Check out this super-informative interview with Beautiful Machines. My favorite band from San Francisco revealed some exclusive details about their upcoming single “Bastian”. Not to mention, we also discussed their new album ‘Singularity’, which is out soon. All this, and much more exclusively on Electro Wow!
1 — Hello guys, it’s nice to hear again from you. Are you on your way to reaching your 2018 goals?
It’s nice talking with you. Yes, we will reach our goals. Things have changed over the past year. We’ve decided to really take the reigns from here on out. What does that mean? We are now not only writing our own material but also recording, producing, mixing and mastering all of our stuff. So now it comes straight from the musical origin (I like to think of it as a gigantic swirling cosmic gummy bear) to the listeners’ ears and hearts. We are much happier with what we’ve been producing on this latest album and hope our audience will be too. We are also, in a sense, our own label, management, booking agent; art, show and product designer. So we wear a many hat, but it feels more in tune at this moment.
2 — What’s the inspiration behind your new single “Bastian”?
“Bastian” was inspired by the lead character from the movie The Never Ending Story. He’s the author of his own life, he creates his own destiny and what he imagines comes into existence. He realizes that he is part of the story he is reading and co-creating. What a beautiful metaphor for manifestation and how we as humans interact with life. “Bastian” also has a double meaning, since “Bastian” is that bastion of hope for his world, and likewise for our world. It seems how we view the world, what perceptions we hold, drive what choices we make and ultimately what we contribute to this world.
Now realizing it from a different perspective, “Bastian” inspired us. What I was saying earlier, about us embracing wearing many hats – allowing as much as possible to come straight from the musical origin. It’s what we’ve always wanted to do, embodying our musical visions so to speak. I think at least one of us feels like “Bastian” from time to time, and we’ve definitely asked ourselves and each other time after time: “Why won’t you do what you dream?” as the narrative in the song says.
We traveled a lot in 2017, it’s been a rite of passage kind of year, leaving behind the familiar, and taking a leap into the unknown. We spent Christmas in Thailand, against the strangely concocted backdrop of orange sunsets over coconut tree lined beaches, industrial wasteland, and ancient ruins. That was when the last pieces fell together musically and emotionally, and “Bastian” came into being.
3 — If listeners could take away one message after listening to it, what would you want it to be?
Never give up your dreams. Fear is a limitation, but it’s also a great teacher. When we overcome our fears, we grow and expand. From this place, we can create beautiful things.
4 — Was it hard to hit those falsettos?
After several rounds, you start to get really light headed. So no need for drugs during those takes!
The short answer is yes, we hope to. We love making music videos. They’re a great medium for expression and can really amplify and bring about what the artist is trying to convey. We would love to create a music video for all the tracks on this upcoming album. The artwork points to an expression of what the music video would be like. In this case, it’s about a boy’s daydream becoming his reality. The album cover was made by a young artist Elia Pellegrini from Italy, he really got the vision for the song, when we were discussing the album art it was practically a psychic conversation.
6 — What can your fans expect from your upcoming third album?
The third album is called ‘Singularity’. We want this album to be an experience. On headphones or in your car, we want you to just get taken away. I don’t want to say “a musical journey” but that’s what’s we intend. There’s a lot of thought put into this – little secrets, hidden messages, equations, easter eggs, riddles, secret passages, environments, and things that will later come to light for the seekers. We’re placing greater focus on sonic architecture, with really crystalline high details, a wide midrange, and sub sonic frequencies – something for the audiophiles like ourselves. Song length is something else that we have played with, so it’s not about radio tunes only, there are some longer tracks that tangent off into the aether.
We started using a lot more analog synths on this album. Moog Voyager, Jupiter 6, Juno, Oberheim OB-Xa to name a few favourites. First time using a saxaphone, new bits on the guitars like e-bow and slide, and we used some classic, yet modernized drum machine sounds. Some of these synths are so retro that they don’t have midi, so every note and pitch bend and knob tweak were performed and recorded in real time, such as the magnetic lead in “Bastian”. Stef the synths player quite enjoyed making things that way.
8 — Why did you choose the name ‘Singularity’ for this new project?
We love sci-fi and fantasy. We attend a lot of futurist events and meet with people on the crest of technological change. ‘Singularity’ is all about a new coming age where we get closer to a future where man and machine merge. I mean it’s already been happening for some time. Humans augment reality with technology, whether that’s as simple as glasses or prosthetics or as advanced as piloted rovers to explore distant worlds. Can we imagine trying to navigate driving in new places without our smart devices? Computers are everywhere. Just imagine where it will go from here. Even with our amazing abstract minds, we do have our time limitations – meaning, I don’t think we really can look 50 or 100 years into the future with great accuracy. Of course, we can make forecasts and model some aspects, but there’s just too much data and unknown variables.
