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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Exclusive Interview: Paul Mayson Delves Into His Debut Album ‘One Life’
Paul Mayson‘s first-ever album, ‘One Life,’ is like a special mix of his love for House music, blended with different kinds of sounds and cool collaborations from artists all over the world. You definitely don’t want to miss this interview!
1 — With the release of your debut album ‘One Life,’ what are your expectations for how listeners will connect with the music?
My goal was to showcase my story and my sound. And for it to be an uplifting, positive, and summery album. Hopefully, it feels like that! It’s a collection of songs made at the moment, to make you feel happy and free. It’s about embracing life, the good things and the bad. And about doing what makes you happy.
2 — You’ve teamed up with a diverse range of international artists on this material. Please let us know how these collaborations came to be.
It was really exciting taking elements from different genres, working with a group of great artists who come from very different backgrounds, and bringing all of these sounds and flavors together on one project. A lot of artists I meet myself, reach out to the people I’m interested in. I often travel abroad to work on music together and do sessions in London or LA. Sometimes collabs can also happen through the label or the publisher, but ultimately it’s great to have an artist-to-artist relationship.
3 – What compelled you to emphasize the themes of life, freedom, and diversity in this album?
I’m very passionate about House music culture and the way it started. Which was all about positivity and celebrating life together. I love that message and think the soulful, feel-good element of House music is what always really attracted me to the genre. And to music in general, including other genres like Soul and RnB.
A few of the songs (like “Tell Me How” and “I Want You”) were basically made during one big jam session. It’s me just trying out completely different sounds, textures, and rhythms and experimenting with live drums, guitars, and whatever I feel like. Letting go of any rules connected to dance music allows for a really fresh approach to the album songs.
6 – How does the artwork complement the album’s concept?
It emphasizes the feel-good element and the overall message of the album. Life is in front of you, it’s there for the taking. You’re in the hallway, step into the light and embrace life.
7 – Will there be another amazing music video like “Have It All,” dropping in the near future?
We released a really cool art piece and visualizer for the album which I’m very excited about!
8 – Given your ambition to push boundaries within the Dance genre, do you think the bunch of producers already out there could make it tough for you to really stand out?
I think individuality is key. Doing something you’re passionate about. Telling your own story. If you go into that process, the outcome will be unique. Not following trends and doing my own thing is what helps me stand out and allows me to be ahead and I try to keep pushing myself.
9 – Among your studio essentials, what’s the item that you consider the cornerstone of your setup?
Quite a lot of my work is digital. I carry my laptop around and can produce and write anywhere with it, whether it’s my home studio, the studio in Amsterdam, a hotel, or even an airport. That’s what makes it flexible and international! Just being able to work anywhere and get the creative process going. At home I also love my Adam A77x monitors and I also use a Prophet synth.
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Exploring “My Friends”: Tobtok Talks Creative Process And More!
In this exclusive interview, Swedish producer Tobtok discusses all the details about his latest single as part of the ongoing countdown to the upcoming ‘My Friends’ EP. This is a collaborative effort with farfetch’d that you definitely shouldn’t overlook.
1 — Congratulations on the release of “My Friends.” Please tell us more about the influences and musical style that shaped this cool track.
Thanks! This tune has taken inspiration from bits and pieces of tracks I’ve been into over the last 10 years, everything from Daft Punk to Fred Again. It contains a lot of micro samples and vocal lines that are in a similar vein as old French House records, but we also wanted to experiment with the current UK rave sound, which we think ended up in a pretty unique and interesting way.
2 — How did you and farfetch’d navigate the creative process together, especially when faced with differing ideas or disagreements?
We were kind of on the same page with most things to be fair. Jerry from farfetch’d is a very creative guy and he loves to bash out new ideas, which worked well for me to develop into full songs. We worked on every track together in my studio and finished them off together. Of course, we had some different ideas about certain things but since none of us had a big ego, we just compromised. I think when you like the same kind of music, you usually think quite alike.
3 — What sets this collaboration apart from your previous singles?
I think this is possibly the strongest single from the EP. It feels catchy and is super simple yet not too boring. It also has Jerry’s voice in it which is unique to any other of our tracks.
4 — Can you share any funny anecdotes about specific moments while crafting “My Friends”?
We have hidden a few wacky voice notes in it as a sort of ambiance. It can be heard in the second verse or whatever you wanna call it. You clearly hear Jerry laughing about something, but I can’t remember what it was.
It’s track no.3 from our ‘My Friends’ EP which has a total of 6 tracks. It was released via Perfect Havoc on 29th September.
6 — What are your emotions when your music receives recognition and praise from other producers in the industry?
It’s always so much fun to get praise from your peers and colleagues. These people live and breathe music and probably hear way more stuff than the average listener, so I guess they tend to be less impressed by music.
