By: Brandon Lorenzetti –
DJ/producer Mord Fustang recently released his debut album 9999 in 1. According to Mord, 9999 in 1 is “kind of a concept album.” Growing up in the small Eastern European country of Estonia, Mord became a video game fanatic – today he claims “70% of my body is made of video games.” The title comes from the random numbers they always had on the plastic yellow cartridges. The album is an 8-bit homage to the nostalgia he has for those games. That’s evident in the retro-fantastic electronic driving songs like ‘Press Play’ (“When you play Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter, the timer ticks down until you press start,” he explains) and ‘Skyward World’ (“That’s built around the sound that would happen when you’d pull the cartridge out of old Genesis consoles”).
We asked the electro house/dubstep producer about his musical background, his influences and of course, video games.
How did you first break out of the small country of Estonia and into the global charts of Beatport?
No idea. People like Ford Mustangs I guess.
What is your musical background? Did you go to school for music?
Yes, I studied the piano for seven years at a music school in Estonia, and have been playingsince I was eight years old. I’ve also independently learned to shred like Steve Vai on the guitar. That is a skill yet to be demonstrated I suppose. Learning to play the piano properly is probably the most rewarding experience growing up, because it trains the fingers so well. Finger skill levelis maxed out.
Do you play any other instruments and how do they contribute to your DJ career?
I play a lot of electric guitar on my free time, helps to generate ideas quickly.
How would you describe your sound?
I don’t think I have to.
What has had the biggest influence on your music production?
8-bit & 16-bit era video games.
What video game consoles did you grow up with?
The first ever console I had was a russian NES clone, that introduced me to Super Mario Bros, Tetris, and all the classics. Years laters I got a PSOne for Christmas and it was the best time ever. I will never forget Crash Bandicoot and Gran Turismo that came with the system.
What were your favourite games?
Some of my favourite NES games were, and still are Chase H.Q., Battle City, Super Mario Bros., Contra, Lode Runner, Marble Madness, Adventure Island, Blaster Master, Chip ’n Dale 2, Duck Tales, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters andExcitebike among others. My favourite PlayStation game is still Crash Bandicoot (trilogy).
What games are you currently playing?
A little bit of Grand Theft Auto Online, some Saints Row IV, and some Guilty Gear Xrd, which is a really gorgeous looking fighting game.
What are your plans for 2015? Will you be doing a world tour now that the album is out?
Yes, New Tour, New Music, New Everything.
What is your present studio setup as far as hardware and software?
Hmm. Lets start with the soundcard, I regularly use two, a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, and a NITraktor 6, mostly necessary just for decent latency, and for recording external sounds. Then what I record is a Moog or a Korg something or a Waldorf or anything really. I lot of cool tablet apps out there to sometimes sample blips and bloops off of. And software is Ableton Live, and Logic Pro X.
Who would be your dream artists to collaborate with, living or dead?
Dead, Michael Jackson. Alive, Deadmau5.
What advice do you have for anyone trying to make it as a producer?
Don’t put anything out there until it’s finished and you are certain you can be confident about it being good.
Aspiring producers can check out Mord Fustang’s Beatport Play contest where they can win a chance to have their remix of Pop (Feat. LIINKS) be released to the world on Beatport as well as other goodies. Also, be sure to check out his new album, 9999 in 1 (out now), and look for him on tour this year!