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Compilation Artist

Mindseye is a Hamilton-based record producer. His music is a melodic blend of styles and samples, weaving together elements from electronica, downtempo, trip-hop, and ambient.

How did you get into electronic music? Where did it all begin?

I've been a bit of a 'music freak' ever since I was very young. I listen to a wide variety of artists and genres; from electronic to alternative to hip-hop. I suppose my love for electronic music started to bloom in the mid-to-late-90s era of Eurodance! Even though some of the classic tracks from back then haven't exactly aged very well, I still listen to them quite regularly. In the late 90s I lived in Europe (the Netherlands), and Eurodance tracks were simply everywhere. Bands like 2 Unlimited, Haddaway, Captain Hollywood Project, SNAP! etcetera; I couldn't get enough of their releases. I was also interested in the more 'edgy' side of electronic music, from trip hop such as Portishead, to more rave-influenced bands like The Prodigy or Dune. At the same time, I also listened a lot to bands like Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters, as well as for example the Wu-Tang Clan and early Outkast. So I suppose I am influenced by a wide range of musical genres from my youth. More recently, I have been drawn towards Downtempo-influenced electronic artists such as Bonobo, Four Tet, Emancipator, and Tourist. These artists often use sampled sounds in their tracks, in combination with a range of tranquil synths and organic instrumentation.

Is there one piece of gear that was a real turning point for you?

Even though I enjoy using hardware synths and samplers, I have to admit that buying an iPad was the real turning point for me. The sheer amount of synths, drum machines, samples, and DAWs available for the iPad truly blew me away, and it still does. The possibilities are truly endless, and since I love traveling and I am often on the road, having an iPad with me allows me to be creative wherever and whenever I like. The first DAWs I used were FL Studio and NanoStudio 1. The latter was lesser-known and relatively limited in its options but I loved the overall workflow and the way I was able to manipulate samples in Nanostudio. Nowadays, my go-to DAW is NanoStudio 2, which features the amazingly versatile Obsidian synth, in combination with an almost infinite amount of separate synths, drum machines, and audio manipulation apps.

Is there a particular instrument or sound source you find yourself drawn to?

At the moment, I am drawn to rather 'exotic' sounding instruments. The handpan is a great example of such an instrument, and I really enjoy experimenting with its sounds and incorporating them into my music where possible. I also very much enjoy sampling obscure, folk-inspired instruments from countries like India.

What does your creative process look like? Are there particular techniques that help your process?

I continually work on expanding my library of sounds, drums, and other various audio samples. These sounds form the basis of any new track that I'm working on. Once I've found a sample or sound that I want to work with, I often run the samples through various synths to try to create a unique fresh interpretation of these sounds. I then try to pair them up with drum sounds, a process that can take me days! Once the beginnings of a proper track have been developed, I tend to leave the project alone for a little while to work on something completely different. That allows me to come back to a project after a week or two, with a fresh set of ears ready to attempt to create a full track.

Do you find that other creative pursuits influence your music?

What mainly influences my music is my love for the outdoors, especially the ocean. I have a background in oceanography and I often find myself getting inspired to create music when I spend time at the coast. Traveling in general also inspires me and allows me to develop fresh ideas for new musical creations.

Do you perform live? How do you translate your music into a live performance?

I haven't performed live in recent years. The few times I have performed live in the past were mainly as a DJ, with limited amounts of my own music added to the mix.

What is the source of inspiration for your latest work?

'Friday Downtown, 1am', the track featured on the Blood & Wires compilation, was inspired by Auckland City. In fact, I created most of the track during a number outdoor production sessions (using the iPad!) on the midnight streets of downtown Auckland. With this track, I have attempted to create a sort of modern version of DJ Shadow's classic 'Midnight in a Perfect World', one of my favorite tracks of all time.

Do you think the town you live in (Hamilton) has an influence on your sound or process?

I currently live in Hamilton, and to be very honest: I'm not sure Hamilton influences my music a lot! The inspiration mainly comes from the places I visit when I have time to get out of the Tron. Sorry Hamilton!

What is the strangest or most surprising instrument you have used?

I suppose the 'strangest' or most unusual instrument I've used so far is the handpan. The sound this instrument produces can be truly otherworldly and mesmerizing.

Who do you see as your biggest influence?

As mentioned earlier, electronic artists such as Bonobo, Four Tet, Emancipator, and Tourist are currently my main inspiration. Bonobo especially is someone who I really admire. He is able to seamlessly blend genres such as trip hop, downtempo electronica, and ambient in his music, creating a unique sound that evolves with every new album he releases. He uses a lot of samples, and has a unique way of creating drum patterns that change continually throughout his tracks. His live performances are also very impressive.

What records caught your attention early on and influenced your direction?

When it comes to full albums, there are a few personal classics that come to mind: DJ Shadow's 'Endtroducing...'; Outkast's 'Aquemini'; Massive Attack's 'Mezzanine'; and Faithless' 'Reverence'.

Recommend one artist for people to check out (other than yourself of course)

One artist who doesn't get enough attention in my humble opinion is Tristan de Liege. An incredibly talented and down-to-earth guy who produces mainly downtempo electronic music.