Haha most definitely. I started out with French House which evolved into Nu-Disco. I later jumped on the Tropical House train (quite early on in my defense). Left that and tried something cooler with my track “ABER,” and from there, it’s been more of a mix between UK and Deep House.
8 — Is there any specific music genre you’re eager to explore?
Old School Disco and Soul. I’m a big fan of the 70s as a whole, that’s why I’ve bought a few vintage Roland pieces in my studio and a Rhodes Piano.
9 — Considering the global nature of music today, are there any international artists you’d love to collaborate with?
I love Jungle right now, for reasons made quite obvious in the previous question. They’ve mastered this cool retro 70’s/Motown sound and yet managed to make it sound fresh somehow. I’d love to just hang out in the studio with them and see what they do.
10 — As we conclude, do you feel that there’s a certain formula that artists can follow to produce chart-topping hits?
Nowadays, it’s all about doing something that stands out from what everyone else is doing and probably also adding a sprinkle of nostalgia and familiarity into something. A good example is the new Peggy Gou record which is a massive hit that takes inspiration from ATB but puts it in a new and interesting context. It doesn’t hurt to have a massive TikTok following either lol.
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From Drummer To EDM Producer: Kouss Opens Up About “Can’t Go Back”
You must read this interview with Kouss! He used to rock it as a badass drummer in the Stellar Revival band, but now he’s spilling the beans about how he switched things up and got into making electronic dance music (EDM). The spotlight is now on his latest track, “Can’t Go Back.” Learn more here.
1 — Putting your sound into words, how would you convey the mood and sensations that your music evokes to someone unfamiliar with it?
My music aims to be an uplifting and thoughtful blend of Progressive House and Dance-Pop. Even though the music is very dancefloor-friendly, the songwriting is very Pop-forward. I also love mixing live instrumentation with electronic production to create layered recordings. As a drummer, having live elements mesh with the electronic really brings out a unique texture.
2 — Your transition from Rock music with Stellar Revival to EDM is quite remarkable. Can you tell us more about it?
The transition from Rock to EDM is an exciting and natural creative evolution. I’ve always been passionate about electronic music, so finally being able to fully immerse myself in the genre as a producer and songwriter has been fulfilling. My background as a touring Rock drummer also gives me a unique musical sensibility that I try to incorporate into Kouss Records.
3 — As a drummer, you had to adapt to a different genre. How did you translate your rhythmic background into this new realm?
When approaching any genre, especially Dance music, I’m utilizing my background in percussion to create grooves and drum patterns. The drum parts still come from the same creative place whether I’m sitting behind a drum set or drawing with a MIDI controller. I will say that with EDM I find myself focused more on groove and restraint.
4 — In what ways have Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta played a role in shaping the sound of your new single “Can’t Go Back”?
Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta definitely influenced the melodic and atmospheric vibes in “Can’t Go Back.” Their music motivates and challenges me to produce massive soundscapes on the highest level. They’re all melodic magicians, and I continue to be inspired by their work. I also feel like I put my own spin on “Can’t Go Back.” It’s almost like the line between EDM and Pop became blurrier on this track.
5 — What’s the story behind the song title?
“Can’t Go Back” is generally about moving forward and not dwelling on the past. For me personally, it’s about evolving as an artist and person.
I was introduced to Anna soon after starting the Kouss project by “Can’t Go Back” co-producer and dear friend Phil Barnes. The second I heard Anna sing I knew I wanted to work with her. She’s an incredible songwriter and an awesome human. It was an organic collaboration that we’re both stoked about. Definitely be on the lookout for more collaborations with Anna in the future!
7 — How do you aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through this single?
I aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through the authenticity and musicality of “Can’t Go Back.” It’s about delivering that special feeling to the listener. We crafted this recording from a place of passion as artists. The lyrics are relatable and cathartic, and Anna’s vocals draw you into this sonic world we created. We also tap into some nostalgia with the Big Room House vibe. But overall the goal was to give listeners an authentic musical experience that resonates with them, regardless of what genre they usually listen to.
Yes, “Can’t Go Back” mixes electronic production with live drumming and live guitars. The live instruments give the song a dynamic texture and human feel. Not every Kouss song will have live instruments, but it’s definitely a major part of the debut EP coming in 2024.
9 — Looking ahead, how do you envision your music style evolving?
I want to continue bridging the gap between organic and electronic. Creatively, I think there’s a lot of meat on that bone. I also don’t want to limit myself to a single genre or style. I love all types of music and ultimately hope to develop a sound that draws from those diverse influences and experiences.
10 — Lastly, reflecting on your journey so far, what’s been the most memorable or rewarding moment of your music career?
Working with talented musicians and creators who are excited about my music has been humbling and inspiring. I didn’t expect it, but the reaction to “Can’t Go Back” has been both unexpected and validating. It’s so cool to see the song played in clubs, gyms, and cars. I’m truly fortunate to share my passion for music and connect with listeners who share the same passion.