▼ with Mystic Pulse
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▼ with Mystic Pulse

“By fusing inspiration from the sound system culture and his experience in creating diverse sounds, this ‘Ragga Muffin Junglist’ has been cooking up plenty of fresh Bassweight recently! He delivers that what Bass lovers listen, executed in a different style with every production.”

Interview by: Michael Janiec

There’s an upcoming Dutch producer you might have heard about recently, his name is Mystic Pulse. What’s the news? He’s playing for the first time at the upcoming Subway XL in Rotterdam, and he also managed to make an impression by hitting the top-3 in the Juno Dubstep charts (twice) with his first releases on Rasta Vibez. Not to mention Mystic Pulse’s upcoming collaborations and unreleased tracks; both oozing with potential.
Marijn Nikerk (Mystic Pulse) is a Rotterdam-based producer with a strong liking for Dub, Reggae and Jungle. He got his sound engineering degree at the SAE in Rotterdam two years ago. Since then, he’s been steadily making a name and building a foundation through collaborations and ongoing commitment. We talked with him to get an update on his current plans and future aspirations.

How does it feel to reach the Juno Top-3 charts so quickly?
It’s really nice. I think it’s because of the efforts of Rasta Vibez, the new sublabel of Triple Vision. Their previous three releases, which came out before mine, got received really well on Juno too.

So how did you come into contact with Rasta Vibez?
They are located near my home actually. I met someone from the Blendits crew, they are connected with Triple Vision. After sending in some tunes, which weren’t really like the sound Blendits represents, they told me to come by at Triple Vision and talk with Marco Grijsen, he’s the owner of Triple Vision. It just went from there.

Rasta Vibez Like
How has this success affected your attitude? I can imagine these releases has set a pretty high bar to follow up on.
I’m still sober about it and I will keep doing what I’m doing. Of course, it’s natural – I want to surpass these results. But, for me it’s not about how much it sells, it’s more about how my production evolves. Even though, I do have some interesting things lined up for the near future.

Can you tell us more about these plans?
Yes. I’ve got a digital release coming up. It’s a project I started about a year ago. It’s a remix of a Malaysian reggae-hip hop band. I accidently met them when they stayed in Holland. Typically you have a good conversation and make a few promises about working together on music, usually these promises are quite empty. Yet, this time things took off. So I made a Dub remix for them, which is being released next month.

On which label can we expect it?
They are doing the release by themselves. As a band quite known in their own country, there’s no need to have a label involved.

So, perhaps Mystic Pulse will be performing in Malaysia in the near future?
Well, actually we’re talking about it! There’s a realistic chance we will be working together on another project. I do want to go there within a few months.

How do you look back at your time with SAE Rotterdam?
It was fantastic. Normally people are just happy to get a certificate. For me, it was rather heartbreaking to leave there knowing I wasn’t coming back. It was a really valuable, especially when I’m looking back now at the things I have learned about music. And the many friends and colleagues I’ve met there, which I still see on a daily basic.

This audio engineering course is known as an intensive one. Normally students have three years to finish which you have done in two years. How would you describe this extra pressure?
It’s really about what you make out of it. They can tutor you in certain skills, but you will have to learn them by yourself eventually. I’ve given it as much as I could then, this meant less chilling and less going out and working in the studio during the evenings. Because it’s only two years, I always aimed to make the time there count.

I can imagine it must have been tough on some days. How was that?
Sometimes you don’t get exactly what you want while making music. At these times it’s a matter of knowing that with practice you will get better. But it still can be frustrating when you aren’t on the level to pull certain technical things off right away.

Your alias Mystic Pulse looks as a strong brand presentation-wise. How did your education at the SAE help with creating that?
At the time, this alias did not exist yet, and I had rather different plans. This project came to life after my schooling. Even more so, at the SAE they teach you little about presenting yourself as an artist –  you are fully dedicated to your work as an audio engineer. There are very little assignments where you actually make the music yourself. At the time I was still looking for a good artist name and a new direction, Mystic Pulse was born a year after finishing my education.

Your previous alias DJ Salmon is no more. How did he go?
The things I started doing at school, opened my eyes to new ways of doing my things. My roots as DJ Salmon were based more on Hip Hop and turntablism, which started for fun mostly. Due to my education, I became more serious about my future. I decided to take a step back from doing gigs and releasing music – starting from scratch again basically – something I wanted to do with a new alias.

So Mystic Pulse was born. Does the name have a certain meaning as well?
It was pretty hard to find a good name. After doing some searching and combining different words, this was the name that felt good to me. It’s like a ‘Mystic Pulse’ – hard to predict what’s coming next. There’s a bit or Reggae in the name, but also Dub or Jungle. This name flows with different directions and takes on music, which is exactly what I’m planning.

You said you are inspired by Congo Natty. Do you compare your own tracks with theirs or with those of other artists?
I almost always do this now. It’s something I learnt at SAE Rotterdam. When you are working on something for weeks, it becomes easy to get lost without having a reference. I compare my songs with favorite artists and judge them based on things like levels, impact and cleanness.

You will be playing at Subway XL for the first time next month. What’s the story?
Geoffrey vd Tuuk (Nicon) is the Subway boss, I know him personally and I’ve sent him some music. He told me he was looking for a DJ to open the night with chill beats, but different than what’s mostly played there. He gave me the chance to do an opening set and I’m very excited and thankful.

Do you have any plans yet for your opening set at Subway?
It really depends. I’ve been thinking about it thus far and I’m deciding if it will be Jungle, Dub, or a mix of these two. I can’t really say yet, I probably will bring a couple of options with me, and see how it goes from there.

Your new release “Live Up” has just been released on 12″, what’s the story behind this?
This release is a result of a series of productions I made two years ago, trying to bridge the gap between Jungle/Drum and Bass, and Halftime Bass music. Both tracks start off Halftime and built up during the progression of the track. Which is perfect to use it in my DJ-sets, especially while combining both styles! After playing them for almost two years, they have now finally been released.

It’s there anything more you want to tell us about your upcoming projects?
I’m working together on different tracks for the new album of ‘Punky Donch‘. I really like their sound and the tracks I’m working on are really awesome. I’m really excited about this collaboration. Their Rasta/Reggae sounds really fits with Mystic Pulse.


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Big thanks to Mystic Pulse for making some spare time to do an interview with us. Be sure to check his set at Subway XL9, on 21st November in Maassilo, Rotterdam! Also, if you like what you hear, follow this guy on social media – there are some upcoming tunes by him which are really worth checking.

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xoxo Michael Janiec.