Habstrakt Discusses 'Cool Cats Never Die' EP & New Projects [Interview]
Very few producers are in higher demand nowadays than Habstrakt. Following his successful remixes of Eptic’s “Danger,” MUST DIE!’s “Hellcat,” & Skrillex’s “Dirty Vibe,” the multi-genre'd producer is now issuing his first solo release of 2015. This frisky Frenchmen quickly reminds us that his original compositions are equally magnificent, if not better than his alternative remixes, and clearly no genre or style is off limits when this brilliant mind begins manufacturing his tunes.
Divided into two separate parts, Habstrakt's new EP Cool Cats Never Die showcases a brilliant blend of filthy dubstep and new-age bass house. Both “Hello” and “Habby9000” are a testament to this producer’s heavy bass music roots, whereas “Gimme” and “Time” (due out on March 16th) provide the world with a glimpse into Habstrakt’s funkier, 4x4 side. We took this opportunity to catch up with the extemely gifted musician, and he had quite a lot to say.
[EDM = EDM.com; H = Habstrakt]
EDM: Your Cool Cats Never Die EP has been divided into two separate parts. Was this decision made for any particular reason? And could you please tell us a little bit about the concept behind this four-track collection?
H: Well, it was because there was obviously two distinct genres on the EP. The first part is obviously two dubstep tracks and the second part is going to be a bit more of my garage house style, you know? You can’t even really put a name on it. It’s 120BPM stuff. That’s why we decided to split it into two parts. Because my last EP on Never Say Die was like in June of 2013, so it’s been awhile since I’ve done a solo EP on Never Say Die.
EDM: This is not the first time that you have released an EP through Never Say Die Records, what motivates you to continue working with this renowned label?
H: Well, with Never Say Die, it’s a really close team. We are all friends with each other. Like LAXX, Eptic, MUST DIE!, Megalodon, & SkisM. We literally can call each other every day and talk about music or exchange some ideas or productions tips or anything. We have this team spirit, you know? And I love to work as a team. It’s really important to me to stay strong. As a producer, you are just in your bedroom and alone all the time, so it’s good to be able to exchange stuff all the time. Not only with your manager, but with all the producers and everything. So I like the fact that we are all pretty close to each other at Never Say Die. It’s really stimulating.
EDM: Video recordings of Skrillex rinsing out "Habby9000" have surfaced on the internet recently. How do you react when you get word of high-profile musicians utilizing your material in their live performances?
H: Man, it’s amazing. I’m humbled. It always surprises me. People have been playing my tunes for a couple years now, but every time I see someone play my stuff at a festival to a crowd that enjoys it, it means the whole world to me; I started from the bedroom and now I'm here, you know what I mean? The support lately with the latest remixes, like the “Hellcat” remix and “Dirty Vibe” remix, has been amazing; I am so grateful for that. I never realized that it would go that far when I started to make music. I would look up to these people as influences and now we talk to each other and skype each other and exchange ideas. It’s really great. Still a bit surreal. But great.
EDM: If you were not producing music and touring around the world on a regular basis, what do you think you would be doing instead?
H: I’ve been doing this for so long now that I have no idea. I was working in a restaurant before this, so I’d probably go back to that. You know, like being a chef and cooking food and everything. Or maybe I would just raise cats or dolphins. Or both.
EDM: Do you have any favorite up-and-coming producers? Who's been blowing up your radar as of late?
H: The French scene right now is really, really buzzing. We have got a lot of amazing artists from France coming out. I’m thinking of Point Point, it’s like four people together. Nömak, Dvtgd (the two producers from Alesia), l’Homme aux 4 lettres and Aazar, just four amazing producers. I’m also thinking of producers like Phazz, Stwo, Evil Needle, Dustycloud, or Badjokes. We’ve got amazing producers right now in France. Really buzzing on this new kind of trap and house vibes, blending genres like never before. And then a lot of stuff from LA, like JAUZ and Ghastly, but they aren’t really ‘up-and-coming’ anymore.
EDM: There has been a noticeable shift in your sound during the last couple of years. How did those changes come about? And how have people generally reacted to you experimenting with other genres outside of dubstep?
H: Well I guess I never really decided that, ‘ok, I’m going to be a dubstep producer.’ I’ve always been messing around with genres, because I was DJing before I went into production too. So I just have this odd set of sounds that I can just use in different tempos and vibes according to my mood. What I create is mostly a representation of what I listen to and what I play in my DJ sets. As a DJ, I experiment with a lot tempos and genres - breaking the boundaries of genres. I don’t want to stay stuck under a genre.
EDM: In regards to concert-goers around the globe, what can they expect to experience when they come out to see a live Habstrakt show?
H: I’d say anything that involves a lot of wubs. But I don’t know, my set really depends on where I play actually. If I’m playing in a club, I’m going to be experimenting a lot more, like play deeper and heavier stuff. And when you play a festival, you mostly want to play these big bangers and anthems. So it really depends on where you see me play actually. It’s interesting if you see me play in both places, because I really adapt my set to where I am playing and to the crowd.
EDM: What's next for Uncle Habby? Any secret collabs in the works? We want all the juicy details.
H: Well I am already working on the next EP right now. Just started it last week, making new tracks already; I don’t want to be short of new tracks and I always love having some secret weapons for my sets. I’m doing three remixes right now, and I can’t really tell you who they are for because it’s too soon, but let's say they are for very interesting people. Yeah, so I’m doing those three remixes right now, and I’m going to do some more next month. In terms of collabs, I’ve got a couple. I think that LAXX and I have wanted to make a track for so long that it’s finally going to happen. I got this collab with Culprate which we did awhile ago that we are going to release this year. It’s a pretty awesome collab. We did this track like, last year, and it took us a year to really finish it and get to the final version. I guess you’ll know more about all that within the next month.
EDM: One last question. Is the infamous dress white & gold? Or is it blue & black?
H: I think it’s like purple-ish and gold. I just showed it to my parents actually, and my mom would see white and gold, and my dad would see blue and black. He thought we were just messing around with him, so he got really angry and upset. That dress just ruined our day. Silly man.
Purchase Pt. 1 of Habstrakt's 'Cool Cats Never Die' EP right here.