It’s not every day that we get to witness two technical wizards unite on a two-tracker. 

During the past years, Current Value & MVRK have joined forces behind the DAW a few times, leading to a few bangers, including the impeccable single ‘Glottal Stop / Oppenheimer‘, just released on STUDIO.

To mark this occasion, we brought the two talents together for an exclusive in-depth interview, revealing the story behind their collaboration, their views on the current and future state of the scene, and their recent approach to music production.

With Current Value’s more-than-20-year-long career – does he even need an introduction? – & MVRK’s signings to some of the most significant labels of the genre, from Neosignal to VISION or YUKU, there’s plenty to discover and to learn from these two bright minds.

The artwork for MVRK's & Current Value's release 'Glottal Stop // Oppenheimer' on STUDIO.
The artwork for MVRK’s & Current Value’s release ‘Glottal Stop // Oppenheimer’ on STUDIO.

To start off, I’d like to ask you both one word to describe each track of the single!

T – I was thinking of a couple of words, and I think “restless” could be the one. This goes for both tracks, really. I wouldn’t separate them because they are different tracks, but they display a similar thing. Restlessness is because they don’t put themselves out upfront. They are not so ostentatious as tunes. They don’t want to be bangers or anything. Mark is the one that actually took the “banger-ness” out of the tracks while we were working on them, it was quite interesting.

M – For me, the one word that comes to my mind is long, because it took quite some time to get them right. I agree with you, Tim, I kind of took the banger-ness out of it. I felt like the mixdowns were coming together better this way.

T – Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. I always found that taking the edges and the pushiness out of the mix seems to be a bit longer-lasting for these particular tracks. To have a little bit more weight towards the bass as well as taking a bit of the brilliant highs off, which was the main change I did in the mastering. I think they do a great job compared to other tunes, even the loud ones, the bangers, and stuff.

Love that approach! How did you two meet, by the way?

T – Actually, I don’t think we already met in real life. We were just texting for some reason. I came across Mark’s music and I thought, “Well, there is some technical kid going here. This is really interesting. This sounds more than just good”. And, it was me contacting you, right?

M – Oh, no, no, no. It’s the other way around. There was some AMA you did on Reddit and someone asked about your opinion on upcoming producers, and you mentioned me. After that, I contacted you and sent some music and you said, “Let’s make some music”. And, I was like, “Fuck. Okay. Sure!”

Nice one. So, that’s how you started collaborating. How did the process go? Were there a lot of back-and-forths?

T – So, Mark sent tunes, and we chose some of them. If I remember correctly, I was actually sketching something up using the stereo files. Working something directly into the web files. Just to give MVRK an idea of how this could work.

M – Yeah, aha. I sent you a private Soundcloud URL, and you straight off ripped the SoundCloud link to work on the tunes.

T – Yeah, I just, I couldn’t wait for him to send all the stems and stuff. I’m rather a rush-to-the-project person. Like, what can you do with it? And then just sidechain on top of the stereo master and send it back already. But then, of course, he sent me the stems, and we had a few back and forth, but not too many. I think for these tracks, considering collaborations in general, it was rather quick. Small changes, like sound changes, most of the time: softening some snares, some transient design, etc. The arrangement was there pretty quickly, after the first two exchanges or something.

Interesting! So, guys, speaking of the single, what is your favorite track on it and why?

T – Mine is probably Oppenheimer. I couldn’t really tell you why. Probably because it’s so fluent, so fluid. It has that unstoppable never-ending loopiness somehow. As if you see a vinyl turning on a turntable, and then you see the needle wandering from one side to the other.

M – I would choose Oppenheimer for the same reasons. I started the drums and the main groove, and you added those scenes in the intro. From that, I developed the outro and the other melodic elements. And then it just came together quite nicely.

Alright, see. If you had to choose one thing you like in each other’s production, what would it be?

T – It’s less a specific technical thing. It is rather the approach to the final product. Mark is able to take his time. Just looking at a tune and being separated from the final song, giving it more time. Admitting mistakes or at least analyzing some things that could be better in the end. Conversely, I’m always a little impatient. It’s not that I rush things, but I’m, I’m already at the next project, while I could maybe have looked at some of the things for a bit longer. Give tracks a month or two and then listen back to them again before you finally decide.

M – I actually wanted to talk about the same subject. How do you maintain this work rate?

T – I don’t know to be honest. I just can’t live in the music if it’s taking too long. It’s that initial spark. If it gets colder, it becomes something else. It is much more detached. But in this detachment lies the lack of enthusiasm. If you’re not really interested in something, then you won’t be 110% in it about how to finish it. That’s how it works for me.

I personally think people ask too many questions when they produce because they take it too seriously. In the end, my goodness, it’s just a tune. There will be a next tune. And you know what? There will be a next tune after the next tune.

