Meet Melbourne's Mild Minds, who just signed to ODESZA's Foreign Family Collective
Following suit from RÜFÜS DU SOL and Golden Features, Mild Minds is the latest puzzle piece in ODESZA's love for Australian electronic.
It's hard to find an international act that loves Australia as much as ODESZA. The much-loved Seattle duo are here was seems like every month for headline shows and festivals and their international label, Foreign Family Collective, boasts some of Australia's best electronic names – RÜFÜS DU SOL and Golden Features. "We absolutely love Australia. I don’t know what it is in the water down there, but you guys make great music, and you’re all such good people," said half the duo, Harrison Mills, when we interviewed him last year around ODESZA's most recent album, A Moment Apart. "I don’t know why we haven’t moved down there already."
Now, their relationship with Australia only deepens with Foreign Family Collective announcing their latest signing, Mild Minds. The new project from Melbourne producer Benjamin David, Mild Minds sees one of Australia's most celebrated electronic musicians break into his own lane, with his debut EP SWIM introducing us to his lo-fi, house-leaning sound that is washed with colourful synth melodies. "I wanted to do something that was completely 'me' in that moment," says the producer on the EP and the project as a whole, which you can better familiarise yourself as we introduce you to Mild Minds below. "After being used to working with songs that had elaborate visions over long periods of time, it was nice to make music simply as it came out. Without overthinking it, without pausing or questioning the process like I was used to."
Tell us about yourself?
Hello, My name is Benjamin, I’ve been producing electronic music since I was about 13 years old, have produced and worked with a bunch of artists including Roland Tings, Client Liaison, Kole, Miami Horror, Marc Baker. Mild Minds is my first solo work in a long time.
You’re behind a multitude of other projects – some of them really successful. What pushed you into launching Mild Minds, and what do you hope to achieve with the project?
Sometime in early 2017, my mindset towards music really started to change. I missed the overall simplicity that it started out with. Another project I was involved in had just released an EP, it was a very detailed sound which required a lot of work and time. With Mild Minds, I really wanted to get back to the roots of what I liked about music when I started. The ability to make something easily, innocently, without having to meet the expectations of the bigger projects. I didn’t want to ‘try’ to write singles this time. It's much more about the vibe which is how I started out. The most exciting part was playing with tools and synths that I hadn’t used before as well listen to music I had avoided. The inspiration was pretty real and immediate.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
The EP is more upbeat, lo-fi and has an obvious house influence, but its made more for driving than the club. The upcoming album is more experimental, more minimal and definitely darker. A balance of very organic and very digital sounds. A lot of sequenced rhythms, dreamy vocals, and the most surprising part was the UK house and future garage influence. Thematically it feels like part two to music for me, which is really refreshing.
What are your production and writing processes like?
I might start by building a garage-y drum loop or melodic loop. From there I usually build the bass around the loop to give it direction and momentum. I’ve also been trying to create movement and a live feel to the synths, by keeping them constantly moving. I think it's important to avoid standard song structures as much as possible.
Can you tell us about your new EP, Swim?
Swim was actually the first song I made that kind of inspired the project. I love that it starts as one thing and ends as something else. The other two tracks are both lighthearted and there to compliment Swim but also seem to be receiving a lot of interest on their own which is good. I wanted the EP to be fitting to Summer in Australia.
The release arrives through ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective label. How did that partnership come about, and what drew you to them as a platform to release your music?
My manager knew them and they seemed interested straight away. Building a project from scratch these days is hard, so it's been awesome to have some behind it.
Any shows coming up?
No shows yet; I think I’ll do some live shows around Feb once the album is out.
What’s the rest of the year have in store for you?
I think I’ll be doing a few remixes. We’ll release some remixes of the EP, and then the album will be out late Jan.
Where can we find more of your music?
Currently there’s only the EP out on Spotify! But more very soon.
Follow Mild Minds: FACEBOOK