Wooli and Excision converge on ‘Evolution’ EP for an exhibition of bass variance [Review/Q&A]

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Wooli and Excision converge on ‘Evolution’ EP for an exhibition of bass variance [Review/Q&A]Ecision Wooli At Bass Canyon 2 Credit Oh Dag Yo

When the old and new titans of the bass world coalesce on a distinctive vision, the witnesses quake in anticipation of its residual impact. In the case of Excision and Wooli, their latest collaborative project Evolution has demanded the inexhaustible attention of bass fans not just for its impeccable sound design, but for its decisive showcase of stylistic colors in a formidable four-tracker EP package. The burgeoning Wooli is capitalizing on his momentous rise in the heavy bass scene, and Evolution both dictates a pivotal act of artistry in his career while heralding the continuum of his genre-morphing inclinations as he looks forward to his next move.

Cementing his early status in a portfolio of “briddim” and hard dubstep, Wooli, born Adam Puleo, first broke onto the scene with his remix of Excision and Dion Timmer‘s “Her” and rapidly accumulated a fanbase devoted to his production prowess in thrashing bass music. His imposing sound earned him the weighty support of mainstay Excision following the latter’s inclusion of Wooli’s track, “Wave It Up” in the 2016 iteration of his iconic Shambhala mix.

Dancing Astronaut spoke to Wooli about all the creative elements that shaped his journey to present day, including his relationship with co-producer and dubstep behemoth Excision.

“Excision was one of the first people to ever support my music at that kind of scale. He’s actually really easy to approach as far as sending music. He’s been supporting my music his last two or three tours and playing probably anywhere from three to six of my songs per set. Then, it transitioned into me playing a lot of the shows on his tours. So that’s where we finally met. It was just a natural relationship that evolved. As long as you find some way to become friends with that person, it comes pretty naturally wanting to write music with them later.” 

The rest is history; since then, Wooli has collected a stacked set of songwriting, sound development, and tour experience in a short time—embarking on Adventure Club‘s Death or Glory tour, debuting two tracks on Seven LionsOphelia Records, and gracing festival circuits from the likes of Electric Forest, Bass Canyon, Electric Zoo, and more. Now, the Rochester native acts to prove his fledging reputation is no act of luck, but a culmination of sheer talent as he simultaneously takes on his own headlining tour, The Voyage, alongside peer Trivecta and releases his joint Evolution EP with Excision.

“It started with just one song. We wrote “Evolution” with Sam King and we had some more ideas for different projects that we either started, never finished or just had in the back of our head. He had me come up to his house up in Canada, we wrote up there for about five or six days, and pretty much finished the EP there.”

Evolution spans four tracks each characterized by their respective tonal marks and constructed by idiosyncratic intentions. The EP opens with “Lockdown” —the only track devoid of features— for a heavy-hitter signature of screeching synths and pounding bass; the ensuing dubstep production is exactly what listeners expect from the combined forces of Wooli and Excision. Titular track “Evolution” also echoes the chaotic menace of the opener, its foreground perforated by the growls of mammoths while Sam King‘s vocals pave the way for a deadly drop. With primal instincts and raw energy, both numbers will be destined as crowd favorites for the live stage, undoubtedly seizing their full potential with the capabilities of bass-thundering sound systems.

“The most fun to make was “Lockdown” just because it was me and Excision in his basement/mega studio and it was my first time ever working in the studio; I always just work over the internet. It was a really fun experience and he’s got like the loudest, biggest, bass-iest speakers you could buy.”

As much as “Lockdown” and “Evolution” epitomize the expected product of a Wooli and Excision collaboration, the rest of the EP signifies a dynamism outside of their supposed expertise that grants endless bounds of excitement in relation to the former. Finding middle ground between melodic and heavy, “Another Me” lies on the cusp of genre nuances. Although driven by Seven Lion’s imprint on melodic dubstep, Wooli and Excision’s own taste of elbow-throwing soundscape make their presence equally known.

