Settle in for a deep ride as we touch down with the New Jersey-based artist known as Au5 (pronounced “A-U-Five”) for a heavy journey through the raw and epic soundscapes that continue to shape his sound. Having earned his stripes breaking genre boundaries and merging the heavy with the ethereal, Au5 quickly built on the early success he found after winning the official Seven Lions Beatport contest a little over three years ago. With his chilled out vibes finding a home on imprints as varied as Viper, Dim Mak, Armada, OWSLA, Rottun, and most recently Wakaan, there’s no doubting that the best is still to come from the young producer.
With that in mind, turn down the lights and prepare for a psychedelic journey through the headspace of Au5 as he shares with us the 5 Tunes that Changed His Life.
The realizations about the universe and myself during that time were on a truly psychedelic level. This song showed me the raw power that music has the potential to transmute through us.
Feed Me & Tasha Baxter “Cloudburn” (mau5trap, 2010)
I’ve heard Excision, I’ve heard Skrillex, and [I’ve heard enough of] others to think I knew what dubstep was about, but Feed Me took the cake for me. My college roommate showed me this song for the first time. Everything about this song is perfect and still holds up six years later. The production is incredibly dynamic and clean, [the] sound design [is] unlike anything I’ve heard before—compositionally musical with a solid groove—and not to mention I immediately fell in love with Tasha’s voice. Needless to say I had to feature her on a song…after years of building the courage to ask her. “Cloudburn” is the perfect balance of bizarre, emotional and badass. Feed Me has always been far ahead of the curve and will always be an inspiration to me.
Infected Mushroom “Heavyweight” (PMI Digital, 2007)
I believe I was 15 when I heard this. At the time, I was producing trance and a friend suggested I listen to Infected Mushroom. This song is a masterpiece—a journey that took me through everything I wanted to hear from a song: IDM, orchestral, rock/metal, psytrance. It was paradigm shifting—so melodically intricate and satisfying, complimenting sound design and production standards I’ve never heard of before. Infected Mushroom is one of my earliest and most influential artists.
BT “A Million Stars” (Nettwerk, 2011)
This song was my first impression of BT, introduced to me by my friend Brady (Fractal). The crisp ethereal vocal amidst the fusion of acoustic instrumentation and technical edits was something I’ve never heard before. I can’t specify what it was about the song but it put me into a state I haven’t felt prior, known as an aroused kundalini state. I felt intense tingling throughout my body, as if electricity was shooting through me, and couldn’t control my breath. It was scary yet simultaneously blissful. The realizations about the universe and myself during that time were on a truly psychedelic level. It showed me the raw power that music has the potential to transmute through us.
Jonn Serrie “Continuum” (New World Music Ltd., 1995)
I first heard this song about seven years ago. My dad was listening to it while making art and I was sitting in the same room. I was familiar with ambient music but nothing like this. Deep sub drones and slowly evolving pads entranced me into a hypnotic state and I began hallucinating [that I was] floating and traveling through deep space while completely sober. Since then I developed a huge interest and appreciation for ambient music, especially space music. This was the primary influence for me to write ambient music.
Brian Eno “An Ending (Ascent)” (Virgin Records Ltd., 1983)
The feeling of nostalgia for a past life I can’t remember is how this song makes me feel. The first time I heard it, it felt strikingly familiar, as if waking up from a seemingly endless dream called life to a truer, eternal reality. It is extremely tranquil and etheric, but has the weight of majesty. The death of a dream wakes us to reality, as the death of reality is not the end, yet an ascension bringing us closer to the truth.