Mindmapper & Silvahfonk
Dutch Producers Mindmapper & Silvahfonk have been collaborating with each other for 10 years and have released on tons of labels including Demand Records and more recently Blendits, Citrus Recordings, Fokuz Recordings and Critical Music. With each new release they bring a wide variety of sounds and styles drawing from their creative influences to create something truly unique each and every time. This is especially evident in their latest release on Dispatch Recordings which has gained support from some of the biggest names from across the DnB Scene.
We thought this would be the perfect time to catch up with the guys to talk about their creative influences, what inspires them to continue and what we can expect in the future.
Be sure to check out their pages and follow them on social media(Links Below) to stay up to date with all of their latest releases.
Q1) Hello Guys, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us, we are here following yet another collaboration between the two of you. Can we expect more of the same going forward?
SF: We don't know what the future will bring up next. That depends of our time in the studio together but yes, we will try to move forward.
MM: Hello, thank you for the interview! You can definitely expect more music from the two of us.
Q2) You first started working together in 2007 right? How did you meet and how has your style evolved since the first release?
SF: Before I met Mindmapper I was already busy as a DJ and promoter in the Dutch drum and bass and jungle scene for the like 15 years. Performing and being creative during my mix session on stage was and is still my main passion and focus. The whole producing side was a different world to me. It’s very hard work and the programs are very difficult and besides that I have ADHD. So for me its very hard to keep my concentration in the producing progress and computer things. To make a very long story short I met Mindmapper at a party he, June Miller and El Maria organized and since that night we just talked about music and how it would be if we got inside the studio to create something together.
After a few nights in the studio we made Snatcher and I believe it was our first release together out on Break-Fast Audio the Groningen Based digital label and event. We liked it a lot so we decided to go on and on. Releases on CX Digital, Creative Wax and Demand Records was the result of our tunes.
MM: Not much to add to that. It’s hard to say how or if our style evolved as it’s all over the board (sub)genre-wise. We know better what kind of elements each of us likes or dislikes nowadays so that might indicate some evolving workflow or something.
Q3) Could you tell us a little bit about who influences your productions and how?
SF: I will speak for myself because I listen to a lot of different music to Mindmapper.
I got my influences from jazz and old east coast hiphop and techno music. For me the most important thing is that the tune is mixable with other tunes and that it has got soul.
MM: It’s hard to pinpoint who but one gets influenced by so many things, even outside music. Within music I get influenced by all sorts of genres (next to drum ’n’ bass), ranging from deephouse to classical music and from rock to jazz.
Q4) What would you say is your favourite release and why?
SF: Well we have many tunes that are our favourites but the first 3 tunes that came up in my head of the last few years are Flash Forward (demand), Up N Smoke w Madcap (Creative Wax) and Convection (Dispatch). But in the end every tune has got a special place in our hearts because it’s always nice when you finish a tune that sounds right.
MM: That’s a tough one, I would go for Polygraph, Napalm (forthcoming) and Oxygen.
Q5) Do you listen to other genres outside of DnB? What genres do you like and what songs would you recommend to people who would like to start listening to them?
SF: I listen to a lot of Hiphop at the moment, a lot of Wu Tang and Otis Redding and Sharon Jones to name a few but also Jazz, Soul and sometimes Dub / Techno.
Q6) Do you have a favourite song or artist and what is it that makes you like it/them
SF: I have many favourite songs and artist so its hard to pick one to be honest.
MM: Too many tunes to mention…
Q7) What got you started in production and what equipment were you using back then?
SF: I started producing with Amplicon before I worked with Mindmapper and we used fruity loops but that was only for fun. With Mindmapper we used Acid and now Cubase I don’t know much about the programs because, like I said, I don’t have the focus and patience for it. I only make notes of ideas and write down which sample or sound fx we have to use and be there for the creative process. Mindmapper is the man behind the technical part and creative side of the process.
MM: For me it started way back when I was trying to record my own songs, I had written with the band I had back then, onto some old school 4-track tape recorder. It quickly evolved into recording on the computer which led to fully producing on the computer.
Q8) When did become interested in DnB and when did you decide to produce it?
SF: My interest in DNB started back in the early 90’’ And I started co-producing in a professional way with Mindmapper in 2007.
MM: I’m not sure but I think around ‘99 or sometime close. A friend introduced me to drum ’n’ bass and soon after I got familiar with the Redzone-nights in Eindhoven and got to know Nymfo who properly introduced me into the world of drum and bass.
