Lovers of everything House, Tech, Progressive, Techno and of course, all of the finest meats on the menu, the joint-Reclaim chiefs now fuse together essential elements of both House and Techno from the late 90’s and early 2000’s complimented by a touches of melody and groove.
We recently caught up with Alex and Matt, collectively known as Mindek, and discussed their individual roles at Label Worx and how working there has influenced their development of Mindek, their latest release on In The Loop titled ‘Kegal’ and their forthcoming set at Sense & Friends at The Beach in San Antonio Bay, Ibiza.
First of all guys, how did you first both meet and what inspired you to form together Mindek? Is there any special reason behind the name?
First of all thanks for having us Matty! We’re both from very different musical backgrounds, both being artists under other aliases. We actually met when Matt gave me (Alex) a job at Label Worx. He is the director along with Chris Chambers. After working with him as a mix engineer, we decided to start something completely fresh from what we had both done musically in the past. After a couple of studio sessions twiddling knobs and messing around, we came up with a couple of tracks pretty quickly as well as eating plenty of cured meat and drinking beer. We were just having fun and it worked. You know when a relationship in the studio just works… and the rest is history.
We called ourselves Mindek as it is a surname with no origin or source. Initially, with us being from a trance and electro house background, we didn’t want anyone to know who we were. But that soon changed and we kept the name anyway. It works!
For those unaware of what your specific sound is, would you please describe it for us?
A mixture of house and techno with all them yummy bits from the late 90s and early 2000s that we used to love. All mixed together with a touch of pazazz, melody and groove.
Who were your earliest career influences and how have they helped define your current sound?
Alex – When I was 13, I used to buy hardcore tapes from a used furniture shop down the road from where I lived. I used to get so excited by them and this was the start of me wanting to make dance music and DJ. The guy who owned the shop used to run the back room at the dizteuxshon events in Doncaster. He gave me a chance and I started playing at raves from the age of 15-years-old. I was hooked!
Matt – I also started off buying rave tapes, from way back when with the sounds of Dreamscape, Raindance or any rave could be heard pumping out of my teenage bedroom. From there, I moved to Hardcore, House and then Trance, and being a regular at Gatecrasher, Cream and Passion in the late 90s/early 2000s. All of this heavily influenced me and my music, and we are trying to bring back some of the raw passion and sound.
In addition to being DJs and Producers, you both work at Label Worx. What are your individual roles here and how has working in this side of the industry influenced and affect the way you’ve developed Mindek in terms of branding, sound and promo?
Along with our previous history in the music industry, Label Worx has allowed us to watch from behind the scenes at the ever-changing trends and what was going be big next. When the EDM boom came along, we started to get bored and started talking about what we could make if we hit the studio. We finally did a couple of years later. Matt is one of the company directors and head mastering engineer. I’m the business manager and mixdown engineer, along with an amuse bouche of other bells and whistles that keeps the company ticking over.
In terms of branding and promotion, how essential do you think these aspects of being an up and coming artist are in terms of getting noticed and elevating yourself to the next level?
Branding is everything. From the off, you need a good set of press shots and an image that stacks up to the music. Although we think the music does the talking if it’s great, that’s not always the case when people have never heard it. You even get likes on Facebook and follows on Twitter just because you look pro and other artists follow you. We’ve watched it happen working behind the scenes for years!
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced when doing this?
Being unique but still fitting with what you want without imitation. Sounds simple right? It is simple if you be yourself and make what you love. The rest should fall in to place.
Switching gears now, your debut release titled ‘Kegals’ is now available for purchase on In The Loop. Can you tell us a little more about the story behind this concept and where you first came up with the idea for the track?
Matt – For a while, we had discussed making a track with a great driving bassline and 90s-esque driving piano loop, spliced up with some cheeky spoken samples, and hadn’t quite pulled it together. While traveling and having many hours on the plane, I found some great samples and sounds which just really worked to create an amazing groove. Originally, it was more groovy and less pumping, but lacked that extra spice. After getting working on it in the studio and progressing the idea, we switched the bassline up and bingo – it all fit into place. Then the full-on Piano sat like a charm.
Whilst locked in the studio, what inspired you creatively when producing ‘Kegal’? Tell us more about the production process behind it…
We always start jamming on Ableton Push. Matt will start an idea, usually when travelling and send me over a jam to pick to bits. I then add my spice and start moving things around and send him it back. If we’re feeling it, we then work on it together in the studio. ‘Kegal’ worked just like this and came together on the 11th bassline we played in.
In terms of upcoming bookings, later this month, you will grace the White Isle to perform over in San Antonio Bay. Tell us about some of your earliest Ibiza memories and how they’ve helped influence your Mindek journey thus far…
It’s not so much our earliest memory – they‘re all a little blurry and filled with stories not fit for human eyes before 9pm… But there is one moment a couple of years back when Matt and I were in Pacha listening to Tensnake. He played a set that built like an old Gatecrasher warm up set from back when it was in Sheffield. He worked the crowd and teased disco, house, fidget house, tech house, progressive and techno. His set literally came up like you’d dropped a turbo mitzi when walking through the club door. I’d not heard a DJ work a crowd or play a set like that in years and it blew me away. Making me think, there is definitely more I could do with music. Looks like Mindek is the result of this!
You will be performing with Sense & Friends at The Beach in San Antonio. What are you most looking forward to about this particular performance and why?
This little venue is hidden away – we’ve been a few times to parties that labels we work with have thrown and it’s just a cool vibey place for some daytime sun, beats and beers. Also, we’re teaming up with Sense Traxx who are an amazing underground label from the U.K. We have watched and worked with them from the beginning so this is going to be fun!
Finally, what other plans do you have lined up your sleeves for the summer in terms of bookings and releases? Is there anything you can exclusively reveal to us?
We’re currently working on a collective brand with the Tuff London boys called ‘Reclaim’. Running events with real DJ programming that progresses from disco and house through to bangers at the end. Just how it used to be years ago. No jazzy production, just underground vibes and releases on our Reclaim label which will be launched very soon. Perhaps with an EP from the Reclaim collective… maybe.
We’ve also got a couple more dates coming up in Ibiza and the UK, Amsterdam and more. Along with an EP coming up on Onefold Digital and some other bits we can’t quite mention yet.
Thanks for having us and we will see you in Ibiza!!