Wild Dark, Anjunadeep, and Bespoke Musik give us insight into their connected worlds.
Wild Dark has grown from the deep roots of underground electronic music to develop their fresh, organic, and intricate sound. In an industry where there are thousands of producers, DJs, and labels constantly releasing and promoting new tracks, it takes something special to grab the attention of listeners around the world. Wild Dark has come on to the scene with such strong self awareness and unwavering desire for sharing their experienced and well refined music, that they have quickly gained support from major industry players and are steadily building a global fanbase. Comprised of brothers Corey and Ryan Negrin and vocalist Sal Nastasi, Wild Dark’s music aims to be a refreshing change for those who are worn out by the same repetitive ideas and sounds, embracing a forward thinking style that is not limited by genres, or preconceived paradigms.
Fitting in perfectly with Bespoke Musik’s ethos of promoting “deep, intricate, and forward thinking organic music”, Wild Dark has been busy as one of their premier residents, performing at their distinctive events alongside DJs like Oliver Schories, 16 Bit Lolitas, Lane 8, and Maya Jane Coles, as well as shows at Verboten and Mysteryland USA. Their live sets drew the attention of the massive Anjunadeep, who signed Wild Dark’s “Falling Deep” onto their Explorations 01 EP (released January 29th – get it now!). In anticipation of the release, they were featured on Anjunadeep Edition 86, producing a beautiful, flowing, and fresh mix that begs for repeat listens. With continuous success through DJing and producing, Wild Dark is only just getting started. Their message is being heard, and listeners around the world are joining in.
On February 2nd at 12PM EST [convert timezone], you can hear the latest journey from Wild Dark on the home for underground electronic music: FRISKY. As guest DJs for Rob Keith’s 2DC+1, Wild Dark will take you deep yet keep you floating, combining darkness and light, freshness and authenticity. Wild Dark will also be featured as FRISKY’s Artist of the Week on March 1st, where we will get another exclusive mix broadcast to underground fans around the world.
Hear what Wild Dark themselves, Dom Donnelly of Anjunadeep, and Rocky Ramniceanu of Bespoke Musik, have to say about the emergence of Wild Dark in the electronic music landscape:
What should underground electronic music fans know about Wild Dark?
Wild Dark: We’ve been playing and producing electronic music for longer than most people these days have been listening. It’s a defining characteristic of our aesthetic and sound… we’ve absorbed a multitude of influences over the years and are now digesting and creating new art, new music based on our previous experience. Our progression as DJs and musicians is authentic in that regard. We’ve seen it all and experienced it all… and the product we’re putting forward is our perception of music to the core… not the trend, the current flavor of the month… it’s timeless music as a result of our experience.
We came close to leaving our dreams behind a couple of years ago. We were about to start a new business in the fitness industry. Around the same time, we reconnected with an old friend, Sal Nastasi, a talented musician with success in the rock scene — now our vocalist / guitarist — and started writing and producing some original demos. The results of that collaboration made us realize that we would regret leaving our passion for music behind to focus on anything else. We were about to sign a 10 year lease on a space in Manhattan and build a physical business… and we both looked at each other and realized that wasn’t what would make us happy. So we refocused our energy on what has been the heart of our lives for many years… electronic music. Subsequently, we kept working at our passion to create truly quality music that we could be proud of — and eventually, we started sharing what we had created with some friends that were impressed and believed in us, who ultimately helped us connect with Anjunadeep.
What should underground electronic music fans know about us? Hard work, passion, perseverance and a humble attitude is the only way to get recognized. Do the right thing, always. Work hard at what you love. If you don’t love what you’re doing, stop.
Find the thing you love. Start again with all of your energy and soul.
I love the quote you use in your bio: “From darkness, beauty arises”. How do feel your music reflects those words, and what do they mean to you?
Wild Dark: It’s a direct reference to the aesthetic and sound of Wild Dark. Our music is deep, thoughtful, intricate, and at times melancholy chords float above a beautiful vocal. There’s often a juxtaposition of beautiful, warm, ethereal vibes and dark undertones. Life is quite often like that. The phrase is meant to inspire… no matter how dark the foundation of any present moment, there is beauty waiting to rise above that darkness at the next beat, the next minute, the next hour, the next day, the next week. It’s simply a matter of time and perception.
What is the Wild Dark live sound setup & experience?
Wild Dark: Our setup is pretty simple.. three CDJs (two for tracks, one for samples/efx) a mixer and some usb sticks. We are constantly building our catalog of originals with Sal on vocals, so a live dj/hybrid set up incorporating Ableton, Maschine and a TC Helicon is in the works. As our production catalogue grows, we’ll take the live act on the road with Sal on vocals and guitar, and a cornucopia of beautiful machines playing our music entirely live… we’re big believers in the live electronic music experience… playing all of your own music to an audience, live… jamming and riffing on original works.
It’s the wave of the future and we’re working on pushing that boundary as far as we can.
Can you tell us more about your production process as a team, and what it was like creating for Anjunadeep’s Explorations 01?
