Arpeggios, wobbles, 1-up mushrooms and disco basslines...
2011-2014: First Singles and Debut Album
Mord Fustang burst onto the scene in 2011 and broke through with a blast of singles like “The Electric Dream,” “Lick The Rainbow,” “Milky Way,” “Magic Trooper,” “Champloo” and “Taito.” Originally released on the renowned Plasmapool label, they made Mord Fustang’s reputation for dancefloor-destroying tracks that willfully defied genre rules. Those original productions, plus slamming remixes for the likes of LMFAO and Morgan Page, led Mord to be voted Beatport’s “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” in 2012. Mord went on to become an in-demand global attraction, bringing his devastating, laptop-smashing DJ/live performance shows everywhere from London’s legendary Ministry of Sound to massive festival appearances at Coachella, Electric Zoo, and Ultra Music Festival. That success laid the foundation for his artist album debut, 9999 in 1 — a masterwork that builds on the innovative foundation he’s already built, and trail-blazes into some unexpected zones, too.
According to Mord, 9999 in 1 is “kind of a concept album.” Growing up in the small Eastern European country of Estonia, Mord became a video game fanatic — today he claims “70% of my body is made of video games.” Still, the only games available during his childhood were “pirated Russian knockoffs of Nintendo cartridges that had five games and weird hacks like ‘Naked Super Mario Bros.’ The title comes from the random numbers they always had on the plastic yellow cartridges. The album is a 8-bit homage to the nostalgia I have for those games.” That’s evident in the retro-fantastic electronic driving songs like “Press Start!” (“When you play Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter in the arcade, on the character select screen the timer ticks down until you press start,” he explains) and “Skyward World” (“That’s built around the sound that would happen when you’d pull the cartridge out of old Genesis consoles”) created over the last two years, after which Mord moved from his homeland to Los Angeles. “It’s cliché to move to L.A., but I wanted to be plastic like everyone who’s here,” he says. “I had nostalgia for the city from ‘90s movies and playing Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, and everything and everyone is here. I get my weed from the same shop Snoop does!”
The change in environment reflects the ongoing evolution of Mord Fustang. While he laces 9999 in 1 with what he calls “classic Mord tracks,” from the 4/4 hands-in-the-air electro-house anthem “Drivel” to the half-time wobbletastic banger “Milky Way Pt. 2,” the album also finds him pushing beyond his boundaries. Opener “1984” is a disco-driven floor filler rippling with growling synths and Moroder-esque arpeggios; the chopped-up noises and fractured rhythms of “Skyward World” and “Dopplegangbanger,” meanwhile, reveal his love for electronica iconoclasts Aphex Twin, Mr. Oizo, and Luke Vibert. “I like having messed-up elements,” Mord explains. “Luke Vibert just smokes joints and does whatever he wants when he composes music — I’m into that.” The variety of textures and styles reveals Mord’s ambition to make 9999 in 1 not just a collection of club bangers, but a long form listening experience that works in a variety of environments. “Every track is way different,” he says. “The whole thing is designed for headphones and the dance floor. What I create has to work on headphones, car stereos, and festival sound systems at the same time.”
9999 in 1’s video game theme proves especially apt as the primitive sounds contained on the bootleg Nintendo cartridges of his youth proved as the first electronic music he’d ever heard. Growing up in Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn, Mord didn’t seem destined to be a globetrotting dance-music icon. At age of 8, he entered Kose music school, becoming a piano prodigy thanks to his command of complex works by Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff. But classical music wasn’t his only thing. Inspired by both prog rockers like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, Nine Inch Nails’ industrial churn, and omnipresent hits by The Prodigy and Moby, Mord started making beats on PlayStation’s “Music 2000.” His life-changing epiphany happened at age sixteen, however, when he discovered Deadmau5’s “Faxing Berlin” — providing a path for him to merge his passion for technology (Mord studied IT for a year at the University of Tallinn) and musical composition. “It was simple, but the individual sounds were so clean and good,” Mord recalls. “Hearing that, I thought, ‘I can do this.’ I put some tracks on SoundCloud and randomly called myself ‘Mord Fustang,’ and that name just stuck!” That off-the-cuff decision was just the opening salvo in the unlikely journey that has led Mord Fustang to turn into not just a dance-music icon, but the complex artist that 9999 in 1 represents.
In 2015 Mord releases an EP under Deadmau5’s mau5trap imprint titled “Murmurs”. Also in 2015, he creates a music pack titled “Diamonds” for Valve’s Counter Strike: Global Offensive video game. In 2016 Mord starts a sort of a ‘pet project’ of a label in Los Angeles named Dawn of Light. The “Fragments: The Kingdom and the Juggler” EP is released. After a tumultuous period in LA, Mord takes time off for a year. In 2017 he releases the “main menu” theme from the Counter Strike: Global Offensive music pack titled “Diamonds” on the Dawn of Light imprint, marking his return to the scene. Singles “Because of You” and “Happy Day at the Zoo” are released late 2017.
After releasing singles “VRES” and “Sorbet” early in the year, in the spring of 2018 the “A New Sun” EP is released on the Plasmapool label, and that starts off a plethora of releases throughout the summer. 2018 summer sees the release of “EP2 2018”, a single titled “Cyberflunk”, EP titled “Contemporary Reality”, Mord’s emotional departure of a second studio album titled “Exciteshroom Adventure”, the single “Parallel Hearts”, and “The Concept of Inspiration” EP.
Autumn of 2018 sees the release of the single “Gaia” and the single “Ghost in Your Life / Filtered House Thing”, as well as the compilation “All Eyes on Mord Fustang 3”. Late in the year, two singles titled “Adieu” and “I’m a Voyager” are released off of his third artist album simply titled “III”, which itself is released November 9, 2018. “III Leftovers” is also released.
2018 also sees the release of an exclusive track titled “Elixia” for the VR rhythm game Beat Saber.
“Spiked Soda” single is released on December 7, 2018.
Currently Mord is working on some unannounced projects involving video games and music, as well as general sound design. “It’s funny to think it’s been eight years since I started doing this,” he says. “It’s been a hell of a ride — and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”