With his sophomore album, Planet High School currently sitting a top a lot of peoples nominations for album of the year already, Pulse caught up with Mux Mool to talk about his studio production and the joys of New York over Minneapolis.
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Mux Mool! How you doing? Where are you at in the world right now? Hello! I am doing just fine, I'm in fabulous San Francisco California right now.
With the new album currently sitting in the top 10 electronic albums on iTunes, what differences can we expect in comparison to your last Album ‘Skulltaste’? Well I think with Skulltaste I wanted to show a range of moods and styles all in how I would choose to do them. But I think with Planet High School, I'm widdling that range down a bit and trying to show off a little bit more within a more limited range. Also sonically it's deeper. SKULLTASTE was mixed on some busted old headphones and was largely mixed at clubs and in hotels. For Planet High School I actually bought some decent monitors to mix, and also I tested all the tracks live to get a sense of how they play live.
How are you feeling about the release? I like it quite a bit actually. Albums are kinda funny because no matter what anyone says, good, bad or otherwise, I'm proud of each one. I am always relieved when I read reviews too. I feel like this time around especially, many people listened and understood what I was doing, which is a great feeling. I would definitely not go back and change anything; everything is precisely how I wanted it for this record.
What are your weapons of choice in the studio? Weapons of choice? Imagination, time, and focus. If you have those three things, you can do just about anything you want. I am really not a big believer in equipment or software really. I like Ableton because the workflow really works for my brain. I like Mac computers because OSX (before Lion) is a very stable platform, few crashes. Everything else is just whatever.
Please complete the following sentence: Manipulating a wave form is like: Way cool.
You swapped the cold winters of Minnesota for the cold winters of New York, how much of an effect has either city had on you as a musician, if any?
When I was a kid, I used to love listening to video game soundtracks and either walking around in empty snowy landscapes and or just staring out the window, probably just sitting there wishing magic was real or like, wishing I had a dragon or something. Moving away was a major change. I moved to NYC because I wanted to challenge myself on all levels, just to see if I could compete. Pretty much everything is different obviously. NYC has no time for passive aggression, people aren't rude they're honest. And also, projects don't just sit around in limbo forever, when things happen they happen fast and I really like that. The change in winters is weird tho. New York winters aren't as tough as Minnesota, and my body kinda hasn't felt a real long 7 month winter in years. I need to hibernate, natrually.
What are your tips for indie music spots in NY? 1. Wear all black
2. Learn to dance with your cell phone in hand.
3. Sneak a bottle into the club. and
4. Make sure you have like, 10 other shows or parties to go to in case your first pick is lame.
Each track on your album is a slick exploration of genre, featuring Hip Hop, 80's starscape synths, Disco and French Electronica, Electronic music producer is far too wide term, and hip hop is too narrow! How do you describe your music? As far as I am concerned, it's all beats. They're not all necessarily hip-hop beats, but they are rhythm tracks made with soft samplers and sequencers, and the drums are largely comprised of drum samples from records I've collected. From there it's all just experimenting with blending, either blending ideas or sounds or instruments, and see what sonically rhymes, if that makes any sense. I guess how I see it is, I don't TRY and force myself to make all different kinds of music, but I do try and expand and learn and show that growth with every successive release.
What are you listening to at the moment? Ha, I've decided to go back in time. I've decided to re listen to all the albums that made me love electronic music with my new ears, so Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, St. Germain, Basement Jaxx, Prodigy, even the Beastie Boys. It's kinda funny to hear these songs now. Certain things used to absolutely blow my mind, like "HOW DID THEY DO THAT?!" and now I'm like, "Oh, that's that...I can do that"
Your label's website describes your track 'Gloria Featherbottom' as “Ritalin fuelled” Care to expand on this? It's probably because I take a lot of study pills and make beats. [Laughs] Not always, but yeah, I have a very A.D.D. mind and life, it's not always great, but I can see it in the songs sometimes, just like, whoa dude calm down.
What one night has stood out the most for you so far? Well, as of now I've only played across the US, excited to see Europe and other parts of the world this year. I would say that I've had many stand out nights for various different reasons, but as of now, one of my all time favorite experiences was opening for Bassnectar in Nashville on NYE 2012. Just walking out there and hearing and feeling the excitement of 10,000 kids cheering. I don't imagine I'll have that opportunity much in my life, but very glad I got to experience that at least once.
Where can we expect to see you this summer? Any festivals in the pipeline? Well, I'm doing a sort of world tour thing right now, dates coming in real soon, but I'm gonna be at Camp Bisco and Nocturnal this year and hoping to hit up as many festivals as I can this summer. I'm gonna be hitting shows hard in 2012, I hope to be EVERYWHERE.
Finally, when can we expect to see a Mux Mool set in London?Mux Mool, London, pretty sure in May. Finally.