Satl is back on The North Quarter with his sophomore release on the imprint – the stunning Lucid Dreaming EP – taking us even deeper into his artistic experimentations, exploring his love for techno, dub and ambient sonic palettes in serious style.
6 tracks deep, the EP weaves cosmic themes through dreamy track titles, rich atmospherics and a refined maturity that marks a new chapter for the Gdansk-based beatsmith – one that shows he’s not afraid to step out of his comfort zone.
It’s an impressive snapshot of where Satl is at musically, so we caught up to chat about the release and how the various challenges of 2020 have affected him…
Thanks for taking the time to chat to us Adrian! The world was a little different last time we spoke… How has this year been for you?
It’s my pleasure! And yes, indeed… I would be lying if I said this year has been fine, I guess it hasn’t been easy for anyone at all! It’s ups and downs, but that’s how it is. I’m just trying to focus on positive stuff instead of being drawn into all the bad stuff thats going on.
That’s a good attitude to have! Your Lucid Dreams EP has just dropped on The North Quarter – for me it’s some of your best work to date, I’ve had it on repeat! How did it come together – was it written during lockdown and was it inspired by anything in particular?
Thank you, I’m very happy to hear that! It came together pretty naturally actually, for quite some time already I’ve been trying different sounds and Teije (Lenzman) was really into it. As i’m committed to The North Quarter it seemed like a great idea to showcase this other side of my music to a wider audience and as soon as we had a couple ideas that felt somehow connected, it all fell together quickly. It’s all been written this year and inspiration for it comes from techno, dub, ambient music.
The themes I’m feeling throughout the EP are very ethereal and dream-like – from the soundscapes to the track titles – does this reflect your state of mind when you were writing the EP, or was this a way to escape the chaotic nature of 2020?
I see it more as escape from the perspective of time now. I didn’t want to get overwhelmed by all the bad stuff that was going on in the world and music is always my ‘portal’ to another world.
How challenging is it in the current climate to release an EP like this without having that opportunity to test drive tracks in a live environment like clubs and festivals? I guess feedback from your peers becomes even more crucial?
For me it’s been really strange – I sort of lost confidence in whether the tracks would be well received when it was getting closer to the release date. My close people were really supportive though, and I’m very grateful for that. I learned to release music first and foremost for myself, and if people like it – it’s a bonus. Seeing music this way helped me to believe more in myself as a producer, especially over the last few months.
‘Portal’ is incredibly powerful. It’s one of my favourites on the EP and a hell of a tune to open the EP with. There’s gotta be a story behind it?
I just wanted it to represent where I am at the moment creatively – the contrast in melancholic tones – hypnotic, but also with a heavier edge to it.
Levitate has a real Intalex vibe about it – was the track inspired by him?
Not necessarily inspired by Marcus but he definitely plays a big part in my all time inspirations. He was the originator of that sound within drum and bass but i’m just trying to translate it into the modern day.
You linked with Submorphics again on the groove that is Motor City Justice – you guys have worked together previously as well – how was your creative vibe on this particular tune and why do you think you guys gel so well on collaborations?
Man, I love Greg! He’s such an easy-going guy to work with. We usually start a couple of sketches and then just see how it goes. I think he is a great instrumentalist, while I like to be at the buttons – this way I think we compliment each other very well. We have a few more tracks together that we think are worth releasing, so you might hear them sometime soon too!
Looking forward to it!! It’s obviously been a challenging year for everyone – how has it impacted you from a music point of view? You’ve mentioned in the past that you can write up to 30 – 40 sketches a week – have you been able to keep up that productivity and found inspiration amongst all the chaos, or has it impacted your creativity?
This didn’t change at all – maybe I take some more breaks now where I won’t be working for couple days at all. I take inspiration from everything and anything and i’m grateful for this gift because I can see a fly on the wall and make a tune just from that impulse.
Ha! That is quite a gift to have! You launched your own Patreon earlier this year as well – what’s it been like connecting with your fans in such a different way?
Actually this has been very, very nice. It’s great to build a little community together. I’m really flattered with the support of my fans and I want to keep giving back to them this way. From exclusive music to production live-streams, it’s all there – even community livestreams where they can jump on the mix and play for others to enjoy. These people are really loving this music and it’s so refreshing to have them around!
As challenging as this situation has been, it seems it’s making everyone take a step back and re- think their connection with their fans and even their music, so there is an element of it pushing people to be a bit more creative and reflective – what do you think about this, and do you think when everything “goes back to normal” there will be anything from this year that you will come to appreciate and miss?
I was thinking about it the other day and probably some of the things will go away just because artists will have less /me when they go back to touring. From my perspective I definitely want to keep the Patreon going, it’s nice to offer a bit of exclusivity for people who support you anyway! I definitely won’t be missing not playing gigs… lol
Do you have any advice for any producers who may be struggling with their creativity in these weird times?
Sure thing! If you are stuck on writing sketches and can’t move on at all – get out of your comfort zone and try other genres, this will bring some fresh vibes into your head!
Great advice! How are you feeling about the future of the industry in the current climate?
I think it’s gonna be a while before we can get back to what we used to call ‘normal’ and to not go crazy I like to call what we are going through now as the ‘new normal’. Thinking about how I miss gigs, etc. only makes me frustrated, so for me it’s about getting used to the current situation. I’m sure we will get over this, just a matter of time – and this is what makes it most annoying.
I’m sure friends and fellow producers would agree that if someone told us we can get back to playing out in 3 months we would have that point of reference to comfort us. Sadly, no one knows when though… We’ve just gotta do what’s possible to make sure we can actually get back to playing. In my opinion it’s irresponsible that people throw illegal parties at a time like this. It definitely doesn’t help us all as a community.
It’s difficult to predict anything at the moment, but what’s coming up in the new year for you?
Definitely some new music on The North Quarter and I’m finally launching a new all-genres alias on Catz’n’Dogz label early 2021!!
Oh wow, can’t wait for that! Any final shouts?
Shouts to everyone living on earth.