Following the interview we did with London Elektricity, we have a pleasure of delivering another one to you before wrapping things up for 2015. This time we’ve had a chance to talk to Florian “Wintermute” – a neuro-injected Drum & Bass producer hailing from Leipzig, Germany. You probably know him for his collaboration EP with Neonlight, that was released on Blackout this year. But the man has got some incredible solo releases, one of them being his last Convergence EP on Boundless Beatz, which is the main topic of this interview. We hope you have a good read and be sure to follow Wintermute on Facebook, Soundcloud and Twitter.
Russian version of this interview is available here.
Hey there, Florian. How’s it going?
Hey there – all good. Just got back from a wicked gig in the North of Germany. Still feeling a bit sleep deprived, but it was totally worth it.
So what’s been happening in the world of Wintermute after the collaboration EP with Neonlight? What was your final impression after working on such a massive project? Were there any new tricks learnt between the two parties?
I still love it. It worked out on both intended levels: Conceptually and on the floor. As some might know, i am sharing the studio with Tobi & Jakob/Neonlight and we are also working together on a non-dnb related project focused on scoring & sound design. So we are exchanging ideas and techniques on a daily basis. If I have to nail it down to one thing, that I learned during the EP creation, it is probably, that I should not pay too much attention to meter readouts and levels – if it sounds good, it is good (at least 80% of the cases). We will definitely continue on this someday in the future. Apart from that, we have also worked together on two smaller video games in the meantime.
What was the process of writing your new Convergence EP? It really helps to understand where was the Wintermute part in Edge EP with Neonlight and explores sci-fi theme a lot with some heavy sound design onboard. What inspired you? How did you catch up with Boundless Beatz?
When I am writing releases, that consist of multiple tracks, I tend to use something like a ‘theme’-based approach. So, it is not like putting together a bunch of tunes and see if they work together, but more like having an idea or theme and start fleshing out your (musical) drafts in regard to that notion. Or even change up almost finished tracks, so they can fit into that framework. The only problem with that method is, that it can be really time consuming and exhausting – especially if things don’t work out.
So, as you also already mentioned, I am a sucker for darker sci-fi or technology themes. I think certain styles of dnb just resonate well with those themes, as there is an innate use and misuse of technology in the music itself. For the Boundless Beatz EP, I had the idea of de- and reconstruction in mind – or things falling apart and reorganizing into something new, which might sound less abstract. The actual production was more about fleshing out the ideas and arranging them properly. Almost of all of the track ideas stemmed from early 2014 and luckily most of, what I call pre-production (like layering one shots/drums, building bass patches etc.) had already been done by me back then. So I could just tinker around with the sounds and build the tracks around the main concept of the EP.
Catching up with the guys from Boundless Beatz then was rather straightforward. They are also located in Leipzig and the local dnb scene is comparatively small. Also we’ve been in touch for a long time and worked together on various projects. They had just started their label project in early 2015 and asked me, if I would like to contribute something.
Is there an interesting story behind any of the tracks?
A lot of the sound design in RWD actually was derived from an art project I did with Tobi & Jakob/Neonlight last year. It was about teaching school kids about the importance of sound and how we perceive acoustic events. We gave those kids some tools, field recorders and contact microphones and just recorded for a few hours. Afterwards we had to clean up gigabytes of audio material and put it into a musical context – including the ideas the kids had on how we should use those sounds. After finishing the project, we still kept all the recorded material, as it proved to be a great source for inspiration. And to come full circle: Those samples also ended up in RWD, as they had a really great grainy characteristic and also gave the tune a certain organic feeling.
How the collab with Cues happened?
It was actually more on the random side of things. As one of those “****, i am stuck!” moments approached, I texted Cues, if he wanted to come over to toy around with some new plugins and sounds. So we sat down and worked on an old idea of mine. It was a rather convoluted roller at first – but after tinkering for a few hours, we decided to strip it down to bare essentials and build the bass around that halftime groove.
How can you describe 2015 in the d&b scene? How it all feels from the producer’s perspective?
I think, it has been quite a healthy year for D&B – on international level and on the local level as well. On the artist/producer side, we have seen a bunch of really talented new names emerge or break through. So next year is probably going to be even better – especially if you look at the younger generation, that is currently growing into the dnb scene.
What can one expect from Wintermute in 2016? Any new projects, collaborations on the horizon?
I got a bunch of ideas laid out, that i hope to finish this year. Apart from that, there’s a remix with Neonlight coming on Blackout and a few collabs, that need to be finished.
What would be your top 5 d&b tracks at this point in time?
That is always a real neck breaker question – especially in a fast paced (release-wise) genre as Drum and Bass. But I try to nail it down to:
Noisia – Block Control
dBridge – Creatures of Habit
Black Sun Empire – Breach
Desimal – Afterlife
Kemal & Rob Data – Konspiracy
All older ones, as you notice, but these are the ones, that stuck with me or that I “grew” up with. Still would like to add a lot from the likes of Bad Company, Ed Rush etc. – but it is just a Top5.
So you have graced us with an exclusive mix, can you introduce it to our listeners and tell what they can expect from it?
Well, it is a nice mixture of ups and downs, throughout harder and deeper dnb vibes, old and new alike.
Thank you very much for your time, it’s been a pleasure to have you here with us and we look forward to hearing what’s to come of Wintermute in 2016!
Also thanks from my side! Shouts to you and all those heads, that supported me over the last few years.
Tracklist is avalaible on our Soundcloud