Shyun’s breakout EP last year on Critical’s Systems series established the London production artist as a household name in neurofunk and hard drum and bass, but many fans know that his repertoire is much more diverse style-wise. His new EP called The Beast out tomorrow on Critical’s main imprint brings his style back to that multi-faceted sound.
The EP opens with “Watch Your Step” featuring vocalist Solah, a chill liquid affair which will be quite surprising for a Critical release, but definitely fits in with some of Shyun’s previous work. The title track, however, is definitely a “beast” in terms of its heavy darkstep feel and sparse but pointed drums. “Twisted” has a bit of a different feel, with the same sparse and steppy drums but a lot more techy bass synths.
Before the EP’s worldwide release, Critical uploaded the final track “Pinball” to SoundCloud for a Your EDM exclusive preview. “Pinnball” is definitely a highlight of The Beast, with a tricky, heavily syncopated synth track that actually does sound like the path of a pinball through a game. Your EDM asked a few questions about the track and the EP of Shyun, and he gave some great insight into his technical process.Listen and read!
How did you approach this first EP on Critical’s main label?
I think the initial approach was more or less the same as always when you start writing an EP, that being the drive to make a body work that you’re proud of and most importantly a big step up from what you released last. As for the production, in the last year I switched over from Logic to Bitwig studio and bought a Moog Sub 37, which is what I’ve used for most of the tracks on the EP. As a result, although my production approach was slightly different to the one I’ve used previously. It was definitely improved!
Was there a theme or a sound matrix you were looking for on these tracks?
Not so much a sound matrix but more a thought/theme while I was creating it. The idea behind this EP, which was represented most by the title track, was that music has always been a representation of the creator’s style and never representative of the actual character of the person behind the music. Even though you have these absolutely gnarly DnB tracks coming out every week, at the heart of it all is just a producer who loves nerding out at their computer for endless hours. Interestingly, they almost assume this alternate personality through the music that they create.
The intro for “Pinball” is really trippy and has almost no drop into the bass. What was the inspiration to do such a shocking drop?
The inspiration stemmed from the initial theme, but at its core, was just me wanting to make an obnoxious-sounding tune.
The drums and the bass synth definitely sound like the movement of the ball in a pinball game. Is that what you were going for, or did you spot it after you made the track and then name it?
The track went through two very different versions. I eventually made a decision to scrap and restart it, using some elements from the previous version because it was just one of those tracks where the elements didn’t gel very well. So even though the first version wasn’t inspired by it, I think the second version certainly was as I wrote it with the title of the track in mind.
The Beast is out tomorrow, April 27 on Critical. Links to all purchase and streaming formats can be found on Critical’s website. Clips of all the EP’s tracks are now posted on Shyun’s Soundcloud page.