With every passing minute, the floor of the famed Hollywood Palladium filled up as hordes of fans congregated to dance. The bulk of those fans were there to witness the latest technological spectacle created by a notable masked DJ. Those same fans couldn't help but be hypnotized by the dark techno sounds produced by the hour-long introductory set.
As Sian engaged the audience with heavy bass lines and sinister melodies, the performance itself served as a preface for what the Irish producer is about to unleash as part of his new EP, Ultraviolet 3.0.
Having already released two installations, Ultraviolet 1.0 and Ultraviolet 2.0, the EP series is a presentation of versatility and evolution in the otherwise constricted genre of techno. No stranger to experimentation, the Octopus Recordings founder finds himself pivoting once more, this time to a more attainable sound.
The hard-hitting techno mastermind recently remixed the chart-topping deadmau5 hit "Monophobia," providing his own signature sound to the year-old record. The rework was just one of the many things we covered as Sian talked with us after his appearance on deadmau5' Cube V3 show.
Alongside the interview, Sian also shared an exclusive sixty-minute mix showcasing talents from his label. The broody yet mesmerizing mix features Jay Lumen, Raito, Gallya, and Maxie Devine among others.
EDM.com: You just wrapped up your set at the Hollywood Palladium, opening for deadmau5. How did the L.A. crowd treat you?
Sian: Great. I was stoked that people showed up early to get down. I think myself and i_o brought a good crowd too because there are a ton of techno fans here. There's such a good, weird mix here it's literally a melting pot of people.
You're about to release the third (and last) part of your latest EP, Ultraviolet. What's influencing your sound in the three-part series?
My influences have always come from those darkwave, synthwave and industrial sounds. Now I'm taking influences from '90s electro and warehouse music to try and do something new that's not Beatport Top 10.
I didn't think there would be anything wrong with having Beatport charting tracks.
For me, I ran a label for a long time that was always on the top of the Beatport charts. This kid said to me the other day that certain techno labels are kind of like EDM.
I realized that techno has changed into this genre that's kind of eating itself a little bit and I want to bring something new into it. I'm on the lookout for artists who are taking weird influences from drum and bass or whatever type of music and bringing that into techno.
What do you hope fans get out of the Ultraviolet 3.0 EP?
I think they're gonna get something new. It might take them a minute to really get it, but I think what I'm doing is creating something completely unique.
It sounds ridiculous but there's nothing really out there like that. It has some influences from bass music, it has some influences from techno and electro and stuff like that.
You recently teamed up with Will Clarke in a new project called AMOK. How did that partnership happen?
That's a really interesting one for me because Will Clarke and I come from totally different worlds. He brings his vibe which is more house music and I bring my vibe which is more techno and darkwave stuff which ended up in this weird crossover thing that really worked.
Those were actually all our own AMOK tracks that we played at HARD Summer. It was the first time we played them, so we were kind of lifting the fader, going, do you guys like this?
Are you confident presenting brand new work at a live show or is it stressful?
Yeah, you never know. People could literally stand there with their arms crossed and say, "what's this shit?" But we gave it a good friend test and a car test. If we bring it out we're gonna stand behind it and say, "This is what we're doing."
Last week you released your remix of deadmau5' "Monophobia." What made you want to rework that hit?
It was one that I really wanted to tackle. I actually ended up getting an orchestral version which is obviously not synched to drum machines or sequencers or synthesizers. So I had to go in and create parts for it and then kind of make a version of that track that sounds like me.
The track is so big and anthemic, you cant take out that lead, you know? That lead is so huge so you have to kind of work around that and create something that's your own but be kind of respectful of that huge track.
Was there pressure to perfect it?
Totally. and I had three days to do it.
Wow. Three days?
Yeah, three days to create it and put it all together. I think that's part of the fun, you know? That you push yourself to do something extraordinary.
You also recently collaborated with famed skater Jaws Hamoki on a line of merchandise. How did a techno DJ and a skateboarder link up to create clothing?
Myself and Jaws connected through one of our buddies in Phoenix. He came out to one of my shows in L.A. where we ended up partying together. I used to skate, and Jaws is obviously one of the biggest names in skateboarding.
He kind of got into techno through us and through talking, I mentioned I'd be honored to do a board with him. So we did an Octopus board, which was just a plain logo. Later on, Jaws and I started talking about all these short words that were kind of relevant to skateboarding and music. Just stuff that's relevant to us and a T-shirt was the most minimal statement to make. So that's where that came from.
Once the EP is released, what can Sian fans expect for the rest of 2019?
I'm gonna have some more releases with mau5trap and I have some other stuff that I've been playing that's for a new label project. It's gonna be just my own kind of club tracks, more stripped-down and weird slow dark stuff.