‘Singularity’ has two meanings. In astrophysics, it’s the single-point origin of all matter and forces in the universe. Ray Kurzweil uses ‘Singularity’ to define a point where machine intelligence surpasses human. It can be seen as a powerful revolution in human history. There’s lots of debate on this subject as well. People are either pro technological advancement, such as transhumanists, while others don’t think it’s actually possible. And yet other people don’t believe an age like this will ever happen. As such, there is no right answer for this and we aren’t prescribing to any side. Instead, we are merely exploring through music some of the feelings that resonate when putting our creativity towards this idea. We actually went around from Berlin to New York to San Francisco, video interviewing people about this notion, with some very interesting understandings.
This concept unfolds in our album Singularity as we explore various facets of this subject. It really is a “what if” thought experiment.
9 — So far, can you reveal to us your favorite track?
Well, each serves a different slice of the favourite pie. “Bastian” hits us deep in the heart, while “Take the Night” makes us want to toss our heads around. “OperaTor” really drives and the ending is so good we just keep wanting to play it. Honestly, all the tracks in ‘Singularity’ are gems.
10 — What’s next for you in the remaining months and beyond?
We have several new releases coming each month. Following “Bastian’s” release on Oct 12, we have a Halloween track called “Take the Night” on Oct 26. It’s a Zombie-fighting party song. We’re working on a remix with FutureCop!. We have a sci-fi music video coming out called “We Have 2 Escape” with a sneak peek Nov 5 (hint Back to the Future). The video was directed by Timothy Plain (The Spirit Machine) and the song was mixed by Yoad Nevo (SIA, Goldfrapp, Depeche Mode, Dandy Warhols) Then we have “OperaTor” – a major odyssey of a song on Dec 6 and the album should be here before the holidays.
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The Reactivitz Shares Thoughts On Techno And “Todo En La Vida”
“Todo En La Vida” is one of the latest club bangers from French Producer The Reactivitz. He has releases on Suara, Filth On Acid, Octopus Recordings, and more. In this exclusive interview, he shares his thoughts on Techno and, of course, the new single.
1 — What’s the story behind your artistic name?
Hey Guys, thanks for having me on your interview series. My name is Jonathan, a 29-year-old French DJ, and producer living in Lyon, France. I started producing and playing music under the name of ‘The Reactivitz’ about 10 years ago. At the start, I was producing different sounding music, more like Deep House, House, and Electro. Therefore, it took time to find my own style as I have always enjoyed many genres of music. The underground scene always gave me a buzz and I felt a strong connection with Techno in particular. For years now I have been releasing and playing Techno and Tech House. I love creating dark and powerful tracks with melodic elements, peak time energy, and cool vocal samples.
2 — How do you genuinely feel about the current state of the Techno scene as a whole?
Besides COVID-19 which put the whole scene at a standstill for 2 years, in my opinion, the Techno scene is at the same time full of opportunities yet really closed.
Indeed, we hear more and more amazing music from upcoming talented Techno artists. Every week, I listen to music on different platforms, and I am always amazed by all the new tracks I find from artists I never heard before. With social media, streaming platforms, and Beatport, we have now the opportunity to discover more music than before and it’s a really good point as we have a lot of choices. These ways of communication are helping a lot of the artists to showcase their tracks, even if sometimes DJs and producers spend more time on social media taking off their image than music.
Regarding festivals and parties, we are seeing more and more big Techno events worldwide. Many people enjoy Techno and it’s a good thing for the future of underground music. Nevertheless, I would deplore the fact that we can’t see new names on lines-up. We have so many talents out there, but I am always disappointed to always see the same names when I go to a party. I really think that a lot of truly talented producers and DJs would have their places at the top of the scene, but politics and connections are blocking them. As an artist, even if you are talented, you will need patience and a lot of hard work to get to the top.
3 — Where do you get inspiration for your Techno tracks?
Most of my inspiration comes from what I listen to every day. I listen to many artists in different genres and it’s helpful to give me some ideas for my tracks. I can spend days listening to house, techno, rap or even pop music to find interesting new sonorities. I really like to see how artists structure their tracks and how they make them sound, whatever the genre is. When I am producing, I am trying to mix elements from different genres to have a unique sound. It means that I am not putting up barriers, I produce what I feel when I am in the studio as I love to explore new things. Sometimes producing outside the box allows getting amazing results.
