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38
IN A STATE
The first time I ever heard of Auckland duo, State of Mind, I was, appropriately,
in New Zealand. We were driving in my friend’s car and he said to me, “I’m gonna
play you this tune, you’ll love it.” So he played it to me, and I did.
That tune was ‘Paint The Walls Black’ from State over but we don’t seem to get to the UK much. Presha. He was kind of instrumental in building the
of Mind’s debut album ‘Take Control’. “People We’ve had some good radio play and have now ac- NZ drum & bass scene back in the day and had giv-
in the UK would love this”, I said to my friend. tually got round to doing some gigs there to push en us a lot of support in the early days, so he helped
“Why haven’t we heard of them? Can I have a the LP so that’s probably why we seem to be ap- smooth that first meeting with them.”
copy to take back with me?” pearing now.”
Initially signed to Total Science’s CIA label in
“No,” said my friend. “I don’t like copying and Founded in 2004, State of Mind is the product 2005, the State of Mind discography has rapidly ex-
sharing Kiwi artists’ music, you’ll have to support of a heavy all night session (of the music making panded to include labels such as TeeBee’s Subtitles
the local scene and buy it.” kind) between Patrick Hawkins and Stu Maxwell. Records; Friction’s Shogun, with the massive ‘Back
“We basically met through friends,” explains Stu. to the Jungle’ EP; Futurebound’s Viper label; Doc
He was right of course. How dare I. So I went and “We were both writing music - mostly bad, not Scott’s 31 Records; Bad Company; Obsessions &
bought a copy and flew back to London with it. drum & bass - and one morning after we’d been BSE Recordings, and more.
at a gig were like, ‘We should make a tune’. So we
That was around the time that the whole went and made one and it was pretty good by our In 2007 the pair decided to launch their own re-
Pendulum thing had pretty much exploded in ev- standards then, so we made some more.” cord label, SOM MUSIC. Representative of their
eryone’s faces and put the southern hemisphere own unique sound, the label has grown into a
firmly on the drum & bass map. Not long after I “We never took it seriously at all. It was actually force within D&B. Recording artists include Black
was back, Shapeshifter played an amazing live gig someone else who gave a demo CD of our stuff Sun Empire, Chris SU, Axiom, Spinline, SOM,
at the Electric Ballroom in Camden and then The to Total Science and they ended up signing about Sigma, Mindscape, & Dose, and is, of course, the
Upbeats released their fantastic album, ‘Nobody’s three tracks off that disc.” imprint for their own latest release.
Out There’. Antipodean drum & bass was reviv-
ing the global scene by being, basically, really re- So the story goes, Total Science touched down in ‘Faster Than Light’ marks a small but significant
ally good. Now, in 2009, with the path well and Auckland on tour and called the guys out of the change in direction for the duo, without losing
truly paved for New Zealand d&b artists, State of blue; one of those random defining moments of a any of the State of Mind flavour that defined their
Mind are starting to flash just as brightly on the lifetime that Stu describes as a ‘bit of a reality check’. first album, ‘Take Control’. This latest album
radar with the release of their second album, features some of State of Mind’s most complex
‘Faster Than Light’. “Q Project actually rang us and said ‘Hi it’s Q and musical work including collaborations with
Project here, are you coming to our gig to- Chris SU, Axiom and Trei, as well as the fantastic
“Are we looking to raise our profile overseas?” night?’,” Stu tells me. “It was kind of crazy.” vocals of New Zealand’s most sought after artists,
says 50% of the SOM outfit, Stu, as we chat over Tiki and Elita Clark. “I think this LP is similar to
AIM, “not deliberately.” Of course they went. Was that weird, I ask Stu, ‘Take Control’ in some respects but very different
knowing they’d already heard your tunes via in others,” says Stu.
“Both our CDs have been aimed mostly at New someone else?
Zealand and Australia. ‘Take Control’ was origi- “It’s similar in the sense that it is still our sound,
nally only released in NZ but it did really well so “Not really,” he says in typical laid-back style. “The but it’s different in the sense that it’s more var-
now it’s available overseas. It’s funny we actually Total Science guys were pretty tight with the person ied. ‘Take Control’ was a debut album for certain,
do pretty OK in Europe and Russia. We tour all who had given them our CD; a friend of ours called with lots of energy from start to finish. I think
www.kmag.co.uk
K38-39_StateOfMind.indd 38 19/3/09 15:08:49
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