Bradley Exum, known in the Bay Area by his moniker MPHD, has come a long way since moving from the town of Merced to the heart of San Francisco — ditching his ukulele for a synthesizer along the way. Now Exum is becoming well-known for his hard-hitting techno and electro-infused remixes and original tracks, all while simultaneously pursuing a major in business marketing and entertaining the followers on his humorous, irreverent, and at-times angry Twitter account. While up in the Bay Area to celebrate New Years 2012, we grabbed some Thai food with the charismatic producer, and chatted about his many influences, his second EP on Bad Shoes Records titled “Fetish,” and what living in San Francisco means to him. We are ecstatic to start off the new year by bringing you this brand-new MPHD mix just for Arcade44 — it has definitely become a fetish.
When was the moment when you knew you had to make music your career?
I used to mess around with synthesizers and production programs really early on in high school, recording tons of tracks and keeping them stashed away in tapes or my hard drive. A close friend got a hold of some of the stuff I was doing and was really into it, and from then on out he really pushed me to take my music further, and take it serious. Support’s pretty much always been the key to it.
What music is making you excited right now? What are you listening to?
There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on in techno right now, and so many labels are emerging to share fresh, exciting tracks that I’m really excited to see where the music goes in 2012. I have to admit that I’ve been in love with Turbo Recordings’ catalog as of late, their artists always push it to the edge and their releases are always great.
Tell me a little about your background and how you started your career.
It’s a weird story, because I wasn’t exactly on the path to producing electronic music: When I was 15, I played indie music solo under another name, it was really twee stuff that you’d expect from something like the Juno soundtrack! In that year I toured North California and I was just introduced to so many different styles of music that I wasn’t getting introduced to in the small town where I’m from (Merced, CA), the most notable being electro. Somewhere along the way while after playing a show in San Francisco, someone took me to an after hours club where the DJ was spinning some of the craziest techno — and this was the first time I’d ever heard anything like that. I fell in love with techno right then and there, and started producing as soon as the tour ended.
How does the music scene in San Francisco influence and inspire you?
Musically, there are so many things going on right now in San Francisco that I believe it’s impossible not to find inspiration from something. I’ve also found that a lot of bigger name producers have this special drive to support and positively influence up-and-comers in the city that I haven’t seen anywhere else.
What are your favorite websites, blogs, and magazines for discovering music?
I’ve sort of fallen out of touch with finding tracks this way! Nowadays I pretty much discover music from promo tracks I get sent and mixes from friends, and then just research further into more tracks/releases from there — it’s a tried and true method!
1. MPHD & Soccius – Autosuggestion (Acapella)
2. Tommy Four Seven – Sor
3. NT89 – Tyme
4. Sound of Stereo – Opal (TWR72 Remix)
5. ZZT – Partys Over Los Angeles (TWR72 Remix)
6. Clouds – Matter
7. Modek – Goose Offender (Keith & Supabeatz Remix) w/ MPHD – The Network (Acapella)
8. ZZT – Vulkan Alarm (Proxy Remix)
9. Crowdpleaser – Jewel Self-Dribbling Basketball (Rynecologist Remix)
10. Azari & III – Manic (The Finger Prince Static Situation Remix)
11. Jori Hulkkonen – Threats
12. Gesaffelstein – Control Movement
13. Clouds – Articles (Ego Troopers Remix)
14. Attaque – Moderate
15. Bart B More & Harvard Bass – The Dark One
16. Modek – By the Pool
17. The Subs – The Face Of The Planet (Gtronic Remix)
18. Kigma – Sidesaw (Unreleased)
19. Ado – The Ultra