St. Louis-based DJ and producer Notaker is returning to the prolific mau5trap label with his second release in 2021. Taking elements from progressive house, trance, breakbeat and the underground, "SMYL" is quite the secret weapon of the band. dance floor to join the discography of the genre itself. "SMYL" marks his official return to the mau5trap label since he made his debut with his EP EREBUS I in 2018.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him about his latest work and his future projects.
What are the last albums you bought? What surprises you about them?
You know, I can’t recall the last time I bought a whole album. The last great electronic album I streamed was nurture by Porter [Robinson]. It was a great ride; super unique and distinctive from other works from him. I also revisited DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing recently and that one is such a classic; an album that transcends its genre and withstands the test of time. I could listen to it every day.
Could you explain the story behind SMYL? What is your current sound direction?
When I wrote this record, I was aiming for a techno-sounding track but somehow ended up in the breakbeat realm and thought it sounded really unique. Once I placed the “show me your love” sample it took a life of its own. My direction right now has shifted towards doing nostalgic electronic music in a modern way. I’m not sure if I’m nailing it but that’s what I’ve been aiming for.
What does posting on a label like mau5trap mean to you? And what does this latest version mean when making an objective evaluation of the evolution of your sound?
It’s always great to work with the mau5trap fam. They have a solid lane and aren’t afraid to try out new things on the label.
Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get into music?
I’m all self-taught. I got into music by attending my first show with some friends and then got encouraged to download a DAW. After that, a hobby turned into a great interest and now it’s become a big part of my life.
I feel like the underground scene will continue to persist. Do you think we can go back to "normal" events and festivals?
Here in the U.S., we are already back to normal in terms of events and festivals. I think there will always be a space for the underground scene too, as people need that vibe in events as well.
How do you feel that your music influences or impacts your listeners?
I think it positively enhances their moods, which is what all music does for me. I hope people just get some sort of happiness from it.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
Big ones, but that’s all I can say for now!
What pisses you off?
Not too much. Mostly, people who aren’t kind to their fellow person.
What makes you happy?
Music, friends, concerts, traveling, my wife, and my dogs, Alice and Pepe.
Do you have any final words of wisdom?
Treat others’ successes as if they were your own.
Do you have more releases on the horizon than we can expect?
There certainly are! Keep an eye out for them!