Interview by Arnold van der Walt
Wave music is a subgenre of electronic bass music that’s been taking over the internet from all corners of the globe. If you’re a regular reader of The Playground you may have noticed that we’ve had multiple interviews, articles, and premieres from various wave artists within the community, as it’s a fresh and exciting genre that we believe more people should take note of. The possibilities for wave are endless.
With that being said, we’ve got a stellar wave premiere from New York-based producers Noah B and Just Connor in the form of ‘Veilance’. Taken from their upcoming EP, Realm: Instant Experience, Noah B and Just Connor have opted to work together again to bring the world this fantastic wave cut.
A match made in deep bass heaven, Noah B and Just Connor outdid themselves on ‘Veilance’ as the track perfectly embodies the best elements of both, creating a harmonious blend between Just Connor’s downtempo roots and Noah B’s textured melodies.
‘Veilance’ is a deep and intense track as Noah B and Just Connor take a dark turn with hypnotic drums, futuristic soundscapes, and a progressive structure.
Set to be a Wave classic, Noah B & Just Connor will be releasing the Realm: Instant Experience EP on the 19th of December via vibe.digital Recordings. Pre-order the EP here.
We sat down with both Noah B and Just Connor and spoke about their premiere of ‘Veilance’ on The Playground, their upcoming EP and the Wave music community as a whole.
Hey Noah B and Just Connor! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. What have each of you been up to recently?
Just Connor: Thanks for your time! I’ve just packed my life into my car and moved halfway across the country.
Noah B: Thanks for having me. Just been busy traveling, playing shows, making music, and working non-stop.
To those not familiar with you, how would each of you describe your brand of wave music?
JC: I’ve been put in the box as being the “happy” wave producer in the past, but my heart lies in the heavier, more bass-centric tunes. The sounds I’ve been making lately are simply a culmination of my inspirations. You’ll hear a bit more of that from me come January. 😉
NB: I don’t really like to put too much emphasis on the label, but as far as the sound goes I think the music speaks for itself. I don’t really stick to a particular vibe I just create based on how I feel. So I think that’s reflected in the music when you look at the wide range of styles on my projects.
No strangers on working with each other, the two of you will be releasing ‘Realm: Instant Experience’ soon. How did Noah B and Just Connor end up working together again to bring forth this record?
JC: We were just chilling one day and decided it would be fun to work on another track. We sat down and banged most of ‘Murakami’ out in an evening. A few weeks later I shared the final track with Donny (Fyoomz) and he asked right away if we were planning on releasing it. I said no of course and he got fired up. He (Donny) has gotten mad at me in the past for making but not releasing music and I guess he liked the song enough to feel like others would be missing out if they didn’t get the chance to hear it!
NB: We kind of just hang out a lot and make music so it came together very naturally. We never had any intention of putting a project out we would just make tracks for fun or to experiment with new ideas until Donald (Fyoomz) heard ‘Murakami’ and immediately said he wanted to release that track along with a few others as an EP on vibe.digital.
The EP is filled with hard-hitting tracks that feel like they are club ready. What was the general idea/direction/tone you had behind ‘Realm: Instant Experience’?
JC: I know at the time I had a subconscious desire to make faster, more club ready tunes, but the honest answer is there wasn’t a direction or a tone in mind when we sat down to make these songs. There never is! Noah never approaches a song by putting it into a box before we’ve even started, and I’ve adopted that mindset too. We just put in what we’re feeling and if it turns out cool, cool.
NB: I don’t really think there was any sort of intent behind it as far as direction or a certain theme. We both have a very similar approach to making music and that vibe just sort of fit the creative headspace we were both in at the time. So I think it’s a great blend of some of the things we love stylistically, but with a slightly more unique twist being that we both worked on all the songs together, so each one had a bit more outside input than our solo tracks.
You premiered ‘Veilance’ from ‘Realm: Instant Experience’ via The Playground. What can you tell us about the creative process behind this track?
JC: Honestly, we grabbed a bite to eat, played a few rounds of Dragon Ball FighterZ and said fuck it let’s make a track while we play. It flowed easy and effortlessly just like it normally does when Noah and I are hanging out.
