Don’t argue over genres. Shut up and listen. Don’t waste your energy arguing over what box it’s in.
Before we get started, take time to soak up Crowlin. It might be the last drum & bass song Mutated Forms ever make…
That purring elastic bassline. Those subtle splashy cymbals. The eerie, haunting pads. Everything about it screams timeless D&B. So timeless, it was actually written by the Estonian trio over four years ago!
“It’s had an interesting history,” explains Zub. “Metalheadz picked it up and Goldie put it on his Fabriclive CD. They sat on it for a while then Chris from Blu Mar Ten hit us up and took it. I was like ‘it’s too old! You can’t release an old tune!” But he was right and I was wrong.”
But is he wrong about his current thoughts on making drum & bass? Read on as Artjom and Zub explain why you may not hear Mutated Forms at 172BPM again…
“It was Zub who first started the discussion,” says Artjom. “He felt we’d come to the point where we’d achieved everything we wanted to as drum & bass producers. And he felt there were no new ideas left. I disagreed with him and started writing drum & bass tunes on my own but it didn’t have the same feeling.”
“There are still plenty of fresh things happening in drum & bass,” Zub elaborates. “But from our perspective I don’t feel inspired when I want to make a drum & bass track. The moment I put down a classic D&B drum arrangement I start to feel trapped! At half time I feel there’s so much more going on, so much more space to be creative.”
One of their earliest half-time adventures was Feels Like on Med School’s New Blood album. But the release that really expressed their new-found love for creative freedom at 86BPM was their Pilot EP… Fittingly titled 86, Swamp was one of five exciting half-tempo MF flexes.
The hardest box to tick in music is making something so original that people actually remember it! If you’ve made a tune that stands out and confuses people then that’s a good thing!
“I wanted to call it the ‘genreless EP’ but it didn’t sound good. 86 makes you think for a minute,” says Artjom. “I hate putting labels on music. If I listen to a piece of music and I can’t put it in an easy category that, to me, is a good thing. It makes me think! The hardest box to tick in music is making something so original that people actually remember it! If you’ve made a tune that stands out and confuses people then that’s a good thing!
“I worry sometimes; you see comments on YouTube with people asking what genre it is in case they buy something in a genre they’re not supposed to like. For example ‘is this trap? Because if it is I don’t like it as I don’t like trap’. It’s mad isn’t it? If you like it, you like it. Don’t argue over genres. Shut up and listen. Don’t waste your energy arguing over what box it’s in.”
Shut up and listen: Mighty strong words! But before you even start to think Mutated Forms are about to languish in the half-time 86BPM zone, think again…
“There’s nothing even coming at 86BPM right now,” grins Zub. “Right now we’re working on stuff at 120 / 130 BPM. The idea is get that freedom again. To do whatever we like! We haven’t quite found our feet yet but I’m very excited about it; the freedom of the groove at that tempo means you can fuse so many different elements and ideas.”
Be sure to soak it up when it lands…