Swyse’s Spaced Out is spacey for sure. Thank god I didn’t say “out of this world”, but also thank Swyse for this fully immersive cerebral experience. Coming in at just shy of fifteen minutes, it’s definitely well worth the listen. Being both beautiful and haunting these four songs are reassuringly spiritual and systemically connected amongst any listeners fortunate enough to well... space out. The emotional and sonic range achieved by Swyse is astounding. Spaced Out, in its entirety, gracefully straddles the fine line between affirmingly tender and gutturally devastating, and it’s nothing short of a triumph.
Starting with his opening track, Quasar, we are met with a glowing crescendo into a delicate piano riff whose atmosphere only increasingly intensifies with the tick of a hyperactive clock. More…more…more… It builds only to break with a drop like the sky itself was falling. Drops from the atmosphere to percussive mechanical synth riffs played by either higher robotic beings or the planets themselves, are sure to shake you at your core.
After the melancholic ending of Quasar, we find ourselves amidst a flurry of combatic flashbacks – Element Index. Once the drop enters, it reigns king. With the addition of a mournful orchestral section, the next drop is much more meaningful and impactful. Who knew a futuristic sci-fi apocalypse could be so lovely?
Like a lone martyr left in the dust, our introduction to Neutron isn’t for the kids, but it sure is a brain blast. With a few pulses from the subs before the first drop, we know something else is there, and it’s watching us. Once the track bursts wide open it’s both technological and insightful. By the end, our martyr is left, once again, alone and surrounded by the eerie pitter-patter of distant footsteps.
As we enter our last track, Space Dream, despite the name, it’s almost as if we’ve awoken. But this isn’t to say its title isn’t sincere, but rather that reality can, funnily enough, often be quite surreal. The world was made for dreamers, but who’s to say if we’re even dreaming? The final drop seems to playfully mock the listener with a tight, yet sneering groove only to be followed by an open-ended conclusion that leaves us guessing and wanting even more.
Swyse, we’re very excitedly anticipating the release of your new EP, Spaced Out. What themes did you find yourself playing with while creating this project?
I usually like to leave the full story to the audience's interpretation but I have to admit, almost every story I make is influenced by some of my personal experiences. The Spaced Out EP's story has to do with the way I first met my valentine. Stargazing was frequent and space and the beauty of it was a very influential common interest. This period of my life was full of thoughts about space.
That’s beautiful. Did you plan to make an EP or did the songs sort of come together while you were working on them?
I absolutely planned it. I wanted to make a contiguous EP for a long time and this theme seemed to be perfect.
How would you describe each track and what do they mean to you, personally?
Quasar - The namesake of this track has played interstellar hide-and-seek with humanity. People knew quasars were out there because of the radio waves that they emit but they couldn't see them physically. The song in correlation with this has two vastly different drops, the first being a bit tenser and the second being bright and grand.
Element Index - This tune was quite a bit of a songwriting challenge as I found myself in front of two drops that have nothing to do with each other. The process of producing this really felt like chemistry, mixing various stuff in a solvent - which in this case is the second drop - to make something new and coherent. This idea of controversy solved by a third substance is everywhere around us, all the time. This makes the universe possible and so in my opinion it's well fitting into the theme.
Neutron - It's my personal favorite. A song that I could only describe as an emotional rollercoaster. Neutron stars are formed in the event of a supernova. The star explodes and at the same time it collapses under its own gravitational force. I imagine this event as something incredibly powerful. The explosion implies death, hence the melancholy in the music but neutron stars are still extremely hot and massive and very much "alive" to which both the drops intend to reflect.
Space Dream - The final track of the EP is inspired by a fever dream of mine. I'm not even attempting to recall or explain anything about that dream, it was a mess - as all dreams are - and space was an integral part of it. This song depicts it fairly well.
I take it you got pretty solid grades in Astrology. I find that most producers I’ve met are often pretty brainy. Was putting this project together a lengthy process or did it all sort of come to you in a burst?
The project took a while. This is my first storytelling EP and I wanted to get it right. I think it's a good start and I can't wait to make the next one! What exactly should listeners expect when listening to Spaced Out? Spaced Out is about a person trying to imagine what space feels like. It's meant to be emotional and it's meant to neglect objective thinking.
I could definitely see that. This project is clearly driven by rich, emotional themes rather than just cliché musical movements that listeners are already overly familiar with. Were there any new or experimental production techniques that you used on this project?
Most of the EP contains my usual techniques because I wanted to focus on storytelling first. That said, the transition between electronic and fully orchestral at the end of Space Dream was something I've never done before and I think it came out pretty well.
Oh, I think it came out beautifully! I’m honestly really looking forward to whatever you have planned. Speaking of which, what DO you have planned next? Anything in the works?
I do have a new project I'm working on which is a VIP of one of my older songs, Demolish. Besides that, I really enjoyed making this EP and I have a strong urge to work on a new one soon.
That still sounds awesome. If listeners would like to find more of your work, where would you recommend they look and what is the best social media for them to stay updated with your music?
I would say SoundCloud is the best place. Everything I make is up there the day it gets released. I have a YouTube channel as well but I usually only upload music there when I make a video for it.
Awesome! It was a joy talking with you and especially getting to listen to this new EP. Spaced Out is out now everywhere!