NB: Is it bad that I don’t even remember how we made this track? It’s my favorite one on the EP lol. It’s never a serious thing where we plan anything out or discuss it too much. Maybe I’ll put down a melody or something to get started and we’ll build off that and as we work on it the ideas just kind of snowball until we have something we both think is cool.
What can you tell us about ‘Veilance’ and what makes this track so special?
JC: It’s really incredible to me that this track is resonating so deeply with people, knowing that at least one person out there is enjoying it makes me really happy. Honestly, for me, the whole EP is special. It’s a blend of all kinds of inspiration from hobbies Noah and I share. Murakami is my favorite author. (I recommend 1Q84!) ‘Veilance’ well, Google that real quick.. 😉 (Errolson if you’re reading this, hey.)
NB: I think anytime you have a track where two artists can collaborate to make something exciting and maybe a little different from what you might normally get from their solo tracks is a special moment and ‘Veilance’ is definitely a great example of that. But really the entire EP is special to me.
Did the creation of this EP bring alight any unique challenges? How do you keep yourself motivated in ‘down times’?
JC: There weren’t any “down times” in terms of production when we were working on the EP.
I think the most unique and fulfilling challenge with working with another person is figuring out how to work two people’s stylistic choices into one cohesive track.
When I’m working on a solo project, or just dealing with the challenges of ‘down times’ in my everyday life, I’ve got a few things I have to check in and make sure I’m doing. Number one is drinking enough water, number two is getting enough exercise. I love to hike, so that’s been my problem solver for years. Number three is the hardest but the most important, and that’s getting outside of my comfort zone. It’s hard to find new inspiration when you’re going through the same mundane routine day in and day out, and getting out and doing literally anything different can create a huge source of inspiration and help move past writer’s block.
NB: Surprisingly no. Since it all happened organically without much discussion or thought, there weren’t many hurdles to jump or difficulties to work through. As far as ‘down times’ there really weren’t any during the creation of this EP. We were, and still are, having the time of our lives and the only motivation we need is knowing there are people who enjoy what we create.
Gary Numan is quoted as saying: “I have always been far more interested in sound than technique, and how sounds work together, how they can be layered. I think electronic music, (in its infancy anyway) allowed us to create music in a way that hadn’t really been possible before. It created a new kind of musician.” What are your thoughts on this statement?
JC: Oh yeah, absolutely. Although I do want to say developing your own techniques is a habit that is incredibly important.
NB: Gary Numan knows what’s up. Shoutout to Gary Numan.
Why do you think wave music has seen such a big influx of listeners and producers as of late?
JC: People are making music they genuinely want to, that they genuinely want to hear, and people are excited to, and almost hungry to keep supporting. It’s a really incredible time for us all.
NB: I think in a way you’re seeing that in part because of the broad range of sounds currently falling under that ‘wave’ umbrella. The sound is definitely reaching a lot of people in different corners of the world from various musical backgrounds and even though the music from each artist can be pretty different there’s still some sort of common thread that links it all. And I think as an upcoming producer or even just as a listener to see the community building around this particular style of music can be inspiring. When you add to that some of the amazing releases we’ve seen from artists who are a part of or are supported by this community, I think to anyone on the outside it would seem like a great thing to be involved with.
The Wave community has to be one of the most supportive and tight-knit communities we at The Playground have come across. Why do you think this is?
JC: I think the misconception is that wave is a “genre”. In my opinion, wave is a mindset, and a community. We’re really fortunate because wave is incredibly inclusive and full of likeminded, talented, driven, passionate producers.
There’s enough room at the table for everyone to eat, and not only are people in the community aware of that, but they’re excited to share and help others in a way that I haven’t seen in other music communities over the years.
The people who participate in the scene, both the creators and the consumers, are genuine, and many of the fans are realizing they can become a part of the scene if they want to. Those who are dedicated to putting in the time are receiving the recognition and I believe fully that the support from the community will help push them to get even better.
