This month in Warsaw, Desperados took to converting a life-size train into a musical instrument for Mount Kimbie to play during an interactive live performance. The “Train Trax” project is the third installment in a series of wild experiments in music, following other boundary pushing experiences like the rave in a plane at 30,000 feet above ground, and a house party where the house was also an instrument for the night’s soundtrack. The “Train Trax” endeavor which took place most recently, worked by strategically placing RFID sensors on train tracks which would activate as the vehicle passed by, converting signals into notes which were then integrated into the band’s live set. BPM inside reflected the speed of the train outside, while passengers were able to interact with light and camera installations within. The final product is an experimental live recording dubbed “Synthi” which is expected to be released by Mount Kimbie later this year.

Check out the video above for a recap of the experience, as well as our conversation with the artists of Mount Kimbie below.

Have you performed on a train before? How did the whole Desperados thing happen?
“No,we’ve never played on a train before. We got involved because Desperados was looking for a band who could interact with their “Train Trax” idea which we were actually perfect for. The experience was insane as it was a whole new area of music experimentation we’d never played in before. Seeing how the crowd and the train itself shaped our set, made it a completely unique gig. The reaction from our fans was incredible.”

How did you put the set together for today?
“There were a couple of tracks that we thought would work well. We just started with the tracks that we thought would work well with the initial idea and then built a set around that, with peaks and troughs and stuff like that.”

People think your music is really emotional – is that what you intend it for?
“Yes. I think even music that is not necessarily overtly emotional, has its own emotional quality. Absolutely, yes.”

When you get to recording, what’s the session like? And how do you get started?
“We usually work separately, I’m working at home at the moment so I typically get started with coffee and breakfast. Then usually start with sampling something.”

You’ve worked quite a bit with King Krule and James Blake, in the future who would be your dream collaboration?
“I never have anyone for this question, it’s tough.”
“Kamasi Washington.”
“That’s a great one, that would be fun.”


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