We had a chance to catch up with MEFJUS in Leipzig where he met NEONLIGHT for a studio session. Tortured long enough, he was finally willing to reveal all the secrets. Althought not about how he makes the insane sounds, but still – his views on the status of Drum and Bass right now.
It feels like drum and bass in Austira is really on the move right now. Tell us a little about where you from please.
Well, Austria has some really big drumandbass producers at the moment. Dkay&Rawfull, Body&Soul, Fourward, Disaszt, Wreckage Machinery, Bowsar, just to name a few and of course Camo&Krooked who are releasing an LP on Hospital records.
I am from Wels, Austria, it’s a little city near Linz. I used to live in a peaceful town in upper austria but moved to Wels because of studies and work. I played jazz-trumpet for several years but i had to quit because of school. Now, i am producing drumandbass for about 4 years but i started to produce hiphop-instrumentals for my brothers hiphop-crew with the age of 16. I started with 2 old Akai Samplers, a Behringer 16 channel mixer and Cubase as sequencer, after some years i switched to Logic when i started my first drumandbass tracks (first release Radix on Tilt). Since 2009 i am using Cubase again.
I am still using analog gear, like an acces virus synthesizer, a Roland synth, a lexicon fx-rack and a sherman filterbank (which broke at my studiosession with neonlight )
Interesting but not surprising about your influences, as there is that neuro input that you can definitly feel, but the hip hop quite as well.
So what keeps you excited about music production, any claims that you set for yourself in the future?
Yes, i can’t deny my influences, i guess no one can The coolest thing for me is that this very music is developing day by day. If you have a look at Noisia, Phace or Misanthrop for example: Those guys are pushing boundaries. If you think “Oh, damn this tune is
too much…” not even one month later they increase the pressure, energy (ENERGY EP ) even further.
So every day somebody is still on it and is pushing the music one Stepp ahead. Enough of the loudness- and dynamic-discussion, ok thats just subjectiv, but there are some guys who are definatly on a run. Not only the bignames, for me there are guys like Cliffhanga, Paperclip,
Kung (just to name a few) who are developing everyday, so as i, and i am really glad to have those connects where i get my inspirations as well! The biggest goal for me is to reach as much as people as possible and show them that there’s an alternative to the mainstream sound going on at the moment and just trying to deliver propper, fresh music
4 years is not a very long time if you look at the production level and sound that you already achieved. So is deejaying something that comes second for you (next to producing tracks)? Who influenced you in Drum and Bass and Music in general, apart from the austrian collective that you already mentioned?
DJing is definately secondary for me at the moment. For now i am trying to push my sound and skills even further and Explore more genres, not only in drumandbass.
But i think more Djing will follow as more releases will happen. The biggest inspiration were Noisia with their “Block Control EP” back in ’05, but also artists like Phace with “Brainwave” or “Hot Rock” and more or less all the SUBTITLES releases in 05-07. Nowadays i dont listen this much drumandbass, but i am totally feeling Phace&Misanthrops stuff, Icicle, Alix Perez, i love Spor’s FeedMe Project and the ISAM LP of Amon Tobin. Non-drumandbass-influences are hiphop-artists like, “Absolute Beginner”, “Blumentopf”, “Afu-Ra”. I recently discovered a hip-hip-producer called “ONRA”, he’s like 24/7 on my speakers
What do you think is hype right now in Drum and Bass? Any predictions you want to make where it is going with all the subgenres and the possibilty of Drum and Bass to go more mainstream in the future? Should it at all?
To be honest i am not really up-to-date whats “hip” or “cool” right now but i think the main evolution will be to combine dnb with other styles like electro or dubstep for instance. And i think it is already happening.
As far as my Dj-gigs are concerned, i love to play some downtempo tunes during my set and people go nuts everytime when i drop some electro or dubstep stuff. I think dnb will never get this mainstream. For me it’s still an underground genre, even it is played on the radio in the UK.
I dont think it’s a bad thing if dnb would get more noticed arround the globe, “Mainstream” is maybe the wrong word but it would be cool if more people get theyr eyes opened
How do you feel about the amount of tracks coming out? While back in the vinyl age it seemed like there was a „natural quality control“ but with the mp3 labels taking over every tune can be put out without a finacial risk. With the result that the market is flooded with „shit“? Or not?
Well i think it’s a two-edged-sword. On the one hand it’s pretty cool that everybody gets the oppertunity to present/release their stuff and spread their name/sound but as you already said on the other hand there’s too much material outside.
I don’t even look at beatport anymore because it became a pain in the butt to look through all of the tunes to find one fresh baby.
I loved the thing Tilt Recs did. They had their vinyl-section, the mp3-section and the free-mp3-section, which is a good mixture i think.
Even if some people said that they spammed the boards with their free-tune-business, i really liked the idea and gave them a tune here and than.
Personally i think if you run a digital-or any kind of label it should be all about the quality.
But exactly here’s the point where labelowners get temted i think. It’s just too easy for them to drop tunes, and the internet makes its contribution by making the life in the scene very fast.
Please give us a recent top ten of your favourite tunes!
Phace & Noisia – Micro Organism
Phace & Rockwell – NO!
Misanthrop – Amboss
Misanthrop – Sidereal
Icicle – Nausea
Rido – Focus
Neonlight – The Frozen Tape
Mefjus & Neonlight – Hot Glue
Landscapers – Palinque
Body & Soul & Fourward – Tequilla Worm
Tell us (what you are comfortable sharing) a little about you personally.. hobbies, long term goals, what your day job was or is?
May sound a little bit cliche but my main hobby is producing music. Besides that i love to do sport like running, skateboarding, snowboarding, playing tennis.
I think you have to do some physical exercises after sitting days in the studio and it actually makes you feel better.
I have been a “commissioning engineer” for a logictics-company in Wels. There i programmed storage-retrieval-machines and conveyors. I was on the road a lot, which was actually a cool thing, because i had the chance to see a lot of different citys and countries. On the other hand i only had studiotime every 2 or 4 weeks for maybe 1 or 2 days.
But i changed the department into software-development and just work part-time to have more time for music.
Trust in Music is happy to annouce a new release by Mefjus coming early 2012!
Mefjus – Double Tap
Mefjus – Dogs and Frogs
Mefjus – Bilateral
Wintermute – Out Of Scale (Mefjus rmx)