Alright! And apart from this single, are you working on other stuff right now?

T – I always work on several things. I’d say there are phases of super inspiration, where I just have two, or three weeks where I really seem to bang out idea after idea and just try to make this into tunes and then later work on them again. In recent months, I’ve been working on a ‘Beneath The Sonics’ release. It’s a Facebook group that got founded last summer. I decided to make it like a brand, like a label. I’m planning to do an EP, or some sort of bigger release, quite soon. So, I’ve been collecting tunes for that.
I was always shying away from the idea of having a label because there’s so much responsibility. And, in the end, you think like, “Hmmm, was this a good idea?”. Especially with me being quite tunnel vision with my art. I just want to be the musician, do the rest for me kind of thing. To be a label manager, to do events, to DJ, and to be a producer at the same time, there wouldn’t be enough time to focus on the producer side of things. So, yeah, I just want to do something digital, that is distributed via Bandcamp and all the profit goes to the artists instead of doing 50-50, like a Beaport type of thing.

What About you MVRK? Any plans?

M – Yeah, I just finished working on a mix for STUDIO. After that, I’m gonna start working on this mix for Camo & Krooked. Producing-wise. I’m also always writing music. I made a couple of hip-hop beats. I was really inspired by the new Ivy Lab album. It’s crazy. It got me going to do some similar stuff, some melodic, slower BPM-stuff

Artwork of Ivy Lab's latest album 'Infinite Falling Ground'
Artwork of Ivy Lab’s latest album ‘Infinite Falling Ground’.

Speaking of production. Do you have a favorite technique at the moment?

M – Yeah, I like to work with waveshapers right now. It’s a very good tool. I’m also sampling a lot. Especially for the hip-hop stuff. Going back to the traditional way. Resampling sounds and playing with the different pitches. It is very different from how we write music in drum & bass or electronic music in general.

T – I’m trying to bring back the modular stuff into my productions. The last album has already seen a lot of that. I have the Modular G2, but I mostly use the VCR Rack, which is pretty interesting and sounds unique.
I’m also coming back to what I’ve done a long time ago, doing some sort of circular music where you have loops playing and then other loops, counter-loops. It’s still 172 bpm, but it’s also displaying a sort of dance music, free-form type of sound.

an example of VCR Rack in action
An example of a VCR Rack in action.

I see! So, last question for you guys. With AI, and all the new technologies popping up at the moment, how do you see the future of electronic music? In 2050 for example.

M – I think the production is going to be much easier than it is now, but I’m not sure if this is a good thing. Even with AI or just non-AI stuff. Production will be more accessible. The consequence of that is that even more, similar stuff is going to come out. You can already see these kinds of tendencies right now, with the sample packs and shit. How the scene is going to look like, I have no idea. Drum & bass is not going to disappear anytime soon, that’s for sure.

T – I agree with what Mark said. We will probably also have controllers that involve moving hands or looking in certain directions and controlling something. Also, many more apps for smartphones. Every kid will have access to musical tools. Even, like, programs. There are already some of them out there, but they’re not as capable as the PC or Mac-based things.

It’s a good thing for music that producing becomes even more accessible, but at the same time, there are so many more people wanting a piece of the cake. It’s super hard to be someone in this digital music realm now, and with more accessibility, it will become increasingly difficult.

That seems like a bleak future, but I agree with you guys. A final question for you, Tim. Are you ready for the STUDIO Invites show in Paris on the 5th of May?

T – Yeah, I’m ready! For the last sets, I’ve been experimenting with some of the really old Current Value stuff to put in there, just to see people’s reactions. I integrated it into the new stuff somehow, which works pretty nicely. So, I, guess I will do some of that. I’m happy to make it as interesting as possible for you all, as well as for me.

Banner for the next STUDIO Invites event
The banner of the next STUDIO Invites event in Paris, Petit Bain.

Awesome! Let’s wrap this up. If you both have a final word or something to plug in?

M – I just want to say thanks to you, Maxime, for all this work and the feedback for the tracks and everything.

T – Yeah, nice. There seems to be a lot of serious work going into this and also thanks to the Turkish artist, seskamol, who did the amazing visuals. Even though he’s not here today, it’s just amazing to see that everything comes together, and it’s taken seriously and just put out there very seriously. You don’t have that too often. I mean, they’re all serious, but there’s serious and serious. So, I’m quite happy with how things are going and really looking forward to the party as well.


Thanks so much to Mark & Tim for the great conversation. Don’t forget to follow them on socials.

You can stream/buy the ‘Glottal Stop // Oppenheimer’ single on all major streaming/selling platforms here or on Spotify down below.


Current Value