INTERVIEW: Aden Mullens (Ministry Of Sound)

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MINISTRY OF SOUND is renowned for providing the dance scene with their eclectic, sophisticated club mixes. Just recently though, the label handed us something a little different; their 50th compilation titled FUTURISM.

FUTURISM is fuelled by the hottest electronic music that has been sourced from around the globe. The compilation features artists such as FlumeChet FakerJessie WareDisclosureAlt-JFrank OceanAluna George and more!

With FUTURISM‘s release date already behind us, we thought it was time to shine the spotlight on the guy who runs the show.

His name is ADEN MULLENS – a dude who is perpetually on the hunt for new and emerging dance music worldwide.

Being the compilations manager of Ministry Of Sound, we thought it was appropriate that we ask him a few questions regarding Ministry Of Sound compilations, some of the process that goes into putting these mixes together and what lies ahead for the label.

How did the Ministry Of Sound compilations originate?

Some crazy idea off the back of a successful club night in London, 20 something years ago. A testament to the fact that late night clubbing ideas are worth putting into play.

Have you always been a huge dance music fan?

I was all punk during high school until I cracked my 20s and got bored of moshpit bruises and dood-fests. I let down my guard for a second, then dance music came rushing in.

Who is your favourite producer at the moment and why?

Any producer who’s doing something new for the scene usually gets my support. Right now it’s John Talabot, Myrryrs and Egyptian Hip Hop. next week it’ll be someone else I haven’t even heard of yet. New music keeps me alive and my job interesting.

Name the most memorable live show you’ve attended. Memorable?

The best show I can remember recently would be Theophilus London at OAF with a Big Boi cameo, and the best show I cannot remember could be, Justin Martin at the Metro quite a few years back (from reports).

What has been your favourite Ministry Of Sound release?

Our latest release FUTURISM is definitely up there. Electronica, bass and deep house. It was great to get so many forward-thinking artists on the one release – Flume, Jamie xx, Duke Dumont, Chet Faker, Frank Ocean, GrimesChillout Sessions are always fun to put together as well.

I understand it’s a massive job finding the right artists to put onto these compilations, yet you always seem to get it right. What’s your secret? How do you source your information?

Wow, that’s really nice of you to say. The lead time for our compilations is around 3 months, so there’s some crystal-balling that goes on trying to predict what tracks will be hot in 3 months’ time. I keep an eye on radio play, touring activity, club chart results, licensing, all of which gives me a good indication of an artist’s momentum and where they’ll be positioned right when the compilation is being released.

Roughly how many songs are considered for a Ministry Of Sound compilation before the selected tracks make the final cut?

We would usually license around 90 tracks for a compilation that includes 40 tracks. Some pretty brutal culling goes on during the mixing process, which can be tough when faced with removing tracks you really love from the mix.

You’ve just released ‘Futurism’ which deters from your usual club mixes as it feeds on electronic music. What influenced you to create this compilation?

There’s so much good electronic music coming out right now… and I always think it’s important for Ministry of Sound to credit the evolution of our domestic electronic music scene. I think electronic music fans are pretty progressive and open-minded people, and with the abundance of great electronica and deep house being released, I’m glad we’re able to release a compilation like FUTURISM and get some much positive feedback and support.

Can we expect more releases like ‘Futurism’ that reflects on different genres compared to previous Ministry Of Sound compilations?

I hope so. It was great to put together. If we get the support, we’ll do another.

What else can we expect from Ministry Of Sound in 2013?

There’s heaps coming up this year so we’ll have to chat again soon. Through our label etcetc, I’m working with an amazing band called Favored Nations, a talented producer (who reminds me of The Avalanches) called Kilter, and PNAU are currently back in the studio as well. For the latest etcetc news I’d recommend connecting HERE, and for all compilations and competitions connecting HERE.

Grab a digital copy of Futurism HERE.

Words by Hannah Galvin.

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About:

An avid fan of Sydney’s jazz and found sound scene, as well as eating peanut butter from the jar.