All Good Records has been on an absolute tear this year. We’ve already been treated to multiple sold-out tours, start studded remix packages, full EP releases…and festival season is only now kicking into high gear.
Colorado live band SunSquabi made waves through the dance community with the release of SquabCat. The lead single off their stellar ‘Odyssey’ EP showcased a brand new side of the three-piece suit, quickly becoming their biggest hit to date.
Blistering guitar rifts mixed through synthesizers take precedent over its subtle, glitch-hop overtones. Ratatat comparisons circled the web, hyping up the EP’s subsequent releases featuring the likes of GRiZ for the title track and Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic.
I had the opportunity to speak with SunSquabi on the creative process in developing a story behind ‘Odyssey’, as well as the current state of dance music and the role All Good Records is playing during this present-day resurgence of live jazz, funk & soul.
1. Looking back, SquabCat was the perfect lead single and really helped things take off from the get go. First off what exactly does a SquabCat represent and why was it your first choice?
SquabCat was definitely the first track we wrote for Odyssey. We started it at the beginning of 2015, shortly after we had finished the Anytime EP. We were coming out of writing a lot of glitch hop type tunes and wanted to try something that was a bit more melodic. SquabCat represents the journey of our departed Bast (Egyptian cat goddess) statue. Bast represents life, wisdom and fertility so, you could say the song represents the same.
2. ‘EDM’ is constantly looking for the new sound and what’s next, we’ve seen too many sub-genres rise and fall throughout the years. As many guitar players would likely agree, ‘Odyssey’ leans more heavily on classic blues, soul and jazz elements. Take Pablito for example, you guys shred on guitar using old-school techniques that’d be fitting for both a jazz festival and Electric Forest alike. What was the creative process behind this?
Well, we don’t really consider ourselves ‘EDM’. Yes we electronically produce our music and it makes you want to dance. But let’s be clear, we are a power trio. A rock group. The idea of SunSquabi as a project is most definitely not to play to one kind of festival or crowd, but to all of them. We all grew up listening to every kind of music you can think of, so creatively its hard to not bring in elements of everything (jazz, acid rock, hip hop, psychedelic, funk etc).
3. Does the landscape of music shape your productions? There’s a clear shift towards having a real live component this year, especially in the festival circuit. Did either side of the spectrum affect ‘Odyssey’?
Odyssey represents the journey we have been on since we started this band, and the journey that is to come. It’s inspired by ideas, people, places and times. Not by what others are doing in the festival circuit. We have never been an ‘all-production’ group. It is exciting to see more people incorporating the live elements into shows and recordings, but we have been a live band since 2011.
4. In a more big picture sense, what’s your outlook on the future of dance music. I think most can agree proper live aesthetics are a refreshing change in a saturated industry. Obviously live instruments aren’t going anywhere, but in your honest opinion could this transpire into another phase or are we looking at the future?
We would like to think there’s a lot more than just aesthetics coming into play here. We are most certainly looking at the future. As technology improves and the possibilities of integrating live instruments into electronic music continue to grow, you will see more people starting to push the envelope with it. It’s a very exciting time in the music industry. And with ableton specifically, the best part about it is that everyone has their own method with it and how to use it live. So artists are constantly learning from one another and pushing each other’s boundaries.
5. How has the dynamic been this year over at All Good Records. It seems like every week the entire crew is putting out new music, going on tour, and just doing things different. That’s very commendable and I’m curious to how are ‘egos’ and whatnot managed. No disrespect of course, but as artists you all have personal convictions yet it appears that those are all rooted in All Good Records as one.
It’s one big happy family, without a doubt. We (All Good artists) are definitely at different phases in our careers, with different audiences to boot. The best part of being in a family like this is the support system. Everyone reposts each others tracks. Everyone collaborates. Everyone plays shows together. We are a collective of artists striving to make each other’s personal goals become reality. It’s All Good baby.
6. Lastly, what can fans expect from SunSquabi during these upcoming festival performances? Are we going to see any Fool’s Paradise like super groups? If Fool’s Paradise and Big GRiZMATIC are any indication your fans definitely think there’s something up the All Good sleeve.
Well with the whole family (All Good) at Electric Forest this year, you can definitely expect to see some large scale collaborations all weekend. Sonic Bloom should be in for some big treats this year as well. We are always trying to open up and collaborate with new people on stage too so, who knows what will happen?!
7. One more quick question – in your words what can we expect from Red Rocks come October? At this point anything’s possible in our minds
Let’s keep it that way, because there will definitely be some major surprises. We are scheming every day to bring a once in a lifetime SunSquabi set to Red Rocks this year. Once again, everyone on the bill is very close with a history of collaboration. We should also have a new album finished by October so, I’m sure we will debut some brand new material there as well.