12.01.2018 | Words by:
Producer, DJ, label co-owner, radio host, Jack Adams alias Mumdance has built a reputation for himself in the UK electronic music scene, for his inventive blend of grime, techno, hardcore and experimental music. On top of being an accomplished producer, the Brighton native hosts a radio show on Rinse FM
, in which he plays a wide range of electronic music sub-genres, alongside household names such as Nina Kraviz, Surgeon, Regis, DJ Stingray and Ben UFO. Ahead of his extended set at De School along with Josey Rebelle, we took the time to ask the prolific British producer what is keeping him busy lately.
Q: You’re running a weekly show on Rinse FM, featuring first class DJs with whom you play back to back. Do you have a different approach when it comes to DJing, depending on whether it is for a radio show or in a club?
A: With a radio show my focus is on playing new and original sounding music, you can afford to go off on much more obscure tangents as you have no worry about keeping a dance floor moving. Of course in a club I’m conscious that I still want to introduce people to sounds they haven’t heard before, but at the same time I’m trying to keep them dancing and reacting to the music.
There was a stage when my DJ sets were a lot more jagged and 'start/stop' but recently I’ve been trying to smooth the rough edges out. Although I would still say I'm far from a 'groove' based DJ, now I have the radio where I can be more confrontational with the music I play. I'm definitely being much more mindful of dance floor dynamics when I play in a club.
With the Rinse series, it was more a personal thing to me, as I feel like I'm always thought of as “a producer who DJs” even though I was a DJ first and foremost, I started DJ-ing when I was 13 years old. DJ-ing has been my primary source of income for the past decade. So this radio show was an opportunity to show people that I can hold my own as a DJ when pitted against some of the very best from a multiple of genres. It was amazing to go back to back with some of my heroes and heroines, and I'm really proud of how the series turned out. Q: You’ve made a name for yourself as a producer, with an innovative and unique blend of grime, techno, and experimental sounds, as in your critically acclaimed mixtape Twists and Turns. Are you still as much fond of your Roland TR-909 and vintage synthesizers? It’s interesting that you manage to obtain a futuristic sound with old school gear. What is your typical approach to achieve that?
A: A lot of my focus is on timbre, or the 'texture' of the sound. As a lot of my music is so minimal I try to give every sound as much personality as possible, which is why I like to use studio gear which was primarily used when I was growing up listening to electronic music in the 90’s. That way I can give something a feeling which is vaguely familiar in texture, while doing my best to keep the ideas completely unfamiliar.
I also think ‘mood’ is something which is very important and something which has been largely forgotten about by a lot of producers, who are just making carbon copy throwbacks of old music, something which bores me to tears. What I try my best to do, is retain the mood or echoes of something, but twist it out of proportion & into new shapes. If you see the majority of the work I do with Pinch and Logos, it all holds the 'mood' of like 1997 tech step or 93/94 jungle techno, but there isn't a breakbeat in sight, we have just tried to carry on the feeling, the sense of dread and the dissonance, but then bring our own twist to it.
Carrying on the idea of texture and timbre I have just launched a Eurorack module with a company called ALM Busy Circuits. The "MUM M8" is a filter module, using a microchip from an old vintage sampler which I am very fond of using in my productions. The sampler is well known for its use in the production of classic hardcore and jungle, a sound which is very close to my heart and I wanted to try to capture the texture and timbre which is that specific to the sampler, but bring it into my Eurorack Modular setup. The MUM M8 is available everywhere now. Q: You often collaborate with other artists, whether it is with the rapper Novelist or the producer Logos with whom you released the album Proto. What’s your approach when it comes to collaboration and how do you pick your collaborators?
A: The only thing I really stipulate with collaborations is that we work in the same room, that way the music is a sum of two parts rather than two separate parts presented as one. To me variety is the spice of life and I like to try my hand at whatever is holding my interest, but as I mentioned above, its important to try to put my own stamp on it. Every single one of my collaborations has happened organically and I think that is important too, I just try to work with people who love music as much as I do and who are interested in trying to do something different, rather than just regurgitate the same thing over and over. Q: You’re running the label Different Circles together with Logos. How did you come to set this up and how would you describe the kind of music that your label is focusing on?
A: Logos & I are massively influenced by musique concrète
and the ideas that go with it. I think we try to reflect that in both the label and our productions. The releases on Different Circles
are essentially soundsystem music, but approached from a different angle, focusing on minimalism, space and sonics. If you have a look through our discography, these ideas are especially exemplified by Glass by Logos
, Kazzt by Airhead
, Inside The Catacomb
by myself, Logos, and Rabit; to name a few. Q: What do you have in mind for your label Different Circles in 2018?
A: We have a lot of releases planned for 2018, which will be announced very shortly, I don't want to say too much, but we are going to be releasing three artist albums this year if all goes well – the first one should be announced in the next week or so.
On top of that we have few EPs heading off to mastering at the moment and we will also be putting out Weightless: Volume III
. I'm very happy that the label is moving more into releasing albums and larger projects as that has always been the aim from the start, but we have been taking our time to learn the business and how to run a label. The last thing we wanted to do is rush into things, because we are dealing with another person's blood, sweat and tears. I really feel that we are building a unique and recognisable sound with every release and it feels like 2018 is going to be the 'coming of age' year for the label. I'm very excited to show everyone what we have been working on.Q: Which projects are keeping you busy at the moment as a producer?
A: I'm just finishing up a black metal LP with my friend James, who records as WIFE
; we have started a new project called 'Bliss Signal'. We debuted the project at Unsound Festival
a few months back and we will have our second show in a couple of weeks at Berghain for CTM Festival. The LP is all written, we are just mixing it down and I'm really really excited about it.
On completely the opposite side of things, I've written a power ballad track with Dawn Richards, it's an interesting one for me because it's all live instruments, live string quartet, live grand piano, live electric guitar. I am basically trying to translate the ideas Logos and I had with the 'weightless' sub genre, move it outside of the computer and put it in a real world context.
There is a new EP from 'The Sprawl' which is a project I do with Logos and Shapednoise which will be emerging soon. Logos and I have remixed a track for Perc and Truss which is coming out soon and I'm working on an experimental record for another Eurorack modular company called "Make Noise”; using only modules which they produce.Mumdance will play Het Muzieklokaal on Saturday January 13th alongside fellow Rinse FM regular Josey Rebelle. Tammo Hesselink will open the night. More info and tickets can be found right here.