We grabbed a few words with the super talented MUTATED FORMS, who have just released their long-awaited debut album "Holograms" through D&B platform Spearhead Records.
Your new LP “Holograms” has been a long time in the making. How do you feel you’ve developed as artists since you first starting putting ideas together?
That is a good question. I’d like to think that our sound has “matured” a fair bit – I think both me (AJ) and Zub can agree that what appeals to us in drum & bass the most is the music with soul, groove and vibe. Both of us got tired of noisy bangers and huge snares and cold, plastic overly digitalized “liquid” tracks. We try and make our music to sound more authentic, to have depth and warmth, rather than engineering the soul out of music clinically.
When we first started putting ideas together for the LP, we were still on the fence and maybe even in denial about a lot of the above.
What was the original theme for the album? Do you feel it changed as the project went along?
I don’t think we had a “theme” in terms of sound on the album, we knew it had to cover a wide range of flavours as diversity has always been our “thing”, yet we wanted the tracks to flow one into another nicely. At first we wanted to have tracks with big, vibey and maybe even cinematic intros and just good old fashioned Mutated Forms filth in the drop – it is still present, but the vibes to filth ratio has definitely changed from the start.
We’ve always wanted an album to have a concept to it. The idea at first was to call it “Captured in Time” and make the album about how you can capture memories in music the same way you would in a photograph or a video. I guess we stuck to it and the album is a sort of a musical photo album to the both of us, but Steve Bcee (head honcho of Spearhead) has asked us to change the title as one of his best-selling tracks had a very similar name. ‘Holograms’ is the closest we could get to it and a name that we both really liked.
Speaking in a purely technical sense, do you have a track that you’re most proud of?
Tricky one! In a way I really like the technical side of “We Need Heroes”, as we have applied some different techniques to produce it. At the same time, it is probably one of my least favourite tracks off the album. The last bit has nothing to do with MC Fava btw – his vocals and his bit are amazing – talking purely about the drop.
"All Over" would be another one, as it is so different to the rest of the album. We have decided to bring the track in very last minute, and it really felt like it was the last missing piece of the LP puzzle.
What have you learned about making a debut album? What would you change for next time?
We have learned that the process is completely unpredictable. You might write 14 tracks and they all sound perfect for the album, or you might write 100 tunes of which you won’t be able to pick 5. The ratio of tunes that didn’t make it to the album to the music that did make it has definitely gone up eventually.
At one point it felt like we are nowhere near finishing this and we practically didn’t notice how it turned into a finished project. We didn’t have a strict deadline from the label, but we still felt like we were under a lot of pressure to finish it. On the one hand we are more productive when working under pressure; on the other hand it was quite stressful at times.
The one thing I would change next time is allow more time to collaborate with vocalists, MC’s and potentially other producers…
Do you plan on releasing on Spearhead again in the future?
We haven’t spoken about any future plans with BCee just yet and haven’t given our next step much thought. We are not tied into anything legally with Spearhead after the release of the album, so I guess we shall wait and see.
If you could pick three all-time D&B tunes, what would they be?
Alex Reece – "Pulp Fictio"n
Makoto & MC Conrad – "Golden Girl"
LSB & DRS & Tyler Daley – "Missing You" (a very recent addition for an all-time, I know – but I just can’t get enough of it)