Q9) What DAW are you currently using and what is your favourite thing about it?
SF: not understanding this question.. sorry ..
MM: Hehehe, I’m laughing a bit at SF’s answer, we’re using Cubase at the moment. I’m still getting used to it (as I switched from Acid after years) but I like and at the same time dislike the amount of configurations and personalizing you can do with it.
Q10) Do you have a specific process when you sit down to start writing a new track? Can you give some examples of the things you would do when starting a new project?
SF: First we eat then we setup the program, I get my notebook and start writing and searching for samples, that’s my part.
MM: There is no real set recipe except we mostly start with some sort of grid or base of drums and/or breaks. Next to that we have some sort of mood in our minds for the track most of the time.
Q11) Do you have any advice for producers who are just starting out and who are looking to release their own productions?
SF: Just find your own identity especially in a dj perspective and don’t copy other styles. The most important thing is to have fun doing it and keep learning . DJ wise, keep it real..
MM: Not much to add to that. Just make the music you like (and take the time to grow) not that you think others will like. In the end you probably have to listen to your own music the most.
Q12) What software/hardware would you recommend for them?
SF: I would say just the software you like to work with. Everyone works best with different programs and this is just down to personal preference.
MM: It’s not about the tools you use but how you use them. It might sound bit cheesy but it’s true to a certain extent. It’s always nice to have some sort of fair reference when it comes to making mixdowns.
Q13) Can you remember the first DnB show you attended? What was the show and who was playing?
SF: That’s a long time ago I believe my first drum and bass jungle experience was around 92” or 93” at the Basement of Rotterdam’s based club Nighttown. I remember that Nubian and Dreazz and Roni Size where playing. I was immediately hooked by the Vibe and the music..
MM: For me it must have been one of the RedZone nights probably with the residents (Pan/Martyn, Nymfo, Pressure and MC Jay).
Q14) When did you play your first DnB set? How did you feel before playing and how did the rest of the show go?
SF: That was in 1997 at a national queens day skate party organised by Urban Unit in Rotterdam alongside Dreazz.. I remember feeling excited before I started my set because I wanted to do it right and I wanted to give it more than 100% .
When the place is packed and the monitors are working great. Then the rest of the show will go just fine.
MM: I honestly don’t remember exactly, I was already djing in some form at the bar I worked in at that time and I think I played my first dnb set there. I remember being really nervous the first few gigs beatmatching with vinyl.
Q15) Do you have a favourite venue? Where is it and why do you like this venue?
SF: Yeah Tivoli Vredenburg Utrecht i play there on a regular basis at the mighty BlackOut events as warm up dj.The vibe and the sound there is just mind blowing. There are also other venues I really like like Melkweg Amsterdam and Effenaar Eindhoven.. But also small clubs and festival are amazing to play at. It really depends most of the time on whether the DJ booth IS working properly and if the vibe is going on.
MM: Mine is probably the Vera in Groningen. Its an old venue with some proper vibes and nice history! There are many nice venues out there though.
Q16) Do you have a favourite festival and what is it about that festival that makes it so special?
SF: Sun and Bass at Sardinia Italy. It is the most beautiful and amazing place I have been to. I hope to be there again in 2018.
MM: Not really so many good ones out there!
Q17) What is the best aspect of DnB and what drives you to continue to produce it?
SF: The many styles that drum and bass has and the energy it gives on the dancefloor.
MM: I like the diversity within dnb and both the technical and musical challenges it gives when producing it.
Q18) If you could collaborate with anybody, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you create with this person?
SF: Break and DLR if u ask Mindmapper.. For me it’s a difficult question because I am not a producer.
MM: This would be a long list and Break is definitely in there and that really depends what comes out of it.
Q19) What can we expect from you over the next 12 months? Are you working on any big projects and can we expect to see a return to Dispatch Recordings?
SF:Mid November Napalm EP comes out on Blendits Audio and then we have another 4 track ep including Seven that was already out on 12’inch earlier this year. We also have 2 other new tunes plus a remix by Ed:it of a older tune by us called “Absolution”
Hopefully we will come back to Dispatch in the near future with more music. We shall see.
Q20) Have you checked out the website? What is your favourite part of it and would you recommend it to others?’
SF: Yes I did. Looks very fresh and great informative and clean content and reviews about different styles in drum and bass.. Thank you for the questions and a big shout out to all the people that support us..
MM: I did, looks nice and liking the in depth reviews.
Be sure to check out the guys pages to stay up to date with all their latest releases.
Interview by Joshua Penney