From the coasts of Australia and the mystical expanses of India comes Soop, whose music is a harmonious mixture of deep and hypnotic patterns. With the Occlusion EP on sight, we selected and are now presenting you the premiere of the fourth track Diffusion. This one maintains a certain level of elevated hypnotism through its heavy bassline and steadily pumping percussion. Not limited to the previous, it manages to charm with its subtle, oriental chants that provide a gripping essence of mystical excursions to the lands of the East. The syncopated drums near the end of the track set the pace for a curtain-closing final chapter to follow, one that encases this mystical transmission already having sprayed its rambling vibrations and texture. Diffusion is, finally, a creation that not only travels us to the borders of Soop’s cultural heritage but also uses it in a polished, modern form to adhere to his hypnotic production techniques.
How did you start with electronic music and what makes this genre interesting to you?
This might sound very cliched, but music has always been a passion of mine since I was a little kid. Christmas of 2010, I received a gift that was going to shape a large part of my life and personality. This was a Hercules MP3 e2 which was a portable usb mixer I could use with Virtual DJ. I started to record sets, make my own mash-ups and get as creative as I could on limited software. I would pack it in my backpack and take it with me wherever I could.
Over time I found myself trying to learn how to use my first DAW, Fruity Loops (FL Studio) and reproduce some of my favourite artists tracks and see how I could develop them in my own way to understand how the software works. This completely blew my mind when I realised that there was pretty much no limit on what you could do if you had the time and motivation.
After spending some time with FL Studios, I decided to do a beginner course in music production at the Point Blank Music School in London. This is where I learned most of my fundamentals and really started to develop on my ideas and explore electronic music. Feeling somewhat limited by my own knowledge, I pursued a more advanced course in Bangalore (India) with the amazing crew over at Beatworx Studio which really helped me break through my own creative barriers.
The most interesting thing to me about his genre (and music production in general) is that there is no right or wrong way to do something. Everyone I know has completely different methods and techniques of starting a new track, designing their own sounds or even using samples in a way that would almost make them unrecognisable to fit their own ideas. I take this on as a challenge to see how I can express my mood and emotions through six minutes of sound. If my track isn’t a reflection of what I feel while producing it, then I feel I haven’t given it my best effort.
What’s your environment like and how does it affect you? Both in creativity and as a person.
Earlier I mentioned that music was purely a passion of mine and I intend on keeping it that way. On a day-to-day basis I work in Investment Banking and I am normally neck deep in excel sheets and numbers. Music acts as a great creative escape for me and I do it purely out of love. I don’t care about the monetary side of it and intend to keep it that way for as long as I can. Nor be pressurised or constrained into needing to create something. I work on music when I feel motivated to and this allows me to truly write music that comes from within.
Working in Finance generally means that I regularly have 60-hour weeks leaving me drained. Forcing myself to write music will probably mean that I won’t have my mind completely in it. Apart from the daily hustle of numbers, I run a nightlife and entertainment company here in Sydney along with my business partner, Nick. We throw weekly parties under WeLove Sydney Underground, and this is a great way for me to network with new artists and producers around the world. It also helps that I can use the WeLove platform to showcase my own sound whenever I play a set there.
Where do you draw influence from? What themes are you highlighting?
Most of my influence is drawn from artists which I listen to regularly plus the city I am surrounded by. My favourite artist today would probably be Wata Igarashi. His sound captivates me, I love the way he progresses his tracks and sets. I find myself listening to his music on repeat and trying to use influences from his music to create a deep-spacey atmosphere in my own projects.
How could you describe your creative process and music production?
I genuinely wish I could tell you that I had a well-defined process but often its extremely randomised. I do generally find myself starting a track by designing a bassline which I like and then try to shape sounds around that. For me, the most important element in my own music would be a riveting bassline that creates a bit of a tense ambiance that will develop as the track progresses. It never has to be over complicated but just must fit the mood of the idea I’m trying to portray.
What made you choose the sound you make?
