Immerse you in the world of synthwave with MCP’s psychedelic film clip ‘VantaBlack’

Immerse you in the world of synthwave with MCP’s psychedelic film clip ‘VantaBlack’

Words by Matt Wilkinson

VantaBlack will teleport you straight to space.

One of 2020’s rare pleasant surprises arrived last month when Sydney’s MCP arrived with their first track ‘Dwam’. Perhaps the most mysterious three-piece we’ve ever come across, the progressive-electronic outfit have now surprised us yet again, tapping into Tron style magic with ‘VantaBlack’, a six-minute journey straight into space.

With its strong progressive, synth-waves, sample style vocals, and psychedelic seduction, MCP offer a sound like no other… and despite their clandestine identity, we just had to find out more.

Hey guys, thanks for chatting to Forte! First up can you introduce MCP to our readers and talk us through your intro to music?
Firstly, big thanks to the team at Forte for allowing us to introduce the music we make, and can I say, from one weirdo to another, were big fans of the mag! I guess the best way to intro MCP, would be to ask you, “what was your favourite movie as a kid?”

Back To The Future was, and still is, my favourite movie.
Excellent choice Matt, and by the way, by kid I mean… well you know, the age where you didn’t understand corporate greed, dirty politics or how fucked the oil companies are but we’re still old enough to know that girls had boobs, and that boobs might in fact be the most amazing things on planet earth. What age is that? Maybe it’s different for everyone. How about this then, the feeling of a pizza greased arcade machine, the feeling of putting rollerblades on for the first time and grabbing your hockey stick. We try and take that kind of hope and wonder and then combined with pure and utter darkness… oh and about 12 layers of analogue synth. I’m talking about 80’s darkness, Animatronics darkness. The kind of darkness that gave us movies like The Thing, Dark Crystal, Willow, Robocop. Fortress, that scene when the horse drowns in mud in the NEVER ENDING STORY, that shit was fucked up! That destroyed so many kid’s childhood.

In fact, I think this photo sums it up perfectly, and I guess that’s where MCP fits in, somewhere in the middle of all that.

Congrats on the blistering debut release ‘Dwam & VantaBlack’. Talk us through the process of pulling these tracks together?
We wanted our first releases to be two opposing themes. So ‘Dwam’ for me, showcases a bit more of the darker and disruptive sounds with strong bass overtones that we like the play around with, whereas ‘VantaBlack’ showcases a more progressive and psychedelic vibe with all hands on deck for synth, synth and more synth. Both songs were so different we thought it would be wise to release them at the same time.

Do you all collaborate on songwriting?
We were lucky enough to come up with the recipe for COVID songwriting about a years before working from home was an official staple. We’ve all been friends for a while and similar to saying a Point Guard is a floor general, we all know our role in this project and I think we play it well enough. Real drums, Real bass, Real synth. No CGI. Everything we live and breathe in the MCP Ethos The drummers represent our water, our sun, without his drum beats I’m just a lonely bass player, and that’s all I can tell you about the writing process, but if you like, come over to the studio in Redfern sometime and we can show you?

Word on the street is that you take a lot of inspirations from video games and 1980’s pop culture, and your music sounds like the perfect backdrop to a 19080’s sci fi thriller! Tell us a bit about the backstory to these tracks and what inspired them?
The streets are empty! Where did you hear this? Not just 80s, but all movies! Video games, comic books pre digital, Shit, maybe the golden axe theme song, or maybe the Michael Jackson Moonwalker game? Ha-ha, I’m just one person in this project, and clearly the biggest nerd in the group, no doubt the drummers blood runs deep with his love of Hip-hop, rock and jazz but seems to be constantly chasing unique and interesting drum beats and always pushing himself. and our resident Synth Lord is an analogue junkie, collector of synthesis.

The combination of electronic instrumentation blended with massive live drum sound is really powerful! How do you go about creating your music, tell us a bit about the process?
That’s the magic question right there. The endless search for the new sound. For us we like playing with themes and how they make you feel. Fake drums and natural drums bring out different feelings, so we like to use that as a contrast and showcase them at different times when necessary, similar to a scream in a metal song. Got to save the scream for the big bang at the end, that’s kind of our approach for natural drums.

Congrats on the official video launched for ‘VantaBlack’. Tell us about this. How long has it been in the works, and what kind of Tron style magic can we expect from it?
I’ve been telling my friends, “Get ready for the greatest $100 dollar blockbuster you’ve ever seen!” created and developed by Arron Millikin, who’s just quietly, my new hero, did this for mate’s rates. I gave him the song VantaBlack and over the past couple months we worked toward it. We used a couple samples for the moon landing. Both the reporter on the ground as the space shuttle takes flight, the famous news telecaster narration (Mr Cronkite) and three men in space (Neil and the gang). So, we made the entire concept a celebration of Space, time and infinite pleasure. Don’t judge to hard.

If you could collaborate with any other band artist or video game character, who would it be?
To be honest, it wouldn’t be a band or charter it would be a painter or some sort of design artist. Speak of which, our artworks for each song has actually been one of the most enjoyable parts of this project. Dwam was designed by our mate Jermey Lorde and he whipped up the most electric digital grid that just nailed our tone, and for Vantablack Sindy Sinn gave us a side of his artwork I had no idea was in him, in fact I got it printed and framed I liked it so much.

Each song we release, we like to pair with a different artwork. So, it’s been really exciting reaching out to different artist, just sending them a song, asking them “what was there fav movie as a kid”, and seeing how the song inspires the artwork. Each time we have received an artwork back, it’s been super interesting to see how they interpret the music. What’s that famous line Jody Foster said as she’s being sucked through the worm hole “they should have sent a poet”, I feel that way with our artwork, like a poet to paper, an artist to canvas. If I had to choose right now, I’d say, I’ve always been a fan of Patricia Piccinini’s work. If we could magically somehow get her to make us set pieces for a music video or design an artwork for a song, my god! Life complete.

Lastly, what’s one thing we don’t know, but should know, about MCP?
The Less you know about MCP as a group, the better! But we got two more tunes for yah coming later this year. Hope you like the saxophone!!!