After teasing the album with its three compelling singles, Vexillary finally releases its third full-length effort, Horror in Dub. The compelling electronic output seamlessly blends dub-tinged techno, dark wave and bass, to present a deep dive into the realm of creepy horror while maintaining haunting beauty.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.
Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from/how did you get into music?
I’m a byproduct of the NYC music scenes of the past 20 years. I learned electronic music production in college and came out of it with a cassette years before I released my first EP.
But the true inspiration and education came from the NY parties and concerts over the years. NY is a melting pot, and so is my project and a lot of that came from going to DJ events right after concerts.
If I were to explain how my new stuff sounds like a combo of rhythmic DJ/producer music and familiar song structures, I just point to all that I soaked in growing up as part of different scenes.
How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you like to mix at the moment?
Evolution’s been at the core of my project since the beginning. I try to keep every release fresh with new inspirations and the recordings naturally go to new places as well.
At the core of my songs, there are the EBM and Techno influences that have traveled with me on a few records now. I’ve been adding Darkwave in the mix for the last album, ‘Crash and Yearn’, and the new one, ’Horror in Dub’, which has fit the sound great.
On ‘Horror in Dub’, there’s also bass influences that come through on a few tracks and give the songs a new character. It’s been a welcome new ingredient to help push the sound of the album.
Has that sound changed much in recent years? What is your musical criteria?
The sounds change not just per project but almost track by track on the LPs. I suppose it just stems from new inspirations and trying to stay creative in the studio.
I’m rarely content with where I’m at musically at any moment so I pull from different places to see if there are new results to be had.
Change is not easy though, there’s some elements to brave through and gotta leave the fear behind. Not all change leads to new exciting directions, but to get there, you just have to try.
How do you feel your music influences or impacts your listeners?
Most listeners walk away thinking there’s something deeper than just the music with my stuff.
There’s a lot of effort that goes into lyrics, titles, covers and even concepts with my work. Certainly more than what’s in the average electronic music of the day.
So there’s just something fulfilling about my project. But musically speaking, it’s almost always dark and beautiful or hard yet beautiful. This contrast is key for me and listeners find it hypnotic and strangely attractive as a result.
What can you tell us about your latest work?
‘Horror in Dub’ is album number 3 for me. As such, there’s been lots of learnings that have gone into making this one.
Right before making the record, there was some horrific things that happened and very much unexpectedly. This album was my attempt to put it all into sound and unleash a deep dive into the realm of eerie horror while maintaining haunting beauty.
The lyrics and vocals express themes of transformation, fragility, and cosmic terrors throughout the ten energetic tracks of the album.
Not much was left off the table here, as you get a mix of more polished singles and deep cuts that showcase the more experimental side. It’s a must listen for any dark music and horror fan for sure.
Do you feel confident now to play a more experimental sound?
I think it’s an interesting case for me. I came purely from a more experimental place as evident from my earlier EPs.
The goal for me is to actually find sounds now that people can relate to, so the journey for me was to become more comfortable with becoming less experimental actually. Something that I shied away from for a long time.
On the new album, there’s a mix of both. if you dig more experimental sounds there are tracks here that showcase just that, and if you want some more familiar approaches, I’m happy to report that there’s that too.
What’s obvious is that there’s not much else out there like ‘Horror in Dub’. Like how is a more polished and emotive single like ‘Insurrection’ on the same album as something ugly and industrial like ‘A New Body’? It shouldn’t even work but it strangely does.
We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?
It’s only boosted creativity. Our intake of music both from a consumer perspective and a creator angle is the fastest it’s ever been. Not to mention the creative tools for creation process.
As a futurist, I’m all for it. Though miss lining outside record stores on CD release days back in the day. Releasing music felt like an event before, now it’s less glamorous for sure, even devalued somewhat.
The optimist in me thinks that that’s a good thing. Music now has to compete with loads of online entertainment shooting at us at a rapid speed. To get someone to choose to listen to your music instead, the work has to be that good now.
To me this just raises the bar for all of us.
What projects are you working on right now? Can you tell us what your current and future projects are?
I pretty much dive straight into a new record once I wrap up an album or a project, and this time is no exception, so lots of new music in the works. There's also a vinyl-only split EP coming out, focusing on the more industrial side of my project.
Being a fan of making music videos, I've got several more in the pipeline for the 'Horror in Dub' album, going beyond what I created for the singles. The 'Insurrection' video should drop around the album release.
Getting a craving for live performances also after three consecutive albums, I'm thinking I might wrap up a fourth before making the switch to live shows. Let's see how it plays out.
Where are you and what have you been doing now?
You caught me at home, unwinding after a hectic day. I wrapped up some fresh tunes last night, and today has been all about reviewing mixes and fine-tuning.
Plus, the upcoming release of the new single 'Insurrection' from the album 'Horror in Dub' is just around the corner. I've been busy crafting some visual content for it and mapping out the album release cycle that will kick in shortly after.
Should be an exciting time ahead.
Pre-Order Link: https://vexillary.bandcamp.com/album/horror-in-dub-album