When it comes to exciting bass music producers, Hypha is in the bunch at the top of the list, exhibiting incredible music sense and variety in his productions. He’s able to fuse glitch and experimental vibes in his productions, resulting in incredible results. You won’t hear the same thing twice out of Hypha, as he’s always breaking free and creating something uniquely different. His Whispers EP, released a few weeks ago on Muti Records, is one of our top picks for bass music EP’s of the year, and we’re excited to hear what’s next for Hypha. We got to chat with him and talk about how he got into music production, how he stays creative, where he thinks the bass music revolution is headed and so much more.
We also got our hands on an exclusive bootleg available to listen/download only here on SL! Be sure to pop on the track and/or download it, and support Hypha at the provided links!
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So your alias is super rad. How did you come up with Hypha?
Well, I’m not sure exactly. When I decided I really wanted to get serious with the music thing I figured that I should settle on a good moniker right from the get go. I wanted something that would be concise and simple, but still have some deeper meaning or symbolism. I somehow came across the word hypha and it really clicked with me. I really like the shape and length the of the word, and the idea that its a small part of something much greater than itself. Individual and unique, yet intertwined and collectively inclined.
When and how did you start producing music?
I started playing guitar when I was probably 12 or 13 and played in a few bands with friends. One day, 4 or 5 years ago, I walked into my friends house and he had a really nice midi-keyboard that another friend had given him, so I asked him if I could try it out. He opened up Propellerhead Reason 3 on his computer and I guess it kind of just went from there.
How has your sound evolved since then?
When I started making beats, it was just kind of a bedroom hobby for my personal enjoyment. I was making a lot of sample based, mellow, hip hop beats. At some point, I got really interested in synthesis and kind of weird wonky electronic glitchyness. I started incorporating a lot of different software and hardware instruments, vocal manipulation, and self sampling in the past 2 or 3 years. I feel like I’ve started to develop my own sound, but its definitely something thats constantly evolving and changing. I just recently bought a field recorder, so I’m stoked to see which direction things go with that addition.
So you moved from Humboldt County in Northern California to Barcelona recently. What caused the scenery change?
I grew up in Humboldt and have spent most of my life there. I spent a year on exchange studying in southern spain in 2008, and had wanted to go back ever since. An opportunity arose for me to live over there for a year and teach english so I kind of just jumped on it. I actually was living in Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands off the coast of spain in the mediterranean sea. I have kind of an obsession and love affair with Spain, its definitely somewhere where I will continue to return to for the rest of my life. I would love to move back over there for a few years, it’s a truly enchanting place.
Would you say the move has contributed to growth in your creativity?
Yes, completely. I like to think of travel as a formative experience. It forces you to completely let go and step out side of your comfort zone on a very regular basis. I think its good to detach yourself a bit from “the scene” so as to not be swayed and distracted by something that is really fluid and rather artificial at times.
Speaking of creativity, is there anything you do to enhance your creative process? Any pre-music session rituals?
Uf! Thats the tough one, I struggle with it at times. I think the most inspired moments of creation are completely spontaneous, it’s not something that you can really force. It’s frustrating sometimes when you only have a given amount of time to work on something, but the inspiration or the energy is just not there at the moment. I like to listen to a really wide variety of music in between sessions, kind of a pallet cleanser wine and cheese thing if you will. What works best for me is to get outside in the fresh air and do things completely unrelated to music. When you finally stop looking for it, you find it.
We think that the openness and acceptance of natural surroundings, and the propensity to host live music events in the outdoors here on the west coast is really contributing to a new revolution in west coast bass music. What’s the coolest outdoors place you’ve ever played music?
Well, I think Burning Man takes the cake as far as that goes, but the outdoor music scene here really is out of control awesome! I really love a lot of the little renegade parties that happen in the summer time up here in Humboldt. My friends have been throwing some summer solstice get-togethers up on the south fork of the Trinity river, and it’s absolutely paradisaical. Thats probably my favorite. There are a lot of amazing spaces for festivals though. Symbiosis in 2009 up at Camp Mather near Yosemite was absolutely amazing, and I really miss when they used to do Earthdance in Laytonville at Black Oak Ranch. I grew up going to Reggae on the River up in Humboldt, so I kind of permanently compare things to that. I think we are really blessed to live in a place of such intense natural beauty.
What would you say is the ideal situation/place for people to listen to your music?
A lot of it is very late-night oriented I suppose, but I’m also a huge fan of going on long walks and just getting lost in some headphones. I think some of my tunes are a little more on the cerebral chill tip, and some are meant to be a more on the dancefloor end of things.
Your Muti Records EP Whispers is seriously one of our favorite future bass releases of the year. Can you talk about the EP in general – things that inspired it, the production process, and how you feel about the final product?
I guess it kind of coincides with moving back to spain. I made half of the songs in the months leading up to my move, and then the other half I produced there in Spain. For example, I made Mixed Feelings the day that I accepted the job in Mallorca and I was feeling a complete rush of utter joy and happiness, but at the same time huge anxiety over just picking up and leaving everything here behind. There was a kind of bittersweet feeling about it all. Palma, is named for the city Palma de Mallorca. I made it mostly on a the train, and later on a park bench in the heart of the city; I feel like creativity tends to swell when we are in transit. I really had a janky set up when I was living over there so it was really frustrating and time consuming trying to mix down and finish tracks, but only having some crappy headphones to work with. Im really happy with how the EP came together. I really tried to make all the songs with the intention that they were to be part of a cohesive collection, rather than picking out songs that I like individually and hoping they sounded good together.
What’s the most personally satisfying track you’ve ever produced?
I think at this point it time Suspiras is one of my favorite tracks I’ve made. The most satisfying thing for me is making a new song that sounds unlike anything I’ve made previously. I think Distancia would also be in there in that sense.
Who are some producers who you identify as really contributing to the evolution of the future bass movement on the west coast?
There certainly are a lot of really talented folks out there, its kind of ridiculous really. It’s a whole lot bigger than just the west coast, but as far as it goes. I’ve had that new G Jones on repeat for days now. I really love Groundislava, Shlohmo, Salva, Bleep Bloop, Caidence, Psy Fi, Lippe, Ratchet, Taso, Benito, Insightful; the list goes on and on. Been meeting a lot of younger kids lately who are making some really amazing music, the future is bright.
You seem like quite an intellectual and open minded dude, so we gotta ask, where do you see music headed in the future, specifically the bass movement you’re currently a part of?
I don’t know really. It seems like peoples favorite thing to do these days is to flip trends as fast as possible, and turn everything into a giant too-cool-for-school competition. Despite that, I think theres an over abundance of people who make really amazing music, who will continue to do so, and the methods of production and technology available is going to to nothing but increase. I think in the future there will be increasing integration of visual and auditory stimulation via lighting rigs, laser projection mapping, and other new technology to create a full experience for all your senses in live settings is really exciting. I just saw the Shpongletron 2.0 recently and was pretty blown away. I’m really stoked to see the direction things go in the years to come.
Lastly, we like to end our interviews by asking if there’s any quote or personal philosophy that embodies your view on life and/or music?
Why yes, I have a quote:
“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”