Swole Sauce flaunts melodic dubstep skill on ‘Lost’ [Q&A]

Swole Sauce flaunts melodic dubstep skill on ‘Lost’ [Q&A]IMG 6610

At the intersection of dubstep, brostep, and bass is a name that has been coursing through virtual bass circles: Swole Sauce. A self-instructed New York native motivated in part by a push to disrupt what he describes as a stasis in the dubstep context, Swole Sauce—known offstage as Steven Zaslow—has steadily drawn a digital following since he first began disseminating his sound via SoundCloud in June.

With a trio of inventive remakes of cult classics—”Seek Bromance,” “I Could Be The One,” and “Ocean Eyes“—in his back pocket and the Marshmello-sampling “Colors” in the immediate rearview, Swole Sauce is continuing his career-building campaign with “Lost.” Underscoring Swole Sauce’s imaginative ear, the potent output sees him harness melodic dubstep in a collision of sound that is characteristic of the genre and simultaneously carries his own distinctive touch.

A rising experimentalist with clearcut potential in various electronic subgenres, Swole Sauce is an ascendant talent that electronic enthusiasts will want to bookmark. Dancing Astronaut spoke with Swole Sauce about the catalog-expanding single and his stylistic aspirations in an interview that can be canvassed in full below.


For those unacquainted with your sound and the releases that you’ve put out to date, how does “Lost” build on your release history and how does it embody the Swole Sauce sound?

Swole Sauce: “My sound is mainly melodic dubstep and brostep, and ‘Lost’ is a mix of both. The songs I’ve put out so far have been more melodic, but with ‘Lost,’ I wanted to highlight the heavy parts, while also complementing the song’s softer vocals.”

What can you tell your listeners about the creative process behind “Lost” and how the record came together?

Swole Sauce: “First, I familiarize myself with the vocals and really get a feel for the melody, then I work on the chord progression, then I like to slowly build up and focus on the break. The break is really important to listeners, you can have a hell of a buildup, but if the break doesn’t fit with the buildup and the rest of the track, then it’s not a bop.”

 When you were producing the track, did any of your influences color how you approached it?

Swole Sauce: “For this particular track, I thought a lot about Virtual Riot and his sound. In terms of sound design, I generally like to use a reference track to inspire me and then I start with a patch in serum and then develop the baseline.”

Musically, who are your main inspirations?

Swole Sauce: “Virtual Riot, Kompany, Leotrix, PhaseOne, Barely Alive, and Slushii.”

How would you describe your sound, and how do you see it evolving in the future as you continue to expand your catalog?

Swole Sauce: “I would say my sound is a mix of nice melodies, good chord progressions, and gritty bass lines. In the future, I hope to evolve and develop melodic dubstep even more. I feel like the genre is kind of stuck, so I hope to bring my own unique spin to it and revamp the genre.”

Watch: Calvin Harris dissects the making of ‘Over Now’

Watch: Calvin Harris dissects the making of ‘Over Now’Calvin Harri

Accompanied by his golden retriever Boris, Calvin Harris has shared an inside look of his Billboard-charting collaboration with The Weeknd, “Over Now.”

The Grammy Award-winning DJ takes viewers through chords, bass, his drum sequencer, sampling, the guitar melody, sageing his studio, taking a lunch break, messing with his analog synths, and more during his songwriting and production process in a brand new video that affords viewers an intimate look at his studio behavior.

Released in August, the only Calvin Harris release of 2020 has amassed nearly 40 million views on Spotify in the time since its initial debut. Although the Scottish DJ/producer has largely focused on his Love Regenerator project of late, the first Harris-credited release of the decade represented a welcome change in pace for many listeners who have steadily followed the alias’ activity.

Check out the video below for a glimpse into Harris’ lavish studio and the creative process that has secured his status as one of the most successful electronic musicians.

Featured image: Kevin Mazur

Must-listen: Excision breaks Subsidia Records ground with three compilation albums, one mix

Must-listen: Excision breaks Subsidia Records ground with three compilation albums, one mixEcision

What’s one way to make an entrance? Bursting into the label game with more than 100 brand new tracks across three compilations, according to Subsidia Records, Excision‘s day-old imprint. After announcing the news that he would formally be launching his own label on September 26 to the tune of 118 tracks from various artists, Excision has now broken Subsidia ground with the promised releases as well as one of his own mixes.

The trove of newly released content spans three compilation LPs, Subsidia: Dusk Vol. 1, Subsidia: Night Vol. 1, and Subsidia: Dawn Vol. 1, which showcase the multidimensional character of bass music. Across all three volumes, listeners can find contributions from Wooli, Sullivan King, Fancy Monster, YOOKiE, PhaseOne, Kompany, and many, many more. Stream each compilation below and the mix below.

