. Usually that is a good thing for your creativity. If I was living within Australia, I assume having a career within Australia would need to be a lot more of a focus.
What would you say the ratio is between time spent listening to music vs time spent making music?
During the early part of this album I was listening to huge amounts of music, probably 20% listen to 80% create out of say 10-12 hours a day. But when you're finishing an album I rarely get much time to hear new music as you're just desperate to get the mixes and fine tuning done.
When songwriting, do you write lots of new music and then cull it down to the creme of the crop? or do you pretty consistently get stuff you’re happy with without having to cull songs?
For Mild Minds it was pretty consistently what I was into without having to cull anything. I didn't want to over think it too much and stop myself too early into a track like I was used to, I think I only had a few other demos besides the album tracks. Which is probably part of the reason it came together so quick, if you're not being too critical it can flow out as you have a 'nothing to lose' mentality. However I can already sense that changing this time around.
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