On Focus: Sully

We asked the Ottawa Techno representative Sully some questions about his inspiration for his latest mix for Backside Slice podcast, his producer journey and the future of PolyRhythm Ottawa.

On Focus: Sully 1

Listen to Sully new mix for Backside Slice:

His latest mix for Backside Slide podcast from Minsk, Belarus is Full of Rave Bangers, Acid Explosions and Deep Breaks. Give it a try.

Sully Short Interview:

Hey Sully, great mix man. It kept me going the way it should and also calmed me down when I needed it. Your BPM seemed to have been speeding up for the past while, tell me about the mix and the influences that made you come with it?

Thanks I’m glad you enjoyed it. I have always tried to play around with my BPM and momentum when mixing. I think it’s an art to be able to control the vibe on a dance-floor, but it doesn’t translate very well when you are recording for no crowd or in a solo setting so song selection and BPM is key for me in that regard. I love to start slow like 110 BPM and end up somewhere completely different like 150 BPM, it’s all part of the journey.

I can remember being at lots of shows where a DJ will just pound it out for hours on end and it becomes stagnant when it isn’t performed well, variety is the spice of life. My taste can be all over the board but I try to stay global in my music interests and make it a point to try and mix multiple genres and styles in my mixes, although some can be more focused than others.

These days I have been listening to a lot of hypnotic, high BPM, analogue, and broken sounds. Something you have to think about but can also have the tendency to lose track of things! T-23 from Lost in Bass has described it as “challenging selections” and I absolutely love that. I always aim to be diverse and keep things unexpected in my mixes.

You have been in the studio working on new material. I know this is a new enterprise for you, tell me about how did you start and what inspired you to start producing?

I had always toyed around with the idea of original production, but never really took the plunge and spent time sitting down learning the craft. I have been mixing music for six or seven years now and feel that it’s high time to start creating something original instead of banking off of others.

I want to be able to play a set of music that is my own, it’s just something to be proud of in my opinion and I have so much more respect for artists now that make their own music.

I have been lucky to get some support from good friends who are doing way bigger things than myself, as per usual. Haha. I am really in love with glitchy, computer sounds, beeps and loops, aetherial pads, and old samples from the 40’s-60’s. In most of my tracks I use a rack that I created in Ableton that uses velocity to randomize modulations I have made in a sampler.

I use the transients of a sample or drum racks to create velocity points that are then used to engage the modulations in real time on it’s own with no programming from me. It’s probability/random based so it creates organic glitches in a way that I wouldn’t be able to draw out, but also means that every export is different and I can’t hear the final glitches until the track has been exported and set in stone. Things can get weird, but it would make for a really interesting live show.

PolyRhythm Ottawa is fairly new and it seems to gain traction everyday. Describe the project and what are you planning to do with it?

PolyRhythm was something a friend and I did almost on a whim, we both had time and a little bit of extra money so we decided to throw a show last July. Multi Culti had always been a big part of our summers the few years before and Thomas Von Party had been billed in Ottawa the September prior but the show was cancelled. We brought Thomas Von Party out and had an awesome time at Mercury Lounge.

I was working a dead end job at the time and had a lot more free hours to focus on a side project, but have since went back to school and it’s really been put on the back burner. We have some mixes uploaded on SoundCloud from friends, guests, and myself. We plan to continue with that.

I am hoping in the next few years we can throw another show: something a little bigger and a little more industrial. The project was also a good way for me to be able to showcase music without having to be set in to a genre.

The mixes I have uploaded there and have from other artists is so varied, it’s great to be able to just put up good music, regardless of what it is. A highlight mix from me would be from our first guest, Hannah Lee from ZZK Records in South America, she really smashed the vibes out of the park, think tropical acid party.

Sully is a DJ/Producer from Ottawa, Canada and Resident/Co-Founder of PolyRhythm Ottawa.

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Backside Slice is a label, mix series and events creator from Minsk, Belarus. They are currently accepting demos.

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