Drum n bass duo Hybrid Minds play a sold out show for Electrikal tonight and have just been confirmed to headline the promoter’s Woodland Festival event in May ’20. NB Tickets are non transferable and there will be no tickets available on the door.
For a bit of insight, here’s an interview the drum and bass duo did with the native website, “where they talk production, inspo, and nurseries”:
“Two of the most innovative liquid drum and bass producers on the scene – We caught up with the pair to get a look into the inner workings of Hybrid Minds:
So to start off, what have you guys been up to today? What’s a day in the life of Hybrid Minds?
Matt: It’s nothing very producer-like for me, it’s been more of viewing nurseries – maybe let’s leave that one out. It’s been rock’n’roll really, y’know just trashing rooms, just smashin’ it.
Josh: We did a little bit of work on a new track today didn’t we, we’re trying to get some vocals done for a couple tracks.
Who are you turning to for the vocals?
Matt: Well a bunch of different people really, we’re sort of deciding who we’re gonna send things to – we’ve sort of got an idea in mind but nothing concrete yet. We tend to just send tracks around to different people and if we’re feeling it we roll with it and if it’s not quite right we’ll send it to someone else – we’ve just worked like that for a long time.
I read in one of your previous interviews that vocals aren’t really your area, you give it to other people and maybe have a little bit of input.
Josh: We sometimes give people a direction, but we really appreciate what vocalists can bring – that’s what they’re good at, so I don’t feel like we should get in the way of their ideas and, they sometimes bring things that we weren’t expecting that can really give a track a new life.
Do you feel if you give them directions you’re somewhat limiting the potential output?
Matt: Exactly. Yeah, we feel like we wouldn’t want to be restricted. They do what they do and we do what we do, and we wouldn’t wanna restrict anyone’s creative ability – just let them crack on. It usually works best that way, we usually find they’ll do a good job and we’ll just roll with it basically.
So I’m going to start my actual questions now! Can you guys talk me through your musical backgrounds and how you met?
Matt: Right, how did we meet Josh? We both ran record labels, god knows how long ago, it’s a long time ago.
Josh: At least 10 odd years ago.
Matt: We met through that and we used to do a little radio station together, it was like a little community and sort of how we started out and met each other. We were both into running record labels at the time and we sorta spoke and got to know each other through that really.
When did you decide to DJ and produce as a duo? That’s quite a big commitment.
Josh: We’d been quite close for a while, and then we did one collab that went really well and just enjoyed the process of doing it.
Matt: Yeah we were both really feeling the same things at the time, a lot of the liquid stuff. We weren’t really setting out to go anywhere with it, it was just more for fun really. It all sort of fell into place when we had our first tune released – it was actually under Sensa and Haste, not Hybrid Minds, it’s essentially to us the first release we ever did.
A lot of people know about it, it went up on UKF and did well. It was from then on out we kept on going and that’s it.
I’m curious to know about the creative process when there’s two of you – do you both have your specialities in terms of who provides what to each project or do you do a bit of everything?
Matt: It’s a bit of everything really isn’t it? We both do the same processes but we also have different areas where we specialise I suppose. Josh is a big details man, with me I like to bang out an idea, I get bored of it and then I wanna start a new idea.
With Josh he wants to go in on all the details, he thrives on these things – when we make a quick idea together Josh will go in on it and it’ll go from my repetitive loop to this thing that really comes together and doesn’t get boring.
Josh: We work over dropbox and share one folder that we have a bunch of tracks in and we can just individually open and work on them.
Matt: For instance, Josh could start an idea and if we’re both feeling it we put it in the dropbox but we might not get to work on it until, well it could be years later really. Like today, we’re just going through an old track, I sent it over to Josh, I didn’t actually know what it was and that’s sort of how these things come to be.
Old tracks that you forget about and you listen to a year or two later and you’re you like “actually, there’s something about that”. That one I sent him earlier, that’ll be going into the backlog of things to do. I tend to go through all the old ideas because we forget – there’s so many of them we just forget and end up working on new things instead. That’s how we work really, straight out of dropbox.
Sometimes you need some time to be able to breathe new life into a track.
Josh: Yeah you can get fed up listening to something again and again, like 8 bars. It’s similar to what vocalists do when they bring something new to a track. One of us might start something and fall out of love and the other person will find it a while later and give it a new lease of life.
Matt: Sometimes one of us isn’t feeling it as much as the other, I could send an idea to Josh that he doesn’t really like but give it a few months and we’ll both come back to it and think “actually there’s something about this”. You can’t usually make decisions on the spot unless it’s a really obvious straight up hit. Some things aren’t so obvious and need a lot more work but we get there in the end.
So presumably you both listen to a lot of the same music, but do either of you make or listen to anything that the other finds a bit questionable?
Josh: As we’ve been making music together for so long, we’re definitely not precious, and we tend to focus on the negatives rather than the positives and we’re quick to say what we don’t like in a track.
Whose the harshest critic?
Matt: I’d say Josh.
Josh: Yeah probably!
So you guys started your own record label, Hybrid Music, in 2016 and I’ve read in one of your previous interviews and you said the label had been even more work than you’d anticipated. Now you’re almost two years in, is it still hectic or do you have more of a handle on it?
