Sonic cyborg and bonafide reality fabric manipulator Mindex has released his latest musical innovation with his new EP ’Logic Board Music’, a sonic canvas that expounds new imaginary humanoid worlds. In this journey through electro-etheric cyber-space, he explores the possibilities of virtual reality through sound in a manner that even Dave Tipper would highly approve.
Can you give us a brief background about yourself and how your musical journey started?
It all started around 1996 when I heard artists like Goldie, Fabio, Grooverider, Ed Rush and Optical etc on the radio. So my very first introduction to electronic music happened via drum and bass. The moment I heard that sub bass and the drum pattern was a point of no return. A year later I started collecting DnB on vinyl and slowly was getting into DJing. I was in Russia at that time. 1996-1997 were the years when electronic music finally made it into the country. Over some time I got familiar with lots of other genres such as techno, breakbeat, IDM, ambient and what not. My brain started picking the most interesting elements from all these styles of music I was hearing and generating something new of it. I didn’t have a computer back then and had no idea what that stuff was made on. I started beatboxing, tapping beats on surfaces because I really felt the need of expressing myself musically. And only around 2001 when I had already been using my first PC for a while I found out about the existence of music software :) I was sooooo stoked. The full on journey began right when I installed Reason 1. I set a goal to make a complete tune in a month. I wasn’t realizing what I was getting into! :D
What are your musical and non musical influences? What are the inspirational seeds from which you write music?
My biggest musical influences probably are old IDM, Jazz and Classical Music to this day. Progressive Metal has been feeding my mind a lot lately as well. For a while it was PsyTrance, because I used to make it and learned a lot of sound design during my PsyTrance phase. As for non musical influences it’s just Life itself man. Any aspect of it, positive or negative, can serve as a trigger for creative explorations. What else? Hmm…New studio toys for sure! :) It is the hardest question actually. Inspiration is such an abstract thing and it’s not easy to put it into words. Often I am just imagining some otherworldy landscapes and then “paint” it with sounds. Mountains or gigantic weird creatures may become basses, colorful sky can be a pad sound with a huge reverb, smaller creatures that live there probably will transform into tiny glitch noises and so on :)
How do you come up with great track titles like 808 kittens, Intergalactic Kung Fusion, or The Adventures of Multi-dimensional Caterpillar?
I have no idea! It’s just my quirky brain? It happens naturally. Honestly, I struggle with the track names most of the time.
How did you conceive the sub-genre name of ‘cat-jazz’? I think it’s the future of music haha
It was totally a random thought but I decided to go with it just for fun. I don’t even know why I decided to draw that unicorn cat (or horny kitty) for the album art lol.
How was the creation of “Logic Board Music” and working with analog synths in a more raw setting different from your previous workflow and creation process?
First of all it was much faster. I was basically trying out the DSI Prophet 8 that I just got at that moment. Those tunes are like impressionistic etudes to me if we’re gonna use the analogy with visual art. I was focusing on the tone that analog synths can provide and overall feel. Sort of tried to get the most out of the least. Kept it as simple as I could and tried to tell an interesting story with a minimum amount of elements. All of those tunes have 12-15 audio channels max.
I consider you a genre breaking artist. I’d like to know how you approach or think about genres: IDM, classical, glitch, bass, jazz etc. and apply them in your compositions.
What do I think of IDM ? hehe. Most of my favorite IDM sounds like if a sad boy was sitting in a dark room, playing a slightly out of tune piano or a broken, noisy synth. And a tiny electric insect like creatures were running all over, creating all of those micro clicks and glitches. Then all of that was recorded on a crappiest tape.
From the genres you mentioned I take only the specific elements and qualities I like the most. For example I try to not write jazzy tunes using the standard ii-V-I progression, but I like those big lush chords. I would spend a lot of time sometimes trying to write a non trivial progression using all of the color notes in the chords. Also I really like what some jazz drummers do with toms, snares and hats. All those fills, rolls and the groove. I apply that in my drum programming even on non jazzy tracks. I used to hate Trap, but now I use 808 style bass all the time.
Your music sounds alive, as if played and recorded by a “virtual” band, especially your drums (example: in the the track ‘Fractal Explorers’). How do you go about writing and programming drum parts and composing the tracks? Have you thought about playing your music with a live band?
Thanks. I try :) I assume I used what is called a “horizontal” approach on that tune. A quick writing, as ideas come I just add elements horizontally right away without overthinking anything, developing and unfolding the story line. And add sound design texture layers only when most of the composition is already there. It’s different every time. Another time I can go more vertically or combine these two approaches at various parts of the track.
The most important thing about programming the “live” sounding drums or any acoustic instrument is patience and ability to listen and analyze what instrumentalists do. Learning about those instruments, their design and limitations.
Have you ever played in or been to India?
Totally. India used to be my second home for several years in a row. My escape from the rough Moscow winter. I had some of the most amazing experiences of my life in India: Snowboarded in Gulmarg, Jammu-Kashmir, travelled state to state on motorcycle, smoked chillum with monks at temples, almost got arrested by corrupt cops for just climbing a banyan tree, went to pujas here and there, collected some beautiful rocks and met amazing people from all over the globe. I have also been to Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa. Mostly Goa of course where I played some fun beach parties. Oh man, I miss the Arambol sunset drum circles!