State of Mind – Serving Up Beats From Siberia To Sunshine Coast

Published in Music  
State Of Mind play Elements Winter Solstice Festival (Sunshine Coast). State Of Mind play Elements Winter Solstice Festival (Sunshine Coast).

Being a drum & bass producer who gets to travel the world sounds like a dream come true; until you find yourself jet-lagged and confused in a town in Siberia, the name of which translates to 'fish pit'.

Surgut (the aforementioned 'fish pit') is one of many odd places Patrick – one half of New Zealand drum & bass duo State Of Mind – has visited on tour.

"I'd played in Moscow the night before, and it was quite a decent flight up." He passed out in his hotel room in an effort to sleep off the jet-lag, but woke up to a surreal surprise.

"When the alarm went off, I looked outside and it was still sunny, so I figured I must've gotten the time zone completely wrong."

Dazed and slightly confused, he slipped back into slumber but was woken moments later by the promoter banging on his door yelling: “It's white night, it's summer out here. We don't get darkness."

The drum & bass producer then found himself in the amusing position of driving to a club for a 1am set under a bright blue sky, passing people enjoying barbeques in the sunshine.

Crazy trips like this were once the norm for Patrick and his partner in beats, Stu. However, the events of 2020 changed everything. "We would split up and go to Europe six times a year, three each, so that's gone completely out the window," Patrick says.

Of course, as a New Zealander, Patrick is certainly not complaining. "It got back to normal (well 'normal' in inverted commas) reasonably quickly.

"And we were lucky to play some amazing shows straight off the bat because when people got out of lockdown, the first thing they wanted to do was party again."

Those shows were some of the most electric the duo has ever played. "The energy coming off the crowd was like nothing else because they were just so grateful to be able to do it again. We all realised how important it is to our lives when it wasn't around anymore."

Like many creatives, Patrick and Stu found a way to make the most of the enforced quiet time created by the pandemic. "We got quite a lot finished."

Indeed, a new State Of Mind album is ready to drop at any time, but once again, the virus has a way of interfering. "Our label is based in the Netherlands, and they're still not back to normal there. And the shelf-life of tunes is different at the moment because they're missing the most important element, which is the dance floor."

Oddly enough, this means Australians are in for yet another treat. While State Of Mind is in the country, we get to hear all the latest drum & bass goodness before it's released.

"There will be a tonne of it. The set I played here in Perth the other night, I'd say over 50 per cent was unreleased." This includes State Of Mind originals as well as some tunes from overseas.

European festivals are only just starting to sprout back up again, placing us in an interesting time warp where the music is there, the albums can't be released yet, but Stu and Patrick are free to mix it up on our side of the equator. This means the sets coming up from State Of Mind are going to be extra fresh.

Adding to the good fortune of artists from our hemisphere is the fact that they still have access to the inspiration gained from the dance floor. "We've had the luxury of being able to test a lot of our music out how we've always done it – in front of an audience."

Whether you realise it or not, as an audience member, you're part of the creation process. Your energy and your reactions inform the music, so every move you make matters. "We rearrange tunes to suit dance floors, and if we can get that right then we know we can consider them for an album."

The scenery has an impact too. Though it may have been sunshine and barbeques outside in the little town of Surgut, the club was dark and thumping, just like the drum & bass State of Mind are famous for.

This is a big reason why Patrick is looking forward to headlining the Elements Winter Solstice Festival. Their drum & bass is the music of "cold weather, dark clubs, and the puffer jackets of yesteryear," he says. "Big jackets on, I'm happy with that!"

Of course, our idyllic winter weather – "It's meant to be winter here, but this would be a super hot day in parts of New Zealand" – is just one, small part of why this trip to Australia means so much to Patrick.

"This is the first time in over a year that I've been able to leave the country. I feel blessed to be one of the first cabs off the rank to be able to travel again.

"I feel honoured, to be honest, and I'm really looking forward to the Sunshine Coast."

State Of Mind play Elements Winter Solstice Festival at Landcruiser Mountain Park (Sunshine Coast), which runs 18-20 June.



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