Featured image: Rukes

Razzix dazzles with genre-bending new single ‘Find You’

Razzix dazzles with genre-bending new single ‘Find You’Orange Light Live Press Pic Razzi

Up-and-comer Razzix has made his debut on Diversity Recordings, and the New York City-based artist proves that he is a force to be reckoned with across genres with the release, “Find You.” The single opens with a poppy vocal that would find a home on any Top 100 radio station, and a progressive synth layer that dances around a building bassline. The build takes a brief pause before a final synth build yields an unrelenting break, giving the single a heavier twist.

Razzix spoke with Dancing Astronaut about the release, stating,

“I’m super excited about ‘Find You’—it’s the first of several tracks that will be released as a result of being confined indoors for much of 2020. I was particularly inspired by a few of my friends who are masters of melodic drumstep, so I decided to take a stab at a few tracks in the style. I quickly realized that I loved the blend of emotional melodies with punchy dubstep-style percussion. To top it off, I’m thrilled to have the support of Diversity for the release. I look forward to sharing some new ones with everyone soon!”

Featured Image: nickmaciarz.com

Valentino Khan unleashes ‘Deathproof’ via Mad Decent

Valentino Khan unleashes ‘Deathproof’ via Mad Decent36147882 1851437711818388 3065584898099118080 N

Valentino Khan continues his reign as one of the ultimate tastemakers of this generation in electronic music with “Deathproof,” the second single from his forthcoming EP, French Fried.

Following “Blackmail,” the bass house single features a sinister take on mid-tempo. “Deathproof” jumps off with a fast-paced set of tin-like clangs and progresses into an even more expansive bass sound.

Pulling inspiration from the likes of Gesaffelstein, Ed Banger Records, Justice, and others from the blog house days, the tune is simultaneously nostalgic and a glimpse into the future of bass music. As the track nears completion, Valentino comes in with his easily recognizable, signature sound that leaves fans frothing at the mouth for more. That’s exactly what they’ll get, what with Khan’s plans to release new music every two weeks leading up to the EP’s release.

In a press release, Khan said,

“I’m looking to continue to evolve as an artist by bringing a fresh perspective to the table sonically. I truly am looking forward to sharing these upcoming records with everyone and showing why I’m so passionate about dance music.”

Stream “Deathproof” below.

Featured image: Terry Beeman

Trance Wax begins rollout for debut album with ‘Beul Un Latha’

Trance Wax begins rollout for debut album with ‘Beul Un Latha’Trance Wa

Trance Wax, a name that stands behind coveted runs of vinyl-only bootlegs, a benchmark-carving Essential Mix, OceanLab edits, and a general aura of mystique, is plotting an eponymous LP.

For years, Belfast’s Garry McCartney, also known as Ejeca, has dabbled in the dance scene under the Trance Wax banner, but only now is McCartney preparing to proffer an album under the alias. A landmark moment for Trance Wax for obvious reasons, the self-titled longform production is slated to land on November 6 via Anjunabeats.

The trance-fed first outing is led by “Beul Un Latha,” the introductory preview of Trance Wax sound that arrives in sync with a visual. The multi-sensory preliminary release offers a glimpse into McCartney’s debut extended undertaking as Trance Wax, and can be viewed below.

Trance Wax will be vocally punctuated by Moya Brennan, memorable for her work on Chicane’s “Saltwater,” and Jan Johnston. More details on Trance Wax‘s inclusions, some of which have already surfaced in sets from Above & Beyond and Armin van Buuren, are to come. In the meantime, listeners can pre-order the album here.

Featured image: Clarke James

Nitti Gritti, KAKU tap Korean singer-songwriter sogumm for new single, ‘Selfish’

Nitti Gritti, KAKU tap Korean singer-songwriter sogumm for new single, ‘Selfish’72779359 3214605958613764 2359131121109913721 N 1

Nitti Gritti and KAKU are two of electronic music’s most versatile producers. From head banging bass hitters to emotional melodic numbers, the DJs’ respective production styles know no bounds.

Though COVID-19 complication have prevented him from touring, Nitti Gritti’s 2020 has certainly been one to remember. The formidable Grammy-nominated producer released an EP featuring Shaquille O’Neal early in the year, followed more recently by a seething dubstep heater with Maliboux titled “Rock N Roll.” KAKU, on the other hand, has had the good fortune of riding out COVID-19 in Taiwan, where full-fledged music festivals are already back. The jersey club aficionado recently headlined massive outdoor event S2O, and spoke to Dancing Astronaut about the experience here. Now, the two are teaming up once again, this time striking a soft pop vibe on “Selfish.”

