Getting your social channels hacked isn’t fun. Especially when the loss of your Soundcloud is permanent.
Despite this setback, Sadhu’s love for the music, partially due to writing songs and playing guitars, didn’t fade. What’s more, after over four long years, the people still appreciate his artistry. Nay, they demand it. So when a silly post triggered a slew of fan requests he made amends with the past and stepped up to ‘make dubstep great again’.
After dipping his toe in the water with Afterlight on the Crow’s Nest Elite 2 album in March, this month sees Sadhu returning with his first EP since 2015. Entitled Machine Gun Army and featuring collabs with Gravity, Facesplit and Wurm it marks the start of whole new chapter of signature brutalist beats and roaring basslines. Taking off where he left us with Baptism Of Fire he promises more banter, more solo projects and more gnarly collabs. Make no mistakes, the half-German, half-English wunderkid is back. And this is how it came about…
Welcome back! How do you feel right now?
It’s great. Surprisingly enough, I’ve got a lot of shows coming up. I’ve just played Paris on and Toulouse. Later this month I’m at the famous Boothaus in Cologne (May 29) then much later in the year I’ve got a booking in Montreal (October 5)
Did you practice behind the decks at home before?
Nope and I was actually quite nervous. I spoke to the promotor of the show in Paris and asked him if he could arrange some CDJs to practice before the set which was cool. It all went well but before then I hadn’t been on the decks for three or four years.
But you’ve still been working on music, albeit different genres, right? How did these experiences help you to find new ways to approach production?
Back then I played guitar but not that much. In these four years I’ve played it more often and picked up some musical knowledge. There might still be little-to-no melodies in my dubstep productions, but through gained experience like mixing bands – I have a lot more appreciation for room in the mix.
I also draw a lot of inspiration from blues and metal. I try to put guitars in every intro now. Some of the tracks on the EP don’t have that, because it simply doesn’t fit. But the breakdowns in metal are very similar to dubstep actually.
You’re mostly known for the rough stuff. Is this the focus for the upcoming months?
Yeah, I’ve told myself I will only do heavy dubstep for now. Once I feel that I’m stuck, I will start to write deep stuff again. I didn’t release the deep stuff, until a later period. I didn’t want to make another alias and I’ve gotten comfortable with the idea of releasing something very different.
That’s something pretty uncommon, but If I would make dubstep and something like deep house, then I wouldn’t expect people to like it. I don’t expect them to like my current music either, but it’s still the same genre. A lot of my fans are old-school, these older people are a bit more appreciative about other sides of dubstep.
What got you back into dubstep?
Actually, somewhere in January, I posted on my Facebook that I’m gaining weight again so I should make dubstep again. A silly joke, but that post went everywhere and got something like 300 likes and so many comments. People were messaging me and saying ‘how can you tease us like this?’ I got messages before, but this hit me like a big storm, so I figured that maybe I should make dubstep again.
I tried so many times to get my Soundcloud back, but they kept telling me I should go to a judge… I did manage to recover my Facebook and two email-accounts. This situation put me in a very bad place. Every time when I tried to make dubstep again, there was a mental blockage in my head. The response on the Facebook post really pushed me beyond this. Also because Sven, from Crowsnest Audio (Code: Pandorum) said ‘dude, I’m getting you releases and you can do whatever you want’, basically treating me like a king… That really made me want to come back.
I made Afterlife for their compilation and I was still very sceptical at first, thinking this will work once and then go away. But I’ve managed to write five tracks for the EP pretty easily and I hope that I can keep this going. The first two months since the Facebook post were really intense. So many people want to collab…. I have about 50 stems sitting in my folder.
Keeping you busy!
To be honest I thought a lot of people would hate on my music now because I’m still making the same stuff compared to five years ago. My mixdowns might sound slightly better than before, but they still are a bit complicated compared to the big mixdowns everyone has these days. Due to this, I thought people wouldn’t like my music anymore but a lot of people still like it.
Can you tell us more about your next collab with D-Jahsta?
We’ve been sending the stems back and forth, and it’s coming along nicely. I’m pretty surprised by the work he has done on it so far, it’s all about machine guns in your face. In a D-Jahsta way, which sounds insane.
Did you try to get atop of current production techniques?
Yes and no. I’m sticking to my guns and trying to make something out of it, but every now and then I’ll check out production streams by KOMPANY and Virtual Riot as well as the Disciple tutorials. I’ve been using the OTT Compressor a lot longer than most, but things like GClip and all these Ozone plugins are pretty new to me. There are racks out right now which transform your bass into something fucking monstrous… It’s basically a mix of all these different things and my own stuff.
Nice. Who or what got you into dubstep initially?
Dutch Flowers by Skream was the first dubstep tune that I ever heard, while The Scraper by Katharsys really made me want to produce ‘filthy’ dubstep. Same goes for Downlink with Gamma Ray Burst. The uploads by Darkstepwarrior and Jesusdied4dubstep got me into making electronic music, both of them also became amazing friends.
Tell us about the Machinegun Arm EP!
The title track Machinegun Army was made together with Gravity. He did some custom vocals and these are fucking sick. The second track is called White Elephant, this explains the elephant on the artwork, because before I made Machinegun Army the EP was going to have this name. Then Gravity hit me up with the vocals and I figured that I got to do a Machinegun Army EP. But I asked the label to add an elephant on the cover because there are a lot of elephant noises on the EP and I wanted to keep the theme.
You’ve been known for a tight social media game – never failing to provoke. What’s your take on this subject? How do you approach this now?
Well, every now and then, I have to go back to my old facebook posts to find an old picture or meme. The stuff we shared in those days was pretty wild stuff and just not acceptable these days anymore. We all say silly things when we’re young.
Because you were hacked and lost all your accounts how do you feel about social media now?
It’s still necessary and can be enjoyable. It’s more professional now than it was. I feel like you have to be a lot more conscious now about what you post and when you post it. Labels these days have good promo plans. They take a lot of work off you and basically tell you what to do, which is nice.
Previously I had marketing without realizing it. Now, it’s gotten a lot more important. I disliked that you have to be a marketing person to be successful, but it felt natural to me and it wasn’t something that I had to do since it felt like me. If I will have to do it again, I will do it the way I used to.
It might seem hard to market yourself these days, but there are a lot more options to do that now. It’s cool to see how far internet has progressed with things like FanLink for example, it’s amazing. Things like that really make it easier for artists.
Is there anything that you would like to say to all the people that have shown support in response to your return?
I hope that everyone I get to see everyone who messaged me. A lot of people are asking if I will play in their city. I will collab with every one of you, just give me time. I’m working through the received stems, but if they’re really bad, then I cannot do anything with them. I hope to see everyone on tour and look forward to spending time being on the road and having many new experiences, because that’s what I used to love doing.