Tropical Bass talks to: Mumdance

Mumdance Press 5

Grime, UK funky, Brazilian baile funk, Caribbean calypso, American Baltimore, Gutter, Afro-beat, High life, and Latin ghetto music such as tribal Guarachero are the sounds taken from all over the world and mashed into Mumdances’ trademark raw and riotous rhythms style. This Brighton based DJ has been keeping busy electrifying dance floors and jet setting around globe from Australia, Mexico, North America, Europe & all over the UK.
Mumdance is no stranger to cross genre collaborations. Get him a guitar or a lead synth, throw in some progressions and tempo changes, and he will make a static and one dimensional tune sounds like global bass banger. All of this is indicative to his commitment to ‘bring different sounds and cultures together’ an ethos which runs at the very core of everything he turns his hand to. You literally never know what you are going to hear next.
To date Jack has offered us tantalizing glimpses of his stylistically sprawling output: he’s gathered 13 high profile official remixes – including indie-electro band The Whip, ATL gangster rapper Gucci Mane, Afro-popsters Radioclit, and Warp’s indie quintet Maximo Park – and made them free to download from his website
The members at Tropical Bass wanted the inside scoop to this “Jack of all trades,” and he was generous enough to let us in on it. Let’s see what he had to say!

Let’s start from the beginning. I’m sure you have a bunch of curious fans what would like to know how you got started, what kind of equipment you were using, and what inspired you to do what you’re doing today.

I have always made music since I was young, but just messing about in my bedroom. High Rankin taught me how to use fruity loops when I was 15 or so, but I only started taking music seriously in the last 3 years or so, when after I bootlegged a remix that Diplo did of the Black Lips. After that I was being bombarded with remix offers left, right & centre so I kinda got dropped in at the deep end & had to learn on my feet. Im glad that it happened that way though as it kind of forced me to really work hard an immerse myself in music.

Can you tell us what the scene is like is Brighton?

tbh I dont really get too much of a chance to go out in Brighton, but the scene there has always been healthy due to the fact there is about 20 odd venues in such a small space. I would say Brighton has a scene very similar to Bristol. Lots of Dubstep & Drum & Bass. In terms of the music that I make there isnt that much going on though, its more London-centric, but I have noticed that nights are starting to pop up here an there.

If you had to put yourself into a genre, where would you go? Three subcategories is completely acceptable. Do single genre producers even exist anymore?! Haha

I dont really know where I would put myself, but when I have to tag myself on like soundcloud and stuff, I put myself as – World / Club / Experimental. I just like to keep things moving & make music that doesnt subscribe to one single style or genre. its more interesting to me that way, although I’m sure I also risk being a “Jack of all trades, master of none”

I find it pretty interesting that the original dubstep heads all know each other and work together, I see you’re working with High Rankin, Jammer, Radioclit, and various other UK based producers…is the scene small? Is that a coincidence? Do you all come from the same towns? What’s up with that?

I guess the scene is small now due to the internet. I speak to lots of artists on a regular basis through AIM / Twitter & email who I wouldnt get to interact with normally. I guess it works both ways though as myself High Rankin & Lvis 1990 all grew up in the same village just outside of Brighton. but we dont actually ever work with each other as much as we used to. I guess a lot of musicians get to know each other well as they play the same circuit of parties & get booked for the same events.

I noticed that you’re working more with Trouble & Bass. Do you have an album in the works?

I did a little EP earlier on in the year with Trouble & Bass with Ac Slater which turned out really well & I love all the T&B guys. I do have plans for an album, but I’m going to write it first then pitch it round to labels when it is near completion, it makes more sense to me to do it that way.

You were working with grime artists in the past, where is grime today in the UK? Do you think it’s dying out, or is there a chance it could be bigger in the US?

I have always been really into Grime since it started & its been an honour to work with some of my favourite artists from the scene. Grime is a funny one as many of the words used and the things that the MC’s talk about are so localised to London & the UK. Although saying that, Skepta just did a track with P Diddy, so some people are paying attention across the pond.

Want to give some shout outs to some emerging artists we should keep a lookout for?

Im a big fan of this guy called Jack Sparrow, who has just put an album out called Circadian on Tectonic Records. All his production is just really well put together an really vibey. you should definitely go on cop his album & watch out for his forthcoming remix of my track “Sacrifice”

What are you using to produce?

Im 100% digital, using Logic & NI Komplete mainly. for my drums I sample a lot of world music cds that I collect when I go travelling & Djing around. Ive been having a break from the studio for a little bit, I’ll probably switch up my style & techniques a little when I go back. Im in an AIM conversation about buying a moog voyager with someone as I write this interview actually :)

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? Where would you like to be? Any plans to start your own label?

In ten years time I would like to have a nice big house in the country, with a studio on the side & just do production work all day. I do have plans to start my own label, called “Different Circles” & I’m in the process of looking for artists, so if you have any music that is 100% finished & you are 100% happy with, then please send it in my direction!!

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