4 — As a producer, does it matter if music is commercial or underground?
In my opinion, it doesn’t matter as long as the music is good. Personally, commercial music is not something that I really enjoy as I prefer producing and playing underground music, but I am not against adding a bit of commercial sonorities into my tracks from time to time. Today, we can see a trend in both genres: a lot of the former commercial artists are getting into the underground scene and also underground artists are adding more commercial elements into their tracks. Is underground becoming the new commercial? The future will speak.
5 — What prompted you to take this Latin-influenced approach for your new single “Todo En La Vida”?
“Todo En La Vida” has a special meaning to me. It’s been a while since I have wanted to produce a track with some Latin vocals because my family is born in the south of Spain, so I wanted to do something related to my origins. Also, as I said before, I wanted to explore new things and I thought that the summertime was the best time to offer something different, more groovy and housey.
6 — “Todo En La Vida” is translated into English as “Everything In Life,” that being said, what’s the most important thing in your life?
The most important thing in my life is my family and my friends. I spent a lot of time with them. They give me advice and support me every day with what I am doing. I am happy knowing that I have their support whatever happens.
7 — Would you consider remixing this track? If so, what producers come to mind?
At the moment, I don’t think that it would be necessary to have another remix done on this track as Luke Andy made a stunning remix already. But maybe it could be a good idea to have some more remixes in the future. I am always interested to hear what other artists can do with my tracks.
8 — What do you think about this collaboration with Luke Andy as a remixer?
After having sent “Todo En La Vida” to There Is A Light, they suggested me to have Luke Andy as a remixer. I thought that it was a good idea as his style perfectly matches the vibe of the track. He did something different with his own vision and I really love it. Can’t wait to play his remix at my next few shows.
9 — What’s next in your schedule?
After “Todo En La Vida,” I will release a new collaboration track with djseanEboy on my label Immersion called “Strange,” followed by a two-tracker EP on Unity in August. I have also planned to release some tracks on Immersion further this year. This week, a new EP with Mauro Somm has been confirmed on FORM which will be released on September 2nd. During the next weeks, I plan to keep producing a lot of new songs and I have many tracks that I’m excited to release.
10 — How do you plan to keep your music style so innovative?
Listening to more music helps me to keep my music style innovative. As I said before, I love to hear many genres to get inspired for my next tracks. Traveling and discovering new amazing places is also a good opportunity to innovate. When I come back to the studio, I have a head full of new ideas and it’s always a good thing! Another important thing is to collaborate with other artists. I love sending and receiving new projects, so we can both share our visions and come up with something completely different from what we did at the beginning.
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Niko The Kid Talks Career + EDM-Driven Single “Fine” — Interview
Niko The Kid dove into 2022 with rapid fire. Upcoming releases on Toolroom, At Night, Sony, UMG, and more were all scheduled for this year. With this interview, you can learn more about his career and his recent EDM-driven single “Fine.”
1 – How would you describe your sound to someone listening to you for the very first time?
I’d say my sound is pretty versatile. It’s definitely very synth-driven. I love pulling inspiration from older dance records, Disco, Hip-Hop, and combining them with these modern sounds. I think I land somewhere between House and EDM.
2 – What do you enjoy the most about your artistic career?
I think my favorite part is DJing. There’s no better feeling than playing music out live and seeing people enjoying themselves to music you created yourself.
I would say Throttle, Oliver Heldens, and CID. I love these guys and they’ve been a tremendous help to me coming up.
4 – Did you ever imagine yourself creating beats for Akon, Young Thug, and Gucci Mane, among other heavyweight talents?
Never in a million years. It’s been a wild journey so far. Coming up in Atlanta and spending 6 years or so in LA, I found myself in these situations to be able to work with some incredible people. I’m super grateful.
5 – What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
I would say navigating the ever-changing landscape of social media and streaming. It’s definitely a challenge getting new people to hear about you and grinding to create content while also making music. It’s definitely tough juggling all these things without losing your mind.
6 – Where did you get the inspiration to drop your single “Fine”?
I’ve been listening to a lot of melodic stuff like Rufus Du Sol and Camelphat. I’ve always loved these dark brooding synths and melodies. When we wrote the original demo I had these inspirations in the back of my mind.
7 – With this new release do you think your music has grown since you first started?
Absolutely. When I first started releasing music, I think I was still figuring things out. One of the hardest things about being an artist is honing in on a direction. It’s easy to get lost when you have such a passion for many types of music.