Wild Dark: We definitely have a routine that works for us. Individually we create the bones of our tracks until all of the essentials are there, and than we put it away until its time to get the others ideas out on it. Not everything we write is meant for vocals, but the ones that are get the “Sal treatment” We will go over to his studio, write lyrics collectively, and let him bless us with that voice. 🙂 We keep a board in the studio with a list of tracks in priority order, and then collectively work the top of the list in a round robin system, so that we don’t get stuck or go stale. We are also always taking the time to learn in between.
Getting signed to such an esteemed label like Anjunadeep is not an overnight process, but the value of coming out with our premier release on this label is well worth the wait. It worked directly in line with our whole vision when we decided to step away, rebrand and come back out with a purpose. We never wrote music, or created music for Anjunadeep per se, but somewhere in our minds, we did have the goal of being an Anjunadeep quality level artist in mind. The Law of Attraction works in mysterious ways.
Founded by Above & Beyond in 2005, Anjunadeep has been an influential imprint with an impressive roster of artists, and a reputation as an A&R hotbed, for over a decade. Their mission: “to release timeless soulful and melodic electronic music” continues to drive the label today, as label manager Dom Donnelly explains:
What is the direction of the Explorations series, and what can we expect with this premiere release?
Dom: The Explorations series allows us to introduce new artists to the label, and continue to diversify the already broad sound of Anjunadeep. It also gives us an opportunity to release one-off tracks that we love and present them together as part of a bigger, cohesive project. This first installment welcomes four new faces to the label, each with their own distinct sound, who in their own way all connect with our musical ethos.
What drew you to work with Wild Dark, and how do you think they fit with Anjuaneep’s ideology?
Dom: We’d first heard of Wild Dark was their stellar reputation as DJs! They’ve supported a bunch of Anjunadeep artists in New York at Bespoke parties and Verboten, including 16 Bit Lolitas, Lane 8, Gab Rhome and Hisham Zahran. Hisham introduced us to the guys early last year, and some music went back and forth and we’re delighted to be presenting the finished product ‘Falling Deep’. They fit with the Anjunadeep ideology in that they have a melodic sound combined with their own unique touches.
Since its origin in 2012, Bespoke Musik has been steadily influencing the underground electronic music scene in NYC, producing over 60 premium events, and solidifying themselves as the essential taste-making and music curation company in New York and beyond. By keeping to their ideology of sharing deep, ethereal, and thoughtful music to open minded listeners, Bespoke Musik is able to find and spread the finest underground sound. Rocky Ramniceanu, founder and creative director for Bespoke Musik discusses:
What do you think sets Bespoke Musik and your Kollektiv apart?
Rocky: Bespoke Musik is a custom-built aesthetic applied to quality electronic music via premium events within New York and across the world, as well as hosted and curated podcasts featuring some of the finest musicians in the world. We represent artists and produce events that evoke deep, beautiful, exciting, intricate, forward-thinking and organic electronic music with a multitude of influences. We focus solely on a simple, authentic vibe that fills our hearts with joy, love and passion… driven and inspired by the music that resonates in this manner.
Bespoke Kollektiv is the sister agency that provides management, bookings and artistic services with the same philosophy as the brand namesake. It’s truly a family and collaborative atmosphere — it sets us apart and defines our whole community.
What is your process for discovering new music?
Rocky: New music discovery is one of my favorite aspects of being creative director and building the brand. It’s always a very organic process and it changes… quite often I just listen to as much music as possible and I’ll occasionally hear something that blows my mind in set or mix and track down the artist, whether it’s via tracklisting or Shazam or asking the DJ who mixed the music who it was–and then I’ll dig deeper into the tune that blew my mind and start following that artist as well. But it’s always an organic process, number of fans and plays mean nothing to me, I’ve discovered some of the most talented musicians and they only have a couple of hundred fans/followers…
It’s the quality of the music that matters.
How does BeSpoke’s mission and outlook on music influence your artist roster, and how does Wild Dark fit in with that philosophy?
Rocky: The artists we have started working with in a management and bookings capacity, including Baez, Christian Voldstad, El_Txef_A, Oceanvs Orientalis, Rampue, Wild Dark and soon Stavroz and Viken Arman are also residents of the events. Wild Dark in particular reflect the ethos and the sound we represent to perfection and in that sense are ambassadors of the brand. People have started calling it the Bespoke Musik sound or Bespoke vibe and that’s a dream come true, it’s exactly what we set out to do with our events and the radio show. Stay tuned, coming this year the record label will debut, drawing support from the wonderful family of artists that we have worked with over the years.
It’s always wonderful to discover the deep connections that coexist between multiple facets of the underground electronic music world, the philosophies and energies that are shared throughout the process of creating and spreading music. The connections that Wild Dark have made embodies what makes this music scene special, each piece joining together to reveal the beauty in the darkness, the soul of the music that unites us.
Be sure to listen to Wild Dark’s guest mix on 2DC+1, premiering February 2nd at 12PM EST [convert timezone]!