Camp Bisco XI Artist Review & Interview: Mindelixir
Mindelixir’s set on the ‘rage stage’ at Camp Bisco 8 was honestly one of the best sets I saw all weekend, I still have fond memories of stumbling upon it late in the night while walking back to my campsite and hearing him play one of his first hits “Higher” after I had recently caught ear of it on an Egothieves mix.
After catching that set I was hooked and stoked to find out he was on the lineup this year, so naturally I made it a point to be there again, even at 1:45PM in the sweltering heat of the Label Tent. My buddy Tim was the only person I could convince to leave the cool comfort of our campsite that early in the day but when we arrived there was no shortage of people there. The tent was packed, albeit with some people resting, but by the end of his set many who were sitting had risen to their feet and made their way up to the stage to join the rest of us.
Since my first exposure to Mindelixir at Camp Bisco 8 his sound has evolved greatly, while he is eclectic in his production, he has a distinct sound that ranges from very carefully articulated, melodic and minimal future bass, to multi-layered, hip-hop driven beats – but never something you could link to another artist – Mindelixir is Mindelixir. Let him describe his sound for you so eloquently himself: Mindelixir, aka William Schimel is a Charlotte, NC based electronic music producer whose deep sea seismic bass tremors have been felt far and wide. His digital neon aqua funk has been steadily percolating like some alien ooze onto frenzied dance floor aquariums, pushing Bass Music and crowds alike into the deepest and most unexplored trenches.
Inspired heavily by video games and fantastical deep sea lore, his work melds the two worlds for a sort of Mega Man meets The Abyss adventure. Using the UK Dance Continuum and Dirty South Hip Hop as templates, his work references everything from Drum and Bass and Dubstep, to Juke and Trap Musik while managing to be something more than a derivative hybridization. Equal parts sexy and sci fi, Mindelixir’s tunes are neither wholly hedonistic, nor overtly intellectual, somehow straddling the extremes for maximum mind / body enchantment.
His performance this year was refreshing and different than what I have seen in the past. He did not play one minute of “dubstep,” and instead showcased the funky sound he has been hard at work at perfecting. Much of his set contained syrupy melodic beats with hard-hitting claps which I know are the product of living in the dirty south. He brought up the tempo and got the crowd dancing though too, Tim and I even had to take a breather and get some air outside the tent from dancing too hard. As soon as he finished playing he was swarmed with fans and friends, high-fiving him and complimenting what he had just done, demonstrating that not only is he a skilled artist, smart businessman, he’s also super down-to-earth.
Before the festival I got the chance to ask Bill a few questions in the midst of his crazy schedule of working in the studio and producing Bass Church, his dope concert series which brings in ridiculous names: Coki played in July and they hosted another serious international lineup in August featuring Gothtrab from Tokyo, Hybris from the Czech Republic and Dale Duro from Buenos Aires, in Schimel’s own words “it’s really a testament to how far we’re digging and how far we’re working to pull obscure artists from all over the world.”
How would you describe your sound to people who aren’t familiar with Mindelixir?
To make it easy I’ll say I got started when I first started playing music and playing out live, otherwise we gotta go back to 1994, and that will take forever. I guess I’ve always been into making experimental weird music somewhere in between drum ‘n bass and hip hop. I remember when I first heard a Benga song it changed my life, I just wanted to program bass and the first time I heard Photek I wanted to program drums. That said, I don’t consider myself a club circuit DJ or a club circuit producer, I’m too explorationary, [laughs] is that even a word?
When I sit in the studio I don’t wanna make the next dubstep song or the next popular song; I want to make a track that’s simultaneously representing what I’m feeling at the time. I’m not gonna try to trick you into that [making a club banger]. I have some of those [club bangers] but that’s because what I was feeling at the time.
I’m a music fan myself so I pay attention to what’s going on so my own production is a mixture of what I’m currently checking out in the mainstream or dance market and my own artistic expression. People look at the successful artists in a genre, and they just follow a roadmap, I always wonder why. Your competition to make your own message is only you – no one else has your own message – you can compete with a bunch of other people on those roadmaps or just yourself…
With so much experience throwing the beast that has become Bass Church how has that set you up for a performance at a festival like Camp Bisco?
My plans for my sets are always very loose in my head, I think a little bit ahead but I draw from every show I’ve ever played, I watch the crowd – I’m a DJ, so I can make choices on the fly. I’ve been paying attention from everything from multiple angles so I want to reflect all that research that I’ve done in this performance. It’s cool as a DJ to be able to spin and frame the new stuff with outside knowledge of the whole space.
At Bisco and on this next run of tour dates, its going to be mostly new material, based on UK funky, trap/southern hip hop, I’ve had a trap influence from living in the South (since before making trap was cool).
Where can people find you playing next?
I’ll be touring these to promote my two next EPS and announcing tours in the upcoming weeks. My second EP coming out on “Outside Recordings” will drop sometime in September-October, it’s a faster tempo, dance floor orietnted, footwork juke/trap, UK funky hybrid thing. I have a full LP coming out in 2013 I guess [laughs] wow, what a quick year.
Mindelixir plays Bass Church 27(!) on September, 27th at the Fillmore in Charlotte, NC alongside heRobust, Panther God, Sounduo and Afromonk.