Dutch bass DJ and producer extraordinaire Malvae has returned to CloudKid Records with his highly anticipated new single "Running Away." Combining numerous influences and production techniques, Malvae has shown us that, even in the current saturated underground-electronic scene, it’s still possible to impart your own personal style into fresh and unique tracks.
Composed entirely from sounds from his own mouth along with samples he records from around the world, "Running Away" highlights the current environmental state of the planet and pushes a strong message to fans.
We caught up with Malvae, born Jim van der Breggen, to discuss his new release in more detail, how he produces, his favorite songs and more
For fans who don’t know much about you, could you tell us a bit about your music background? How did you fall down the music rabbit hole?
Even though I was born in the Netherlands, I grew up in New Zealand. Electronic music has been around for a long time in the Netherlands. Therefore, I was always up to date with electronic music, which wasn’t a big thing in New Zealand at the time. After trying out guitar for a few years, I ran into Fruity Loops like almost every other kid did, haha. That was really the start of this path I started to walk. That was about seven years ago now.
Since then I moved back to the Netherlands where I studied music production and just finished my bachelor of music. Back in 2015 I acquired my first field recorder. In December of that year I travelled to Brazil for a DJ gig, decided to stay longer and made my first recordings which literally inspired the whole Malvae project today. Since then, I make my music from sounds I record around the world. Growing up between two distant countries gave me a different perspective on many things.
How did this new track “Running Away” come together and what was the inspiration behind it?
The song came together after my most recent trip to South East Asia. Even though it is almost entirely made from sounds I recorded from my mouth, the inspiration came from becoming aware of what we are doing to the natural environment around us. I think that this growing awareness in me is expressed - especially in the drop -- like an emotional fight between running away or getting involved. I’m getting involved.
Talk us through your creative process a little, you use a lot of inspired sampling and create some unbelievable character within your music. Where do you start and how do you know it’s finished?
When I start a new song, I usually go through the recordings I made and select a few. From there I start cutting percussion options that I can use later in the production and look for little vocal sounds or bird’s singing which could be a potential synth. Today I make almost all my synths with the Granulator II from Max 4 Life. It really gives me all the creative freedom I need.
When I have a basic idea started, my inspiration just takes over. I am hearing ideas in the recordings that I am playing with while laying it under the production. I really love playing around with feedback from the H-Delay from waves. I would be recording, reversing, cutting and doing it all over again until I have something I like. My projects are a mess until I start finalizing the song. That is when I start labelling and organizing everything. When I am still creating, I don’t mind the mess. I think in a sense it lets me be free. That is until latency starts taking over haha. I know a song is finished when I managed to get all the details done. It’s usually something nobody would hear in the music but has meaning to me personally.
Who or what are the biggest influencess on your sound?
I try to listen to something different and new every day to keep my ears fresh. When I’m making music, I don’t look at other artists and try to just make what I feel inside. I do have inspirations that I look up to for example Machinedrum, Flume and Moby. They all play a part in why I started the Malvae project.
Could you tell us a bit about your relationship with CloudKid? How did you find each other?
I ran into CloudKid when they featured one of my songs in their mixes on YouTube last year. Since then I did 2 releases with them and all I can say is that I am very happy with how everything is going. They believe in my vision which is very important to me and are giving me the creative support that I need.
You’ve been incredibly prolific this year with a good mix of official remixes and singles. What can we expect to hear more of specifically next year?
Thank you! You can expect a lot more music from me. I really want to bring my project to a next level. I want to work more with stories of where the sounds came from to make it even more personal and hope this will inspire others around the world.
For aspiring producers trying to find their sound – what advice do you have?
Don’t look at what others are doing. Look inside and only compare you with you. That way you can measure your progress and not be disappointed with yourself because of another artist releasing (in your opinion) better music. Don’t get me wrong. It is totally fine to be inspired, but that is different than trying to remake another artist's sound.
A listener will think completely differently of your music. I also think that new producers these days are looking too much at acceptance of other producers, rather than what their own fans might want. It’s the fans that will come to your shows and listen to your music on a regular basis. That’s all you need to worry about. Just keep working on your own ideas and the rest will unfold by itself.
Favourite tracks of 2018 so far?
Sophie – "Faceshopping"
A.fruit – "Days"
Ross From Friends – "Project Cybersyn"
Quiet Bison – "Holding" w/ Rad Hatten
Exhibition – "Hands"
Moby – "The Waste of Suns"
Moby – "Mere Anarchy"
DJ LILOCOX – "Vozes Ricas"
Taska Black – "Dead Inside" (ft. Ayelle)
What So Not – "Be OK Again" (feat. Daniel Johns)
Angelica Bess – "Sail To The Sun" (Prod. By Machinedrum)