This New Year’s Eve, we’re kicking off the New Year at Fonderie Darling to groove along to one of Montreal’s most celebrated electronic music artists, alongside a stacked lineup of local favorites.
Over the last few years, Revolution has wowed its crowds and put on unforgettable parties featuring Joel Mull and Sebastien Leger. If you’re interested in ringing in the new year with fresh music, incredible sound, cutting edge lighting and visuals, and an intimate crowd, don’t click away. Tickets can be found HERE. They’re going fast – get them now while they’re still available!
Soul Button is one of those international names that has taken the time to create a special bond with the Montreal crowd. From turning AIM upside down to taking Stereo attendees on a 8 hour plus journey, the Berlin-based DJ and producer knows his audience, always leaving us craving more of his his well-crafted ethereal sound.
Through his deeply emotional, haunting, powerful sets, Steyeyoke’s label boss truly epitomizes a unique sound which he defines as “ethereal techno”. What exactly do we want going to into the New Year? A curated crowd, a special frequency throughout the building, and brand new music. I’m certain that Soul Button and some of our locals will be able to provide just this.
So who is Soul Button? If you’re unfamiliar, check out my interview with him below and get to know exactly what he’s all about. Ahead of his headlining set at Revolution NYE 2020, we discussed his own musical journey, his recent album release, his connection with Montreal, and more. Enjoy!
HS: Tell us about your musical background. Where did your journey in music production start? What kind of shape and form has your production style taken over time?
Soul Button: I was 16 when I found a tape of “Kraftwerk” and it was the first time I’d ever listened to electronic music. I was fascinated by it so I asked my father to help me find out how I could make those sounds. He bought me a Roland drum machine for Christmas and everything started from there. By the time I was 20, I had a nice little studio with a couple of samples, drum machines, a sequencer (because there were no computers at the time) and one Waldorf synthesizer. I started producing hard techno (170 bpm), then jumped into drum n bass. I then moved to London and worked as a beat maker, producing Hip Hop beats for rappers. Finally in 2009, I moved to Berlin where I rediscovered German techno. The new deep house was becoming big, and the first melodies on the 4/4 techno were starting to surface – that was the beginning of Soul Button 😊.
HS: Which artists (musical and non-musical), have had the greatest impact on you?
Soul Button: To be honest, I don’t really listen to a lot of music. I started at a young age as a studio nerd and real studio nerds don’t have much time to listen to other music, which is true even today. I have to say that in some way I do it on purpose because I just want to live my personal music experience. But, I can tell you which electronic music bands inspired me in the 80’s – first would be Kraftwerk, followed by Letfield, Depeche Mode, and The Chemical Brothers. On top of this, have non-musical influences, like paintings and illustrations which have shaped my vision of art. I have followed and still follow lots of artists and have visited countless art exhibitions. I always try to connect the visual expression with sonorities, much like Steyoyoke which I don’t consider just as a music label but also an artistic project.
HS: DJing across the globe while producing and managing a label certainly takes a toll on one’s mental and physical health, and well-being. What has been your experience balancing all of these responsibilities? What would you want people to know about the strains of touring?
Soul Button: That’s a good question. It’s definitely not easy but I’m also the type who can’t sit still. I’ve figured out a way to do everything in a peaceful and relaxed way with the least amount of stress. I have to admit that it’s very hard at times but traveling actually helps. It forces me to plan my daily tasks, studio time, and even a change of scenery so I’m not always at the same spot. As far as productions, I’m much more productive now that I have limited time compared to before. I think it’s also psychological because I know I have to do everything quickly. I also don’t waste time like I did when I was younger.
Soul Button: As for touring, it’s the best but most tiring part of our job. I love meeting new people, going to different places and experiencing other culture. The downside is you live between hotels, airports, long lines and flight delays. It’s exhausting and definitely not for everybody. You really need to have special skills to do it properly. I have a lot of friends who’ve invested so much to become successful DJs and after reaching their goal, gave up because of the stressful touring life. That won’t be me, by the way 😊.
HS: Speaking of touring, what were some of your favorite festivals or shows to play at since we last saw you at AIM Festival?
Soul Button: Five Islands Festival in the mountains of Lebanon was amazing. The parties in Egypt, like the last one with HVOB and HOSH was also incredible. Another unforgettable party was the warehouse in Los Angeles organized by 6AM Group. AIM was also nice but my set was too short. My music needs time to penetrate the brain 😊.
