Last Saturday Alex English and the Webster Hall crew unveiled what was to be their latest venture, The Wall NYC. The Wall, located just below Penn Station, is a 5 room techno haven, filled with good sound, dark vibes, and interesting people. For the opening night of NYC’s newest club, Alex brought in Belgian Duo Mumbai Science. Mumbai Science, although new to NYC, is not new to USA tours, we actually first met them at Dim Mak studios LA last summer. But more important than that Mumbai Science might have some of the most played out tracks in recent Techno History. Fedde Le Grand playing “Ancova” at Ultra, or Boys Noize playing “Lotus” “Researchers” “Gold” and more in almost any of his sets, truly tells you how many people can really play Mumbai Science tracks. Right before playing a perfect set of eclectic Techno and Electro for New York’s newest dance floor, we got to sit down with them yet again to catch up and discuss music. Thanks a lot to Jonas and Maarten of Mumbai Science for taking the time, and to our good friend Isobe for assisting me on this one!
The Drop Media: Welcome to America, you guys are at the end of yet another short American tour, and it seems every time you come to America it is relatively limited stops. Do you have some favorite cities in America? Do you cater your set a little bit more when your out here? Do you like coming to America!?
Mumbai Science: We love coming here, we were just talking about it earlier. Catering our set, not so much, but you do get different energies. For example east coast west coast. We play the west coast and you know you have to go a little bit more all out, it’s more about the festival style and raging. Whereas here on the east coast you get a little bit more of an underground groovy feel. More of a club feel I guess.
DM: So on this trip right now where did you play and how was each set different?
MS: We played EDC Las Vegas, which is obviously festival. Then we played Mexico City which was our first time in Mexico which was awesome, really good energy. Then came LA and San Diego. Washington DC at U Street Music Hall, which was really cool. Yesterday we played Philly at our favorite place, Morgan’s Pier. And today we are here at The Wall!
DM: As far as your productions go, because you are quite well known producers, in fact the way we found out about you must have been 3 or 4 years ago hearing “Ancova” in a Fedde Le Grand set, but your tracks will also pop up in sets from him to Boys Noize and everyone in between. To know that your tracks can often be considered so prolific in such major DJs sets across the world, how does that make you guys feel? Does it push you towards the best productions possible you feel?
MS: Wow, that is a big compliment right there! I think the reason a lot of people spin our records is because we always tell ourselves when we make a track that it must be playable in a club like this. Really dark atmosphere, but it also must be able to rock a crowd at a big festival. So I think thats why a lot of people can play it. For example Fedde Le Grand would probably spin a dark warehouse record, but will spin bigger records, while other DJs it may be the opposite. But I feel for Mumbai Science tracks every DJ can probably spin it at one point in the set. That is our goal! Yeah, and the way we produce tracks, the way we think about it is to sit down and ask, well what is missing from this track and from our set right now? And I think that a lot of DJs get the same feeling from our track. Like oh ok this is a track I can use! And I don’t know why but I guess all of our tracks have some usability, which is great.
DM: Now you clearly work very hard in producing those tracks. I mean we have memories such as Boys Noize playing “Lotus” at Electric Zoo 2011 2nd track in, and it was one of the top highlights of the whole set. Your brand of techno is very unique, how can you consistently but out something so fresh an interesting, when Techno is often considered a very repetitive genre.
MS: I don’t really know how we would do it, as far as changing our sound, but we do work 24/7 on our tracks. I think it’s really about imagining how we are in the studio. I mean it’s boring for us if were making a boring track, so we have to keep it interesting for ourselves to keep us from going insane. I think we make like hundreds of demos and pick, one or the ones we find interesting. It’s all about keeping yourself sane. And plus we don’t really want to do like a “Lotus” version two or something like that, we don’t want to be those guys. Well always try and do something different, and that will always be our goal weather people like it or not. People liking it is never our goal, our goal is always can we use it ourselves and do we think it’s interesting.
