Entrevista a Jeff Mills


Q:So, let’s start with your last release, “Exhibitionist 2”. What artistic evolution can we find in this second edition with regard to the first one?

JF: There was a big advancement in the way I’m managing the equipment. In the first edition, my focus was just to display the basic movements and manners of a DJ – to show to people that were familiar with the art form a closer view of what he (The DJ) really does to organize DJ mixes.

The Exhibitionist 2 takes a step further to point where the “DJ” begans to modify the situation in order to express his/her own personal character, so improvising was the main focus. I managed this by only slightly preparing what I was going to do in each film.

Q: Several moths ago, you enclosed in Rembrandt’s house. How was that experience? What did it give you as an artist?

JF: Yes, to be there in the actual room where Rembrandt created so many of his great Works and for the reason of creating music off of the feeling of being there was a first for me. It was quite a exciting experience. As someone that creates for a career, I know how important the actual space where ideas are born is for an artists.

It’s a personal space where things are conceived and made from, nothing to something or in a space where its completely allowed to let one’s mind run free. In the four hour session, I was able to produce a total of 18 tracks, which allowed me to make a 15 minute soundtrack that we’ll reléase as part of a larger sound scaping Project that will also include sessions at the house of Jules Verne and in Tokyo at the office of animation creator and artista Osama Tezuka.

Q: Last year you have taken the electronic music to the Louvre, soon, an electronic music museum will be opened in Germany, MOMEM, and another one in Berlín by the Tresor’s founder, what do you think about these initiatives and what do they contribute to the electronic music culture?

JF: I think its fantastic and very important components to the evolution of, not just Electronic Dance, but Music in general. I think it falls in line with the general thinking and mindset that many had in the early era of the 1980’s which was to enlighten and inform as many people as posible of this art form and genre. I hope to see even more institutions related to Electronic Music because I’ve seen firsthand that the genre had infected more places tan Detroit and Germany.

Q: Focusing in your Louvre residency, how was that experience? ¿what was the opinion by the non-specialized public in electronic music?

JF: The experience was great. Basically, I had been given open and free access to créate anything I wanted – which is an enormous honor with a lot responsibity because Le Louvre is the biggest most prestigous museums in the World. I took the invitation on behalf of being a few positions: the first Afro- American and the first American and representing the City of Detroit, but not the first DJ/Artist. Laurent Garnier was the first which he and curator Pascale Renauld started many years ago.


Q: You have always had a great interest about universe and fact of life off Earth. Many of your works spins around that idea, as well as your recent instrument “The Visitor” alongside Yuri Suzuki, inspired in a UFO sighting, why do you find so fascinating the exploration of the Universe? What is the link between Universe and electronic music?

JF: I know that whats in Space and what is around Earth will be a large part of our human lives, starting in only a few short decades from now. I believe that Space and whats in this Universe does not only relate to Music, but just about everything we do and we create – everything we plan and hope for, so I do not think my attention to it is special or unique.

Rather, those who are so engulfed about the smaller sublines of life are missing the greater point of existence. Humans are mentally designed and programmed to “live another day” and in order to do this, we must think ahead and prepare. To consider any and everything around us so that can calculate how we’re progressing towards our collective goal.

Right now, must of us sense that Earth and its climate control is in trouble, so the attention to other Worlds is seen more often. If I can use Music to bring more attention to subjects, then I believe that my actions are justified and could be relevant to someone.

Q: Why do you think that there are some people that still fell afraid to consider that we are not alone in the Universe?

JF: Because humans have been conditioned and taught to fear the unknown. The fear that some others constantly reminds us of makes us more controllable.

I beleive its a doctrine that was created and perfected over centuries and its at a point that we conditon ourselves on our own and automatically soon after birth. Ironically, the same type of fear that has kept us all alive is the same fear that ties us down and back as a social species. It was the domestication of fear.

Q: How do you prepare each session? Do you have any ritual before stepping onto the stage?

JF: No. Not really. About 60 minutes before, I began to think and imagine of various ways to do it. There is no praying or anything like that. I look at the situation as more theraputic and practical first. A task that can bring a spiritual effect (if all goes well).

Q: Many times, you have performed togheter with an symphonic orquest. What does it give to you musically?

JF: It’s a special experience to do this because the occassions invite the Electronic sound, rhythm and textures to be included in that human machine (of a orchestra body). Mentally, it has allowed me to see the functionality of orchestra close-up and in a immersive way so that I can turn to Electronic music and apply that feeling to what I normally do as DJ, as musician.

Q: There is still a great debate between new and old ways to Djing. Some think that if someone plays with vinyl, make it a good Dj, and playing with the new technologies, a bad one, what is your opinion about this?

JF: My opinion is that a “good” DJ is good, not because of the format he/she plays, but because they’re good from simply having talent. Using vinyl does not give a person talent. You can’t buy it.

Q: What differences do you see between the current audience and the 90’s? Do you think that currently they are less demanding?

JF: Yes, I think we are less demanding of DJs and Artists. Especially when the technology and advancements in equipment/instruments allow DJs and Musicians to be more creative. What I often see and hear doesn’t quite match up to what I know is possible.

Q: If you were not a musician, what would you have done?

JF: I’m not really sure. Maybe something that would allow me to be as free with creating………

Q: If you had the Back To The Future’s Delorean, where would you travel?

JF: I’d travel to the Future. To the precise collective moment when humans realize the true meaning of what we are and why we’re here.

Thank you so much for dedicate us this time in order to beatMash Magazine’s audience know you more about your life and work.

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