Despite being still in their early twenties, Maarten Elen and Jonas Kiesekoms can already look back on a decade of creative projects. However, the musical career of the Belgian duo really took off in 2010 when they started making music as Mumbai Science. Their game? “Contemporary electro-synths with a vintage techno feel”, a sound hot in demand the world over. Shortly after launching their new project, the duo got signed to the famed Lektroluv label, which resulted in the release of four EPs that quickly garnered praise from the likes of Crookers, Tiga, 2ManyDJS and Boys Noize amongst others. “I think we tried to contemporize everything we liked from our youth… We just made something we think is quite cool”.
With much more hotness in the pipeline, we went for a chat with the boys to find out more about how they go about making a track, ‘politically incorrect rock music’ experiments, and much more…
Mumbai Science – Lotus by Mumbai Science
Hi guys, how’s life? For those who do not know you yet, please identify yourself… Jonas: Life is fantastic at the moment! Right now, we’re working on new tracks and are touring a lot in Europe so we’re having lots of fun!
How would you describe your own music? Maarten: We heard a lot of different names for our music: from post-banger, indie-trance to Future Techno but we just like to call it a mix between old skool techno rhythms and contemporary electro synths.
We’ve read that you’ve been active for almost a decade, and that you’ve also produced a slew of ‘politically incorrect rock music and absurd theatrical plays’. We’d love to hear some examples… do tell! Jonas: Haha, we met in high school so we did a lot of experimenting with music! Our first band together was an indie rock act with Maarten on drums and me on the bass. We also directed and made the soundtrack for some theatrical plays.
Maarten: I think I still have some videotapes of those plays, but I’m gona hold on to those for now. One day they’ll be worth billions, I’m sure (laughs).
Mumbai Science – Researchers by Mumbai Science
Your music has been getting support from some of the biggest players around such as Tiga, Brodinski, Fake Blood and 2ManyDJs. To all those aspiring producers out there, please tell how your music got picked up in the first place? Jonas: We got pretty lucky! It’s amazing to have all this support from such great artists, There’s not really a secret recipe for getting your music picked up, we just waited long enough until we were sure our music was good enough to start sending out promos.
Maarten: Yeah, never go easy on yourself and try to improve in any way you can. There is so much music out there so you got to make sure your track is worth the 5 minutes to listen to it!
Can you reveal how you work on a track? Jonas: Most of the time we just jam a little until we have a cool hook. Maarten is a drummer so he can spend hours on his Machinedrum making cool drumloops and sounds. Add it all together, some effects and BAM, a new track is born. This process takes us at least 2 weeks for one track, we’re really slow producers! A track is never finished.
Gear geek question: if we would walk into your studio, what would we see? Maarten: A Macbook Pro, a Machinedrum, a Juno106, a Moog Little Phatty, KRK RP8 monitors, a Novation Remote Keyboard and a fireface UC audio interface. And off course a lot of empty coffee cups and some souvenirs from when we’re on tour. Oh yeah, and we have a Monotribe lying around somewhere. That thing is a beast!
What else is in the pipeline this year? Any special projects you’re working on? Jonas: We’re working on new tracks at the moment, so you can probably expect a new EP before the summer! We’re also launching our website soon with a lot of free giveaways, maybe even some Mumbai Science edits, so keep your eyes open!
Mumbai Science – Woof by Mumbai Science
How about DJ/live gigs? Can we expect to see you guys rocking stages soon? Maarten: We’ll be playing a lot of European gigs the next couple of months! France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium… Just check out our website or Facebook to get informed about when we play in your town.
Any exciting plans for this summer that you would like to share? Jonas: We’re really looking forward to the festivals! We’ll be playing a lot! It’s always a challenge for an act like us who has its natural habitat in the clubs but we love to mix it up every once in a while!
What music outside of the electronic spectrum do you listen to? Any bands we should be checking out? Jonas: the Weeknd, M83, The Rapture, … Maarten: Also check out these Belgian bands: Teddiedrum, Black Box Revelation, the Van Jets, …
To conclude, any final words of wisdom to our readers? Anything goes! Jonas: Never stop dancing! Maarten: Buy our music!
Remixes by Mumbai Science
Wanna hear more? Check out Mumbai Science on Soundcloud!
Mumbai Science ‘Unified Theory’ limited 12″ vinyl picture discs are out now. There are only 500 copies, so make sure to grab one!