Meet the artists from ill.Gates presents: The Class of 808 Vol. 3

Producer Dojo has established itself as a group of solid producer DJs who mentor and support each other under the guidance of ill.Gates. The elite team of Ninjas and Senseis in the Producer Dojo is known as the Class of 808, and they have been steadily releasing banging bass music since 2017.

ill.Gates Presents: The Class of 808 volume 3 is the 10th release on the label, representing 6 rising Ninja Stars of the Dojo: From the trippy hip hop of synapps, the heavy bass music inspired tunes of UHNK and Luke Rain, the glitchy melodic vibes of Metasine, a poptronica anthem from Daniel Simmons and twisted ending from We Forgot… Beatport is having a special summer sale right now until June 5th, 2019 11:59pm MT. The special Beatport sale code is SUMMER20 for 20% off. If you haven’t had a chance to purchase Producer Dojo’s newest Class of 808 Volume 3 compilation on Beatport this is a great opportunity to get it at a discount. You can purchase the EP now on Beatport for 20% off here.

In this article I share what I learned from the artists about their journeys so far and I also learned about what’s in store for the future.

synapps

Snappy what can you tell us about the making of “Synesthesia” for Class of 808 Volume 3?  What important lessons did you learn along the way?

During my first two months with Producer Dojo I was feeling deeply inspired with what I was learning and decided to attempt to make (Synesthesia) a track that would make ill.Gates proud while applying some new techniques I was learning. In addition to this being my first attempt at resampling, I had started this track with the “Super Loop” beat recipe along with the “Curveball” concept. I learned a lot about prep while making this track as I created many folders of strange, textured sounds. Beginning with a quirky synth/sampler called Organelle and live percussion I recorded at my Playhouse Studio in Toronto, I wanted make a track that was highly texturized and experimental as I am very inspired by Dylan’s sound design.

Is there anything else that you would like to share or promote?

Recently I released an EP of a collection of remixes called “Rando ReMixes” I created over the past year since being with Producer Dojo. With this body of work I was able to explore more sampling, time stretching and manual editing that I learned from ill.Gates. I am really proud of this work and it’s available at https://synapps.bandcamp.com for a free download.

UHNK

Alex, what can you tell us about the making of “Power” and what important lessons did you learn?

Power was the second Cypher I ever submitted a song for. I had been lurking for about a year and just absorbing the material. The song went through about 9 different
versions. The first drop was actually a last minute replacement.  My favorite part of the song is definitely the 2nd drop. All of the UHNK vocal chops are my own voice. As far as important lessons go, this song was really the first song that solidified the concepts of progressive arrangement, vertical energy during the drops, and not being afraid to kill entire sections of a song if they aren’t going to make the song better no matter how long you initially worked on them.

Is there anything else that you would like to share or promote?  

My song UHNKNO with Wreckno just came out recently and you will be hearing it live shortly. In addition, I have an EP that I’ve been working on for a long time that will be out later this year!

Metasine

Connor, what can you tell us about the making of “Dr. Pepper”? 

I originally submitted another track for the compilation. Dylan’s feedback was basically just to rethink it and submit something that made him say “holy shit!” The next time I sat down to write, I was feeling a little tired. It was too late for coffee, so I ran across the street and grabbed a Dr. Pepper from 7/11. When I got back to my studio, I had the idea to start the track by recording the opening of the bottle and the first sip. That’s how it all started (those samples are still there if you listen close). Instead of the usual timer, I took this one really slow. I worked carefully and really tried to make something different and express myself in my melodies and arrangement. Eventually, I ended up sending it to my cousin Alex, or “Proc” as we know him musically and he recorded the guitar part. With his stems, I got totally reinspired and the track evolved. I ended up laying some sax on it as well and after countless edits, it became the track you know today.

The whole project was a learning process from start to finish. I usually don’t enjoy putting creative pressure on myself, but in this case, the challenge to step my game up and impress Dylan ignited a fire. Sometimes all you need is something to prove. I usually feel like the songs write themselves – like I’m just a conduit for it – but this track made me realize that beautiful things can happen when you are deliberate and write with purpose.

Is there anything else that you would like to share or promote?

My new website is live (www.metasinemusic.com)! Also I’m opening for Exmag 8/8 at The Middle East in Boston, MA!

Luke Rain

Luke, what can you tell us about “Katanas” and the important lessons that came out of the experience?

