BULK Mix #17: Quilla by Mikkel Metal

(info by BULK)

SoundDesigners find this interesting talk and mix with Mikkel Metal. One great reference for US so…we drop it here just for YOU. ENJOY!

Waiting for the little green download-slices to fill up Google Chrome’s trivial pursuit-piece can be hard sometimes. Especially when you’re waiting for an entirely unheard mix from one of your highly revered artists. When you’re waiting for a Mikkel Metal mix, you really do not want Chrome to be so slow at answering those sports questions… The green questions have just always been the hardest. Dammit.

Now, for another hard question: How to describe the sounds of Mikkel Metal to the unacquainted (especially without ending up on that one blog)?
Listening to the older, Scandinavian-click-dub-tech will give you one impression. His Kompakt-stuff with the Swayzakian snares, shuffled beats- and vocals-to-go-with-the-label will give you another. If you put his newest releases under the needle, you will find yourself floating to Chicago, but on a very Metal’esque melody. – And no matter which track you dig out – you know it’s Mikkel Metal.

Always drenched in atmosphere, we hoped we would get a similarly moody journey through the mix at the BULK offices. We were not disappointed.


First of all, thank you very much for doing a mix – it’s not something you do that often. Why is that?
Well I guess it’s a time issue. I’m not good at just plugging in and recording a quick and dirty mix. That’s the good part about dj’ing in a club. You can prepare a bit, but when you are there you just have to do it. Also, since I have a fulltime job, two kids etc, I really got to prioritize with my time. That being said, I enjoy the process of putting together a musical journey and having, in principle, all the music in the world as your building blocks.

You’ve been releasing on Echocord for a long time, how did that start out?
Do I still remember?
It’s been so many years now. Well, I guess the story is that I was hanging out at the now defunct record shop “Science Fiction” here in Copenhagen, where Kenneth Christiansen was working. He had had the idea of starting a label for a long time, and somehow we got to talk, and he heard some demos from me. Then the label was started with two of my releases – since then Echocord has sort of been my main base.

While many artists doing mostly live PA’s tend to repeat themselves somewhat, you seem capable of pulling of wildly different – but still Mikkel Metal – live sets off everywhere, from Berghain to Musikdagen. How?
Well, one thing is the fact that my music goes from slow and ambient compositions to pretty up-tempo stuff. It’s true that I sometimes play in very “concert-like” settings and sometime in a “pure club context”. It’s a challenge – but somehow it comes naturally to me to adopt to the context while still being true to myself and the Mikkel Metal sound.

In this interview you say that you try not to be intellectual when making music, that it’s more about intuition – does that carry over to the track (non-)names you pick?

So track names such as “Dorant”, where do they come from?
“Dorant” was actually something I came up with myself, just as with “Kaluga”. Afterwards though, I found out that there’s a town in Russia called “Kaluga”.

Do you think your previously discussed intuition told you do produce more chicago/detroit-inspired, housier stuff as the latest echocord, or did it just happen?
No – I think that was a more conscious decision about wanting to try out something new. I’ve been doing dub techno for so many years and sometimes you need to try to experiment with new influences. Have you ever done- or thought about doing collaborations? Yes. I have thought about it, and also tried it. But it turned out to be harder than I expected, at least in the studio setting. The best collaborations I’ve had were in live settings, like the ambient improvisational “night church” concerts I’ve done with bass player Per Vibskov. That worked pretty good. I also did a improvised concert with a jazz trio and a vocalist last autumn. That was a super cool and very different experience. We did a recording of it, and hope to release it later this year.

You have had the dubious honour of adhering to the BULK naming scheme, and choosing a woman’s name starting with Q… Why did you choose Quilla?
Quilla. Process:. Google + ‘names with q for girls’ + a quick decision. I like it. No further rationale is needed..

What’s 2013 gonna be like for Mikkel Metal?
There’s gonna come some experimental/slow/melodic music out of my little studio. I’ve already produced a release for SonouS, the new label run by Dj Finn of Tomland. I also have ideas for a few more in the same vein. With these tracks I’m working more with analogue synths than on my earlier releases, and I really enjoy the tactile ‘turning knobs’ way of working.

How and where was the mix recorded?
At home with two decks through a lousy Stanton SMX (the EQ is more a volume function than an EQ) that’s again plugged into my Mackie, that also have CDJ connected. A pretty confusing setup actually.

What did you do an hour before the mix?
I tried, with more or less success, to get my daughter to sleep. Then I drank my coffee and ate some almonds.

Mikkel’s preparation routine certainly did the trick – because this mix is nuts!

SD…to feed the soul!


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