Neoslave is a relatively new force in the synthwave scene whose recent rise to prominence via Lazerdiscs Records has been quite admirable. The physical edition of his most recent CD "From Womb To Doom" (order HERE) is nearly sold out but for good reason. The album was a fantastic thrill ride where Neoslave "...proved himself worthy to be a forerunner in the synthwave scene." That being said, we sat down with Neoslave to discuss his latest album and his roots as a musician.
Hello Neoslave and welcome to Brutal Resonance! Let's start off with the basics. Who is in Neoslave, what type of music do you perform, and what is your favorite horror movie of all time?
Neoslave: Hey, thanks for having me! I'm a 'darksynth' producer. My music is dark electronic music inspired by 80s horror and sci fi culture filled with heavy beats, dirty saw synths, epic choruses, off the wall solos and my trusty vocoder. It's hard to pick an all time fav since I love so much movies but probably my favourite horror/sci fi movie of all time combines both perfectly: "ALIEN"!
You are all about the synth/retrowave scene. When was the first time you heard the music and what made you want to start producing your own brand of music under this genre?
Neoslave: I got pumped listening to the "Hotline Miami" soundtrack and thought: damn this is cool! I want to do that too. I remember listening to Perturbator when he first started. Now the guy is one of the biggest around. This scene has exploded, it's insane. Previously I've been playing in several hardcore/metal/rock bands but the band formula didn't work for me anymore. Just wanted to do my own thing. Too many opinions in a band situation. Now when I fuck up, it's all on me.
From what I understand you've been making music under the Neoslave moniker since last year, with two releases on Lazer Discs Records, “Blood Arcade” and “From Womb to Doom”. Was Neoslave your first output, or did you have other projects in the past before this?
Neoslave: Yes, I've made two EPs back in 2013 under another moniker before I became Neoslave! NEVER going to tell anyone the name 'cause it wasn't that good to be honest. But it was a good first learning school though and I did it pure for the fun of it. Only when I started making tracks that actually began to sound the way I wanted them to I thought: maybe I should release them under another name and thus Neoslave was born. I sent those tracks around just to get some feedback, not expecting anything and almost instantly I got a reply from Lazerdiscs asking me if I wanted a record deal: FUCK YEAH!
Your latest release was “From Womb to Doom”. When I read the story behind the album I was immediately reminded of the “Hellraiser” series. What was your inspiration behind the story?
Neoslave: Me! The title refers to me when I used to be younger. I ALWAYS had a negative attitude. First saw the negative before I could see the positive. That's because my expectations were much higher than was actually possible, so tended to overemphasize the negative outcome from start without giving it a chance to grow. Hence the title. Yup, I used to be dark inside. When you grow older you are able to put things more in perspective, for me it took a while. But it also helped me make this dark ass music.
As stated before, this album was your second release within 2017. What did you learn from “Blood Arcade” that made this album better?
Neoslave: First and foremost: production skills. When I made "Blood Arcade" I was an absolute beginner in the studio. When I listen back to it, I hear it's far from perfect but maybe that's what gives it a certain charm? After "Blood Arcarde" I stayed up for nights, days, weeks... to learn about EQing, compression, limiting, etc. "From Womb To Doom" definitely is a step up from "Blood Arcade". Not saying I have mastered it all now, it's a never ending learning curve. But that's what I love about producing. Also "Blood Arcade" is a bit all over the place. "From Womb To Doom" has a better flow from start to end.
You had two collaboration songs on the album, the first of which was 'Labyrinth' featuring Absolute Valentine & Evi Broers. What was it like working with them and what did they do to the song to make it different?
Neoslave: Oh absolutely! I love it when someone features on one of my tracks and they change the overall feel of it. Absolute Valentine is a great producer and his stuff is always melodic with a melancholic side. I had the track almost finished when I let him hear it. But he managed to squeeze in an extra layer of depth. I worked with Evi on two tracks for "Blood Arcade" and knew she was a great singer. Her voice would fit perfectly on 'Labyrinth', which actually is another very personal track for me. It deals with loss, but not the typical 'lose your girlfriend' kind of loss. That's all I have to say about that.
You also featured Becca Starr on the song 'Digisexdreams'. That one became a music video. Out of all the tracks on the album, what made you give 'Digisexdreams' the music video treatment?
Neoslave: Yeah Becca really made that track come alive. The first time I heard her go all out on that end part I got goosebumps! Personally I think the track really stands apart on the album. The rest of the tracks are heavy, fast paced and hard hitting. This one doesn't have a lot of whistles and bells, but still tells a story. I thought it would be cool to show off my other side with a video. I got in contact with Antunesketch, who loved the track and we worked out a visual trip. I think the track and his visuals go really well together and it has a evil twist in the end. I like that!
Out of all the songs on the album, which is your personal favorite and why?
Neoslave: Oomph, not easy. I must say 'Droideka'. Cause it's heavy but still very melodic in the chorus with some horror-ish sounds. I feel that track has best of most things I look for when making a song. Not that I don't like my other songs!
And what else do you currently have in the works? Are you collaborating with anyone, planning live shows or gigs? Do you have an EP or album in the works?
Neoslave: A lot going on yeah! I have some shows in France coming up. A Lazerdiscs release party. A little EU tour with Powernerd, which will be awesome. Some Belgian gigs. And some super cool non European gigs I can't say anything about yet. Also doing some tracks for other artists outside of the synthwave community which will be very cool. And yes of course, I'm working on my next album, which is actually almost done. So far it's very different. As you can see I'm not the type to sit around and do nothing.
Lastly I'd like to thank you for your time. I wish you the best and also leave the space below for any final words. Cheers!
Neoslave: Listen to Neoslave for I will ENSLAVE you!
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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