“‘Another Me’ was a favorite personal song just because I’ve always wanted to work with Dylan Matthew; his vocals are amazing and he’s an amazing artist. Then, obviously there’s Seven Lions who I’ve worked with before; we always just kill it together when it comes to the melodic side.”

However, the star of Evolution is Trivecta triple-collaboration, “Oxygen” and its poignant rendering of Wooli and Excision’s softer productions. Vocals from Julianne Hope reflect the emotive lyricism: “Swimming in the deep end / Breath away from drowning / Kiss me like I’m oxygen”. A clear divergence from its adjacent tracks, “Oxygen” trades a dubstep drop for future-bass inspired crescendos; the resulting product is breathtakingly beautiful. Exercising minimalistic instrumentals, keyboard chords and guitar strums pepper the delicate structure before the track builds into a sublime melodic drop and ephemerally descends into melancholic repose again.

“I’m really happy with the EP and response. My only concern was how open people were going to be specifically to the song “Oxygen” because there’s not a dubstep drop, but the fans…they kind of get it and they like it. I’m just happy with everything right now.” 

Evolution‘s selection of songs leaves no question for Wooli and Excision’s collective versatility and its sonic range may leave some fans curious, others disappointed, but many hungry for more. However, treading outside his staple comes as no surprise to Wooli himself, whose path to dubstep first found its origins in other forms of electronic music.

“Drum n’ bass was basically my first introduction to bass music when I was a lot younger. It was something my brother would listen to in the car when he was driving me around. In my city Rochester, New York, there’s no local dubstep scene. It was either tech house or drum n’ bass. Those were the only two things that people would listen to and if you wanted to be a DJ locally you had to play those kinds of genres. So when I learned how to start DJing, —before I was making music, just wanting to be a DJ— I was mixing drum n’ bass a lot.” 

More importantly, the inherent risk-taking in juxtaposing the harsh, heavy-hitting productions with melodic territory reflects Wooli’s own personal goals with where he believes he can take his music and where his motivations have always resided. Unconfined by the arbitrary lines of sub-genres, Wooli intends to carve his own visionary definitions of quality music into the bass scene. While his previous releases have harbored traces of experimentation, they act as playing ground in comparison to Evolution—the large-scale release of which has validated Wooli’s concrete ability time-and-time again to step with ease into any musical area he wishes to explore. Evolution ultimately showcases equal parts stylistic breadth and depth, refusing to relinquish Excision and Wooli’s beloved hard dubstep in light of new directions. Now, welding another massive collaborative project under his belt, Wooli finds himself at the crux of another jumping point in his artistic growth and overarching career.

“I’m going to keep on exploring what I could do with combining the melodic and the heavy. If not melodic and heavy, just two different genres like with my single “Psyclone” where it was heavy and psy trance. Anything that I feel like would keep the listener guessing to what’s going to happen next is what I’m really interested in and focusing on who I can get as far as a vocal feature to elevate the songs to the next level. My whole goal now is to make music that’s going to feel more like a complete song rather than just a dubstep drop.”

Stream Evolution below.

Photo Credit: Oh Dag Yo

HiJinx Festival unleashes destructive lineup with Bassnectar, Skrillex, Porter Robinson and more

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HiJinx Festival unleashes destructive lineup with Bassnectar, Skrillex, Porter Robinson and moreSkrille Smokin Amazon AWS 2018 Rukes

Bass music lovers rejoice—the lineup for you has landed. Hijinx Festival returns to Philadelphia this year with a killer lineup for December 27 – 28 featuring the likes Bassnectar, Skrillex, Excision going back-to-back with Slander, GRiZ, a DJ set from Porter Robinson, Zeds Dead and more. Additional firepower comes by way of talented supporting acts like bass up-and-comer Subtronics, Big Wild, CloZee, DROELOE, SoDown, Brainfeeder duo The Underachievers, and veteran talents like Zion I and Kittens

Last year’s roster included Bassnectar and ODESZA alongside GRiZ, Big Gigantic, RL Grime, and Illenium. Now building on that caliber of talent, this year’s cast of electronic heavy hitters look to close out the year with a rumbling wave of low end bass at the Pennsylvania Convention Center,

Tickets to this year’s festival are on sale starting Friday, September 13 at noon EST.

