Nothing came close to the club experience last year - not immersive livestreams, not virtual dance rooms, not DIY green screen dance-offs or Bandcamp Fridays. It was obvious that nothing replaces the energy of a live DJ room. And yet producers and beatmakers managed to turn the shutdown into a cultural reckoning. Ash Roy, for instance, who has been a crucial name in the emerging minimal techno movement in Berlin has not had an idyll week last year.
Famed for his floor-hyping bangers and sinewy, stylised synths, the producer and DJ has been making music in isolation from his Berlin home studio and has resumed performing live at limited-capacity live gigs. Roy who also owns the label Soupherb Records just released his first EP of the year, titled Khemikal which features the large, bracing sounds of the dancefloor. We caught up with the producer to learn about his new outing and his plans for 2021:
Tell us about Khemikal. How is this EP different in terms of sound or influences?
Khemikal came about last year when the lockdown was in full swing. I was home in Berlin and all I could do was just get into the studio and experiment. This EP has 5 originals and 2 remixes. On remix duties, we have Sascha Ciccopiedi from Germany and Allan Pillai from Tasmania. All 5 original tracks are completely different from each other. Every track has a distinct flavour and has influences of Hypnotic, trippy, Psy and Acid.
Tell us a little about the remixes by Sascha and Allan
Sascha Ciccopiedi leans more towards the hypnotic techno side and is the perfect track to work the dancefloor while Allan Pillai's remix is a minimal trippy monster that you can drop in the beginning of your sets. Both remixes have their own character.
You've been performing live across the country in the last few weeks. Tell us about the kind of energy you've been experiencing post the slowdown
Firstly, I'm grateful to be doing this and that I got the opportunity to perform in India while other parts of the world were in complete lockdown. The energy has been fabulous in spite of the situation. People are still making an effort to come out in these difficult times. I just hope and pray that we get over with this and we all are back out there leading normal lives.
The kind of music you want to produce in 2021..
I will be investing in new gear and experimenting. Plus working on material for our second album Bit Of Both
What are your plans for Soupherb?
As of now we have a lot really cool pending releases planned, so just looking forward to that.
Can you tell us what you're planning next?
Looking at the current situation just planning to head back to Berlin and hit the studio.
What's on your playlist right now?
I have been listening to a lot of demos of upcoming artists, scouting new talent for Soupherb
Khemikal is out now on all platforms