It’s been a while coming, but Korrupt‘s back here on FatKidOnFire with his latest Interview + Review…
Welcome back again FKOF family! I’m back with what will hopefully be more of a bi-monthly routine of fresh new interviews with upcoming, gifted producers I’ve discovered. The man I’m going to introduce you to today has been on the top of my ‘to feature’ list for a very long time. Get ready for HAACK…
The first time I came across HAACK was when the words ‘Sub Lab’ were projected onto my retinas, in part thanks to their collaboration with GetDarker in 2011.
Sub Lab are a forward-thinking label from the northern part of Texas, who have been focusing on pushing “the deeper vibes of the dubstep and electronic music undergrounds”. As I clicked on the download link, I was unaware of the kind of impact it would have on me…
Throughout the past couple of years, HAACK has been forming his own sound. I’ve witnessed him grow into the excellent producer he is now, and with extended support from Sub Pressure, Reboot Records (who signed his first digital release) and the rest of the Sub Lab family standing right behind him, it’s his time to set a step forward. We hope the following interview might give you a better insight in what you can expect from him in the future!
HAACK, tell us a bit about yourself? Dear FKOF and readers, I’m originally from St. Petersburg, Russia and have been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for fifteen years now. As a U.S.-based dubstep producer, most people don’t know that about me! When I’m not producing, I spend my time meditating and hiking outdoors. I love the beach and we live right by it, although it’s not as warm as everyone thinks it is. Out here in California it’s really a lifestyle, you have a diversity of people from all over the world and it’s great that we all come together here in the Bay Area.
How long have you been producing? Who and what has influenced your work? I started producing when I was sixteen. Before then, I was playing in bands and doing local shows until one of my friends turned me onto production; from there on I never looked back. My earliest productions were jazz and soul influenced and as a result I got into producing down-tempo and trip-hop.
It wasn’t until I was eighteen that I first started getting into dubstep and garage. It took time to really find out what I wanted to do as a dubstep producer; this is a sound that is constantly evolving but once you find your way through the sound, you understand what you want to do musically, I’ve definitely reached that point over the last couple of years.
As for influences, I am inspired by a such a vast diversity of musical styles and genres that I would not even know where to begin, but to give you an example, I’ve recently been listening to a lot of Tibetan Monks chanting and found a love for deep house!
How do your tracks come about? Most of my tracks arise from anything that could be influencing me at that time musically, philosophically and emotionally. With music, I might be listening to a mix and hear a technical element that I find interesting in the production, or the way a producer brings in different sounds throughout the structure of the tune, then I will lock that in my head and implement it in my own productions later on.
It’s always good to come to a project when you have an idea; for me the organisation is important, every sound counts. I have very high expectations when it comes to productions, quality is everything for me; if I think a tune is not ready to be released, even if a label wants to pick it up, then it’s most likely going to stay on my hard drive or get deleted all together. I guess that’s what some might consider extreme perfectionism? But, this is why I spend quite a lot of time on only several tracks for the year.
What are your goals? Eventually I will have local residency as a DJ in my city. I used to spin several years ago and would love to get back into it: I love the club scene too much to ever pass that up. As for this year, I want to stay focused on developing my sound and getting more technical with productions, I’ve got a lot of ideas that I will to put out and finish.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Knowing that I have already come so far since I first started producing dubstep in 2009, having released my first EP when I was only 19 and having been mentioned on a release in Big Up magazine, there’s no turning back. Every year, I am constantly progressing and improving as a producer, so I’ve only got my mindset on great things ahead.
What can you tell us about your FKOF Free Download? The track I’m giving away was part of a project that I began in 2012. Originally, it was going to be part of an EP, but I had decided to hold off on the release last minute. Shortly after the new year, I spent several months working on sound design for the track and I was really happy that it developed into something that I was pleased with.
For the most part, I try to attach a name to my projects first – I feel like when you represent an emotion behind the music, you can focus more on the sound and what type of vibe is coming through to the audience. In this case ‘Vicious’ symbolises the obscene and cruel reality of our world. Whenever I spent time on this track, I thought of all the disgusting things that human beings contribute to society and life and portrayed it with the sounds. That is a thought that I am often disgruntled by and I feel more at ease that I can store that emotion elsewhere, in a song.
We’re coming up to the end of 2013. What’s your most favourite release/ tune of the year? As of 2013 some of my favorite releases are coming from house producers, particularly Gmbos. He has a very organic sound that is so diverse apart from the other 4/4 music that is out there at the moment. Also, anything currently coming from Macabre Unit Digital and InnaMind Recordings are constantly inspiring me.
What’s been your highlight event of the year? I would say Together As One. Out here in the States we don’t often get the luxury of having such massive line-ups unless DJs are going to be coming through on tour, but when they are out here, the city shuts down and all like-minded people congregate and envelope themselves in the depths of bass music, it’s timeless, always good nights when the UK heads come through.
Have you got any tips/ advice to other DJs or producers? Always come to your projects with an idea, the track is more likely to develop somewhere and you won’t be sitting on a loop for hours on end.
Take breaks, smoke, drink, do whatever you need to get away from the track, you’ll come back with another perspective and hear things that you might have not heard before, insert disk, listen, listen, and repeat.
Who would you like to thank for their support? I’d like to give a massive shout out to Kial at Sub Pressure. He has always encouraged me to release my music and stay focused on my productions. The label has really taken care of me over the past couple of years and the whole crew of producers there are really talented. Also, much respect to Catacombs for taking the time to help me with my productions, and give me some really good critique and advice. I’ve seen his sound develop over the years and he’s got some big tunes coming forward!
Respect and shout out to Triky, Collision, Formless – some very talented and consistent producers that I’ve been in touch with since I started producing, stay locked on them this year. Finally, much respect out to Toni L. and B-On, they’ve really been behind me with my music since day one, see you all in London soon!
“HAACK opens his debut FKOF free download with an epic introduction; one that paralyses the listener through precisely delayed pads and intense panning. The horrific ambiance he creates hints at a merciless drop, backed by a solid collection of basslines that will hold the attention of the listener like a vice.
“The eastern vocals grab at the eardrums, while frightening growls emanate impending threats. The growls’ progression are truly outstanding, thanks, in part, to a gifted drum kit that is balanced out to perfection with every single element.
“HAACK’s approach is contagious, he’s definitely caught our attention with this meticulous behemoth. Take note, this is a producer to be following!”
Peace, love and respect.