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Breaking Waves: Interval Audio Has Submerged Us in Wave [Interview]

In 2021, they gave us Neo Subculture. In January, they gave us Neo Subculture II. And just last week, they gave us a second massive wave music compilation in just two months of 2023: EMPYREAN. Who is the common denominator here? Well, it’s Interval Audio, of course!

Stream the new compilation, EMPYREAN, below. Read on to find interviews with some of the artists featured on the compilation, as well as Interval Audio’s own Troy Dildhar.

Chats with Angel Cannon and Teneki About EMPYREAN

We got to have a conversation with a couple of the artists about the compilation: Angel Cannon and Teneki. Since members of the wave scene have a tendency to publish brand new tracks as often as ones they have in the vault, I mentioned how I’m curious about how folks choose what to put out, and when. We also asked them about their specific contributions, as well as their thoughts on the compilation as a whole.

On his contribution to the compilation, Angel Cannon said:

“So, ‘All We Know’ started with this basic idea in my mind of a melody that I wanted to write out. I was very invested in early 2010s kind of nustyle-era stuff and I was scouring for sounds and vibes that could bring that feeling out.

I tried to capture that moment in time as best I could, but with a modern coat of paint. Then came the decision to flip both of the hardstyle drops into halftime! One hardwave, one ‘rawtrap’ (if you could call it that), but I thought it would be cool to surprise people with some switch ups in the sound. 

The intro was also a bit of a callback to one of my first songs I put out as Angel Cannon: ‘Wasted My Time’, which also featured a similar dry vocal thing.”  

As far as his thoughts on the compilation as a whole, Angel Cannon said, “I think it’s a very well put together comp. A pretty cohesive nostalgic sound to it, but also some variation and cool switch ups throughout.”

He continues, “I think the collab aspect between Interval and Imminent was a good idea since they both house many wave and adjacent artists who come from different musical areas and have their own touches that combine to create this comp.”

Logos, pathos, or ethos?

“That last thing you mention is curious, as [the choice to publish a song is based on] a mix of both [logic and emotion],” Teneki told us. “‘Pearls’ was going to be released through DEKTORA last year, but due to some differences of opinion among the DEKTORA team, we had to pause the release.”

Teneki spoke on his work on their many compilations as well:

“A year ago, I knew that Interval Audio wanted to collaborate on some compilation related to the wave movement.

And wave music is so catchy–I even felt a duty to expand that beautiful experience.

I love new connections, new horizons… Releasing a song with a major label, in my mind, is like visiting a new country.” 

In terms of his song on EMPYREAN, the producer told us, “The story in my head behind ‘Pearls’ is more or less a romantic story in a space age, where the boyfriend of a famous singer will go to an intergalactic war, in defense of District 6. (The number 6 is something I will reveal in time). The romantic story that inspired ‘Pearls’ is similar to a storyline in Robotech–between Rick Hunter and Lynn.” 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Teneki, this artist has been building lore to accompany his music for years. His bandcamp page is a wealth of knowledge about his many projects–at least the ones under this current name.

Teneki continues to explain the personal side of his contribution to EMPYREAN:

“In a more ‘personal’ sense about ‘Pearls’: I have a harmony that people who listen to my music can identify very easily. One of my most characteristic harmonic marks is IX,VIII,I. I have used it in ‘Pursuit’, in some atmospheres, and in many other ideas. 

In ‘Pearls’, I literally adapt that harmony and extend it in time to make a constant question and answer, as this is important to me, like a jewel, like a treasure of energy.

At the same time, it is to temporarily close a chapter of this process, and it will remain there, enshrined, as one of the six most valuable ‘Pearls’ in the history of AxT.”

Meet the Label Behind the Magic: Interval Audio

AM: Thank you so much for connecting with us here at MendoWerks! Would you please take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers? 

TD: I’m Troy Dildhar, the owner of Interval Audio, one of the labels of all time. I handle everything from conceptualizing the projects, reaching out to the artists I’d like to get involved, making the artwork, and sending the releases out for distribution.

AM: Interval Audio has been around for a while now, right? The label has a bit of a reputation online as a home for atypical bass and dubstep–it even has a page on the bass music Fandom wiki! Then, in the first two months of 2023, ya’ll hit us with back-to-back wave music compilations. What inspired such an interest in wave this year? 

TD: I’ve been a fan of wave since around 2014 or 2015, when I first heard brothel. It’s a genre I’ve considered introducing over the years, but did not have much success [doing so] until 2020, when I was introduced to Teneki, who was also my first introduction to hardwave. 

Since then we’ve become like brothers, and he’s been a huge part of how we’ve gotten so involved wit the hardwave scene. I wouldn’t be here without him. This year, specifically, I’ve wanted to expand our genres even further outside of dubstep, while also having a deeper presence within the wave scene. 

AM: Who are some of your favorites in wave right now? Are there any non-wave artists that you’d recommend to fans of wave music? 

TD: I’m very fortunate to be able to work with artists I’d consider among my favorites in the scene like Teneki, Angel Cannon, Kavern, and many more. 

But outside of Interval, I’d have to say Heimanu, brothel, REMNANT.exe, Sublab, FATE, and Sidewalks & Skeletons, for sure. 

Some non-wave artists I’d recommend wave fans check out are: Site Zero, antikvng, Ringneck, and Punishment,  just to scare ya’ll [laughs]. 

AM: What was it like to work with Teneki on both volumes of Neo Subculture

TD: Working with Ruben (Teneki) on these two compilations has been great. He’s very passionate about the music and wants to create a great listening experience that captures the best of the genre, while also giving a spotlight to the up-and-coming artists that show potential.

Me and him have a very similar mindset when it comes to curating the projects together, so it’s been a really smooth experience. Can’t wait to plan Neo Subculture 3 with my boy.

AM: Interval Audio has a phrase posted somewhere on all of their outlets: “Forever within the everlasting interval of nothing and everything “. Is it a mission statement? What does it mean? 

TD: “Forever within the everlasting interval of nothing and everything” is a little quote I came up with back when we first started the label, to summarize my outlook on the label and our art.

Aside from being a little edgy, the meaning of the quote is that we are constantly improving while striving for perfection, even though perfection is not something that can truly be achieved. Hence, being forever within the two states– “Nothing” being our starting point, where we were unrefined and without an identity, and “Everything” being perfection.

AM: And lastly, because it’s the question this column was founded on: what does wave mean to you? 

TD: Wave music, to me, has always perfectly captured melancholy in electronic music. Hardwave has added a bit more of an uplifting, hopeful spin on the genre, while still maintaining that melancholic feel. It’ll always be the perfect genre for chillin’ at home, or blasting in the car.

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