Getting To Know… MindGazm
New York-based live duo, MindGazm (aka Gregory Gelfand and Jenya Taran), have a unique, trend-setting approach to their art, creatively combining Djing, VJing and live instruments. They released their genre-busting debut single, ‘One Funky Evening’ on Trax Records in 2020 to great acclaim and are back with an equally creative release ‘For Travelers‘ for their own new label. Feeder.ro checks in with this intriguing duo…
feeder.ro: Please tell us a little bit about where you’re from and how MindGazm were formed?
MindGazm: We live in New York City, but we’re originally from Eastern Europe. In the beginning, MindGazm was a jazz fusion band with visuals, but eventually the electronic sound took over and we arrived musically where we are today.
f: Describe your sound in 5 words?
MindGazm: Deep House, Rock, Funk and Jazz.
f: Who are your musical influences?
MindGazm: Chopin, Frank Zappa, Yotto, STS9 and Ben Bhomer.
f: What instruments do you play?
MindGazm:We play a combination of guitar, flute, keys and the DJ console.
f: Please tell us about your live show and what that entails?
MindGazm: We always perform as a DJ/VJ duo to enhance the audience experience, but on top we layer live instruments like piano, flute and guitar, along with vocals too. We also have guest musicians join us too. The key feature of a MindGazm show is that the visuals intertwine with the music.
f: Your new ‘For Travelers‘ EP is out now, what can we expect to hear across the release?
MindGazm: ‘For Travelers’ is ripe with worldly sounds from far away places, there’s deep house, electronica and melodic tech soundscapes that are combined with an array of live instruments. There are 4 very different compositions on the release, dedicated to travelers, so enjoy the trip!
f: The EP is quite diverse and journeys across many dance music genres, was this intentional or did it just turn out that way?
MindGazm: Wow!!! We will definitely take that as a huge compliment. The genre-bending aspect is very intentional as we really try to mimic the journey and put together music that might never fit together. Genre-bending to challenge the listeners, as well as the artists, is what we hope helps MindGazm stand out amongst the old and emerging artists.
f: Which is your favourite track from the EP and why?
MindGazm: ‘In A Rush‘ – this has a great melody with a vibrant combination of House and Drum n Bass. The climax of the track is something especially worth noting, it is really supposed to make you feel like you are in a rush somewhere and just about to arrive.
f: How do you typically go about writing a track?
MindGazm: It almost always starts with layer of beats and bass, unless there is a lingering melody that comes out of nature, every day life or street sounds. We then talk about how to mimic the various sounds to create a musical landscape or experience. If you look at the current pallette open to any producer you will realize that the sonic plane is endless and rich with sounds that can also be used for any genre or style. Every MindGazm track is an attempt to take you on a journey where the music is a scene set in space and time. The compositions always take on a life of their own like splashed paint on a canvas.
f: What’s your favourite clubbing memory and who was playing?
MindGazm: It has to be seeing Shpongle with a full live band. The visuals and video mapping were mindbending, and a live band of about 12 people accompanied the act. This was truly a revelation that a DJ can have a theatre like performance, which currently has not really been exploited.
f: What were the first and last dance records you bought?
MindGazm: The first dance records would have to be early pop like depeche mode or some early 90’s remixes of classics. Robert Miles ‘Children’ is a track that comes to mind. And most recently we have been buying music from a lot of new artists like Yotto, Ben Bhomer and many tracks from Ajunadeep records.
f: As a couple in life as well as in music, how does that enhance or affect your work together?
MindGazm: I think it is an amazing journey for us to be able to bond through music. Having an endless creative process between us really helps us escape on a journey together. Being able to work together like this has been a blessing because of the various skills that we both bring to the table. And it really helps us in everyday life being creative, working together and coming up with unusual solutions to difficult problems.
f: What do you like to do when you’re not making music?
MindGazm: We love traveling and performing, but we are also very family oriented so we visit with family and friends, but mostly travel. Travel is the ultimate inspiration the various cultures and people bring forward ideas that could never otherwise be brought into light.
f: What are you most looking forward to doing when the pandemic ends?
MindGazm: We are really looking forward to being able to play live shows and hope to start getting bookings once more as we did before the pandemic.
f: What’s next for MindGazm?
MindGazm: We are very excited for 2021, places are starting to open up and we already had a few club dates. We are really looking to break into the festival scene and plan some tour dates across the US and the globe, once restrictions are lifted. We are really looking forward to live shows and seeing people on the dance floor once again.
MindGazm ‘For Travelers’ will be released on February 27th 2021 on MindGazm Records.