HiJinx Festival unleashes destructive lineup with Bassnectar, Skrillex, Porter Robinson and moreHiJin Festival

Featured image: Rukes

NMF Roundup: Oliver Heldens and Riton team up, No Mana remixes Kiiara + more

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NMF Roundup: Oliver Heldens and Riton team up, No Mana remixes Kiiara + moreOlivierHeldens ByPatBeaudry 012 Resize

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

Oliver Heldens and Riton link with Vula for their new groovy collaboration, “Turn Me On,” and No Mana takes on Kiiara’s “Bipolar.” Kaskade takes his Meghan Trainor collab to another level with the release of a “club mix,” and The Knocks tap R&B crooner Gallant for “Exit Sign.” 3LAU caters to a wide audience on “Miss Me More,” and M83 follows up “Temple of Sorrow” with “Lune de fiel.” Armin van Buuren and Tempo Giusto take things up a notch with “Mr. Navigator,” and Sub Focus and Wilkinson prove to be a formidable drum ‘n’ bass duo on “Illuminate.” AC Slater delivers some new Night Bass heat with “Laid Off,” and DROELOE and Kalulu keep it light on “Broken Bricks.” After debuting the tune on DA earlier this week, Nora En Pure releases her remix of “Lost Souls,” and Machinedrum reveals new possibilities for San Holo’s “Lost Lately.” In another DA-debuted piece this week, Eli Brown rocks steady on “Come Together,” and Morgan Page and HAILENE tug at listeners’ heartstrings on “Footprints.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Pat Beaudry

Excision, Wooli, Trivecta, and Julianne Hope craft emotive dubstep anthem, ‘Oxygen’

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Excision, Wooli, Trivecta, and Julianne Hope craft emotive dubstep anthem, ‘Oxygen’Ecision Lost Lands

Excision and Wooli have offered up a peek into their forthcoming EP Evolution via “Oxygen,” and by the sound of it, fans are in for quite the ride. This cut in particular is one born from a large team effort, with Trivecta and vocalist Julianne Hope sprinkling their talents into it. The result is an emotive dubstep piece headed straight toward anthem territory.

Hope’s vocals float over ethereal piano chords and sweeping melodic builds, which eventually coalesce into a soaring climax. The process is repeated, with “Oxygen” ending on a strong note through its second drop. It’s exactly the kind of piece designed for hands-in-the-air moments on the dancefloor; it’s also a nice showing of Excision’s softer side as a producer, and the team’s chemistry as a whole.

Evolution comes out on September 13. Pre-save it here

Seven Lions, Excision, and Wooli evoke the senses on poignant bass-riddled collaboration, ‘Another Me’

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Seven Lions, Excision, and Wooli evoke the senses on poignant bass-riddled collaboration, ‘Another Me’636132311417960229 1247347347 Jeff

Since Seven Lions founded Ophelia Records in 2018, the massive dubstep producer has relentlessly curated the highest echelon of releases. Now, he has recruited two of the bass world’s most exciting acts to usher in the latest Ophelia release, “Another Me” featuring Dylan Matthew. Teaming up with mainstay Excision on his debut Ophelia appearance and “Island” collaborator Wooli, Seven Lions succeeds in pushing the full dynamism of the trifecta’s creative force in “Another Me.”