A follow-up to their recent collaboration, “PASS OUT,” “Selfish” sees Nitti Gritti and KAKU combine the tantalizing saxophone sounds of Jason Lee with the soothing vocal talents of Korean star sogumm. Fluctuating back and forth between Korean and English, “Selfish” is a cross-cultural genre-bending audio journey. Put your feet up, sit back, relax, and get lost in this chill hit.

Featured image: Insomniac Events

Richie Hawtin teams up with Prada under Plastikman pseudonym

Richie Hawtin teams up with Prada under Plastikman pseudonymRichie Hawtin Credit Bert Heemskerk

Richie Hawtin returns to his Plastikman moniker for a collaboration with Prada, composing the runway soundtrack for the brand’s new Spring/Summer 2021 Womenswear show. The track, titled “Sin Thetik,” was written in coordination with Prada’s new co-creative director and fashion visionary, Raf Simons, and further shows Hawtin’s astounding versatility as a techno producer. Speaking about the new project, Hawtin said,

“Plastikman ‘Sin Thetik’ was created over an intense few weeks and was inspired by my conversations with Raf along with directions for Miuccia. The process was new to me, however I always felt the respect and openness from Raf and Miuccia to allow me to explore where the sound of Plastikman would fit in this new context. This is just the first piece of music today, expect more very soon…”

Layered with a thick but futuristic haze, “Sin Thetik” takes inspiration from the hypnotic realm of dub techno, devising a vast and probing electronic soundscape for listeners to lose themselves in. The single clocks in at a hearty 12 minutes, but is set to be accompanied by an expanded 20-minute ambient version upon release.

Listen to “Sin Thetik” as part of Prada’s SS21 runway show below.

Featured image: Bert Heemskerk

Crystal Skies return to Ophelia Records with 5-track EP, ‘Collide’

Crystal Skies return to Ophelia Records with 5-track EP, ‘Collide’Crystal Skies Red Rocks 2019 PC Andrew Hutchins Photography

After making their debut on Seven LionsOphelia Records in 2019, electronic duo Crystal Skies have returned with their newest appearance on the label. Entitled Collide, the latest 5-track EP follows their 2019-released Constellations and finds the act reuniting with familiar face Gallie Fisher while welcoming new collaborator She Is Jules. Bolstered by vocal-driven productions, Collide delivers profound melodic bass as Crystal Skies hone in further on their euphoria-inducing craft.

Combining celestial sonics and bass heavy sound designs, Crystal Skies exercise their songwriting abilities in creating poignant anthems with the latest record. Featuring glistening instrumentation and powerful drops, the Collide catalog traverses tinkling piano progressions in “This Moment,” heartfelt guitar layers in “Human,” and fingerpicking foundations in “Crash & Burn.” Meanwhile, standout track “Requiem” diverges from its vocal-leaning peers, taking on a fiery blend of psy-trance and dubstep in its unrelenting bass line, crystalline arpeggiators, and cinematic soundscape.

Featured image: Andrew Hutchins Photography

Peekaboo releases highly-anticipated ‘Here With Me’ cover

Peekaboo releases highly-anticipated ‘Here With Me’ coverAk0ufA

Peekaboo releases his highly anticipated “Here With Me” cover originally by Marshmello, a track he crowd tested at Red Rocks and Lost Lands last year, that the internet has been begging for it ever since. A former audio engineer for horror films, Peekaboo’s pristine production techniques shine through as they pair menacingly with the presence of CHVRCHΞS‘ Lauren Mayberry. A relaxed bass cadence with haunting, whistling synths underlay the Scottish singer’s emotive pop-lyrics for a stark contrast to the uplifting original. The cover undoubtedly showcases Peekaboo’s placement on Dancing Astronaut’s Ones to Watch in 2020 list. 

PEEKABOO told Dancing Astronaut, “When I wrote this song, I was feeling immensely inspired to make something unique for myself. I’ve never been more proud of a record of mine in my entire life and I am so thrilled to be able to finally share this one with everyone.”

The stellar bass standout PEEKABOO also recently was a part of REZZ‘S first major label release as a remix partner alongside Malaa and Underoath, in addition to his Impossible EP release on Zeds Dead’s Deadbeats label. The new “Here With Me” cover undoubtedly showcases Peekaboo’s placement on Dancing Astronaut’s Ones to Watch in 2020 list and sets the tone for what should be an exciting slide into 2021—listen below.  

Featured image: Tessa Paisan