Australian duo and Future Classic staple HWLS broke a lengthy period of silence last week, dropping their newest track “Gamma” with country-mate ShockOne. A single from their upcoming EP, the trapped out tune pulls inspiration from a number of corners of the underground community, giving you an entire musical potluck in the span of about 4 minutes.
HWLS start things off with aggressive trance-y chords, bringing in some strong PC-music vibes that carry throughout “Gamma”. These transition quickly into a gritty bass line mixed with some brighter high synths, which work to create a sound profile reminiscent of Rustie’s productions. The tasteful blending of styles allows HWLS to show off what they’re listening to, while also imparting their own sound and flair to the mix.
I was fortunate enough to conduct an interview with the duo, which consists of renowned beat-makers Ta-Ku and Justin Elwin (formerly Kit Pop). They were able to shed some light on who and what influences HWLS, and even shared some news on their upcoming EP. Check it all out after the player and be sure to stream “Gamma” below while you’re reading!
Q: What was the inspiration behind “Gamma”? There seems to be a bit of PC-music influence laced into the mix amongst your own personal styles.
A: We just wanted to make a track that is a melting pot of the music we currently enjoy. ShockOne and I have been close friends for years and have always wanted to collaborate on something that was fun and different from the usual musical lane we run in.
Q: Can you explain the creative process behind your tracks? Do you meet in-person in the studio or do you bounce ideas back and forth via internet? Who and/or what influences the HWLS project?
A: It always depends on the situation, but I like to work on ideas and demos before presenting it to someone, be it a producer or a songwriter. The internet has been an amazing source over the years to connect with other artists and create music with, but its always awesome to meet and connect with a person IRL. HWLS is mainly influenced by our surroundings and the people around us at the moment.
Q: The self-titled EP was such a diverse release. Can we expect a similar mix of sounds from the upcoming EP?
A: Definitely. “Gamma” was just a fun track to play out and be ignorant with. The other tracks will reflect our diversity, but again are a little more adventurous then our previous releases. Hopefully our audience can see, with this next EP, that we are still just trying new things and growing into our own.
Q: What can we expect from your sets on the upcoming tour dates with Flume? Will they be DJ sets, or are you going to incorporate live elements into the performances?
A: I’ll be playing out some of our new material and just having fun with it. I work closely on Ta-ku’s live show so I want HWLs to be a flip of that and stay as a DJ based show and make it more of a party. I enjoy DJing because of the the flexibility it gives me.
(for Ta-Ku) Q: You’ve managed to curate two distinct vibes/sounds between the HWLS and Ta-Ku projects, with HWLS being a bit more club-oriented in its sound and Ta-Ku having a stronger focus on Dilla/hip-hop style beats. Do you find yourself being influenced by your Ta-Ku project when sitting down to create HWLS material? And vice versa?
A: HWLS is definitely driven by our love for bass music. It’s interesting though – I’m very much influenced by Justin when we make HWLS material. He has such great knowledge of music in general and is very much in tune with a lot of dance music too. It’s nice to have that when creating. The Ta-ku side naturally will always be mellower, so it’s nice to have someone like Justin to take control of a track and counteract that.
(for Justin) Q: “Smoke Cloud” played an integral part in getting me onto the Australian scene, but I noticed about a month ago you made a statement saying you were no longer going to be releasing music under the Kit Pop name. Can you comment on why you decided to end Kit Pop after so many years?
A: I only wanted to do it for a portion of my life; it wasn’t something I was prepared to live with. 10 years of producing as Kit Pop was enough for me to close one chapter and concentrate on another. It’s important for me to have projects that have a start and end just to keep creativity flowing.
Q: Who is the one artist you would most like to collaborate with? Who are you guys listening to right now? Any up-and-comers you want to give a shout-out to?
A: Thom Yorke is definitely on the bucket list. I’ve recently been listening to a bunch of PARTYNEXTDOOR, BadBadNotGood, and Air. While I’ve been travelling, I haven’t really had a chance to listen to any new up and comers, so get at us on Twitter – @hwlsmusic – with some new music!!