I started Katanas back in December when all the Senseis at the Dojo were putting out their free Sample packs for our 25 days of Christmas promotion. My aim was to use as many different Sensei’s packs as possible, so I grabbed Matter’s Lite Drums for my kit, some Spiderhound Elteres and Seancy VoX Perc samples during the verse, the intro and outro leads are made from a Tent Zipper field recording from Zodiak iLLer’s Organic Wooktivities Lite pack and the drop basses are from RIP Kenny’s Get Dead bass pack lite. As an ode to the amazing home and community I have found at Producer Dojo I added my vocal to the mix “Word to your Momma, we in the Dojo swingin Big Katanas!” Eventually a draft of the track made it to ill.Gates for feedback and I got the notes that while the track had good sound design and a solid face there were a couple too many ambient sounds taking up space in the verses and that the rhythm was dragging a bit. I went back into the session, killed a few puppies (I deleted some of the sounds I didn’t really need), added some upbeat percussion and ended up speeding the track up from 124 to 140bpm to become the jam that made this compilation! The most important lessons I learned were to leave more space during the verses to have somewhere to build up to, and that it’s okay to change up the tempo and groove of a track that’s nearly done if that is what the situation calls for.

Is there anything else that you would like to share or promote?  

Yes. As a Producer / Ninja from the future my mission is to break my fellow humans out of the matrix by attacking the Skynet system with sonic weapons. So far I have sent two such weapons back into your time: Katanas, and Blue Screen of Death f. Amir Jackson. The more these weapons are shared the more damage we can do to the robot overlords. Dojo Ninjas Unite!

Daniel Simmons

Daniel, what can you tell us about “Body” and the lessons you learned while finishing the track?

I wrote Body during a time when I decided to stop making music and focus on other areas of my life. I was following this book called The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying – going through all my possessions and getting rid of anything that didn’t spark joy. I was also working with this emotional healing tool called The Peace Process, which is all about getting out of your head and into your body – healing by feeling. At night I was freestyle singing to acoustic guitar and recording it on voice memos. Body came through in one of the voice memos with the melody and most of the lyrics in tact. I was expressing insecurities and pulling on the peace process to overcome them. I really resonated with the voice memo because it brought me back into the present, so I decided to finish the song.

What most inspired me to join the Producer Dojo was hearing Ill.Gates say “don’t make what you think people want to hear. Be your freaky self and make the music that’s in your soul.” I put that into action in this production by drawing on my roots in Warped Tour, Pop Punk music and producing it with EDM technique. In the process of releasing the song I realize I want to lean more on the EDM side of production in the future and use my Pop Punk influence more for spice as I continue to develop this hybrid sound.

Is there anything else that you would like to share or promote?

I’d like to share the Peace Process, which can be found towards the bottom of this page https://www.notnicebook.com/ It’s really great for listening to as you fall asleep to deeply release pain and stuck emotions.

I also want to promote my Producer Dojo EP which is coming out towards the end of June and featuring some epic Dojo remixes! Connect with me on Instagram/ SoundCloud @DanielwiththeBalance.

We Forgot

Scott, what can you tell us about “First Time High?”

In “First Time High” I wanted to incorporate playing more live instruments, (flute, melodica, dulcimer, and cajon) into my computer music while preserving electronic and
glitched out elements. In the past I’ve experimented with reverse vocals and found that when I reverse my artist name, ‘We Forgot…’ it sounds a bit like “I love you”. Working on this song gave me the ability to practice layering multiple vocals together which is usually discouraged due to sensory overload. Fortunately, the broken rule worked for this song. When I first posted the song for feedback I was worried it would be rejected because it was lower energy and different from some of the EDM/BASS that I noticed other 808 members posting for feedback. In the end these differences in sound and vibe ended up being a bit of a purple cow and I found as I shared the song with others it was not uncommon for it to elicit an emotional response and new valuable connections.

Is there anything else that you would like to share or promote?

If you haven’t already, check out my video for “First Time High,” recently created while in Alaska! Facebook @weforgotmusic

Remember to be true to yourself and don’t ever be afraid to share your voice. Don’t let self-imposed fears hold you back!  I’m excited about the opportunities that have begun opening since sharing myself and my music. Speaking of music, I have new music that will be dropping soon, so please follow me on Soundcloud + Instagram @weforgot for upcoming videos, music, and shows. Be Excellent…Oh and P.S. if you have any voice-over acting gigs hit me up!