Interview: 5 minutes with Mind Enterprises
Following his journey into uncharted afro-disco territories with his 2016 album Idealist, Andrea Tirone, aka Mind Enterprises returned to his italo-disco roots with the addictive 2017 release ‘Idol’. As well as being named on ShortList’s ‘50 Greatest Songs of 2017’, the release received support from a wealth of titles including Mixmag, DUMMY, Ransom Note and PHOENIX Mag. While Tirone might seem to have found inspiration through his national heritage, his geographical journey tells a fuller story. Having fled his hometown of Turin in 2011, Tirone lived in East London for 6 years before recently relocating to the tropical island of Gran Canaria -’the southest place in Europe’, as he puts it.
Now, Italian DJ and producer Mind Enterprises has just launches his latest single titled ‘S.H.A.K.E’ with an eclectic and suitably retro video. Utilising live instrumentation, ‘S.H.A.K.E’ oozes funk with its groove filled bassline, synth melodies and intoxicating vocal topline. Premiered via NOTION Magazine, the Jack Barraclough directed visual features a suited Tirone and two dancers performing the track in colourful 90s office settings interspersed with playful 80s-futuristic graphics.
We caught up with Mind Enterprises on seeking inspiration and vintage gear obsessions:
(Be sure to watch the official video for Mind Enterprises’ latest single ‘S.H.A.K.E’ below!)
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
I don’t know. I guess because I’m a weirdo?
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
The idea. I don’t care much about sound in the beginning, it’s distracting. That said, I’m not comfortable with writing on a computer, I don’t really like software sounds, so I need real instruments first. Than I play with whatever sound they have; I get the idea, I shape the sound etc.
Does your material feature any collaborations?
No collaborations so far, but I’d like to try in the future.
What’s on your current playlist?
Classic disco, italo-disco, random mainstream pop music from the 80’s and 90’s.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
I think any machine has a distinctive unique character, I just mix sounds from different machines and see what happen.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
I’m usually looking for ideas while playing synths with random sounds, I tend to play 2 synths at a time, synced with a drum machine, if something excites me; I keep playing it, adding dynamics, structure and maybe vocals. If I’m still excited about it, I record it and leave it for a couple of days. It’s not a long process, but if the idea is strong I can finish the song in a couple of hours. If not, I give up and start from scratch the next day.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
I think I always knew. But I mean, music has always been the most beautiful thing for me since I was a kid.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
A bottle of rum and a bottle of water.
Any emerging artists on your radar?
Gold Fir – check them out!
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Keeping in touch with the real world. I’ve experienced life living in a bubble; just me and my music, but that of course isn’t always great in terms of inspiration. Sometimes I need to forget about music for a while so when I come back, everything it’s fresh and clear and inspiring again.
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
First of all, I’m an MPC fan. I use an MPC 1000 to play drum samples, sync instruments, record midi parts, structure the song.. Pretty much for everything, it’s amazing! Then I like 80’s italian synths brands like Elka, Crumar, Farfisa, Siel etc but also the classic Dx7 and Sh-101. I tend to record the machines and mix them with Logic 9 plugins.
Any side projects you’re working on?
I’ve never had a side project. I’ve tried few times but I can’t focus on two things at the same time.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
One thing I’ve learned is, don’t push if the song doesn’t work. If you’re trying too hard, that probably means that the song is no good, so you’d better leave it alone and start again. Making music should be an effortless process.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
I’m planning to release a couple of songs over the next few months. But in the meantime I’m finishing preparations for my new live set, I can’t wait to test it out!
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