8 – What do you hope your listeners take from “Fine”?
The idea of the song is that we all tend to have self-destructive tendencies; big or small and that it’s okay to acknowledge that and move on.
9 – What’s your philosophy towards work while being at the recording studio?
My thing is to just always be creating, whether it’s music or visuals. Just making something. I also found a passion for 3D art during the beginning of the pandemic. It’s nice having another outlet. I find it helps recharge my creative juices for music to sit and create artwork or animations.
10 – Can we expect more songs to be released soon?
For sure! I’ve got a ton of new music on the way. I’m considering dropping an EP by the end of the year so definitely stay tuned for that.
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VON BUOYAGE Discusses New Song “You Ain’t Close” — Interview
VON BUOYAGE is a young artist making a name for himself in the electronic music world. This interview explores all the details about his recent collaboration with Australian rapper Honey-B-Sweet on “You Ain’t Close.”
1 – First of all, how did you come up with your artist name?
A lot of people call me “Bui” (pronounced like BUOY) so I wanted to stick to my family & cultural roots and incorporate that into my name. I also love traveling and the original word “Bon Voyage” means “have a nice trip”, so I thought it’d be cool to turn that into VON BUOYAGE.
2 – How did your approach in making “You Ain’t Close” differ from your debut single “Baddy”?
“Baddy” was a collaboration that took months of bouncing ideas back and forth before we were happy with the finished product. “You Ain’t Close” was a lightning strike inspiration moment, where everything came to life in the same night. I remember it was a late night because I don’t stop when it’s flowing. “You Ain’t Close” is a song that’ll always be special to me because it helped define my sound and what to expect from my music in the future.
3 – What are your thoughts on Honey-B-Sweet’s vocals?
I love her vocal performance and lyrics. I actually started this song with a recording of my own vocals on my iPhone – my first time writing lyrics and recording my voice on a song. But I wanted to take the song to the next level, so I sent Honey my lyrics to work off and the rest was history. She completely smashed her part out of the park, and I think she brings a new level of depth to the song.
4 – Where do you see yourself playing “You Ain’t Close”? Clubs or festivals?
I can definitely see people getting down to this song at large-capacity events and clubs. Depends on the vibe of the night 😉
5 – Who would you love to see do a remix of this song? Why?
Taiki Nulight – I think he’s got a diverse range in his production and I’d be super curious to see how he’d flip this one.
6 – How much importance do you give to the number of streams, views, or likes towards your music?
That’s a tough question that I’ve been reflecting on a lot lately. At the end of the day, the value of the artist and their body of work isn’t based on streams and likes. Unfortunately, numbers talk in this industry for better or for worse. Followers, likes, and streams, they’re all looked at, and I noticed that people will treat you differently based on your numbers. I hate it, and I hope it changes.
I started back in 2017 after I started working a full-time corporate job. I was on the search for more, and thankfully music found me. I self-learned on and off for a few years then decided to dive fully into the world of music at ICON Collective for their Music Production program.
8 – What’s the most fucked up thing that ever happened to you at the studio or performing live on stage?
Fucked up? Other than the typical producer horror stories of writers’ block and frozen computers, I don’t think anything crazy happened to me. Maybe a spilled beer on my keyboard haha
9 – Some artists are unhappy with the state of music right now. How about you?
I think there’s a lot to be unhappy about with the current state of music, but I also think there’s a lot to be grateful for. There’s always something to improve on, but the biggest change I’d like to see is platforms and opportunities for rising artists on lineups. I want to see fresh faces in music – talented people that treat everyone equally and with respect.
I would also love social media platforms like IG and TikTok to focus more on good music rather than virality. Eventually, music is going to sound very different with artists and labels pushing agendas around “good” content vs good music. Of course, great content will always be important, but platforms are starting to stray away from artistic creativity and freedom.
10 – What are your hopes for VON BOUYAGE’s future?
First and foremost, I want to influence positive change in music, both within the industry and in the stands. There’s too much negativity towards each other because of “reputation”, jealousy, and selfishness. I want to forge this mindset into crafting fun and memorable live sets for people who come to see me perform. My first goal is to tour within the US, but I’d love to take my music overseas to Vietnam, other Asian countries, Europe, and really anywhere people will connect with my music.
Otherwise, expect to see a lot of unique music coming from me in the near future. I’m collaborating with a lot of people who I think are pushing the envelope in the House & Bass community, and I can’t wait to show the world what I’ve been working on behind the scenes.