Mefjus talks about his debut on Symmetry Recordings
Since the labels launch back in 2006, Symmetry Recordings have continuously put out only the highest tier of Drum & Bass music.
Mefjus and Break have teamed up for their latest release. Two of the genres biggest names come together to deliver a pair of absolute monster remixes of ‘Whispers In My Ears’ and ‘Dogs Dinner’ from Breaks ‘Another Way’ LP.
We previously got the lowdown from Break about the release (check out the interview here) and now it’s Mefjus’ turn.
Adding his instantly recognisable sound to ‘Dogs Dinner’ which was already a dancefloor killer, Mefjus has infused his crunching drums and unforgiving bass stabs. Whilst he still manages to keep the impeccably clean vibe track that made so many listeners originally fall in love with the track.
To celebrate Mefjus’ debut on Symmetry Recordings, we had a little chat with him about the remix process, the knock on effect of Covid-19 for music producers, and we even learnt about his new alias and forthcoming album.
Firstly, thanks for taking the time out of your day to answer these questions. You’ve cooked up an absolute monster remix of what was already a huge track. Tell us how this remix opportunity first came about?
Thanks for having me! It all started when Charlie did a remix for the remix album of my latest LP ‘Manifest’. He remixed the track ‘Uneasy’ and we agreed on a swap deal – he did a remix for me and I did one for him – that’s how it all started, really.
It’s not the first time that yours and Break’s name have both featured on the same track, how and where did the two of you first meet?
I actually don’t really remember where we first met…must have been some sort of gig I suppose. But I’ve been a huge fan of Charlie’s music for years. He’s such a great producer and a great artist and I really have a lot of respect for him! I’m really happy that we get the chance to work together here and there.
It must be extremely exciting to be able to put your own spin on such a popular track, what was your favorite part about remixing Dog’s Dinner?
Yes! I still really enjoy the original, I played it out quite often. Actually, the whole album Charlie had up for remixing is stacked with superb tracks. Getting the opportunity to work on a remix where you already love the original is always exciting.
My favourite part about remixing ‘Dog’s Dinner’ was recreating the whole riff, the original song had, with my own techniques. So, this track is literally a re-interpretation of what the original was.
How does your workflow change when remixing a track and how do you add that signature Mefjus sound to someone else’s work?
As I already mentioned, with most of the remixes I do, I try to re-interpret the original by analysing what the original sounds did and recreating them step by step. Then I’m trying to roughly recreate the arrangement as well as adding my signature sound here and there.
That’s basically how I tackle remixes these days, and that’s actually quite fun. And it’s still a learning process, you know…I also learn from getting someone else’s stems – it’s like : ok, this is how they do that!
Do you feel more pressured when remixing a song than when you’re creating your own from scratch? It must be more difficult to showcase your own sound from the stems of another artist’s track.
When remixing, you already know right from the start where the track is supposed to go. The direction is clear, and the path is already mapped out. That helps a lot during the process. Whereas when writing an original, especially a solo track it’s quite easy to lose yourself during the process trying to find out where the track should go and what it’s supposed to say.
I can only speak for myself, but re-interpreting a track is way easier than starting from square one, especially when the original is as well written as Charlie’s ‘Dog’s Dinner’.
I watched you and Break playing one after the other at Lions Den during Boomtown 2019 and remember thinking “those two B2B would make an incredible set”. Is there any chance of something like that happening when we see live shows again in the future?
Yeah, I remember that one. It was quite fun playing there. To be honest, I never thought about a back2back with Charlie. But once it’s safe to play shows again I would absolutely be up for it. Let’s see what the future holds, but yeah I would love that.
On the subject of live shows, does it affect your motivation to create new music knowing that those songs may not be played to a live crowd for the foreseeable future?
In the beginning it was really tough to adjust to the situation. I found it quite hard to find motivation and inspiration to write music, for various reasons. One being, missing out on a lot of income and to figure out how to sustain life…between phone calls with my accountant and show cancellations on a daily basis it was quite the struggle to get in the mood to write new music.
But, as the question also suggests, it is very difficult to write music when you’re not in a club environment. And it’s also difficult to release music when it’s not being played out. The whole process of writing a record, releasing a record, promoting a record has completely changed over the last half year.
I was struggling in the beginning and I’m still adjusting to these new circumstances but I’m back in the studio for a while now. And, it sounds like I contradict myself, but not being in the club all the time and not having to travel every weekend gives me some new approaches on how to write music.
Don’t get me wrong, I hope we can get back to playing shows soon, as much as everyone else, but right now I am happy to spend so much time in the studio.
To finish, please let us know what the future holds for Mefjus! What projects can we expect to see from you in the coming months?
I have been working on a lot of music lately, some solo Mefjus stuff, some collaborations.
I’m not sure if I am allowed to announce this, but there will be a collaboration with Camo & Krooked coming out on Hospital Records, mid-October. I’m also in the midst of finishing up a hip-hop album with my friend MC Maksim, it’s gonna be a new alias for the two of us, called Ezekiel’s Gift, we’re just about to finish that up. And yeah some other projects as well. It’s quite exciting!
Thanks for having me! Stay safe y’all!
Break & GQ ‘Whispers In My Ear’ (Break Remix) and Break & Total Science ‘Dog’s Dinner’ (Mefjus Remix) are out now on Symmetry Recordings, you can grab them from here