Feb 15, 2017
Spencer Brown: Vernal & Anjunabeats Worldwide
Spencer Brown is a young artist in the midst of a huge week. Yesterday he released his three track Vernal EP, with the title track having been included on last week’s release of Anjunabeats Vol. 13. He was also selected to mix the latest episode of Anjunabeats Worldwide, and man did he deliver! His mix features 100% original Spencer Brown music, and is masterfully crafted. Enjoy our interview with Spencer Brown while you check out his newly released (and unreleased) music!
How did the tracks on your Vernal EP come about? What do you think ties them together and made you want to release them as a package on an EP?
I visited Yosemite for the first time in May and went on the Mist Trail (connecting Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls). I cannot put into words the sheer beauty of this day – the waterfalls felt spiritual in a way. I felt so inspired that I wrote “Vernal” and “Nevada” immediately after returning home. “Divine Intervention” came a month or two later out of nowhere and felt like the deeper missing piece of the EP, and it naturally fit given I was in a similar mindset at the time.
How would you describe your approach in the studio and the types of tracks that you’re going for?
In the studio, I have two mindsets. The first mindset is the creative part, where I take experiences from my life and reflect them into an instrumental. This stage is often spontaneous and cannot be planned. Sometimes I have to get out of bed and write down a melody then go back to sleep. Usually the most fruitful ideas come after spending a lot of time outside. The second mindset is the engineering/mixing mindset. This mindset requires tremendous focus and concentration, so I always shut off my internet and phone to stay in flow. Basically this mindset is where I take the crazy inspiration that spontaneously came to me and massage it into something digestible and sonically pleasing. When I’m not outside or in the studio, I like to read math and physics textbooks – been getting deep into relativity and spacetime lately. In my mind, the more I understand how the universe works, the more I can tap into existential inspiration.
What has it been like playing these tracks out? Do you have any favorite memories playing any of them?
Although 90% of “Vernal” was written in about 30-45 minutes, I redid the mix (in the second mindset) about 50 or 60 times over the course of 7 months before finishing the final copy. I will never forget the first time I played the final mix right before Above & Beyond at their NYD show in Newport Beach. I could feel the mood of the venue lift...so many smiles in the crowd; it was at this moment I knew this version would be the final mix.
What does the support of Above & Beyond and Anjunabeats mean to you?
Truly humbling. Words cannot do justice to describe the appreciation I feel to be supported by such legendary icons and their top notch team. In high school I listened to Anjunabeats Vol. 8 over and over and saw Above & Beyond live about 6 or 7 times, so it’s such a neat perspective getting to know them and realizing they are such kind, passionate, genuine people.
Can you talk about your Anjunabeats Worldwide mix [tracklist below]? Looks like these tracks are all yours! How does it feel to be able to play a 100% original mix like that?
I love playing fully original mixes because if something doesn’t sit quite right or something doesn’t flow quite right…you just open up the project and change it! I changed keys and tempos of almost every record in that mix to allow for optimal flow. It also feels very rewarding to create an hour (or often more) of music that was created completely from your mind; it’s cool to immerse your listener in your brain!!
What are your goals for 2017? What do you hope to have experienced or accomplished by the end of the year?
My main goal for 2017 (and beyond) is to positively impact as many people as I can. The world is such a beautiful place, and I think some people have forgotten this simple concept. We are on Earth for an infinitesimal speck of time, so making the most of appreciating the simple things is key. My main outlet of impacting lives is through my music; even if one of my records connected with only one person and helped define a memory for this individual, it’s absolutely worth the journey for me.
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