Steve Angello‘s Size label has just put out a new release from Hunter Siegel — a two track EP that consists of “New School Renegade” and “Time to Blackout vs. Todd Terry.”
Hunter ties his music and brand to the concept of DARK PLUR, which stems from a darker side of dance music. His style of blending early 90s rave with electro-house has caught the attention of artists such as Skrillex, Zeds Dead, Adventure Club, Tchami, and Oliver Heldens — as well as endorsement from Major Lazer on an official remix of “Bumaye.”
For Hunter’s latest releases, “New School Renegade” combines piano chords reminiscent of house music with some heavy synths, and “Time To Blackout” is a collaboration with house pioneer Todd Terry that brings hints of breakbeat and funk. Listen to both tracks below and get your copy of them here.
Check out the interview below with the DARK PLUR man himself and learn about his idea for his new EP, where he gets his inspiration, and his thoughts on what makes a timeless dance track.
You tie the “DARK PLUR” brand to your name — how would you describe DARK PLUR and the darker side of dance music?
That’s honestly a bit of a tricky question to answer and might require its own entire interview. In short it’s my take on where I fit in the industry.. A lot of the time I feel like I’m the opposite of everything around me, everything’s neon and happy and I’m wearing black and hiding from the sun.
You have two new tracks coming up — “Time to Black Out” and “New School Renegade” (which I’m looking forward to!). What was the idea behind these tracks?
I try to tie themes into songs that will work in the club that aren’t limited to it. I wanted to do two tracks that were very different but had the same old school feel that complimented each other. “New School Renegade” has real peaks and valleys to its production reminiscent of early Drum & Bass. The name is just kind of how I feel sometimes, like I’m out here in a world of the same records trying to do something different. “Time To Blackout” was really just trying to pay homage to a classic record I loved so much when I was first introduced to dance music. I tried to remember what the vibe was like in an old school warehouse party and wanted to bring that to the present.
You worked with Todd Terry on “Time to Blackout.” How did that collaboration come about, and what was the process?
I was working on the track and had Todd’s original DNB tune in mind. I decided I thought the sample would actually work well so I dug through my old records and found it. Size had just recently done a release with Todd and during the demo process, Junior Sanchez brought up working on the track as an actual VS. release with Todd and sent it to his camp. I was blown away to get a co-sign from a real legend and someone whose music has influenced the music I (and we all) make so much.
Among your originals, you also have remixes of Galantis, Major Lazer (who endorsed you for an official remix of “Bumaye”), Adventure Club and more. What about a certain track draws you to create a remix for it?
I look to try and take a song out of its element and make it into something new or put my spin on it. My fav remixes are when it sounds like a completely different version of the song as opposed to “the remix” where it’s just a different tempo and basically identical unless it’s done absolutely brilliantly.
In a past interview, you mentioned that you listen to older music so that the newer, current songs don’t cloud your judgment. Who are some artists you listen to and draw inspiration from?
Sound wise: a lot of old drum and bass, techno, old house music but I can get inspired by very random things in music. Sometimes I’ll hear a Drake song and be inspired by how minimal and spacious the beat is in the verse and how much is added to make the hook become energetic and emotional. Inspiration is a strange thing. When I listen to old music, it’s more breaking down its composition, where the production was far less advanced but the energy it had was so much more organic than a lot of today’s music. There’d be a section where all that would happen is the addition of a single simply melody and it would be the hook of the entire song and make you replay it 100 times to hear it again.
You also stated in the past that music trends come and go, and what’s big now won’t be big later, but that some tracks like “Breathe” are considered as a dance floor classic. In the ever-evolving realm of music, what do you think makes for such a “classic”/timeless dance track?
I think it’s simplicity. They were working with far less advanced tools so it effected how much they could add to a song. It was all about mood, energy and originality tied together in the right way with a touch of pop sensibility. Pop (like it or not) has parts that catch you and hook you in, and I think every track that has that classic feel has a touch of that. Some songs take you somewhere special when you hear them, some songs sound like a kid put 5 sample packs together. I think things are so over saturated now that it’s harder to have those kind of songs break through at times. Computers and technology now are very advanced in comparison which has pushed music to a different level but there’s bad with that as well. Now you can have more tacks than ever in a song, more choices to make. You can layer a TON of tracks together to make your crazy white-noise-filled banger/progressive drop. Sometimes I think we get lost in how much we have and let it cloud the basics of what’s important.
Several artists across different genres — Skrillex, Tchami, Adventure Club, Oliver Heldens and Zeds Dead — have supported you and your music. What about your style, do you think, is putting your music on their radar ?
I don’t why anyone likes me but if you manage to figure it out shoot me an email.. . ;(