The annual Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is upon us, and today Toronto’s Saad Ayub will be dropping his Shelter EP ahead of the hectic week of panels, meetings, events, mixers and incredible music. This four-track EP, is Saad’s ode to the conference week, with the title track dedicated to the infamous Shelter nightclub located in the basement of the A’DAM Tower.
Debuting his newfound love and productions of melodic techno, Saad’s creations are hypnotizing dance-floor worthy pieces of art, ready to take you to a higher consciousness.
‘Shelter’, the title track of the EP, is the second collaboration between Saad Ayub and Andy Teixeira; it is a melancholic piece of melodic techno with a dynamic arpeggiated climax.
‘Réveille’ is a dark, moody techno track characterized by its use of vocal chops and a room-filling stab lead.
‘Face to Face’ is a driving techno track with a progressive influence, complete with ominous floating pads, and a throbbing bassline.
‘This’ is a tribal-flavoured techno track, featuring a battery of syncopated drums and a hypnotizing vocal.
We grabbed a chat with Saad to talk about the EP and the influences behind it.
Your latest EP Shelter opens the door to your melodic techno side, different from your traditional trance sounds! What did you find most challenging about creating this EP?
I think the most challenging part for me, was to find the balance between the melodic elements and not to sound like a trance track and to also retain the value of Techno for each track. I have experimented quite a bit with this EP, and for example, the track ‘This’ has no melodies but syncopated drums and heavy rolling arpeggiated bass as the main elements of the track. Versus the title track of the EP ‘Shelter’ with Andy Teixeira, has almost trance-like sounds yet it can’t be labelled as a trance track rather melodic techno. ‘Reveille’ and ‘Face to Face’ sit in between these two tracks.
What element of the Melodic Techno sub-genre speaks to you the most? How do you illustrate this element through your new music?
Sequenced melodic elements or the arpeggiated elements that lock you into the right groove with the perfect drum sounds. My weapon of choice Arturia SEM V2 and Plugin Alliance Oberhausen and few other Arturia plugins has it covered for me to mimic those analog melodic techno sounds. I am an avid soft synth supporter.
“At the end of the day, I first started as a raver on the dance floor, and then I became a musician.”
Every artist knows that they must evolve along with their genre of music, as Electronic Dance Music is always evolving, how do you keep up with the current trends?
To be honest with you, evolution is a natural process. You can’t stick to one formula that has worked for you the rest of your life. You need to adapt to the technology, to the market, to the dance floor and the appeal. What is tricky, is to make sure you don’t over-do it, and that you don’t recognize your sounds down the road. Your musical taste should be a journey or storytelling, not keeping up with gimmicks or trends that won’t do you any good. You’ve just got to believe in yourself and on what you do. At the end of the day, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you should be doing something else. My secret recipe of keeping up with trends is paying attention to Spotify and going to shows locally and internationally. At the end of the day, I first started as a raver on the dance floor, and then I became a musician.
You are playing at Luminosity’s ‘Shine’ party hosted by the legendary Paul van Dyk at ADE on October 17th alongside Alex M.o.r.p.h., John OO Fleming, Jordan Suckley and Lostly! What can people expect from your opening set that night, how will you set the tone for the night?
I have been busy in the studio for this show, and each year ADE allows me to showcase what to expect for the next year. This year, it will be my interpretation of techno, that will explore the sounds of some classic trance reworked into techno and some bootlegs that will blend between house & techno and some of my originals, including the full ‘Shelter’ EP. What I love about opening sets, is that you get to see people walk in the door, grab a drink and then if you’re doing it right they slowly start to ease into the vibe of opening tracks and you keep teasing them with the right dose of good music. My set will be melodic and will get darker by the end of it as I hand over the decks to the next act, who can bring the crowd back to light with some Trance.