TiD&B Interview: Need For MirrorsPosted by Lady V on Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
Since the beginning of 2010, Need For Mirrors is a name which has been hard to ignore; proving to be one of the few collaborations to have a continual and steady string of releases, championed by acclaimed labels such as Shogun and V Records and each worthy of a place in your music collection.
Upon discovering that in fact the duo behind the moniker are Mosus and HLZ, two artists more than established within the scene, the quality and consistency emanating from the NFM camp, notably their biggest track from last year, the dirty but effortlessly coolÂ Greazy and their cinematic debut EP ‘Super Earth EP’, all makes perfect sense.Â Yet surprisingly, even with such high levels of output, there still appears to be little information circulating about the project, and so we thought it was about time we found out more!
We caught up with the guys to talk all things Need For Mirrors, and see if we could get to the bottom of the recent mysterious Zoltar connection…
TiD&B: Let’s start at the beginning of your collaboration, was there a particular track or moment where you realised how well you worked together and so decided to form Need For Mirrors?
NFM: Our first collabos were released under our artist names, Mosus & HLZ, as we didn’t have a name for the project with which we were both happy with.Â The name Need For Mirrors came about somewhere between our releases on Deep Soul Music and Liquid V in 2009, and the first track released under the NFM moniker was Wasted Youth (SGN:Ltd, 2010).
Need For Mirrors ‘Wasted Youth’
TiD&B:Â Can you tell us more about how you work together as a duo, do you have specific roles in the creative process?
NFM: In terms of concept, either of us can start with an idea and then we both take turns with fleshing out the tune.Â Once the track is finished, Emilio always does the final mixdown which is where he excels. Then we both either agree or disagree on the final version and go back in and re-tweek the track accordingly, until we are both happy with it.
TiD&B: When writing together, do you begin with the aim to make a particular type/style of track or is it a very organic process?
NFM: It’s a bit of both really, we are never short of ideas and often have several tracks being worked on at any one time.
What usually happens is we begin working from either a loop which Emilio has started on, or a sound, sample or old record I (Mosus) may have come across, then from there, we start to get a vibe. We’ll take it in turns to work on the track until we’re happy with it.Â A lot of the time, we’ll experiment and create something that doesn’t suit the tune we are working on but find that it’s a stronger idea, so we’ll move in that direction – so the finished track usually ends up sounding very far removed from the initial idea.Â But at the moment, as we emulate a lot of old style bass sounds and we’re learning more about how to create them, this often sets the tone or idea for our music.
TiD&B:Â Over the past 18 months, you have most definitely been on a roll with producing hight quality releases, we’re guessing you spend a lot of time working in the studio together – is this your main focus at the moment or are you also both continuing with solo material and working on other projects?
NFM: At the moment, Need For Mirrors takes up all our time, and we’re working on it around 3 to 4 days a week for about 8 to 9 hours a day, and to support the music writing, we both also work part-time, so even if we wanted to make solo material, there isn’t time to do it…and even if we did have a chance, it would probably surface as an NFM project! So right now, everything is focused on Need For Mirrors, including when we play out, we’re no longer taking DJ bookings as Mosus or HLZ.
TiD&B:Â Can you tell us more about your musical backgrounds, as from listening to your recent tracks, particularly the ‘Super Earth EP’ (Nu Directions, 2011), it’s clear that you’re influenced by a wealth of electronic sounds?
NFM: The ‘Super Earth EP’ was a conceptual project which is intended to be listened to in running order, we tried to imagine going to a super earth, flying around it, landing, meeting the people of Medallion and leaving, so it had a lot of film imagery which we wanted to convey.Â The music on the EP was very cinematic and based on sound design, film scores and techno inspired melodies.Â But in general, everything that we hear is an influence, from living in London and having outlets such as Rough Trade and Rinse FM on our doorstep, we get to check out so much music.Â In terms of what we like, it covers quite a variety; 70s and 80s music, film scores, hip hop, rock, punk, electronic from the 90s, Â trip hopÂ etc…and then there is all the techno, garage, rave music and anything in between!
Need For Mirrors ‘Medallion’
TiD&B:Â Many associate you with Drum and Bass after having established careers as individual artists, but you also write a variety of tempos – what else have you been working on which we should look into?
NFM: Yes, we have started to work with other tempos but at present we are very focused on D&B, we both fucking love it!…It’s like the worst addiction possible for so many reasons!
TiD&B:Â As we get to the half way mark of 2011, has there been a highlight of the year for you so far, and what are you looking forward to in the next coming months?
NFM: It’s been great to have so many releases finally ending up on vinyl -Â we both love the medium of vinyl and the process of mastering and making it, right down to reading the etchings. So each new record is as good as the next as they all have a story to tell.
As for the future, we are particularly looking forward to our first release on Metalheadz ‘Lofar’, and our release on Break’s label Symmetry, entitled ‘Skip Rope’. Also expect a string of forthcoming tracks, including ‘Punch Drunk/Triangulation Delta’ on Integral, ‘Fish Scale/Retrograde’ on Samurai, ‘Vanquish’ and ‘Shackles’ coming out on a Horizons compilation album, and our collabo with Zero T Â called ‘Vanity’ is out this week on Playaz’s ‘The Flavours Ep Volume 1′.
Need For Mirrors & Zero T ‘Vanity’
TiD&B:Â Having your music sought after and embraced by such a variety of D&B labels, would you ever consider signing to one label and calling it home?
NFM: If the right offer came along, then we would address it, and we are taking offers so please get in touch if you’re reading this!
TiD&B:Â Finally, we can’t not ask you about Zoltar…a name buzzing around online and which we know is a label closely associated with you, but we’re still left intrigued, can you shed any light?
NFM: Zoltar is a side project that we are currently working on with our friend. It will be a platform for us to release music on in the future and allow us to design and add imagery to our music in high spec collectable packaging, which is something we wouldn’t be able to do as freely on other labels. Check out www.zoltarzoltarzoltar.com and follow us on TwitterÂ www.twitter.com/zoltarzoltar