Ten Questions With Terry Gotham: Soohan

(I was delighted to be connected to one of the freshest sounds coming out of the Mid-Atlantic. Soohan’s new album is wonderful, and liberally embedded into this post. Enjoy it, and when he spins in NYC, you’ll know. Trust.)

1. Do you consider this album hip hop? Dance Music? What does a live show of this look like?
I would consider it hip-hop, yes. It’s sample-based and rooted in 808 hip-hop beats. At the same time though, I would call it dance music.

2. What kind of influences led you to this kind of amazing, retro-futurist sound?
I have always made sample based music, but as a DJ, have always been drawn to the 808, due to Baltimore Club Music, which is my favorite genre. I wanted to use the 808 in my own style, drawing from indigenous cultures as well from pop music from the past twenty years.

3. What is the party scene in Baltimore like these days? Is this kind of music popular or do they have no idea what they’re in for in 2015?
The party scene in Baltimore is incredibly unique. We have a large, but close-knit music scene here. The rave scene is huge. The jam scene is huge. The DJing scene is big as well. Maybe this is the first time they have heard my own original music. Seems like they are really digging it. So in a sense, yes, they have no idea what they are in for from me in 2015 ;). I am already three songs deep into my next album, which I am expecting to drop before summer. I think a lot of people would tell me “that’s too soon” to come out with another album. But to me, it keeps people interested and on board.

4. Do you find it’s still possible to do good creative work in a city like Baltimore & still keep the lights on? It’s getting to be almost impossible here in NYC.
Yes, it is entirely possible. I am completely surrounded by creatives and artists trying to make ends meet in Baltimore. That doesn’t go without saying, our art isn’t usually our main source of income.

5. Where do you go from here with this album? Live shows lined up? Any plans on performing outside of Baltimore, perhaps another city on the East Coast?
I am headlining a giant rave this weekend, with 1000 eager youngins. I am incredibly excited for that. As I said earlier, I am already working on the next album, which will drop in four months. I am working on a Northeast tour with an old promo buddy for April. Should be Baltimore, Philly, NYC, Providence, Boston, Bangor. Talks about performing in the Midwest. Honestly my main focus right now is to get “Made in Baltimore” into as many people’s ears as possible while simultaneously creating new material. I think I will find my success through my releases, as opposed to playing live shows.

6. Is there anything happening in your scene right now that you really like and would love to see replicated elsewhere in the underground?
Just the sense of family and support for our local musicians and artists. We all motivate each other and have each other’s backs. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have the support of so many people in Baltimore. It really gave me the confidence to pursue putting out a full album like I did.

7. If you’re willing to comment, what does the drug culture in the parties you frequent these days look like? Or, do you find it’s a predominantly alcohol-fueled crowd?
Hahahahahaha! I will not ignore this because the counter culture and electronic music are closely intertwined. Seems like Coke and Molly are people’s go-to at the moment, which is kind of like “meh” to me. I know personally I am over it, don’t really see the good in either of these. But then again, Ill be the first one to order a round of shots. I am a big time supporter of plant-based psychedelic experiences, although they are very infrequent for me. I think people mistake a seratonin molly blast for a psychedelic experience. My advice to them, go on a journey, and leave the powders behind.

8. If you could open for anyone in the business right now, who would it be?
This is an interesting question. DIPLO first and foremost. Don’t care what people say about him. He will always be my number one inspiration when it comes to any of this music stuff. Also probably someone like Shpongle or my old buddy Alvin Risk.

9. Is there an artist (of any genre) that you’re really digging at the moment?
Space Jesus. I am really into what people are calling “Global Bass” or “Tropical Bass”. 808-heavy dancehall/world music stuff. Extremely hard to find though.

10. Besides the free downloads on Soundcloud, is there a place people can pay for the album or otherwise get you cash for this ish?
Yes, on bandcamp. https://soohan.bandcamp.com/

Bonus: Favorite album or mix of 2014?
Nope! Been too busy working on my own album to know what is super hot right now.

Playlist Of The Weekend: Origami Sound All-Stars Vol. 2

Origami Sound - All-Stars Vol. 2

Origami Sound is this dope collective of artists and labels dedicated to quality releases you don’t get on the standard EDM blogs. Dark Clover Records, Origami & many others come together to support amazing releases and projects from artists all over the globe. This release is no exception, with quality oozing from every speaker in my house while I listened.

The Synkro remix of Borealis is a massive track that needs to get as much exposure as possible. While I’ve spoken about Borealis before, this is one of those ethereal, garage tracks that is everything I think future bass can be. The soft padded bassline pushes through the heavily reverbed vox perfectly. This is a must-listen track, and a great way to kick off the release. Ilya Wazuhiru (who is plenty an artist, his Soundcloud description be damned) follows that with some cyber-Bjork-infused bass that ebbs & flows along, keeping the foggy, but gorgeous production going.

Naono’s Abandoned mix of Soun by Averos is some moody bass that deepens the vibe the compilation puts forth delightfully, with quality guitar work & heavily modified vocals. Madelin combines some dope bass guitar & soulful vocals into a dark, but emotional track that stands on its own, pulling in a great indie sound that is definitely welcome on the compilation. Parade by Dusty Corners is a bassy, stutter-step track that fuses future garage beats with a deep house feel that I can’t wait to hear more out on the dance floor late at night.

Miajica lays down a vibrant, funky, tune that makes me sad Stevie Wonder isn’t in the room to remix it. This is a classic feel that gets everything right and almost seems out of place in a somewhat more maudlin album. Aebeloe’s “Manon” is an interesting, IDM-infused sandy house piece that glides along effortlessly.  Altrice gets the name of their track exactly right with Stillness Ennui. The shifting bass work combined with soaring chords give it a Sigur Rios vibe, that shudders to life 60% into the tune, demanding your attention.

Kitkaliitto stuns with the final track on the album. The smooth bass pads melting into the classical guitar and ambient sounds, create almost a “Snow in Kyoto” feeling, but it’s even better than that. This kind of work is what I believe needs to replace so many genres of music that are used for mundane activities in life. This needs to be on the soundtrack to my life, as I’d imagine NYC would be way more serene if I could hear something like this instead of some hipsters arguing about Uniqlo on the L train. I’m re-posting it here just in case you didn’t make it to the end of the playlist. This is a dope compilation, and I can’t wait for Origami Sound to kick ass & take names in 2015.