Mitch Murder is Johan Bengtsson from Stockholm, Sweden. His new wave styles and smooth production are somewhat of a rarity these days and that’s why he’s a large part of Rosso Corsa.
Back in 2008 we heard a couple Mitch Murder tracks on myspace and were blown away by the clean pads, complex bass lines and clever chord progressions. Since then we have been blessed with two Mitch Murder albums here at Rosso Corsa: Burning Chrome from August, 2010 and Current Events from November 2011. Both albums have a refreshingly clean sound that are, at times, not far off a late night news-cast theme. Others are slow-jams, flirting with jazz, which we aren’t afraid to call easy listening in a good way. Many of the tracks have complex basslines which is surprising since Mitch doesn’t traditionally play the bass.
Johan revealed to us that his tracks were largely produced with a step-based sequencer, a process known as tracking. He uses a program called Renoise with a secret caché of VSTs. Asked about modern production techniques, he says “i’ve used tracker based sequencers for about 15 years now, and have no intentions whatsoever of ever switching over to a piano roll based daw such as cubase or ableton.” You can see a video of the program in action:
Mitch lists some pioneers such as Paul Hardcastle, Vince Dicola, David Frank, Jan Hammer, Harold Faltermeyer and Giorgio Moroder as his influences. We challenged Mitch about being retro: “I don’t really mind being described as retro. i make 80’s music after all. however, i’m not going for a “retro sound” when composing. I don’t use a bunch of lo-fi filters and such to make it sound old, I try to make 80’s music as if it were still 1984, and the music’s still fresh, if that makes any sense.”…“I really don’t pay that much attention to new music anymore, i used to be very much into the whole electro scene (proper electro, not the “electro house” stuff that’s out now), but these days i mainly listen to 70’s and 80’s music, and some mid-early to mid-00’s electro, such as legowelt (and the rest of the hague scene), imatran voima, mr.velcro fastener, dmx krew, mandroid, and a whole bunch of others.”
Mitch Murder’s music really speaks for itself and catches people usually on the first listen. His first album, Burning Chrome, is here with us at Rosso Corsa, but since then he has been busy with new styles and lyric-based production with Snow and Kristine. Mitch says “working with vocalists is something entirely new to me, but i love it, and would love to do a full length release with either of these two. Right now though i’m working on some new stuff with Kristine and not only does she sing, but also lays down some guitar work!.”
The best way to hear Mitch Murder is on soundcloud where he has the most active Rosso Corsa following. Not included is one of his favorite tracks, Montage, which is included on his first album and at the bottom of this post. He says Hollywood Heights is “the most 80’s sounding track i’ve ever made” and we agree.
“Rosso Corsa is my favorite label.”
Naturally, we have decided to share our favorite Mitch Murder track for download and we have also embedded his massive Soundcloud page for your pleasure. Enjoy.