This featured Artist of the Week is Rhythmstar. This L.A. born producer comes to the forefront with his debut release True Love. This full length album features some tribal world influence with liquid bass lines that flows seamlessly through all 15 tracks. Some salsa, moomba, and cumbia can be heard on the album, giving it a little extra spice. With all the added organic instruments and worldly flavor, its hard to resist True Love. Check out Rhythmstar’s sounds and interview below for a sneak peak into this rising star.
Why did you decide to title your debut album True Love?
Not to start this off on a negative note, but when I got back from touring Hawaii for 3 months this last spring, I had a near death experience that landed me in the UCLA hospital. At the time the album was about half done. I had nothing in the hospital except paper and a pencil and the only thing that kept me going was the need to finish this album before I was gone and the visits from my girlfriend every night. All day while I was confined to a hospital bed I started sketching out the rest of the album- how it would fit together- the titles of the tracks, the instrumentation that was needed to make the journey seamless. True Love became the Title- I dont feel like I really chose it. True Love to me means everything, and I hope it can be felt and found when people are experiencing this music.
I sense a hint of Moombah in a good portion of your tracks. Do you enjoy producing bass music with latin/dance beats?
I really love Moombahsoul, and the dembow rhythm. On this album I heavily experimented with latin and african rhythms of all different tempos, and mixed them with drum and bass synths,orchestration and west coast style sounds. I think latin music is one of the sexiest, most passionate forms of music on the planet. There is an immense spectrum of latin rhythms such as Kizomba, Tarraxinha, Zouk Bass, Salsa, Cumbia, Bachata, and of course Reggaeton, that you will find on this album in many diverse manifestations. Part of my hopes in making this album was that listeners will be inspired to do some ethnomusical research and discover all these transnational rhythms that have been rocking dancefloors across the globe, and expand there ideas of whats possible with music beyond the western rhythmic structure.
How long did it take to complete the album from start to finish?
I just got my last track Rhythm Of The Starz back from mastering the night before I left for Burning Man. The first track I started was Kahleesi’s Throne. I began Kahlessi’s Throne about a month before the second season of Game of Thrones started, which was a little over 2 years ago. I had one of those binge watching sessions, where I discovered Game of Thrones on HBOGO-and then spent 10 hrs straight watching every episode. I felt so inspired by the rise of the Dragon Queen Kahleesi- that I immediately started writing Kahleesi’s Throne, after the dragons were hatched in the final scene of Season 1. I knew I wanted to represent the dragons through the bassline and I really wanted to not use any samples from the show, but instead compose it completely from scratch. I was hoping I could convey the power of Kahleesi’s transformation through the slow evolution of the track, as it builds from a lone dulcimer melody to reptile glitches, glistening arpeggios and booming 808s, into a full growling midrange bassline and percussion that just consumes everything in its path. All and all, countless edits and remasters led to an album completion that took about 26 months in total.
How is the bass music scene in Hawaii different than L.A.?
Hawaii has very distinct scenes on each island. Not to over simplify, but often we describe the islands as falling into coordination with the seven chakras. The Big Island where the Goddess Pele lives is the root chakra- it has a very raw vibration- the lava still flows off the Volcano and into the pacific, creating a new island off the coast- The music that I find resonates with the Big Island the strongest is Raw, Slow, Heavy, Rolling, Ritualistic beats. Maui is the solar plexus – it is beautiful, gentle, feminine, healthy- It always feels to me like psychedelic midtempo and global sacred bass music , works the best over there. Oahu is the throat chakra or the Gathering place. It is the fastest most populated of the islands. They have an incredible world renowned after hours and drum and bass scene on Oahu- friends do Boat partys where they play intelligent 4×4 music sailing into the sunset on sundays. Oahu is definitely more focused on the groove as opposed to the break, and Oahu tends to thrive more off the party aspect of electronic music than the spiritual aspect of the other islands. I lived on the islands for over 10 years- I still tour there every single year and I will always be in love with Hawaii and Pele Honua Mea, but I believe musically, Los Angeles is the most progressive place to be right now. The LA crews have a level of quality that is unsurpassed when it comes to Sound Systems and the alchemy of live art, stage building and performance.
If your music could become any living thing what would it be?
What’s next for Rhythmstar?
I have a mixtape I made of all the True Love tracks mixed with acapellas of Little Dragon, Dead Can Dance, Japanese Hip Hop star Shingo and a few other vocal surprises, that I have been sending to anyone that purchases the whole album. The mixtape really feels like an epic journey across the globe and I think best represents my sound live. I also have a new EP coming out on BassHop Records very soon called Tourmaline Gardens that is a glitchhop track with big lush minor chords and some Deltron 30/30 type harmonizing melodies. I played it out for the first time at Symbiosis and it was the one that I got asked the most about. I also have a Zouk Bass remix of Zap Mama dropping this month, and I am in the works of putting together a full True Love tour with my friend Kiran Notez that will stretch from San Diego to Seattle and over to Hawaii for the early winter. Thank you so much to MYN for this interview, its been really great being able to share my thoughts on the album with you all- much Alohas
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