Josh: If anything I’d say there’s even more work, we’re branching into doing a small club night, working on music all the time, dealing with distributors and whatnot – it never ends. But, it gives us such a drive to continue working hard and trying to put in enough hours every week to making music so it is, I think, an essential part of us working.
Matt: It’s a positive thing, you’ve got no restrictions. On other labels you’re gonna be working to their demands, what they want, what they expect from you. We can just put out anything, even if we don’t think it’s going to sell particularly well, we can still do that if we wanted to. We’ve got a good creative output to do whatever we want. It’s definitely more work but a lot better.
A labour of love.
Are there any record labels that you draw inspiration from in terms of both the music they put out and the way they operate?
Josh: When it comes to promotional approaches, I suppose we’ll constantly be inspired by what we see. We do keep our eye on what other people are doing and what we think are good ideas.
Matt: I think early on we had a lot of inspiration from labels but since it’s got busier we don’t listen to much music really. Well I know that’s the case for me anyway, if I’m doing a set I’ll go through my emails and pick the best sort of thing and most of the time I don’t know what the label is, sometimes I don’t know what the artist is!
So it’s hard to say where we draw inspiration from creatively as producers, but Josh especially listens to a lot of music outside drum and bass and links that to me, so I think a lot of inspiration really comes from outside.
Josh: Yeah, and just individual artists rather than labels, because we’re the only artists on our label, so we don’t want to be some big factory churning out loads of music, it’s not our aim. So I suppose we look up to individual artists rather than labels.
So you guys are playing at Volks on April 20th. Have you been to Brighton before? What’s been your experience in our great city?
Josh: Yeah, we play Brighton at least a few times a year and it’s always awesome. It’s a really nice place to visit, to go out for dinner before a show, grab a couple beers. We usually tend to get a hotel so we can chill out. Crowd-wise it’s always full of smiles which is good and people know our music down there which is definitely always a bonus.
That’s got to be the most important thing.
Josh: Yeah it is, sometimes you can play club shows and crowds can be enjoying themselves but when they actually sing your songs back to you it’s a whole new level, and that’s the sort of thing we get in Brighton.
Couple more questions for you. What other projects are both you working on right now? Music or otherwise.
Matt: We’ve got a few things in the works at the minute haven’t we? We’ve got a collab project with InsideInfo in the pipes.
We’ve been fans of for a while and, even though he’s in a completely different world to us, he understands our world and he brings that into the tunes. With this project we’ve been working on with him, it’s something different, I can’t put it in any category which is always good. Well, it could be bad I suppose, but I like the fact you can’t pigeonhole it and its not really a particular sort of style, it’s just a new thing.
But aside from that we’re just working on finishing a bunch of singles at the minute. We’re just trying to finish all the backlog of music we’ve got, which there’s quite a lot of, get that out to vocalists and hopefully be able to deliver some new music very soon. So the next single is actually going to be with Charlotte Haining, called ‘Paint By Numbers’, so that’s going to be the next thing out that people can expect from us. Then following from that we’re not sure ourselves, we’re just gonna finish the music and schedule it accordingly I suppose.
Josh: And we’ve also got our club night in London. The last one sold out way in advance so we’re quite excited to see where that goes and branching out to different cities and bigger venues hopefully next year, so that’s quite exciting.
So last question, what are you guys listening to right now?
Matt: You’ll be better for this Josh, I’ve been listening to nothing.
Josh: When I’m travelling or sat at my laptop working not on music, I’ve been listening to the album Dawn by RYX because it keeps me calm and not want to shout at people which is good!
Hybrid Minds – Solitude feat. Alexa Harley
AI – True Colours
Hybrid Minds – Never Change feat. Grimm (GLXY Remix)
Dualistic – Station Six
Hybrid Minds – Skin & Bones feat. Grimm & Laurence Baker (Mitekiss Remix)
LSB – Rolling Sideways (Spectrasoul Remix)
Jome – Cinnamon (Hybrid Minds Remix)
BCee – Little Bird
Dawn Wall – Shy
Monrroe – Dawning feat. Emily Jones (Technimatic Remix)
Camo & Krooked – Ember (Hybrid Minds Remix)
Halogenix – Blej Alix
Perez – Forsaken
Dawn Wall – Never Say
Eastcolours – Keys
DRS – I Will feat. Patife & Vangeliez
Hybrid Minds – Skeletons feat. Grimm
BCee – Lost & Found feat. Rocky Nti (Hybrid Minds Remix)
D Kay – Thinner Edge
Indiana – Mess Around (Etherwood Remix)
Jakwob – Blinding feat. Rocky Nti (Hybrid Minds Remix)
Mitekiss – Some People
Artic Lake – Heal Me (Spectrasoul Remix)
Tokyo Prose – Dawn Chorus
Spectrasoul – Remember Me
Hybrid Minds – Pretend feat. Rocky Nti
Mohican Sun – Fixation
Alix Perez – Number feat. Benabu
Tokyo Prose – Saving Grace VIP
Feint – Take It In feat. Koven (Hybrid Minds Remix)
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