For over two years now, veteran electronic producer Eliot Lipp and Ghostly International mainstay Adrian Michna have recorded together as Minutes Unlimited. Equal parts production duo and sample factory, the two made their mission statement “maximum efficiency,” and they’ve kept their word, releasing four EPs, two beat tapes, and one full album, I.D.E.N.T.I.T.Y., thus far. Built from an arsenal of production hardware, these beats glide over woozy funk synths and diamond-cut trap drums, with the track titles repeatedly spoken by a pitched-down, disembodied voice, like some sort of cyborg mantra.
Minutes Unlimited have generously offered up an exclusive free download of samples, available below. Read on for a brief Q&A about the duo’s origins, hardware, influences, and more.
Listeners: Head to Minutes Unlimited’s Bandcamp for streaming, vinyl, and cassettes.
How was the Minutes Unlimited project formed? Had the two of you worked together much beforehand?
About 10 years ago we toured the US together, and later worked on some beats but never released anything official. We also bonded over our love of unique samplers & synths. After numerous solo albums, we reunited in 2018 with a focused vision board and formed Minutes Unlimited.
Are you able to work together in the same room / studio, or are you often separate? If separate, is it due to pandemic, or other reasons? If together, where do you record?
We only work in studio. We do all the actual recording sessions at the Downtown Brooklyn studio and mixing & mastering happens at the Greenpoint Loft. We also used to rent studio space at Spaceworks NYC before they shut down.
Is there a pretty even balance in your music, between being samples others can use, and being standalone tracks? Do those two things require different mindsets when writing to any degree?
We create sample packs every time we start on a new EP or project. We access our arsenal of custom sound banks while producing and writing material. It seems natural to share the samples, it’s nice to see what other artists do with our sounds.
Are there any specific influences, musical or otherwise, for the project’s efficiency themes and mysterious futuristic imagery?
We both make visual art as well – Eliot is drawn to the gestural motion of abstract expressionism as well as painting with a focus on unique texture and application. Adrian is drawn to op-art, hard edged multi-dimensionalism, and custom-shaped canvases. Graffiti is an inspiration.
Stylistically we share a love for techy stuff like Autechre, Aphex, Plaid, Kraftwerk, Jeff Mills, Brian Eno, Dan Bell, Jandek, comedy and others inform our minimal side. Hip-hop production from 1990-2020 obviously is an influence, as crafting beats is in our DNA. Ideas for melodies come from all over.
What gear do you use to make your tracks?
It changes all the time but we like to incorporate all different outboard legacy brands because they all have their voice, and it contributes to a robust final blend: Korg, Waldorf, Moog, Yamaha, Roland, Boss, Emu, Akai, Access, Ensoniq, Kurzweil, Eventide… If you combine any of these with some boutique pedals and a solid DAW the fun is unlimited.
You’ve already released quite a bit of music as a duo. Is there anything forthcoming we should keep an eye out for?
– Locked groove series
– 2021 EP
– Modular video effect pack