Fusing emotionally charged melodies, open-hearted vocals, and thundering bass, “Another Me” incorporates each producer’s stylistic production voice into one diversified listening experience. Beginning with a flowing vocal-based verse, the track amps up to two drops—one for the melodic senses and the other for the bass-loving souls. Trading off cascading synths and celestial strings for chaotic licks and buzzing bass, the collaboration’s grandiose soundscape has something for everyone in store.

Photo credit: Rukes

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 104

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 104Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.

Listen in playlist format here


On a recent synthwave binge, I stumbled across a group by the name of Lebrock. It only took one track (“Runaway“) for me to become completely hooked, and I was thrilled to see the release of a new tune called “Takes All Night” on Aug. 8. Soak it up in all its retro glory.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Oliver Nelson and Tobtok are a dream team. Their latest piece of work together is no exception, and they add their groovy touch to Wilder Woods’ “Supply & Demand” with ease. A steady-rocking bassline and the original track’s vocals work in harmony for a blissful remix.

UK drum ‘n’ bass aficionado Kove has proven himself force to be reckoned with in 2019 with releases like “Echoes” and “BEARCLAW.” He’s returned in the heart of festival season with a new Drum&BassArena heater, “Motor,” which grinds with all the ferocity of, well, a powerful motor. It’s an epic piece of work.

Aug. 16 marks the release of HEYZ‘s first EP since his Schedule 1 compilation on mau5trap, and the three-track Human 404 is in a league of its own. Tracks like “In My Arms” clearly demonstrate a new sonic path for the producer, and it’s exciting to see. Read my Q&A with him here.

Sullivan King‘s rock-infused touch has been far-reaching in the electronic music sphere since his appearance on the scene, and he’s made a name for himself by continuously demonstrating his versatile skill set. His latest is a cover of Excision and Illenium‘s 2018 collab, “Gold,” and the musician’s vocals work flawlessly with the version he’s created.

First Listen: Kompany steps up with monstrous remix of Excision’s ‘Power’ [Stream]

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First Listen: Kompany steps up with monstrous remix of Excision’s ‘Power’ [Stream]Kompany Rectangular Press Shot

Excision enlisted a dream team of bass music power players for his new Apex remix collection, with 12th Planet, Downlink, Spag Heddy, and more all lined up to deliver their own bone-rattling takes on Excision’s work. Kicking off the high octane action comes Kompany with the remix pack’s lead offering—a bulldozing spin on Excision’s “Power.”

Upping the ante on the original with his own menacing spin, Kompany swaps out “Power’s” distinct two-step jab for a pair of steep builds and two aggressive, elbow-throwing breaks. In short—Kompany snaps on his stomping new Excision remix, notching another profile-building remix on his growing rap sheet. The LA-based Icon Collective alum is putting together a formidable track record as one of bass music’s most exciting young talents, and his “Power” remix is just the tip of the iceberg.

Excision, Illenium, and Kill The Snails deliver bass fans their happily Ever After | Photos by Nicole De Khors and Anastasia Velicescu

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Excision, Illenium, and Kill The Snails deliver bass fans their happily Ever After | Photos by Nicole De Khors and Anastasia VelicescuEAMF Day 2 5 @ndkimages 1

Excision, Illenium, and Kill The Snails deliver bass fans their happily Ever After | Photos by Nicole De Khors and Anastasia VelicescuEAMF Day 1 2 @ndkimages 1Excision, Illenium, and Kill The Snails deliver bass fans their happily Ever After | Photos by Nicole De Khors and Anastasia VelicescuEAMF Day 1 4 @ndkimages 1Excision, Illenium, and Kill The Snails deliver bass fans their happily Ever After | Photos by Nicole De Khors and Anastasia VelicescuEAMF Day 2 2 @stassie.v 1Excision, Illenium, and Kill The Snails deliver bass fans their happily Ever After | Photos by Nicole De Khors and Anastasia VelicescuEAMF Day 2 5 @ndkimages 1

Excision, Illenium, and Kill The Snails deliver bass fans their happily Ever After | Photos by Nicole De Khors and Anastasia VelicescuEAMF Day 2 3 @stassie.v