HS: Let’s talk about your very recently released, 12-track album, “Phantom Existence”. How long has this been in the making? Could you tell us about some of the collaborators (photographs., Rebecca Sumner, Mistier, Terry Grant, Violin Girl, etc) and how they became involved?
Soul Button: “Phantom Existence” is not just a collection of tracks. It was an experience, due to both the production process and the concept/message I wanted to convey through my music. The 12 tracks are all connected by a common theme which is the beauty of “real” freedom. For years, I’ve been saving the most special and singular beats that I’ve come up with, wrote down the long concept of the album, titled each track, found some talented vocalists and gave them the option to pick the title they wanted to work with. I gave them the concept of the album as a guide for writing the lyrics. Photographs. is a cool Italian friend of mine who produces and also sings. I’m a big fan of both his music and his voice so I definitely wanted him in my album.
Vinyl & CD: https://smarturl.it/syyk104_shopVinyl on Deejay.de: https://smarturl.it/syyk104_deejayLISTEN & BUY: https://steyoyoke.com/syyk104/BEATPORT: http://smarturl.it/syyk104_beatportSPOTIFY: http://smarturl.it/syyk104_spotifyAPPLE MUSIC: http://smarturl.it/syyk104_appleBANDCAMP: http://smarturl.it/syyk104_bcTRAXSOURCE: http://smarturl.it/syyk104_traxGOOGLE PLAY: http://smarturl.it/syyk104_googleAMAZON: http://smarturl.it/syyk104_amazonDEEZER: http://smarturl.it/syyk104_deezerArtist: Soul ButtonTitle: Phantom ExistenceLabel: SteyoyokeFormat: DigitalRelease Date: December 6th, 2019Cat No: SYYK104Soul Button proudly presents his debut album, “Phantom Existence”. An expressive, conceptual work revealing a unique musical and artistic approach. Featuring 12 tracks of deep, reverberating tunes; each tells a different story while delivering a synonymous message of freedom. A masterpiece with a blend of melancholic rhythms and captivating vocals by Terry Grant, Mistier, Photographs. and Rebecca Sumner.The journey begins with “Blind Pattern”, which delivers a mysterious vibe, preparing you for an eye-opening voyage. “Imagine To Be Free” (The Concept) featuring Terry Grant and written by Soul Button, will take you to another dimension. A place where you face your own fears to avoid being succumbed to the falsities of the world. “Deception” transports you deeper towards your awareness and realization of deceit, yet spreading your wings, ready to take flight. The journey towards freedom begins with the following tracks – “Awaken the Soul” featuring Photographs., “Jannah” featuring Rebecca Sumner and “The Sparrow” featuring Mistier. An enchanting field of vocals, gradually delivering an electrifying feeling that increases from one song to another. “Silhouettes” featuring Violin Girl, uplifts your mind and soul. “New Day” featuring Mistier and “Utopia” featuring Terry Grant guides the way to enlightenment. “Imagine To Be Free”, the non-vocal track, leaves you the choice to interpret and feel. “Shapeshifter”, a melodic and delicate track that serves as a passage to the final track, “Epiphany”. A sudden revelation of becoming free comes to surface, ending the voyage and expressing the meaning of freedom.“Imagine being FREE …… to be FREE …..to be FREE”.An astonishing release, Soul Button takes it to another level, liberating the listeners from captivity with spellbinding music.TRACKLIST01. Soul Button – Blind Pattern (Original Mix)02. Soul Button – Imagine To Be Free (The Concept)03. Soul Button – Deception (Original Mix)04. Soul Button – Awaken The Soul feat. Photographs. (Original Mix)05. Soul Button – Jannah feat. Rebecca Sumner (Original Mix)06. Soul Button – The Sparrow feat. Mistier (Original Mix)07. Soul Button – Silhouettes feat. Violin Girl (Original Mix)08. Soul Button – New Day feat. Mistier (Original Mix)09. Soul Button – Imagine To Be Free (Original Mix)10. Soul Button – Utopia feat. Terry Grant (Original Mix)11. Soul Button – Shapeshifter (Original Mix)12. Soul Button – Epiphany (Original Mix)❤️
Posted by Soul Button on Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Soul Button: Rebecca Sumner is the step-sister of my best friend Jewel. She told me she writes music, and she also has a great voice. I sent her a couple of ideas but she had never listened to electronic music before, so I suggested for her to write the lyrics and record her voice on top of a guitar. Once she sent me the vocals, I cut the guitar and built a completely new track, which is “Jannah”. Mistier is a friend of my crazy friend Nick from San Francisco, who loves turtles. He introduced Mistier when I started working on the album. I have to say that he helped a ton during the production process.
