I always tend to make the best tunes in solitude but this isn’t always the case. I’ve also made some of the best music and mixes while collaborating with friends. I also find that when I collaborate with other DJ and Producers I have the most fun and create things that are outside of my comfort zone. I believe this is true for everyone. Getting together with a group of friends and jamming out will produce unexpected magical results. Case and point — Mostly Robot.
Mostly Robot is NI’s illegitimate child with legitimate skills. The group is composed of exceptional artists: Jamie Lidell, Tim Exile, Jeremy Ellis, Mr. Jimmy and DJ Shiftee. Truly ‘live’, each musician plays independently – instruments are synced only by the human element, with no MIDI clock or sync grid obstructing their creativity.
This behind the scenes video is truly inspirational to all out there who have been holding back on collaborating with other musicians.
Some tips that might be helpful when conceptualizing your next collab project:
1. Have an intent Make sure that there is an end goal. It doesn’t matter how big or small. Even if it’s creating a 10 minute mini mix at the end of the session, it’s important that you have an intent to complete something so that you don’t waste time going in circles.
2. Distribute sections between collaborators Say you are collaborating with 2 other friends. Distributing who takes care of what part of the end product is important to staying focused on a single task. Master what your section is and trust that your partners will master their section, the end result will be 3 masters at a single thing instead of 3 people who are sort of good at 3 different things.
When selecting who does what, make sure everyone is involved in this process and people work on the portions of the project they are very skilled at. In Mostly Robot’s case, Shiftee was the man behind the decks. Even though Shiftee can produce and work with production based elements his task was to be the “Master” of the turntables.
3. Do it Write up a contract between your collaborators and do it. You will never know if your group or collaborative project will be the next best thing until you try it.