During our time spent at Outlook Festival we were fortunate enough to speak with one of the baddest drum and bass producers at the moment… Mefjus! Hailing from Austria and having taken the dnb scene by storm over the past few years with his remix for Camo & Krooked, a massive single on Neodigital, and now an exclusive forthcoming EP on Crtical; Mefjus is one producer that has drawn the attention of fans and producers alike. We spoke with the young Austrian to find out more about his upcoming EP, his forthcoming album, and what’s the one hip-hop album he would listen to on repeat for the rest of his life!
Dose: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us how you’re doing?
Mefjus: My name is Martin, I am a 25 year old producer based in Austria and I’m producing music under the name Mefjus!
Dose: Are there any acts that you’re trying to personally catch here at Outlook Festival?
Mefjus: I want to catch Billain’s set of course, and I definitely want to catch Phace! He’s fucking sick! I’d like to see Mos Def and Pharoahe Monch as well!
Dose: You’ve got an upcoming debut EP for Critical, can you tell us more about it and how the EP came together?
Mefjus: It’s a 4 track EP, and at first I really struggled with assembling it. I wrote tracks endlessly for about half a year and that turned out alright, but I couldn’t come up with four matching tracks for the EP. I actually thought I finished everything in April, but then I wrote three new tracks and then picked the four I felt the most. It took me quite a while to finish everything off as I wanted the EP to be as diverse as possible!
The finalized EP, ( Contemporary EP ) includes a collaboration with Icicle from the Shogun Audio camp and I think it’s a nice collection of tracks that demonstrate the spectrum of my production as it is not only drum and bass! It should be out around the second week of October and the next step after that is the album!
Dose: You played the trumpet for several years which had to have had an influence on the “funk” side of your productions. Have you ever incorporated any live sampling of you playing the trumpet?
Mefjus: I used to play the trumpet when I was between the ages of nine and sixteen I think, but then I quit because I thought skateboarding was way cooler! I just bought a new trumpet a few weeks ago exactly for that reason though. I’m planning to bring the actual funk back a little bit more and already recorded a few sessions for the album. My first attempts were pretty frustrating though as I had to learn all the breathing techniques again!
Dose: You like to put surprises in at the very end of some of your tracks including hip-hop to cartoon-like music, what’s the reasoning behind that?
Mefjus: Haha! You are one of the few people who actually noticed that; amazing! The reason for that is because 95% of listeners/DJ’s only listen to the intro for like three seconds and then skip to the drop and that’s it. So, the drop has to be perfect because in a sense the track has boundaries, but the thing is with an outro you can do whatever you want! By putting random stuff in my outro’s I’m trying to get the listener to listen to the whole thing and make them curious when they see a new release. Another reason is so I can show my respect to certain people, for instance I had MC Maksim in one outro and Onra in another.
Dose: You collaborate with a fair amount of artists and tend to bring out the best in not only yourself, but the other artist as well. What do you consider beforehand when deciding if you want to collaborate with an artist?
Mefjus: Sometimes it can get really boring sitting in the studio all alone, so it’s really refreshing to do collaborations. That’s the reason why I prefer “real” collaborations where you are in the studio together instead of sending stems over the internet. Usually those connections come together during gigs when you meet other producers and talk about their/your music. I care about two things when working with other artists: first of all I have to like what they do and secondly I just work with people I’d call friends!
Dose: Can you briefly explain your studio setup to us?
Mefjus: I run Cubase7 on a PC with Windows 7, and I’m using an RME Fireface UFX which allows me to route all my signals directly into my soundcard without using any external mixer. Furthermore, I got a Lexicon reverb/FX rack, a Virus ti2, a Roland Sh01, and two old Akai samplers; S1000 and S2000 which I recently reactivated for re-sampling and messing with drums. Speaker-wise, I just got a pair of Adams a77x which are blowing my mind every single day!
Dose: You’ve begun to build-up a new library of sounds in preparation of starting an album with fresh material to choose from. How has that been coming along and when do you think we can expect the album?
Mefjus: Exactly! Actually, I was hoping to be further into the project by now, but moving my flat got in the way a little bit. For me the engineering/sound-design is the most exciting thing about producing music so I will take my time until I’m happy with everything! It’s hard to predict when it will be finished, but the album is my main priority right now!
Dose: You’re a notable hip-hop fan, if you could choose one hip-hop album to listen to on repeat for life, which would you choose?
Mefjus: Gang Starr – Moment of Truth
Dose: Tell us what happens when you play Dubstep in the Czech Republic to a dnb crowd?
Mefjus: Haha, that story (:
Well, I played this one show in the Czech Republic and at that time I used to play some down-tempo stuff in my sets as well. The party was wicked, the vibe was amazing, and at one point I decided to play Noisia’s remix of Earthquake and Neosignal’s remix of Stigma which are both sick Dubstep tracks if you ask me. All of a sudden though people stopped dancing and one guy even gave me the finger…haha
Dose: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?
Mefjus: Michael Misanthrop once told me – “at some point you have to make decisions,” which is such a good piece of advice when it comes to production!
Dose: As Outlook passes, what are you looking forward to most before the end of the year?
Mefjus: In October I’ve got a three-week Australia/New Zealand tour which I am super excited about!
Dose: Thanks for the interview!
Mefjus: You’re Welcome!