Excision, Illenium, and Kill The Snails deliver bass fans their happily Ever After | Photos by Nicole De Khors and Anastasia VelicescuEAMF Day 3 5 @stassie.v

Excision, Illenium, and Kill The Snails deliver bass fans their happily Ever After | Photos by Nicole De Khors and Anastasia VelicescuEAMF Day 1 5 @stassie.v

Excision, Illenium, and Kill The Snails deliver bass fans their happily Ever After | Photos by Nicole De Khors and Anastasia VelicescuEAMF Day 2 1 @stassie.vExcision, Illenium, and Kill The Snails deliver bass fans their happily Ever After | Photos by Nicole De Khors and Anastasia VelicescuEAMF Day 3 2 @ndkimages

Photo credits: Nicole De Khors, Anastasia Velicescu

Excision and Dion Timmer release collaborative ‘Breaking Through’ EP for a headbanger’s paradise

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Excision and Dion Timmer release collaborative ‘Breaking Through’ EP for a headbanger’s paradiseEcision Deto Set 2018

Bass music behemoth Excision teamed up with fellow-producer Dion Timmer to finally release their collaborative EP, Breaking Through. The project is one they’ve been pushing publicly since last year. “Time Stood Still” was released to whet the appetites from the highly anticipated joint project with a more soothing melodic bass yawn.

“Breaking Through” is a proper introduction that describes sounds that are “visibly apprehended; sounds you can see.” This is certainly the case for this heavy monstrous terror, as enormous, mythological sonic beasts rampage through a high-tech overground.

“Proceed With Caution” features Shivers, and the song title shouldn’t be heaved simply as words on a page. Tantalizing bass binds the center of the track, surrounding the listener at both frequencies with utter rage. “Bones” is the final track off the extended play, and this one certainly carries that anthemic feel from the singable build to the grueling, guttural synth shots that might brake neck bones.

Braking Through follows Abel’s Apex LP released October of last year. Dion Timmer is also following from his 10-track EP, Very Extra, released in December. Timmer recently released a collaboration with Zeds Dead “Rescue” featuring Delaney Jane.

Photo credit: Chris Stack

Lunar Lunes: Luca Lush remixes MAX, Grabbitz and Sullivan King team up + more

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Lunar Lunes: Luca Lush remixes MAX, Grabbitz and Sullivan King team up + moreSullivan King Grabbitz

Each week, New Music Friday sweeps through with torrential force, showering streaming platforms with immeasurable amounts of new tunes. Just like Dancing Astronaut rounds up 25 of the biggest songs of the week for the Hot 25 Spotify playlist each New Music Friday, Lunar Lunes serves as a landing pad for SoundCloud users who want a whole new dose of tunes to kick off the work week.

Luca Lush has put a groovy spin on MAX’s “Love Me Less,” and HeRobust delivers his first solo venture of 2019, “BRUH?!” Dr. Fresch and VOLAC take to Tchami’s CONFESSION to release “Filthy” with Dread MC, and Sullivan King and Grabbitz team up for a powerful Monstercat collaboration, “Crazy As You.” Keanu Silva puts a bouncy spin on Oliver Heldens’ “Summer Lover,” and Kraysh returns to Mad Zoo to unleash “Void” with fknsyd. TheFatRat, Slaydit and Anjulie make a formidable trio on “Stronger,” and Ryan Browne brings the heaviest of bass on “BEATDOWN.” Alexander Lewis appears to “Soar” on his new original, and KARRA joins Tisoki on “Don’t Lie.” Lee Burridge and Lost Desert link for “Mibale,” and Baaku shares a remix of Madeon’s “All My Friends.” Saint Punk gives Win and Woo’s “Right In Front of Me” a deep and glitchy vibe, and Excision and Dion Timmer prove to be “Breaking Through” on their new collaboration.

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).