With memories, visions, lights and sounds of the bassPOD still ringing in our ears and head, we can’t help but take a look back at another one of our favorite sets of the weekend. You know, the time Black Sun Empire and State of Mind had the crowd bubbling as the sun came up on Day Two?
With a long and well-deserved reputation as king of all things neuro, Black Sun Empire and their Blackout club nights and imprint, have become renowned the world over for bringing their signature funky tech-vibes and twisted basslines wherever they touch down. Their set at EDC was just a preview, as they are bringing the full-fledged Blackout night to Los Angeles with fellow heavy-hitters Ed Rush and State of Mind to round out what promises to be a legendary night of dark and heavy beats.
Join us as we take a quick trip back to the bassPOD with one-third of the Black Sun Empire crew, Milan, before sneaking a peek at the madness still to come.
The sunrise session you dropped for us alongside State of Mind was so good! What did you think of the bassPOD and EDC in general?
It was our first EDC so I didn’t really know what to expect. The production was unheard of and the stage looked super sick; it was super cool and ridiculous at the same time. It was great to see all the ravers sticking around until the sun came up as well.
The back-to-back session with State of Mind seemed to work really well with you guys as you seemed to be vibing off each other really well.
Yeah, it was definitely comfortable. We did it once before at a festival in Europe. They’re super safe guys and really close buddies, obviously on the label but they often stay with us when they’re touring in Europe since they’re from New Zealand. That’s why there are a lot of State of Mind and Black Sun Empire collaborative tracks as well.
You’re gearing up for the first Blackout night in Los Angeles tomorrow. Going to be a different experience than the festival setting, but everyone is excited to hear you guys bringing the heat.
First off it won’t be back to back so that will give us some time to roll things out a bit and build a vibe. We’ve got so many new tracks and we only had an hour at EDC so we’re looking forward to sharing the fresh material from our label and ourselves. We just did a Blackout tour in Australia and New Zealand with eight shows so it’s been doing really well as a night. The label has also been doing really well. We’ve had so many releases this year so we’re having a little summer break [before we] come back strong after the summer.
Should we be looking out for a Black Sun Empire album soon? Any working title or theme you’re working with?
It’s not done yet so it’ll be a little bit. We’ve been working hard on it and there’s a lot of new music so we’re not that far away, actually. We don’t have titles or artwork or anything like that at the moment, it’s more of a feeling about the album. It’s all very much in process and to be determined still.
As a crew you guys have stuck with neurofunk and tech vibes through the lean years when that style seemed to be out of fashion. Was there any point you considered changing your sound and going with something more commercial?
No, never. We’ve always been getting enough shows, and in Europe we haven’t seen a decline in shows ever so there was no need.
That sound definitely feels to be taking off again in a major way!
Definitely, especially in Europe now, it’s crazy. If you look at Eastern Europe that sound is definitely the biggest sound there is.
On the rare chance there’s some kid out there who’s only heard of Ed Rush and is wondering, “What is this Black Sun Empire you speak of?” how do we let them know what you guys and your sound is all about?
Dark, high energy music—there’s still melody in there so it’s not just darkness. It’s the perfect combination of aggression, bass, and emotion.
Any specific tunes from the back catalogue that capture that sound?
[The original] “Arrakis,” I would say, but Noisia did a remix a year and a half ago that perfectly captures that vibe. They didn’t go that far from the original with the melodies and the hard bits. There’s also “Dawn of A Dark Day” we did with Foreign Beggars that stands out as one of our personal favorites.
Looking to the future, what other projects are you crafting in the lab?
We’ve just wrapped eight collabs with State of Mind that we have to get rid of somehow. [Laughs] We’re not sure how we’re going to break them up, probably an EP and then two tracks on their album that they are working on. There’s probably going to be tons of more tracks from us in the near future as I think they’re staying about three months in Utrecht so the plan is to knock out two a week! The cool thing is we work really fast together. We’ll worry about what to do with all the tracks later.
Have you worked out who gets to play which tracks first on nights where you’re both on the bill?
I’ll just play a couple twice if I have to. Ed Rush is in the middle and no one knows the tunes so I think we’ll be okay.
Thanks again for rolling through both the bassPOD and for unleashing the Blackout vibes on us in L.A! Is a big week for drum & bass in Los Angeles!
It’s a big honor that we’re doing the Blackout here for the first time so thanks to Bassrush and the EDC crew for making it happen. This will actually be only one of two Blackout nights in the US—we did one in D.C., which was really good, the best night they had in forever so they say. We can’t wait to bring the same vibes here to Los Angeles.
Click HERE to cop your pre-sales to the Blackout featuring Black Sun Empire, Ed Rush, and State of Mind with support from Fallen at Los Globos this Saturday night in Los Angeles! It’s a tech-funk neuro-twisting extravaganza so prepare for dancefloor fire!