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Dave Jenkins

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Exploring Mizo’s alternative reality

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Exploring Mizo’s alternative reality

If you’ve been following Eatbrain’s gritty fury over the last 18 months you’ll already be well acquainted with Mizo. Hailing from Nizhny Novgorod, the young talent first appeared on the label with the Coppa fronted Soul Reaper EP in 2017 and has just followed it up with another five track sweltering firefest entitled Dust Devil.

Ranging from skin scorching full throttle turbine bass of Double Rush to the swampier, paranoid Virus like rolls of Contactless, it’s the most comprehensive picture of his skills and sounds so far. It also comes with the announcement of My Alternative Reality, a new character concept in which he reveals his alter ego, a masked inner beast who can control you with his music…

At time of writing, he’s currently controlling the Beatport D&B top 10 at an impressive number three and he’s also been at the controls for the recent Eatbrain podcast. An hour of dynamic D&B horsepower that flips between shades with style, it’s highly recommended.

We called him up to ask what the (dust) devil is going on… 

Tell us about this alternative reality concept you launched just before the Dust Devil release. Interesting head gear….

Yes thank you. It’s something new and exciting that I have never done before. I wanted to add some type of visual angle to what I’m doing. You release only tracks sometimes it can be a little straight forward so I wanted to enhance the visual aspect. It’s been interesting.

Adding a story and concept gives life to the music, I think it helps its longevity a little. Not so disposable…

I hope so. Some people have thought that I will be wearing the mask for performance but it’s only for the videos. It’s just for the story you know what I mean?

Yeah, you’re not about to go full Deadmau5!

Yes or a Zardonic!

So what inspired the concept?

It’s funny. Whenever people ask me what is Miso I can’t say because it’s just my name. There is no funny or interesting story. So I created one about an alternative ego that’s inside me. Like some musician ego that can control your mind with music.

So it started because you got bored of people asking you about your name! Brilliant

Basically yes!

Ha. How will the story continue?

Yes we have more ideas but one thing is important for me; it has to be quality. It can’t be disposable or shitty. There’s too much of that around. It makes it harder when you set the benchmark that high but…

It’s got to be decent and worth people investing their time in, right?

That is it, exactly. Some people have asked me why I’m doing it. They say ‘why am I mixing the music with some shit character? It’s not correct to do this!’ Only a few people have said that but it makes me think.

They’re a minority. How about Iron Maiden’s Eddie character? Bands and acts have had characters like this forever.

Yeah you’re right. People recognise it and they remember you more. They know it’s yours, so it gives it an identity.

Totally. Let’s go back to the start for a minute. You’ve been releasing music since 2010 and started on Ammunition, the same label that debuted Joe Ford, Emperor and James Marvel to name a few…

Yeah that was my first label I released on. I was quite surprised because they were only releasing hard music but I sent them something deeper and they liked it. It was a first experience for me; I wanted to release the music and get an official release. I wasn’t worried about numbers or plays or likes or anything, I just wanted to experience the release process. Through that release I had my first dialogue with managers and things like that, it was a very valuable experience.

How far back were you learning your craft before that first release?

2008, two years before. It was cool to have a release on Ammunition also because it meant my first release was international. That was an exciting prospect, coming from Russia.

Yeah man, international from the off. As you mentioned, your earlier style was deep… You’ve gone pretty hard now. There’s a strong Mizo sound that’s been brewing since 2017 and the Shadow Madness EP. What took you so heavy?

It’s simple; I love deep stuff and dancefloor drum & bass. Over time, I wanted to make music that is more difficult for me to make, I liked to look for a way to learn like how to do this bass fatter or how to make such powerful drums. Also, I really love cinematic music. I’m trying to realise this when I work with intros and those dark and epic vibes. Therefore, neurofunk music caught me and captured my imagination. It always creates a challenge for me, and I do not feel limited in creativity when working on it.

There’s no limit in creativity on the Dust Devil EP. Artificial Noise and Double Rush are almost like punk in their energy, there’s a heavy funk running throughout…

I wanted variety in there. That was most important. Tunes like Horizon and Contactless are deeper and quieter music. Not easy music, maybe more complex.

Contactless is a collaborations with ChaseR, tell me about him…

He’s my Russian friend. He’s not a newcomer but he’s not had many releases, he’s really talented. Soon he’ll be out more, he’s a deeper man than me. He’s not so aggressive and I think you can hear that in our collaborations

I can definitely hear your heaviness on Double Rush!  

It’s noisy isn’t it? I wonder…. Maybe too noisy? I was scared about releasing that.

Nah there’s a good time and place for basslines like that!

Especially on Eatbrain, it’s got that Eatbrain vibe for me. I only try and work with labels who release stuff like my sound. I love working with them because they understand what I am trying to do.

You’ve only been on Blackout and Eatbrain this year. Strong!

Yeah I love working with them. I’m also working with Cause4Concern early next year too, they’re amazing guys, I’m glad to work with them.

They inspired Noisia!

They did. So after this EP I’m working with them on an EP which should be out in Spring next year.

What’s your DJ schedule like? What’s the D&B scene saying in Russia?

There’s not a lot of travel here, just lots of parties in Moscow and St Petersburg. It’s interesting; we have many talented artists here but I wish we had more parties. I play in Slovakia, Austria, Czech, Budapest quite often, too.

What’s up beyond the Cause4Concern release?

I can’t promise details. I can only reveal what I have confirmed. I don’t want to be that guy to say something that might not happen.

I hear you. Sign out with a random fact….

Before I started work in D&B I was in the hip hop industry. I had a band when I was younger, we had some songs and did some live things, it was fun!

A proper Russian hip hop crew? That’s sick…

Haha thanks. We weren’t very good but it was interesting. We were just copying US and UK styles. It was my first experience in music, I was just a singer. It was my life for a short while…

Get Mizo in your life: Facebook / Soundcloud / Instagram

Mizo – Dust Devil is out now on Eatbrain

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