This past Thursday a series of fortunate events led me to Side 3 Studios in Denver to write a review of locally based producer Mimosa’s new album, Future Trill Vol. 2. There is no better feeling than getting a mid-day email from your editor with a once in a lifetime opportunity and I quickly rearranged my schedule to make sure I could be a part of this private listening party. Having never been in a professional studio of this caliber I was taking in all that I could upon arrival. There were plenty of activities to keep the creativity flowing including foosball, a small arcade, full bar and a big screen TV. Mind you this was just the foyer which then led to what I was truly excited to see, the studio in which Mimosa spent a majority of his time producing and mixing his new record. As a musician with a small in-home studio, I was green with envy looking at the stacks of monitors and speakers not only on top of the soundboard but also custom built and sunk into the walls at optimal listening height. The electronics and wiring seemed out of a sci-fi novel and I could not wait to hear the speakers let loose and vibrate to the Hip-Hop and Trap inspired sounds of Mimosa.
The other 15 lucky listeners and I were greeted with beverages and took our seats in comfy leather chairs and waited for the conductor to arrive. Clad in a backward facing snapback cap, suede Adidas kicks and Leopard print socks, Tigran Mimosa excitedly strolled into the room. He thanked everyone for coming and talked briefly about how he had produced half of the songs in a studio in Brooklyn before coming back to Denver to finish it all off. The room was buzzing with excitement and enthusiasm to hear the fresh tunes as a preview for Mimosa’s headlining set at Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks.
With niceties completed, Mimosa set to opening his laptop at the helm of the mixing board and pressed play on his intro track. There’s no mistaking whose music we were listening to right from the get go. Mimosa’s signature blend of codeine drunk vocals, melodic synths and bit-crushed bass riffs hit the listener hard and early. Keeping things short and sweet in between tracks he gave a brief intro and kept things moving along quickly.
Mimosa has a gift for blending styles of music that had been kept under wraps through his previous releases. Even on Future Trill Vol. 1 he stuck with his Hip-Hop beat making and monstrous bass lines, but this album ventures away from that norm. He did continue to show off his craft of matching glitched synth lines with 808 drum beats to incite energy but also talked about how, while on tour, he has been inspired and influenced by different styles and sounds. It’s one thing to be inspired by a sound, but something else entirely to take that sound for a spin and lend your name to a genre you aren’t supposed to fit in. He introduced a track by explaining his experience seeing crowds react to House and Hardstyle music in Europe and coming to terms with the fact that he needed to expand and experiment to see if he could get incite similar feelings.
The House influence peered out from around corners in the track but also displayed Mimosa’s ability to take a new style and make it his own; like hearing a unique rendition of a cover song. With the equipment and electronic possibilities available to him, it would be a disservice to himself as an artist to not venture out and I was both surprised and giddy to hear an artist try and introduce new flavors to his sonic palate.
Each song had a distinct sound, which reinforces Mimosa’s creativity and willingness to press beyond the EDM community’s ideas about what he should be. Future Trill Vol. 2 is noticeably more lighthearted and less influenced by the Dubstep sound than the majority of his previous releases. While I’m a fan of the dark side of the bass world, I was smiling throughout my listening session knowing that I was catching a glimpse of an artist pushing his own limits and his enthusiasm was contagious. The man I had dubbed the “mad scientist” after catching his set at Red Rocks 2 summers ago was displaying his usual fist pumping and head bobbing while listening along with us. It was a privilege to hear background on the story and process behind each track, one having been inspired by the sunrise after a harrowing acid trip called “Sunshine” and another labeled “False Idol Gang,” perhaps in reference to the fan base he has quickly cultivated.
The final two tracks of the album were highlights for me and continued the foray into genre diversity. Acid-Trap-Jazz is the best way I can label the penultimate track, and the album was capped off with a swinging beat outro reminiscent of Flying Lotus or Thriftworks.
The portion of the night I didn’t expect was witnessing Mimosa’s outpouring of emotions while listening to his own music and displaying it for fans for the first time. While he would occasionally look around the room to gauge reactions, for the majority of the time he was fully engaged and invested in his works of art. The music, and subsequent raw state it puts you in, left Mimosa himself in tears at the end of the album as his grateful fans applauded and thanked him for the gracious invitation before being showed the door so Mimosa could put the final touches on his mix down for his Sunday night in the Red Rocks spotlight.