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Exclusive Interview: Stylust Beats on the Bandana EP [Sleeveless Records]

Listen to the tracks from this innovative bass music EP while seeing what Stylust Beats had to say about the effort.
Stylust Beats Press Photo 2016

Known for stirring up an irrepressible energy with a multifarious spectrum of bass-busting tunes that hit you right in the feels, Stylust Beats brings us some of his finest work to date with the Bandana EP, diving to viscous depths while upholding an unmistakably fresh West Coast vibe. Since launching his own visceral imprint Sleeveless Records and receiving tremendous amounts of support from truly committed fans and artists alike, the L.A.-based producer and DJ continues to foster a community of Sleeveless Warriors, (i.e. those dedicated to uncompromisingly hard-hitting beats) through the release of intentionally epic music that takes you on a genre-defying ride. 

Adding fuel to the fire, his forthcoming release on Sleeveless, the Bandana EP, arrives as a forceful and all-inclusive testament to his craftsmanship as a producer and innovator of a rebellious, ever-growing style. Magnetic Magazine snagged some words with Stylust to gain insight into his current ventures, approach to music production, and the synthesis of the new EP.

Stylust Beats Bandana EP Artwork

This has been a supercharged summer (and year) for you! What were some of your favorite gigs within the past six months? Do you feel that they have shaped the way that this release has come together?

Stylust Beats: Yeah! I definitely had some awesome festivals highlights this year with Coachella, two sets at Shambhala, and Burning Man to name a few. Also, I love connecting with new regions like the Midwest, playing festies such as Sub Octave and Up North Fest and headlining slots at epic venues like Cervantes in Denver. Overall a really fun year.

Tasting that classic, high-octane ‘Stylust’ flavor on this one, but with a distinct underground vibe! Can you share a bit about your most recent inspirations musically? Any particular ideas that stood out for you in the process?

Stylust Beats: Yes, I’ve been digging the simpler, heavy bass stuff that sounds super tuff, haha. Also, got the Moog Sub 37, so digging into the more analogue sound design stuff which has been really fun. The lead single, "BANDANA" started with the crazy stick percussion idea, then I layered some deep analogue bass stuff underneath while keeping the percussion bit as the lead element driving the tune.

It’s always intriguing to know what happens behind the scenes of music creation. Production wise, what is a must-do or a ritual for you and your processes as an artist?

Stylust Beats: Depends on the tune, really. If I am by myself in the studio, I make sure I’m ready to sit down for a few hours with no distractions, lots of TDs (non-alcoholic tasty drinks, haha) and snacks. If it’s a collab I like to just chill with the other artist for a bit and share tunes, inspirations, etc. and then try to find a happy medium direction for the tune.

Can you elaborate on the title for us?

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Stylust Beats: "BANDANA" is the title of the lead single, which is a pretty tuff-sounding deep bass tune - so the “gangster bandana” imagery that comes to mind seemed to fit the theme of the single. We also created these amazing new bandanas, which are a necessity at summer festivals. We gave them out at festivals all summer so we could see the crowds reppin’ and swingin’ during my sets. It was a lot of fun to see!

How would you explain the visions of Sleeveless Records and your music to aliens?

Stylust Beats: Cats with friggin' laser beams!

Out of all the rad collaborations on the new EP, how did each come about? What do you feel each artist brought to that table and how did you feel your styles worked together?

Stylust Beats: “BREXIT” with Thelem was a really fun one we did in my new spot in DTLA. We just messed about with the Moog sub 37 for a bit and cranked this one out. We also joked earlier how we only played about two minutes of each song, anyways, so we should make a shorter tune that we will play front to back.

[On “PAINKILLER” with DJANK YUCCA] They sent me this idea a while ago and I really liked it, so I finished it up by taking over the arrangements and pacing of the tune as well as refining the bass so it hits harder live. The bounce on this tune is really fun and defined which is what I like best about it.

[On “BANDANA VIP” with JLEON] J sent me this crazy mashup he did of one of his songs (at 70 BPM) over "BANDANA" slowed down. It sounded absolutely monster, and somehow the two tunes were in the same key doing almost the same progression. So I had J send over the stems of his tune idea (but sped up to 80 BPM) and then blended into my version of "BANDANA" by using the best elements of each to create the super VIP.

Momentum for Sleeveless Records is definitely gaining speed and bringing hella heat. Can you tell us a bit about what new fire has been cooking up in Sleeveless HQ?

Stylust Beats: Yes, we’re launching my new album "BANDANA" Oct 13th, really excited about that. We’ve also got Conrank's “Friday Poltergeist” EP coming shortly after around Halloween time, a new EP from Knight Riderz and then we’re gonna round off the year with the second Sleeveless Warriors Compilation!

How do you feel ‘Bandana’ speaks for not only your musical evolution, but of the record label?

Stylust Beats: I definitely think it’s my best work to date so I’m really happy to share the album on my own platform, Sleeveless Records. It’s time to build the family and continue the movement.

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