One of the most vibrant West-Coast producers, EPROM, is known for creating various sounds from toxic hip-hop to searing garage mutations to bizarre concoctions all in between. While he had successful releases on Warp, Surefire and Bristol-based Bad Acid, it was his 2010 Rwina release, “Humanoid,” that caught the attention of many bass music lovers. From there, dubstep and grime collided in his Pipe Dream EP where his beats jiggle, drip and contort wildly before his album, Metahuman, seemed to finally elevate EPROM to a level of widespread recognition he deserves.
With his live sets responsible for taking his music and crowds to a whole other level, EPROM’s ability to emphasize the hip-hop roots lurking under his sewer beats ensure that not a single brain leaves his sets without turning into goo.
All of this is to say that with bass music dominating the West coast, we can’t contain our excitement for the biggest bass event of the year as Bassrush Massive prepares to take over the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino over the weekend of July 20 and 21 (full details and tickets available here).
To help us celebrate the long march towards Bassrush Massive we caught up with EPROM, who will be taking the stage both in solo mode and as part of supergroup Shades that features EPROM going head-to-head with Alix Perez. To see what fans can expect from his performance and to see what other projects he has on the horizon we thought we’d touch down with him for an in-depth Q&A.
Tell us a little about your background and what sparked your passion to pursue music as a career?
I started making electronic music at about age 13 on Rebirth, which was an early TR-808 / TR-909 / TB-303 emulator. So, my first experiments were acid techno type stuff. I would record little sketches to cassette tape and play them for my friends at school. It wasn’t until much later, after I had graduated from college, that music began to be a career for me. It was always just a hobby. It started taking off for me when I lived in the Bay area and I was giving demos to DJs in that area.
If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would like to collaborate with Frank Zappa, although I’m not sure I’d be up to his standards of musicianship. I think he approached music from this perspective of “how can I bend this as far as possible before it breaks” and I really respect that angle.
For those who have never seen you perform live, what can fans expect to see during your set at Bassrush Massive next month?
A lot of unreleased music, from myself, G Jones, Woolymammoth, Alix Perez, etc. I approach my sets differently from a lot of other DJs. I use Ableton Live and try to create some sounds live that couldn’t be achieved with CDJs.
Where is one place you’ve never performed that you would like to play at?
Japan. I understand that the Japanese commitment to “intentionality” (that’s a very American word, and I’m not sure what the Japanese equivalent is) extends not just to architecture, city planning, and design, but also to sound system culture. In other words they have fantastic sound and treat it with a great deal of care.
You recently contributed to the Vivid Sydney festival’s sound design, which displayed on the Sydney Opera House. What was that experience like and what was the creative process like behind that whole project?
It was Jonathan Zawada, the lead designer, who approached me. We’ve worked together before on my Pineapple EP cover and I respect his work immensely, so I was thrilled at the chance to collaborate on something of this scale. The actual process was sort of a back and forth where he provided the sound designers with a draft animatic, which is like a motion storyboard with rough animations, and we created the sounds from that and from textual descriptions and sonic reference points. For my piece, I mined years of work done on modular synths and software and stitched it together into something that I hope coherently reinforces the ideas Jonathan was trying to communicate.
What is one thing that you hope fans take away from your music?
You can dance to anything.
What are some new projects that you’re working on that fans can look forward to?
Shades is my collaboration with Alix Perez, and our new album is out later this summer. It’s called In Praise of Darkness, and it will see us exploring some new sonic territory.
Tell us five things we don’t know about you.
Here’s my top five favorite movies: Akira(1988), Blade Runner(1982), A Clockwork Orange(1971), Solaris(1971), Dead Ringers(1988).