NB: I think we all share similar likes and inspirations as far as music, culture, media, etc. goes. There is a lot of common ground to be found between each other not only as producers, but as human beings in the world. I can’t count the number of genuinely nice people I have met and everyone always welcomes each other with open arms. Also, I can only speak for myself, but if I had to guess I would say that I’m sure a lot of the producers and DJ’s that make up the community have gone through periods where maybe they felt a bit on the outside as far as where they fit into the electronic music spectrum in regard to what they create or their personal taste. So you’re seeing a lot of people come together who make this sort of music that doesn’t fit neatly into the current pool of popular subgenres, but also has elements from all of those genres mixed into it.
Is there anything you would like to change/improve about this community?
JC: I don’t want to change anything personally, but I will use this as an opportunity to say that if you’re a person who wants to see this scene keep growing, you need to support.
Pay the $10 to go to the show and support your friends. Go drive out to meet the producer playing that you’ve never met. Make those connections.
This scene is going to continue to grow so long as we continue to nurture it.
Also just to drive the point down one more time – you don’t have to make “x-producer type beats” to make “wave music”. The thing really special happening right now is we’re seeing these incredible producers crafting their own sounds and styles and still finding a spot to sit comfortably in this community.
NB: Not at all. I think people should continue to be just as welcoming and supportive as they always have been. The positives will always outweigh the negatives. So really I just want to see more of the same energy.
How does a wave live performance differ from those of other genres?
JC: My answer for this continues to change every few months. Lately, as we’ve started to really play full Wave shows, with all Wave producers on the bill, I’m finding that people are getting competitive with what they play!
You’re bound to hear a bunch of unreleased tunes you’ve never heard before, which is always exciting. The best sets I’ve seen lately are ones that are playing other genres that wave shares influences from. More trap, dub, house and dnb tunes keeping the energy higher and keeping the rhythms interesting. Catching a full wave set is amazing, but having the opportunity to hear one of your favorite producers play out tunes that inspire them is a chance to learn and get a glimpse into their mind as they produce their own tracks.
NB: I think the energy of a “wave” set can definitely be different than other genres or styles for sure. You’ve got tracks with a lot of long buildups and interesting progressions, so there’s an opportunity to use that to your advantage and carry the energy of the set in an exciting way. Also for many people there’s an emotional connection with the music. So you (as an artist/dj) are interacting with the people on a lot of different personal levels, which you might not normally expect with typical ‘dance’ or ‘club’ music.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
JC: Studio work and music creation, without a doubt. Making music is my most favorite thing to do, and having a venue to create and express with other people is incredible and completely invaluable. There’s nothing else like it in the world. I love to play shows, don’t get me wrong!
NB: 50/50. Creating music can be cathartic and a very pure form of expression and the time I spend working on it is invaluable, but going to new places, meeting new people, and experiencing incredible moments is equally special to me.
What 3 songs do you currently have on heavy rotation?
JC: I can only choose 3? Damn that’s hard…
Steal Smoked Fish by The Mountain Goats
Source Decay by The Mountain Goats
Jenny by The Mountain Goats
NB: I’m gonna flip this question and give you 3 artists I’ve got in rotation instead.
Origami Girl, Isorin, Sweeep.
Now go do your research.
Any advice for aspiring producers?
JC: You can do anything you set your mind to. Reach out to those who inspire you. Make connections, build friendships. That’s what this is about, that’s why we’re doing this.
NB: Be yourself. Don’t ever feel the need to follow what other people are doing or whatever people think is popular. Just make the music that you love and that best represents who you are and everything will fall into place if you put as much of your time and effort as you possibly can into it.
Apart from the release of ‘Realm: Instant Experience’, what does the future hold for each of you?
JC: I’m dropping a 4 track solo EP in January. I hope it will be a pleasant surprise.
NB: More music, more shows, more incredible moments. All I can say for now is pay attention. You never know what you might see next.
Famous last words…
JC: A huge thank you to everyone who had a hand in making this year the best one yet. I love you all.
NB: Shoutout to Lil’ Dennis and Chade Summerset. South Hills forever.