Having been in the nightlife industry for over a decade, I wouldn’t say there is only one sound that I plan to produce going forward. I love experimenting with new styles and drawing inspiration from artists that may be on the opposite spectrum of deep techno. Notably, I recently went for an event that was headlined by Per Hammar. This brought out a real interest in me to try and use influences of deep-minimal tech in a few projects which I am currently working on. I love the way these sounds blend in the deep techno space and I am super excited to see what these projects develop into overtime.
How was the experience behind the upcoming Occlusion EP in Diffused Reality? Did you face any challenges, mentally or technically, or did you have an easy flow?
In the past year, I have released a couple of tracks as part of VA compilations but as this was my first EP. I decided to take my time with it and make sure that all the tracks told a story in the grand scheme of the EP if they are listened together in the release order. To be completely honest, producing these six tracks took me over a year to reach a state at which I was happy to send them over to labels. I think I went through nearly five or six revisions on each track because I felt that there was always something missing or not right each time I opened the projects the following day.
This is where it really helped to know people who have been in this space for a long time. I reached out to many artists and producers alike for feedback and constructive criticism so I could improve and learn from people who have been doing this for far longer than I have. It is important to be able to take feedback in a positive light. If you’re just expecting people to say nice things then I don’t really see the point in doing it. Music production for me has been a long and slow process but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is the best way I can develop my own unique sound.
Does the series of words used for track titles stand for something? How each word is connected to what we’re listening to?
As mentioned earlier, I wanted the tracks to be able to tell the listeners a story or reflect my state of mind while producing them. The wording behind them has no definitive meaning per se, but just falls in line with the continuity from one track to the next. The most significant track-to-name connection would probably be ‘Occlusion’. In a sense, this word means ‘a process whereby something is hidden or obscured from view’. I relate to this a lot and would relate this to me as an artist in general. I normally do not like being in the spotlight and revel in flying under the radar. This reduces the pressure and anxiety of being on the forefront of things and allows me to be the person I want to be and produce the music I want to at the time.
From your EP we chose Diffusion for premiere. Would you like to share any background information about it? About the idea, its production and your confidence about the output?
Diffusion was a lot of fun to work on and started off as an experiment on my friend’s Minilogue XD. We were just jamming and messing around with it when I found a patch which I really liked and could be modulated relatively simply. I then went on to develop a more spacey atmosphere around the track and tried to keep the theme somewhat ‘nautical’ or ‘lost at sea’ if that makes any sense. To get a bit more technical, there are elements in the ocean which ‘diffuse’ during certain seasons. Not that I understand the science behind any of it, but it matched the turbulence and movement in pitch of the track as a whole so I never looked back at the naming convention. It resonated well with me, so I let it be. Overall, I was super happy with how the track turned out. The intention wasn’t for the track to be a dance-floor banger’ but more of a tale of a man finding his way on open waters which I feel it represents nicely.
What did you enjoy most while making Occlusion EP and how does its result make you feel?
As this was my first EP, I’d say my biggest challenge was trying to showcase my dynamic range of sound across the six tracks, while keeping them all true to the deep-techno space. What I enjoyed the most about it was being able to take my time and produce something I was happy to showcase. I know the majority of people would laugh if I told them it took me the better part of a year to produce and finalise these six tracks, but I was not bound by time in any way.
2021 was the final year of my master’s in finance degree and I needed to prioritise my efforts and time into many different things but always came back to production to escape from my routine. It was great that I was able to experiment as much as I did and learn from mistakes which I made over the course of producing this EP. Having music as a creative outlet always made me feel fortunate as I knew I always had a getaway from a stressful day.
Do you have any plans that you would like to share? How will the year end for you and how would you start 2023?
December is always a busy month work wise and musically. We have collaborated with some massive artists like Richie Hawtin, Joseph Capriati, Paco Osuna (to name a few) for events in Sydney over the coming months. I don’t really put a lot of pressure on myself to deliver by a certain deadline when it comes to music, but I do have some exciting projects in the works. Hopefully I can get them out sooner rather than later but I’m in no real rush for now.