Terry Grant is a close friend of mine even though we’ve never met in person but have worked together for years. He has an amazing voice and I love his personality and the way he interprets music. Finally, Amanda aka Violin Girl. She called me one day and said she was in Berlin so I invited her to my studio and showed her some music. Out of nowhere, she heard this one track and took her electronic violin out from her bag, connected the jack and said “press record”. So, I did and we recorded two takes. She said “enough”. The track was done in exactly 10 minutes. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had with a real musician.
HS: The second track in your album, “Imagine To Be Free – The Concept” centers around a pretty brutal, powerful monologue. Could you explain some of the sentiment behind this track? What understanding or feeling would you want your listeners to take from this?
Soul Button: So happy you asked this question. I wrote this text when I was 20 and living the most anarchic period of my life. I believe we live in a world where the system limits our freedom of thought and how we act through laws that “they” have imposed. We’ve learned what’s right and wrong. In my opinion, what’s right and wrong is subjective, that’s real freedom! The market tells us what’s trending and what’s outdated. We are constantly influenced by what “they” want us to buy, listen to, consume and what to believe. So, the lyrics of the track, is an invitation to think outside the box and think of what the world would be like if we were truly free. I hope that everyone can interpret the lyrics as something positive and as motivation to think differently. Imagine what our lives would be like if we’re not influenced by society and we could freely express our thoughts, taste and ideals. But, we all know that this can only be in “Utopia”.
HS: It’s no secret that the crowd here in Montreal is stoked every time you’re announced. Could you talk about your relationship with Montreal’s crowd?
Soul Button: Montreal is a special city because people know a lot about electronic music culture. They know artists, tracks and they focus on quality music and not names. I’ve seen big artists with empty clubs, and crowded parties with unknown, talented artists. This says a lot about the attitude of the Montreal crowd. After my first show at Newspeak, people kept asking me when I was coming back. Then finally, Stereo gave me the opportunity to express my music through amazing extended sets and step by step, built my own crowd. The interaction and energy every time I play in Montreal is indescribable.
HS: What piece of advice would you give any aspiring electronic music producer?
Soul Button: Stop trying to make what other artists make and try to build your own style. In the long run, listeners will appreciate real artists with their own style of music and not copycats. Right now for example, 9 out of 10 demos I receive has the Afterlife sound and style. These young producers are not aware that this hype will end and they will be forced to change styles or become irrelevant. It’s better to start with the mindset of becoming your own artist and building your own style than copying other styles and then realizing it when it’s too late.
HS: We’re so excited to welcome you to Montreal for what will surely be an unforgettable New Year’s celebration. Any words about your upcoming extended set?
Soul Button: I’ve been collecting new tracks for this event and will play some from my new album and some that I’m finishing right now. I’ll be playing for 6 hours and know exactly what Montreal likes, so I’m confident that this will be an unforgettable night.
This New Year’s, we’re also joined by UNDERHER, who you’ve probably heard spin throughout Montreal, and perhaps elswhere outside our city! Guillaume Michaud, accompanied by Naomi, will be counting us down into the New Year. You can listen to Guillaume’s opening set for Drumcode’s Layton Giodiani HERE.
Void Acoustics & BeatSpec have provided nothing but quality sound for previous FrontRite shows. We’re excited to hear how they’ll transform Fonderie Darling this New Year’ Eve. Visuals, lighting, and all things shining will be mapped and set by Stefano Gemmellaro.
Check out Revolution 2020’s Facebook event page for more details about NYE. As always, I’ll see you under the disco ball on the dance floor!
What a year it was!Starting the year with the 1st edition of Revolution, celebrating our 5 year anniversary with LOCO DICE, Be-At TV & HOSH, Abandoned ___ Factory 2.0 and many more. Sometimes it was rough, venue issues, ups and downs, but we made the best of it and you guys/gals stuck with us!The dance community is why we do what we do, not for $ or fame but for the ability to create experiences that will undoubtedly change the way we value a night out. The most important aspect of it all is YOU! Your attitudes dictate your energy and your energy bring our productions to life!We would like to thank everyone that was with us through the rollercoaster that was 2018 and that will stick with us as we continue striving to be better!To all the partners involved in this year’s Revolution: Divine NYE party you have outdone yourselves! I can’t wait to figure out how we can up it in 2019!❤ see you on the dancefloor!**Recap Out Soon!**
Posted by FrontRite on Thursday, January 3, 2019