Mumbai Science

The boys from Belgium bring us The Black Hole – their finest work yet?

Interview by Dan Prince

Maarten, Jonas welcome back to DMCWORLD…where in the world are you today?

J: We are in Belgium!

M: The promised land where sea’s are filled with beer and people are made of chocolate.

As you say, for a country that for many, many years was known for only it’s beer, chocolate and maybe the football team…you must be so proud right now how important your fine country is in the dance music world?

J: It’s an inspiration to stand on the shoulders of so many giants. There’s this beautiful documentary called the Sound of Belgium which shows that the roots of it all lies with people touring from town to town with huge organs. The first discotheques!

M: Right now there are so many different scenes in Belgium for such a small country. It’s a struggle every weekend to pick which party to attend.

J: There’s off course FUSE for the technoheads, but don’t miss out on all the stuff AFTR, Tangram, Pelican Fly, are doing.

What was the first piece of music you heard this morning after rolling out of bed?

J: I listened to B-traits ADE Special. Lot’s of fun tracks and it has the Floorplan remix of Black Hole in there!

M: I actually have no idea. It took me some time to wake up this morning. I remember being so confused I put the milk into the bathroom cupboard.

J: Classic Maarten.

SO a really exciting time for you at the moment with the release of your new record that is FUCKING BLOIWING UP EVERYWHERE!!!!!!! Please talk us through the history and sound of ‘Black Hole’…

J: We’d been working on this track for way too long. It started like most of our tracks start out. Bottle of wine in the studio, turning on some machines and jamming away. The bassline and drums of the track were there pretty quickly but we struggled to find something to go with it.

M: It took us a few frustrating studio sessions till Jonas had a dream about going on a bus trip through outer space with all our buds. With that vision in mind the vocal hook came about and a few hours later we were inviting people over to sing it in. And voila, there was our party choir in space!

You must be over the moon with the Robert Hood/Floorplan mix…how did that come about?

J: Yeah it’s such an honor. He and Dr Lektroluv go way back and he introduced our music to him. He must have loved it because this is the first Floorplan remix ever!

M: I mean, for me, this must be one of the highlights of my career as an artist. I still can’t believe it.

Did you know you were sitting on something pretty special on completion – how does it rank up there compared to ‘Ancova’?

M: Actually, I think the process of creating these two tracks was pretty identical. Very quick breakthrough on most of the track and then searching for weeks for that perfect version/hook/…

J: I will never forget the moment we completed Ancova! I felt it was going to be big. It was the first track we made of which I felt that it was adding something to the musical spectrum of that time.

M: With Black Hole I knew I loved it but I couldn’t really predict if it would get the same love from others. So it’s extra special to see all the great reactions to the track.

The EP has received some mighty support from the likes of Annie Mac, Sasha, Richie Hawtin and Adam Beyer…who are some of the producers whose support always brings a smile to your faces…?

J: For me it’s the support we get from friends we meet on the road. It’s always fun if you can really imagine someone’s reaction to it.

M: Yeah that’s true. It makes it all the more real.

What are the 5 big tunes in your boxes this weekend, please give us a few words on each…

M: SFIRE – SFIRE7 The perfect combination of weird, fun and danceable!

J: Kijumba – Oblivium. This one proves the next generation of Belgian DJ’s is ready.
M: Randomer & Cadans – Angry Fiddle. In-your-face techno with an edge, just the way we like it.
J: Alex Metric ft. The New Sins – Drum Machine. Everything he touches turns into gold and he is one of the nicest guys we met on tour!

M: Kane West – Expenses paid. Eastern melodies + wrong vocal hook + acid baseline = A banger in disguise. Also, his artist name is Kane West. Yes.

How was the summer for you? Where were some of the stand out gigs?

J: We had a pretty crazy summer! Playing an old mining site in Ostrava in the Czech Republic where they installed a 3D visual cage around us was pretty unforgettable.

M: I remember that one. When you asked our driver if it would take more than 60minutes to get to the festival area, he turned around and laughed with a fat Eastern European accent: “Maybe for a girl driver”.

Anthem of the summer?

J: The Chemical Brothers – GO (Claude Von Stroke Remix)

2014 was the year of course you brought us your debut album, you must have been pleased looking back at it’s reception? Especially for ‘Déjà vu’ and the collabs? It couldn’t have been easy to jump in with a full album?

M: Well, it’s not the easiest path for a dance act, but it just came natural to us. We had so much ideas that just weren’t fit for EP’s or just for club use. They were part of a broader whole. The album was a logical step for us.

J: Yeah and in my experience, the things that go easiest and flow naturally, are also the things that are received best. It’s like people feel it somehow.

M: I also loved doing the album because it made us rethink our whole production proces. The collabs were an eye opener, we learned so much new tricks!

J: Working with Peaches was so easy, and the techno legend Spanky showed us that less could be more!

Once upon a time you two were in a rock band with Jonas on bass and Maarten on drums. What were you called?

J: The Clue!

M: The only recordings of that band are stored away in my safe never to be heard again! Thank the gods there was no internet back then.

Many people think the ‘Science’ part of your name came from your time at Ghent University were you were conducting psychological experiments on people? What was all that about?

M: It’s all true!

J: We had some great times there. I invited students which would be forced to eat disgusting candy for course credit.

M: All for science!

Tell us about your studio set up – who excels in what department…

M: We like to keep a fairly basic setup. We jam together and record 90% of the track. Then I do some mixing, work on the track a bit and send it over to Jonas. Then we send it back and forth and start an infinite loop of self-doubt until we end up in tears.

J: We have some analog gear, but not that much. A moog little phatty, a juno 106.

M: The things we use most are the smaller boxes. We love to play with the Korg Volca’s, the mono tribe and some drummachines (machinedrum, TR8).

J: As DAW we use logic and beef it up with some UAD plugins.

M: But to be honest, a lot of the times, we use just native Logic plugins. We like to make music on the road, with just a laptop and some headphones.

When was the last time you had a really good dance to a DJ…

M: Last weekend I danced my ass off to Lionel Ritchie’s ‘All Night Long’ and I’m not even kidding. I don’t know who the DJ was but I’m quite sure I gave him some high fives.

J: We’re both suckers for cheesy 80s hits. Phill Collins – Sussudio? Yes please.

And finally, what is coming out next from you studio wise?

J: We have 2 more EP’s as good as done and are working on even more.

M: They should see the daylight in spring and in summer, so you guys will have a lot of Mumbai material to dance to!