Over the past year, Matt and Willie from Barely Alive have made a name for themselves as some of the most promising rising young stars in the bass music scene. Their tracks are being played out live by some of the biggest names out there like Adventure Club, Datsik, and Excision, and their remixes for Getter and Virtual Riot both had extended stays in Beatport’s Dubstep Top 10. While their remixes are fantastic and definitely some of my favorite tracks of 2013, what I really wanted from them was some more original material where they could let their true talents shine brightest; that’s exactly what they’ve managed to do with the their debut EP “Lost In the Internet.”
1. Chasing Ghosts ft. Directive & Spock
The EP starts out with a bang with an epic drumstep tune featuring Directive‘s infectious vocals expertly woven throughout a series of melodic synths and a barrage of gut-wrenching basslines that will be more than enough to satisfy any veteran basshead out there. My favorite thing about Barely Alive’s productions has always been their ability to seamlessly blend catchy melodies and heavy bass into one cohesive musical journey and “Chasing Ghosts” is a testament to that!
2. Dial Up
With their next track, Barely Alive remind you how much you loved waiting to connect to the internet back in the 90’s. Now that we live in the future, I never thought I would be excited to hear the sounds of AOL dial up again but boy was I wrong. Featuring some of the filthiest bass growls I’ve ever heard, “Dial Up” is a monstrous electro-house banger that is sure to have everyone on the dance floor jumping in no time.
3. Keyboard Killer ft. Splitbreed
Now onto what is easily my favorite track off the EP. First of all, I just want to say that Splitbreed absolutely crushed this track, easily one the best verses I’ve ever heard from them. They managed to hilariously sum up your typical internet troll/hater in just a few short lines (e.g., “I gotta log out at six because my mom’s making me dinner,” “Got Call of Duty on pause so I can write you a rant,” Nobody knows you like I do but still I hate you the most”) and that’s much easier said than done. As for the wubs in this one, I don’t even know where to begin. Matt and Willie’s sound design has always blown me away, but this track is absolutely insane; I try not to use the phrase “next-level” too often, but I feel as though there’s no other way to describe what the Massachussetts-based producers have managed to achieve with this track. And don’t even get me started on the epic trap breakdown in the middle… If you were ever wondering whether or not Matt and Willie know how to “run da trap,” I think you’ve finally found your answer and it’s a resounding “Damnnnn sonnnn.”
4. Chasing Ghosts ft. Directive & Spock (Virtual Riot Remix)
Last but not least, we have Virtual Riot’s take on “Chasing Ghosts.” With this remix, Virtual Riot puts his signature spin melodic, yet bass heavy spin on the original, turning it into one of the funkiest glitch hop tunes I’ve heard in a long time; just try to resist headbanging like a crazy person to this one, I dare you! I’m not messing around when I say that the 19 year old German is the Madeon of bass music and this incredible remix is further proof of that.
For a long time now people have been saying that “dubstep is dead,” and while it’s definitely not the big thing it was back when Skrillex was the biggest name in EDM, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Now that all the bandwagoners have jumped the dubstep ship in favor of the trap and big room movements that have taken the scene by storm as of late, it’s made room for producers who are truly passionate about making wubs to leave their mark on the scene and that’s exactly what Barely Alive have done with this truly stellar debut EP.
Check out our exclusive interview with the bass monsters known as Matt and Willie below and be on the lookout for big things to come from them in 2014!
Your EDM Interview with Barely Alive
• What do you guys do to try to make your wubs stand out from other producer’s wubs?
That’s an interesting question. When we design sounds we try and use techniques nobody has really thought of using. We don’t like to obey the rules.
• What kinds of music were you into before EDM? How have they influenced your productions, if at all?
We both take a lot of inspiration from Hip-Hop producers like DJ Premier, Pete Rock and J Dilla. We started out making beats and eventually moved into making dance music, but the technique we learned and the creative process has been with us the whole time. If you want to go way back, rock music has has more of an impact on our musical minds than anything.
• Do you guys have any collaborations for us to look out for in the future?
• If you could open for any artist on their tour who would you choose be and why?
It would be really fun to open for Datsik because he is a really chill guy and his tours are a lot of fun.
• Who are some of your biggest influences, bass music and non-bass music?
In bass music, there are too many to list. Outside of that, we really enjoy listening to Michael Jackson, Mozart, Vangelis and Rage Against The Machine.
• Looking back on the past year, what do you are the biggest things that have helped get you to where you are today?
Staying focused having a positive outlook on music is essential. If you aren’t having fun then you are doing something wrong.
• How do you guys stay motivated when so many people in the scene are constantly saying that “dubstep is dead?”
I don’t know exactly who says that, but I don’t see any evidence to back that up, with people like Datsik and Excision selling out shows across the world and a plethora of new up and coming producers crushing out amazing new dubstep tracks. We make dubstep because we love it.
• What advice would you have for up-and-coming producers in the bass music scene?
Make good music. Having good content and learning some self-discipline and quality control is where you should start. Great producers like Feed Me and Kill The Noise didn’t release any music until they had already learned a lot and discovered a sound that sets them apart and defines them.
• How do you find the right balance between the heavier and more melodic aspects of your tracks?
The melodic aspects of music are what interests the listener mentally. The heavier parts are what provide the physical impact. Our sound leans more on the heavier side, while still utilizing melodies and harmonies to create a diverse atmosphere around the listener.
• What’s it like being managed by some of your friends who also happen to be producers? (For those of you who don’t know Barely Alive is managed by Rossy from Astronaut/Mediks and Dodge from Dodge & Fuski)
It’s really awesome because we are very close with them and have a lot in common. Sharing the producers viewpoint makes it even better because we believe that production quality is incredibly important.
• What’s your favorite thing about the internet?
Google, Facebook and Reddit are all amazing resources that have changed how people interact with each other. Also we love cat videos and funny memes.
• If your music was a meme, which one would it be and why is it grumpy cat?