Mind Ability Records is a London based Minimal, Techno and Tech-house Label run by Sub Secret (AKA Stephen Fewings and Mark Standerline)
Working with Artists who bring more to the table then just their music Mind Ability brings a bohemian slightly eccentric but always pumping style to the underground scene with artists selected on their sound and ability to translate their thoughts and ideas into rocking unique music.
Mind Ability from then till now mix
Equivalent – The Begining EP
The 3 track EP “The Beginning” comprises the two electronic fueled minds of Matthew Drape and Kenny Bower. Taking you on a journey through their united sound this EP tells a story behind the workings of their collaboration. From beginning to end the 3 tracks each have their own unique qualities and showcase what this duo has to offer the electronic world.
Ascending melodies and a progressive bass line accentuate the warm feelings this track provides for listeners. Ending with a final glitched out synth line.
More of a breakbeat feel to this. Well balanced with its LFO mid bass and bell tone lead, with a distorted chord progression through out its entirety.
A slow groove works for the start of a night. Warm pads work their way in and out of this smooth deep house tune.
We chat to they guys behind Mind Ability, Mark and Steve aka Sub Secret as they present the label’s latest release…
Hi Mark and Steve! It is great to have an opportunity to chat with you prior to Mind Ability records 18th release!
Hi HDNSM, we’re very honoured and look forward to sheding some light light on our little world that is Mind Ability (MA) and Sub Secret.
First things first, why Mind Ability?
Well, although Sub Secret has been with MA right from the beginning as artists, the labels name was actually decided a few years before Mark and I were invited to take on the role as label management.It was our release as Sub Secret “Para La Manana”, the first solo E.P. on MA that really cemmented the labels direction. For us, It seemed like a natural progression to eventually take control, we may have hinted a few times that we wanted to do it!
What’s the story and concept behind the label?
MA is one of 4 sub labels of Codekontrol. Originally the idea was each label aims its sound at a different audience, as time has moved on, and as the audiences have grown and changed, so have the labels, quite dramatically.MA has had two previous managers, so when we took over we wanted to move the direction of the labels concept with our influence. From what we are told, the orignal concept of MA was based on the fascination of ones ability to create using the mind, an idea of viewing music as a looking glass into somones soul, a transformation of something personal into an audio representation.
What are the main criteria for selecting music and artists you represent on Mind Ability ?
We’re a Tech-House label pushing to the techier side of the genre, staying well away, as much as possible from the big housy baselines. We love melody, we love to hear people trying new things. We’re not really interested in people producing in the style of someone who is already dominating that sound, unless it is really really good! We feel very lucky to receive so much material sent through to our A&R, but now we’ve reached a point where its too much, so we devised methods of selecting artists for condiseration before we’ve even listened their work. For instance If we get a link that is shared to over a 1000 people, we’re not going to open it! At the end of the day, a little subtility in your approach to us, qualtiy of workmansship and a visible pressence on the web will impress us alot.
What is your take on the whole digital versus vinyl ongoing debate and what policy does the record label take towards this matter?
Well, we’ve joined in many heated debates about this on the various social media networks.We find a lot of the statements made absolutley rediculous! We come from a vinyl background ourselves, we love vinyl. But, we also love new things. Its our understanding that ‘Techno’ is about innovation and forward thinking, always being at the forefront of musical pioneering. We don’t really understand why people would rather stick to the old and familiar instead of exploring the riches of new technology, maybe theres some jealousy or expense issues involved. Ok, so there are a flood of new Djs who come along with a laptop most likely filled with illegal software and tunes that undercut those trying to make a living, but that is no reason to ignor something that is evolutionary, its not a revolution. We say, ‘Don’t be scared’! As Sub Secret we haven’t played the traditional one track into another for a few years now. We work with tracks, loops and samples, some of which we make on the fly. It’s really opened up a new way of performing. A form of control that you can’t really get from vinyl.
You have quite an international roster of artists on the label- was it a conscious decision and how does it affect the label?
It was a conscious decision to seek artists from abroad, we want to interact with the whole world. All kinds of wonderful things can happen when you work with people from very different backgrounds.
You are also artists in your own right-with an exciting Sub Secret project, could you let us in on the secret?;)
We usher a polite yet firm ‘NO’…………… It’s a secret ;)
Your stage outfits are very distinct- what is the reason for hiding your identities under those masks?
There were a few ideas behind it, firstly we see wearing the masks as removing identity and ego, its a statement “We are One”.Secondly, ‘Steve’ comes from a band background and had the memory someone once saying ‘when you perform, people listen with their eyes’. DJing is slighty different in this respect but, says who? We wanna dress up! It’s fun to give something for people to see, whether they like it or not, they will remember the image!
Do you always produce/perform together or as individual artists as well?
Yes we do, but in the future we may have to incorporate individual projects. Being a duo in this game means twice the cost for flights and hotels and so forth, so we may find ourselves with less performance work as Sub Secret. We also have our own personal tastes so its likely that at some point we’ll probably want to write some solo work! But there will always be Sub Secret!
For this particular release, what do you like most about it yourselves and how is it different from previous releases?
It’s a lot more melodic than anything else we’ve released on the label so far, It’s a much softer approach, laid back and a little deeper, we’d say it even touches a little on the progressive side, it’s sexy, “Yeah” it’s a sexy release.We tend to release more on the techier side of Tech-House but don’t force artists to conform to a certain sound as many labels do, all that we do is encourage the idea of being adventurously melodious.
What does the future hold for Mind Ability Records and Sub Secret
Over this past year we have showcased the label in Berlin and Barcelona and had amazing times, until now as a record company we have been concentrating on growing the artist roster and working hard finding material for our monthly release. The year ahead will see the beginning of our own monthly MA event here in London. We’ll disclose the venue at a later date ;)
There is a MA artist collaboration Album in the works, it’s still very early days yet but, we are very excited by the project. You will see many new features appearing on our various online platforms, one of which is a MA Video Podcast series. We quite like the idea of this one, we hope it will give followers a chance to see their favorite producers performing in a little more depth.
As for Sub Secret we have really started to grow and have taken the interest of two management agencies abroad, one we signed with and the other that needs a touch more work. Getting out and performing asDJs has kind of taken a back seat for us this past year whilst producing our debut album Ellevön, which is set for release early summer 2013 – Which you are so going to love by the way ;) – Once the album is complete we will hit the circit again and hit it hard with a Sub Secret live set.