I’ve always intended to send my listeners on a passionate and emotional experience

By Alex Mazey

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Congratulations on your recent release of the What’s It For? EP on the dreamstation label. In many ways, dreamstation has become the harbinger of a breakcore revival that’s taken place in online spaces in the last few years, spearheading the movement with a series of recent releases that come as a kind of mission statement, perhaps? Before we dip into a specific question in regards to your What’s It For? release, I wanted to ask about your personal relationship to the genre, which is to say, how did you get involved with breakcore to begin with, and the dreamstation label specifically? 

amore: To be pretty transparent, I try to keep my relationship and correlation with breakcore pretty distant. I lean more towards jungle and the more technical and nitty-gritty forms of drum & bass. That being said you’d have to be ignorant to ignore its prominence. It’s a genre that many can relate to whether you’re a listener or artist. It’s created a sea of talented people even to this day who are either just doing it to learn, or have been doing it for years. The genre itself uses the body parts of Drum & Bass and Jungle to create some very unique, technical and sometimes extremely euphoric sounds. There’s been a ton of extremely talented and genius people in the breakcore scene and I’ve been happy to meet and even work with some of them. I’d say so far “The Archangel”, “Where Does The Ocean Go?”, “FOR A THOUSAND YEARS”, “Flames To Dust”, and a couple other tracks are some of my own tributes to the genre since I love how technical and somewhat unrestricted you can be while doing it.

There’s quite a stark contrast between the What’s It For? EP and your 2023 album, TEARS OF BURNING FIRE, which was an intense listening experience when compared to this year’s release. In fact, the difference between the two projects was palpable, with What’s It For? recalling Lemon Jelly’s Lost Horizons as opposed to TEARS’ apocalyptic, sepulchral tonality. That harsher tone probably had something to do with the numetal influence on TEARS. With this EP, on the other hand, you sort of jump back to the more optimistic sound you initiated on Pearlessence, Vol. 1., except it seems like you’ve taken what you learnt on TEARS to create a more idiosyncratic sound that’s been perfected on What’s It For? Hearing those three projects in sequence and you get this really pleasant listening experience of starting out with tracks like CRYSTAL BALL and AURA, before passing through the intensity of BREAKER, to later land on What’s It For?/Broken Wings. Had you always intended on sending listeners on this kind of journey with your music or do you suspect that this was the natural consequence of experimenting/progressing with your sound over time? 

amore: I’ve always intended to send my listeners on a passionate and emotional listening experience. TEARS was my capsule of technique and emotion if that makes sense. Not only was that album how I felt (which all my music is how I feel) but I also wanted to show all I could do and then some. Before that album I never did anything that polished musically. I never did anything with hardcore kicks and bass before as well, but with this album it was a proving statement. I felt if I couldn’t do this album exactly how I envisioned it to be, I don’t deserve to call myself the artist that I think I am. Now, all THAT being said, I feel like my style subconsciously at this point is harmonic emotion. From Pearlessence and What’s It For? just comes second nature to me. It might have just came out at a weird time is all haha.  I was approached by Dreamstation to do a release for them and I had already been fighting with finishing off What’s It For? for a couple weeks to a month. It was this super peaceful and whimsical piece that just needed to be closed off and finalized. After finally finishing that ironically enough I did “Broken Wings” in one sitting and figured it would pair up with “What’s It For” nicely.

Awakener’ and ‘Breaker’ are two stand-out tracks for me on the ‘Tears Of Burning Fire’ album. They’re also tracks that feature visual accompaniments – music videos – or what I think you call visualizers over on your Instagram page. These were produced by the visual artist, timesgone, who also provided visuals for ‘hxly xo’s Apathy last year. These outstanding accompaniments really set the tone for what’s being put out on the dreamstation label, with timesgone also providing a really neat, anime-inspired video for ‘What’s it for?’ Looking at the broader cultural landscape – both the aural and the visual – I wondered what the influences were when it came to your projects in particular. 

amore: Working with Timesgone is just seamless to say the least. Times always knows just what to put in and what scene will be parallel to the song given. You can really see that apart from the obvious tons of work he has to do, there’s a precise eye and careful thought process involved, which I really respect deeply. Coming from a person who’s started off making all of their own visuals and cover art, it becomes extremely demanding to stay consistent in that nature. I feel like if I have to split my brain in three (visuals, art, and promotion), I won’t be able to deliver the full package when it comes to the song itself, so nowadays, I’ve been keeping my eye on art styles and who does what. PricelessPresence on ‘What’s It For’s cover art was damn near a blessing. For some time you’ve seen metalheart artwork done the smooth and kind of “techy” way, you don’t really see it done in a beautiful, graffiti portrait kind of way. Seeing that cover come to life was amazing. Love his art style. I think Times is hella into Kingdom Hearts much like a big community of people, so working on something with the famous ‘My Sanctuary’ sample must’ve been just second nature. ‘Breaker’ is something that I kind of think of as my ‘Endless Possibilities’ from Sonic Unleashed. It’s chaotically and powerfully free, but also heavy and grungy as hell. Who else to help get that point across other than Nedaj right? It makes you feel like you can do anything or at least I hope it does. Time’s visual on that one is really great because I wanted it to reflect on the chaos and melody while also being cinematic and somewhat professional, and that’s exactly what he delivered.

Looking to the future, I consider your sound quite exciting in terms of it being somewhat difficult to guess what direction you might take things in as a music producer. With that being said, I wondered whether we should expect, as listeners, more of the experimental genre stuff as exhibited on ‘Tears Of Burning Fire’ or more of the introspective sound taken up on What’s It For? Perhaps you’ll be breaking from these styles altogether? Either way, I wondered if you had any thoughts on where you wanted to take things? 

amore: I have another seriously important album coming up called “2004” that should finally put the nail on the head on my direction and sound. To put it into a few helpful words, what started me as an artist (amongst a ton of things) was 2000s drifting videos. Old Osaka drifting featured so much Trance and Progressive Trance amongst the grunge rock, hair and thrash metal and of course eurobeat. There’s a Y’s Factory drift video that spotlights the driver of the red Supermade/Works9 S14. The song used in that video was ‘System F – Spread Your Wings’ The best and #1 song I think of when I have to relate my music direction to something. Classic vocal Trance music. So electric and passionate. From there I also learned about the artist SHIKI, who’s also a pillar of what my music’s become. If you got a sharp eye, you can see the resemblance I took with the Tears cover art in reference to Shiki’s album ‘Cristears’. All done by the very talented ‘infinitesky2000’. Another beautiful art style. Shiki’s song ‘Sepia’ is also tied at first place for me. That song opened my eyes the same way ‘Spread Your Wings’ did. The clap/snare pattern is just legendary to me. If it weren’t for these two things I don’t know what I’d make.

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