Both hailing from Malmö in Sweden, Marcus Henriksson and Sebastian Mullaert were raised and further sonically nourished by the native free party scene that raged in their youth. Embarking together on Minilogue ten years ago, a sensory music project that takes as much inspiration for psychedlica as it does techno, they’ve released music on their own eponymous label, creating a style inherent to them, something they captured perfectly on their ‘Animals ’album, released on Cocoon. It’s their landmark long player, working both aurally and visually in the creatures they created to represent themselves at their floor shaking live shows.
Today we speak to both Marcus and Sebastian about what inspires their creativity in the studio. We’ve also been granted permission to present a live set from the pairing that was recorded in Holland just last month - a rare treat to digest ahead of their Room Two headlining slot this Saturday.
Please can you introduce yourself to our readers for those not already in the know? Both:Minilogue consists of two human beings called Marcus and Sebastian
These two human beings have been creative together in this project for more than 10 years. It's a creative project where we try to connect to universe through music.
How did you both first meet and start working together? Seb: We're form the same small town in south of Sweden. Marcus started to do some techno parties in the mid 90s, it was there we met and became friends. I was playing different instruments in various groups and ensembles and it was a natural step for me to experiment with electronic music. Marcus was playing as a DJ at the parties and these two angles and tools of working with the music found each other and we started the amazing journey in music together.
What do you think each of you bring to the table ideas wise and also on a technological level? Mac: Our ideas come from life itself, we always try not to think when we make music or play live. We're trying to capture the feelings we have in the present moment and then in some mysterious way get it to sound like music. It's a melting pot of our feelings and energies.
We meditate a lot and that really help us reach the idea-less state where there are endless possibilities. When it comes to the technological level we help each other to find instruments that you can use without thinking. Thinking is just an obstacle!
Do you still get to work on your independent projects? Seb: We now have two studios and spend a lot of solo time in the studio. We meet once every week or every second week and jam together, you could say that we prepare the instruments and when we meet we just see what happens and record it. So this means that we have a lot of spontaneous time in the studio for what ever we feel for. I'm doing some music under my own name, Sebastian Mullaert, and also some things under my alias Ooze. I have a reissue of my old album "Where the fields neverend", together with remixes and edits due to be released at the end of the year
I really love the monsters and creatures that you've incorporated into your music videos and artwork they're magical! What inspired the animals theme with the Minilogue artwork? Mac: I'm happy you like it. We like nature, mystical things, the unknown, universe and we didn't want our faces on covers and press photos we wanted the music and the artwork to speak for itself. So we asked an design bureau in Finland and they came up with the idea to use these weird animals. We loved it and developed it some more.
There's not so many artists that incorporate a visual aesthetic into their work with this amount of creative control - how do you translate it from your videos and physical products into your live show? Mac: That is something we haven't worked so much on yet but we have lots of ideas for the future. But the future is just a thought and who knows we might die tomorrow so we keep it open and let's see what's going to happen.
You're currently working on a jam album called "The Möllan Sessions" just how much of this is going to retain an improvisational style? Is this a new approach for you guys to make music? Seb: During the last 6 years we've slowly moved away from thinking and producing to being in music and let creation happen. Today everything we do is more or less based on improvisations, there are many ways to improvise and each way open up to certain situations in the jam that appear.
Before you start you agree on a frame to work within, you choose your instruments, you press record and see what happens. The frame is the room you work within by giving you a ground and security, then the instruments you're working with are the tools to move yourself into presence, there you feel the consciousness and you connect with each other. Magic and space.
Back to the question! The Möllan Sessions is a jam that we did with Japanese artist Koss (Kuniyuki) last November, in my studio at Möllan in Malmö. We spent four days in the studio, letting the magic happen as I explained above. The CD will be released under the alias Koss / Henriksson / Mullaert in September with Mule electronics. The double CD is pretty much as we played it but with some cutting and adding on a few places. Please note that this is not the new Minilogue album, that will be released later this year/beginning of next year.
Are you also working on a visual idea to go with the project?
Seb: No, this project is a more easy spontaneous thing with not so many people involved.
What else are you working on currently, have you got a busy summer? Mac: We're working on our next Minilogue album. Some new 12" vinyl releases we don't know the labels yet. We have a side project called Son Kite and we're also doing a new album with that.
We're playing at fabric this weekend of course and we're more or less always on tour somewhere. Most weekends are booked and that makes us very thankful and happy so hopefully we can share this happiness with all the people we meet and get to play for!