Catching up with Animistic Beliefs

With new music being released at the end of this month, we thought it would be a great time to find out more about our favourite duo at the moment and showcase the extremely talented Animistic Beliefs to the world. (check out the new video for one of the tracks here) taken from their debut album ‘Mindset:Reset’ which is out on the 24th of September via Solar One Music.

So first things first, how did this all come together? 

We both had individual projects. Marvin was doing a lot of ambient performances at Noodlebar. One day he had to play a festival and asked me to join and bring some gear. I brought a TR-606 and a TB-303 clone. A year after that our friends Van Anh and Jacq asked us to host the second room of their event called ‘ISOTOOP’, so we started doing that every other month. From there on more and more people started noticing us and more bookings came in.

What music were you both into growing up? We were both born in the 90s and have consumed a lot of music since then. Everything from electronic music to hip hop and bands tbh. I was (and still am) into Memphis Horrorcore Rap. The Neptunes were also really sick! I have really fond memories of MTV's Chill Out Zone, where I saw the video for Aphex Twin’s Windowlicker for the first time. Mindblowing. 💣

What’s the scene like in Rotterdam? It’s cool! We’ve got a lot of talented producers and DJ’s, we’ve got Operator Radio and of course Clone Records. We’d like to see more niche clubs though. The only clubs I really like are Worm, MONO and BAR (which is closing in 2 months). We need tiny dark basements 👽.

What’s your favourite club?

We’re both into dark, hot, strobe lit basements when it comes to dance music clubs. I like it when a club’s not too big. That way it’s more intimate and not about big headliners.

When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? When I met Marvin in high school years ago he was already producing music. I started getting into it when we began to hang out. We were both into hip-hop back then, but also really into Warp Records’ Artificial Intelligence series. I think it all started with Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin ❤️

With you both being hardware enthusiasts, what were the first pieces of hardware you both bought?

Marvin: The first hardware synth I ever bought was a MicroKorg, which I really hated. Some years later I got an Akai MPC, which changed everything. Not long after that I bought a Doepfer Dark Energy and a Roland SH-32. Linh: The first piece of gear I fell in love with was the Roland TR-606

Digital or analog? What’s your preference? It really depends on the usage. I love using the Digitone for pads and weird soundscapes for example. We both prefer analog basslines and drums. IMO it’s more important for a piece of gear to be intuitive to use.

When did you get into modular?

Marvin: I think it was around 2011, when I started to spend a lot of time on the Dutch “Synthforum”. Not long after that I started assembling my own DIY modules at ‘MASK’, a Monday night soldering club where we’d hang out and assemble modules together. 🤓 Linh: I started getting into it because Marvin was bringing me to MASK. I didn’t even know how it worked yet, but was already working on soldering some DIY kits. Before I knew it I had a couple of TR808 clone modules and a half working synth!

Any modules/brands you recommend? Marvin: I think 50% of our live set-up consist of Intellijel. The Metropolis and Atlantis work really well in live situations. Linh: I love the sound of my Harvestman Polivoks Filter, which is based on the circuits of a vintage Soviet synthesizer (Поливокс).

What was your first studio like? Marvin: Back in highschool I had a desktop pc running Fruityloops and Cool Edit Pro, an external soundcard and a dirt cheap microphone. Linh: Around that time my sister gave me a USB mic with a build-in external sound card which I used to record my guitar and vocals with. I didn’t produce electronic music until much later.

What is your creative process like when writing music?

We don’t really have a set workflow. We usually start noodling on a synth or drumcomputer until one of us is like ‘this is sick, press record NOW’! We just go with the flow, without talking much about it. We let the machines and the sounds inspire us and guide us through.

As technology develops, how do you think music will be affected in 20 years time?

Artificial intelligence will be able to make the music for us and the music business will be all over it! 🤖 Of course there will be an underground countermovement with human musicians.

What are you planning for the next couple of years? Doesn’t have to be anything music related!

We’re releasing an 8-track project soon 👀! We’re also finishing a bunch of remixes and reviewing some of our demo’s atm, we want to release a lot more music next year. We want to make more music videos too, as we think it’s always cool to create a world around the music. We hope to travel the world a lot more and meet more like minded people. We’ve just recently started touring abroad a lot and it’s so inspiring to be exposed to different cultures. Marvin: I’d also like to invest more time in other projects like designing clothes and helping our younger friends with releasing their music. There are so many great producers that don’t really understand how to move around in the scene yet. It would be great to help those talented artists. Linh: I hope to release a solo project soon. It would be nice if we could both show our different sides through new projects. I’m also practicing my DJ skills more nowadays. I recently played my first show as a DJ when I was in Porto and even though I was nervous I really enjoyed it a lot! 🔥

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other-worldly electronics