DM: So you guys have a radio show/podcast, Mumbai Science Tapes, so what do you like to feature on that?
MS: Actually we just go through our promos and we play what we want to play on stage the most over the next month and make a mix tape. It really is a fun project for us, it’s a good way to get inside those new tracks, look for the best of the new stuff, try and mix it all at home and make something work. And if all of that gives us a way to put out a podcast for the people, then why not do it? It’s a great way to let the people know what we are working on as well as what we are listening to. Plus it gives us the extra time to really get to know our tracks inside and out.
DM: Very cool. So you guys produce what we love, and what we love is Techno. Techno is of course one of the oldest genres of electronic music, if not the oldest in dance. So as far as the last generation of techno, which in some cases could be considered the original generation, who of the older DJs really inspire you and you really look up to. And same goes for this generation, which is your generation, who do you work best with or have best relationships with and try to push forward?
MS: Well yesterday we played a classic from Derrick May, so he’s obviously a big influence for us. But I think along the way a lot of people have been influencing us. For example Luke Slater has been a big influence for tracks like Ancova. And for the new generation there are a lot of big, well not big yet, but a lot of producers making this warehouse techno thing right now. Like Audionite, Ego Troopers, J-Teck. It’s really easy to get inspired right now because there is so much good music coming out. Sometimes that makes it hard to find a good one, but once you do, once you dig a little bit deeper you can find so much more music to get inspired by. Every time you think everything has been done in this genre, and then you hear the next big thing and you are jealous someone beat you to it!
DM: A lot of DJs these days do collaborative productions and such. Your productions, aside from your remixes, are all solo projects for Mumbai Science it seems. However we know you obviously have a lot of friends in high places, Boys Noize can’t just play your tracks he clearly has a lot of love and respect for you guys. But even with a relationship with BNR records and that crew you don’t even output on their label. If there was to be a collaboration, what would be the dream collaboration?
MS: I think our dream collaboration would probably be someone outside of the world of dance music. Just because that would be more interesting. I guess we could collaborate with a big dance music hero of ours, and we would probably get a really amazing track, but if your talking about a dream collaborator it must be someone completely different than dance music. If we had to do a dance music collaboration, I would say it would have to be the Chemical Brothers. Yeah, those are our biggest inspiration. And you know what, they aren’t even only dance music. To do a dream collaboration reminds me of something Soulwax once said, and that is they had one regret. Their only regret was to meet their biggest hero, David Bowie, because once you meet your hero or inspiration, the magic sort of disappears. I mean you must know by now, everyone is just a normal dude!
DM: But it’s also nice to find that out! So as far as Mumbai Science this year, you just put out a two track EP, but coming forward what do we have to look forward to for the rest of 2013.
MS: The rest of 2013 is actually going to be kind of silent. Were working on a big studio project right now, working with a lot of interesting people who we can’t even mention. We can tell you that in 2014 it’s going to be Mumbai 2.0. Were gonna put some tracks out there that will hopefully blow people away, and be the start of maybe a more adult Mumbai Science. Although, I don’t think well ever really grow up because partying is too much fun! We’ve been working since last summer on so many new tracks, and were still working on a lot of them, so expect a lot of new Mumbai Science stuff coming out soon.
DM: Ok so last question, because we have to know, where does the name Mumbai Science come from?
MS: Well actually we were professional scientists before we were professional DJs. And we did a lot of lab experiments for consumer psychology. We were working on the effect of for example drinking a coke before you go out shopping. Will the sugar in your energy help you to resist, for example, unhealthy foods? It was actually really interesting but then we decided to become DJs which was even more interesting. So that’s the Science part. And the Mumbai part to be honest it just kind of sounded right. But you know if we ever get famous in India thats 1 billion people. That’s a lot of new fans to buy our tracks. If we get famous there we will be rich for sure!
DM: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us! Good luck headlining the opening set at The Wall!
MS: Thank you! That was fun!