Mind Dynamics isn't a band so much as it is an aesthetic experiment. The New York City-based duo, made up of Brian Whatever and Daniel Creahan, can usually be found huddled over a blinking hive of electronics, clad in the futuristic white and black uniforms of Brian Whatever's clothing line, Whatever 21.
On their new album, All Terrain, out now on Bootleg Tapes, the tracks meander and almost accidentally find themselves club-ready. But the club in question is actually a hot tub of bubbling grey goo and digital detritus. This LED zen heaven is where mechanical squeals and dead-end dance beats morph into pseudo-ambient stretches, creaking out garbled pop and self-help snippets just long enough to trick you into chilling out. As soon as you're not paying attention, Mind Dynamics steal your data and throw your useless past into the back of their Chinatown dump truck heaped high with a bunch of cracked iPhones, shredded DVD-Rs and knockoff luxury goods.
Dan met Brian by chance after a acquaintance asked for help moving and Brian happened to be her roommate. After a night of hauling sweaty boxes, they bonded over a shared love of Mr. President's "Coco Jambo" and began to play together. Soon after, Brian showed Dan a strange book called The Miracle of Mind Dynamics given to him by his former neurotic boss, a woman from Queens he drove around for a few weeks when he first moved to New York City for extra cash. She was obsessed with Dr. Joseph Murphy, a New Thought minister ordained in the field of "Divining Science" who wrote books about the power of the subconscious mind and self-actualization. During his time with her, she gave him two books, one of which was The Miracle of Mind Dynamics, which centers on the idea of perceiving your desired reality and embodying it.
Brian and Dan's beginning as a musical act was fueled by the Bushwick arts scene in Brooklyn—a fluid community fueled by post-new-age pseudo-mysticism (which permeated everything at the time) and Tumblr-wave aesthetics. During this generative period, members of the Bushwick community were starting to throw incredible dance parties, particularly the former cast of Market Hotel. Aurora Halal's Mutual Dreaming party in particular was a big influence on Dan and Brian, as were Fitness Gallery's early shows with VIOLENCE, DJ New Jersey Drone, LeSphinxxx, NuDepth, Jono Mi Lo, and Pvre Matrix. These parties reified Mind Dynamics' aesthetic direction by looping them with other artists who favored propulsive sound, elaborate performance art, and a visual aesthetic referencing urban post-consumerism and cyber fetishism.
As Mind Dynamics' discerning eye concretized, and Dan began his Master's at New School, the project has become headier still. In recent months, during the production of their latest album, conversation has centered around accelerationism and the way we exchange with ideas about the future by designing future objects for use in the our present. The same ideas are very much engaged with Brian's clothing designs and art. Nostalgia as a method of marketing has completely skewed ideas about place-time, and led the consumer into a sort of "whatever goes" mentality, he explains. Therefore, whatever you're using or looking at can be from whenever, referencing whatever. You don't know what the linkages are exactly pulling from that resonance.
But at the core, Mind Dynamics is about awareness and self-actualization. According to Dan: "There isn't an outside to the band, so to speak, it's a permeable membrane. A space that exists because of the gear we plug together and what we manifest with samples. Something jarringly familiar and totally commanding that comes out of nowhere."
Mind Dynamics' All Terrain is out now on Bootleg Tapes