Hot on the heels of our tenth vinyl release, the Martial Manners EP, we catch up with Mindmapper and Fre4knc for an interview and exclusive guest mix as part of our ongoing mission to connect our listeners with the people behind the music.
1. Tell us a bit about yourselves, where you’re from, and how you started working with one another.
Fre4knc: I’m 33 years old, and live in Groningen (NL). I’ve been in the drum & bass scene since 1997. Many years as a DJ only, but picked up producing 5 years ago. I sent Rogier (Mindmapper) a message about 5 years ago after I heard some of his releases, which I liked a lot. I never heard from him before and saw that he was from the Netherlands as well, so I was very curious who he was. A year later I signed a Mindmapper EP on my label (Break-Fast Audio) and we kept in touch a lot. Then he asked me to join him in the studio, and I asked him to become a resident/member of Break-Fast and Co-owner of Break-Fast Audio. In total we’ve made about 20 tracks, and 95% of them have found their way to a label.
Mindmapper: I’m 30 years old, originally from Eindhoven but now living in Hilversum (NL). I got into drum & bass 8 years ago and went straight into producing, next to buying loads of vinyl, and hitting the decks. I’m heavily influenced by the legendary RedZone nights in Eindhoven (which are no more sadly enough). After some releases, some freak out of Groningen contacted me and asked me for tunes. A bit later, I signed an EP to Break-Fast Audio and met Bertran (Fre4knc) in person at my first Break-Fast night. They seemed to be a nice crew and from there, things started rolling collab wise.
2. What words best describe your sound as a creative duo?
Fre4knc: I think we always make what we feel vibe-wise or energy-wise. Because we’ve both been active in the scene for quite a while now, we know exactly what we like. I’d describe our sound as deep, dark, moody, atmospheric, and raw. I’m sure you’ll never hear a jump-up track from us.
Mindmapper: That’s a hard one to be honest. We always like to try strange stuff and we love accidents. Mostly we think of a direction we want to go in, but the end result is often hard to predict. I think I can agree with Bertran’s description in general.
3. Do you collaborate virtually, in-person, both? Who does what in the studio?
Fre4knc: We work together in the studio about 95% of the time when we collab. We’ll plan a weekend and work our asses off to finish a bit or 2. I always enjoy those weekends.
Because Rogier was more of a producer than I was when we first started, he would work on the beats and we both pushed our ideas into the music. To prep, I would collect or make sounds/samples for us to use. Nowadays we both sit behind the PC.
After all these years there are some rituals as well, like special beers, breakfast with toast, egg, bacon, mustard, pickles, arugula, mayonaise and cheese (did I forget something Rogier?), and loads of coffee.
Mindmapper: I prefer working in person so you can catch the vibe together. Next to that, 2 pair of ears hear more than one, and sitting next to each other spilling ideas is an extra motivator! I used to do all the hard work, but after Bertran’s “training” things are more equal. Nowadays I think we split the work in the sequencer, which gives me the opportunity to sit back now and then.
You’re forgetting the herbs Bertran–on the sandwiches that is!
4. What have you found works best when it comes to collaborations?
Fre4knc: First of all it’s important that you have the same taste in music and vibe. If so, it’s quite natural to collab. Be patient when the other person is trying something and discuss the things you don’t like.
Mindmapper: Patience and a long breath is key. Also listening to each other’s ideas and being able to discuss things for the best interests of the music is very important. I think the same taste is less important as long as it is not worlds apart so to speak–but then again, our taste in music is similar.
5. How has working together impacted your solo production efforts?
Fre4knc: Well, the studio sessions with Mindmapper led me to pick up my solo production again in May 2012. Nuff said.
Mindmapper: I dont know exactly. In the early days, I loved to work on my own. Nowadays I love to collab because working with someone next to you is so much more motivating and inspiring than solo.
6. Are there any artists out there that you’d like to collaborate with for the next Mindmapper & Fre4knc track?
Fre4knc: I love the sounds of Overlook, Mtwn, Clarity, Skeptical, Hybris, so that would be nice. With Mtwn we already made a collab by the way, and that one is sweet. All in all we already collab, so we have enough opinions. But who knows, I’m up for it!
Mindmapper: That could be quite a long list, including some of the names Bertran already mentioned. Although, I think it’s hard to work on a track with more than 2 people. I’d also like to work with a vocalist, which is in the pipeline right now actually.
7. Complete this sentence: I would not leave Holland without…
Fre4knc: My passport , my iPhone, and a little jar of Nutella.
Mindmapper: I would take the same, although… skip the Nutella and replace it with, ehrmm, Dutch cheese. and skip the “i” in iPhone.