Differentiating yourself within a genre can be difficult. Hell, differentiating yourself within an entire world of music can be difficult, let alone within the confines of a single genre. Still, Topi has become an individual within one of the most repetitive and derivative spaces in dance music and has done so in such an organic and powerful way that he’s received nods from genre gods like Kill The Noise, Mat Zo, and Noisia along the way.
Living in a strange space between fluid and mechanism, movement and grinding friction, Topi’s music fires like the engine of an El Camino SS. In the combustion chamber, basslines grind together creating the tiny explosions that move the pistons up and down, creating syncopated percussion lines. These drum pistons convert all of the lateral energy into rotational motion, allowing the entire record to propel forward with incredible power. We asked Topi to create a 30-minute mix for our Interview + MiniMix series, and damn, he delivered. Check out the mix and interview below along with the mix’s tracklist.
Can you tell us a bit about the Topi project?
It’s a solo music project I started around when I was finishing up high school (which was maybe five years ago). Basically just me making different types of electronic music. Currently focusing on a more aggressive side of it.
What’s it like living and producing in Finland?
I pretty much live in the middle of woods, so it’s quite chill here. We have cold and long winters and somewhat warm summers. Producing wise, the winters are pretty rough… not sure if it has to do with the fact that the sun comes up only for a few hours when it’s winter time. I feel most inspired in the fall for some reason. The type of music I make isn’t really that popular here; the electronic music scene here, in general, is pretty small IMO. So I’m kind of forced to aim this project overseas due to its heavy tone.
You have a really unique timbre to your sound design that’s existed since the early days of the project – it’s metallic, but also really fluid. Do you take any specific approach when designing patches? Or it more ‘in the moment’ inspiration?
It’s pretty much just trial and error. I usually just lay down a basic beat and start experimenting with different wavetables on Serum and kinda go from there. At least for me, it takes a while to come up with something usable and I usually end up redoing the main sounds multiple times throughout the project. I try to have a rough idea in my mind what I wanna make when I start up Ableton but in the end, they always end up evolving into something totally different.
How do you feel about the changing landscape of bass music?
I love seeing other producers stepping out of their comfort zone and trying something more experimental to push their sound. Personally, I get bored super fast on stuff so change is definitely a good thing.
What are you planning on working on in 2018 and 2019? Any big goals for the Topi project?
It’s going to be busy! Really cool releases coming out in upcoming months. Other than that, I will mostly be working and experimenting with new ideas as much as I can. Maybe finally do some sort of EP next year. Also hopefully start doing more shows.
What can we expect from this mix?
Lots of 86 BPM stuff, quite fast-paced, some genre-hopping, music from people I look up to, and a few new tunes from me as well.
Alvin Risk – Craft
Monsta – Holdin On (Skrillex Remix)
The Upbeats – Dungeon (Malux Remix)
Pendulum – Hold Your Color (Noisia Remix)
Topi – Under Control w/ Mefjus – If I Could
Fre4knc – Crustacean
Mefjus – Pivot
Topi – ID
Noisia – Reptilians
Topi – ID
Space Laces – Overdrive
Space Laces – Cruise Control (Ivory Remix)
Noisia – Get Deaded (Moody Good Remix)
Topi – Major Malfunction (Edit)
Moody Good – Vol 1-1
Getter – Inhalant Abuse (VIP)
Mat Zo – Shake The Room
Habstrakt – Vibin
Topi – ID
Kill The Noise & Tommy Trash – Louder
Topi – Danger Time (Edit)
Topi – ID
Space Laces – Kaiju
Dog Blood – Middle Finger /w Backup
I Am Legion – Make Those Move
Feed Me & Kill The Noise – Crazy Maybe
Gesaffelstein – OPR
Joe Ford – Cosine
Camo & Krooked – If I Could