Fresh off the success of his Weird & Wonderful tour, the inimitable Liquid Stranger takes us into another realm with his aptly titled Weird & Wonderful EP that just dropped on Wakaan. A languid slow burn through the mindscape of the transcendental vibes that Liquid Stranger is best known for, the EP features six cuts that chart the outer rim of space, time, and consciousness, centered on celestial vibes and rhythms that are 100% alien-electro-tech-funk-reggae-infused grooves.
As with all Liquid Stranger projects, the mood floats between dark, melancholy atmospheres with subtle electric flares of intense melody and sub-aural basslines that catches the breath and speed up the heart. Liquid Stranger relates how his own mom captured the essence of his sound best when she used to come up to his room while he was growing up and say, “Martin, that music makes me feel like I’m getting boiled alive by a primitive headhunter tribe in the Amazon.”
Channeling that love for the eclectic and freeform sound that he’s come to be associated with, Liquid Stranger’s own Wakaan imprint has become a home for other artists drawing upon a wide range of influences, vibes and sounds. With the Weird & Wonderful EP hitting the streets and already warping the space-time continuum, we thought we’d stop in for a little chat and private tour of the equally weird and wonderful headspace Liquid Stranger calls home. To find out more, check the Q&A below followed by a smoking 15-track Weird and Wonderful playlist featuring some of Liquid Stranger’s favorite cuts from the past year.
My songs are basically mutant bastards with a labyrinthine family tree.
Talk to us about this EP. What’s the vibe like and how did it all come together?
As always, it’s a wild mixture of styles and tempos. I’ve embraced the fact that I’m different, and I wanted the EP to reflect that. I’ve been living a very nomadic life for the most part of 2016, and this EP was made entirely while traveling and touring. I get inspired by the various happenings on the road: the sights, smells, sounds, and the colorful people I encounter. It’s also a huge bonus to have my fellow Wakaan artists right there to give me feedback throughout the process.
How do you see the EP as being part of the larger trajectory and evolution of your sound?
I’ve made a vow to myself to always keep growing as a musician. I don’t want to become complacent and stagnate into a set of routines. Throughout the years I’ve experimented with a myriad of genres, and in the process carved my own path as a producer. I feel this EP is a good representation of my own current taste in music, and it’s sort of a sneak peak of what’s to come later this year.
Speaking of weird and wonderful, what a time to be alive! Everyday feels like a combination of weird and wonderful. What’s your advice to all the heads out there struggling to find their place in the world?
We live in interesting times and it can certainly be both confusing and overwhelming at times. Bottom line is that it’s always worth fighting for freedom and the right to self-expression. An important step is for every one of us to take responsibility for our actions and stand accountable for the results. It’s time to treat fellow humans with empathy and integrity, and to leave every place in a better state than how we found it. We can manifest a better world, but ultimately it starts with ourselves.
Last but not least, let us know where you see yourself headed from here and where we can get some more of that Liquid Stranger vibe in the future?
I’ve written a lot of new material that I’m planning to release throughout the year. It’s an exciting time for music—every boundary is breaking down—and we are stepping into an era of increasing freedom. My songs are basically mutant bastards with a labyrinthine family tree.
Moving forward, I’m going to keep pushing my record label Wakaan, and we are making big moves in 2017. Space Jesus, Shlump, Perkulat0r, Bleep Bloop, Yheti and others have been writing some of their best material to date. I have a ton of festivals and shows this year, and the label is curating a few select Wakaan Takeovers in certain cities. We have some super impressive artist premieres this coming year, and working on a video channel for freeform electronic music, so that we can better serve the bass community. There is simply too much to talk about, and a LOT to look forward to!
“When I heard this one I knew I had to hit up Shlump for a release on Wakaan. This tune is great for testing your subs, and definitely one of the freshest beats of 2016.”
Bleep Bloop “When Sound Was Sound”
“I did around 50 shows with Bleep Bloop during the Weird & Wonderful tour, and his live sets really blew me away; really intricate beats and an overall powerful experience. The man loves distortion!”
Inner G “Zebbler Encanti Experience”
“These guys are on the forefront of revitalizing the psytrance sound, and are turning it into something truly unique and exciting. Superb production and twisted musical ideas make this one a winner.”
Space Jesus & Esseks “Won’t Stop”
“It’s always interesting to hear other artists reinterpret my tunes, and this one is extra special. Space Jesus & Esseks took it upon themselves to remix ‘Don’t Stop’ without telling me, and sent it over as a surprise one night. A haunting and beautiful piece with vocals by Joyce Kei.”