We sat down with Montereal-based Zak Lupu, also known as electronic music DJ and producer Simbasōl, to talk about what he’s all about, and what he’s up to. His tracks are designed to trigger and release emotions, such as the recent EP “Saṃsāra”, but with a long list of new releases in the pipeline for 2023 we are eager to hear more.
How would you present your work to someone who doesn't know you?
Hmmmm, Simple as this: I don’t really fully know myself either. I don’t think anybody truly does, so if you are listening to my music, I guess I am simply inviting you in on this part of my journey.
What is the overall message you try to convey with your sets?
When I jump on the decks, I try to create musical adventures. Tales that weave through the
space and energy of the moment. Stories of contrast, emotional tales of intensity.
My sweet spot, are sets that take us from the depths of the darkest of nights into the golden
light of day filled with embraces, smiles and maybe sometimes even a tear of joy.
What do you want to transmit in this work? What is the concept behind it?
I always find it important to land the dance floor with very grounding and emotional songs at the end of a set. Saṃsāra is my version of what I look for in these moments.
The first song “Rhodes” is a place to reflect and integrate what is felt inside. An open invitation to look in the rearview mirror. Before walking blindly on, why not delve into what lies within? Why not look into the mirror to find the elements of our past that are holding the puppet strings of our lives? To understand them, and love them in order to let go of them.
Once the dirty work is done, “Le Rêveur” is intended to be a vessel for looking forward. A realm to imagine the ideal world we aspire to live in. To dream big dreams! Ones that are not rooted in our individual egos, but rather in the same heart that we all share.
In Buddhism, Saṃsāra is often defined as the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. In literal terms, the Sanskrit word saṃsāra means "flowing on" or "passing through." My current focus is on the micro level of deaths and rebirths that happen within me every hour of every day. These songs are a gateway into the path I walk of letting go & trusting the flow of my own destiny.
It is my sincere hope they can serve that purpose for all that listen.
As for your studio, what gear is it currently made up of?
I guess now a days it is more what plugins are hiding inside a producer’s DAW that really make the difference. I divide my studio into two distinct sections: production on one side and performance on the other. A picture is much more fun than anything I can describe here so have a look for yourself below.
What was the last record store you visited? And what did you salvage from there?
I recently was strolling around Hamburg. Although my hometown of Montreal has a growing underground record scene, Germany felt like the Mecca.
I found a record called “Six Million” by Upper Class. Straight classic house vibes.
Do you have hope for the future of music? How would you like the future of the music industry to be?
I think the cliché would be to say FEWER PHONES on the dance floors. But at the same time, I think we have to accept that that’s not going to change any time soon and learn to embrace finding a balance.
Big drops equal a whole bunch of flashing phones filming up in the air, not ideal for connection with those around you, the music and the moment.
We all the know the typical dance floor with a row of eyes all pointing toward the stage. Why not turn around, face the person or circle behind you, make eye contact and start moving together? Not rocket science right?
This to me is the essence of what we are looking for and I am hopeful that the energies I am attempting to create can be part of the groovy restoration of how dance floors have always got down.
What bothers you?
Realizing that I’m bothered by something.
What makes you happy?
Cereal & hugs.
Can you reveal some future projects?
The past few months have been devoted to some serious studio time. Well not so “serious” but you know what I mean. There is now a deep well of material scheduled to be released each month leading into summer 2023.
I am really excited for my introduction into the Future Disco scene with my first drop on KooKoo Records in February.
I am also working hard to incorporate live aspects of my songs into my performances. Using classic drum machines and sampling my productions to recreate them in unique ways each time. Bringing parts of my studio to the dance floors is top of mind right now.