Behind the Beat with Relentless

Categories: Behind the Beat
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Relentless
Relentless is a name I've seen around the local San Francisco electronic music scene for a long time, but I never took the time to get to know the duo's music or backstory. I've come to find out that the tale behind Ian Buzz's and Austin Heap's musical collaboration is as classic as they come: They're old friends. Their relationship appears to work well for Relentless, as they've been hard at work crafting smooth, soulful dance tunes for over four years -- spending part of that time working on their own label, as well.

Recently, Buzz and Heap released a brand-new remix EP for a single with vocalist Adrianne Nigg, entitled "The City Loves You," on UK house label Axis Trax. The duo invited me to check out their new tune and its accompanying remixes, which prompted me to ask the fellas a handful of questions about their production outfit, record label, and new EP. Check out what they had to say, and stream The City Loves You EP, below.

For folks less familiar with Relentless, could you give us a brief background of our group (i.e. how you met, what inspired the group, what you've accomplished thus far, etc.)?

Ian: We went to high school together, and later ended up going to schools in the same city, Boston.
Austin: We're both musically inclined, so we figured, why not get [to] writing? Soon, we started getting serious interest regarding our work, and released tracks on independent labels in Italy, Germany, and USA.

What inspires the music you guys create?

A: Our inspirations span everything form the classic sets laid down by Oakenfold in Havana, Cuba, to the new naughtiness from Deadmau5's Essential Mix.

I've read that you work with "completely exclusive sources." Could you explain what exactly that means?

I: While Austin works with more traditional sources, I use what I learned at Berklee [College of Music] to try to add another level to our live performances. [I use] synths and drums to add a can-only-perform-once live edge to things.

Do you guys use much hardware, or are your productions all software-based?

I: We're all software based.
A: Hardware is overrated, like classic rock!

Relentless is also behind the Baconwave label, yes? Tell us a little about that endeavor.

A: Yup, yup.
I: We quickly realized a label was just not a right fit for us. There's only so much time in the day, and dealing with uploading stuff to Beatport isn't a good use of our time.

You just released an EP for your new single, "The City Loves You," on Axis Trax. Why not Baconwave?

(See above.)



How did you hook up with Adrianne Nigg (the girl singing "City"'s vocal hook)?

I: Adrianne and I met in Boston. She's an excellent vocalist, and has worked with some amazing acts, such as The Bird And The Bee.

Give us some insight on the remixers featured on your new EP.

A: It's people we like and producers we respect. It's all built on trust for us. If we trust your ear and your judgment, then let's collaborate, let's build something greater.
I: Community.

What are some of your favorite local producers as of late?

I: SpekrFreks, Lenny Ruckus & Ana Vida, and Dancefloor Executives.
A: And Lazer Sword.

Any advice for aspiring DJ/producer/label heads?

I: Listen to a lot of music in every genre and every era.
A: Don't try to shove your narrow-minded opinion of 'good music' down other people's throats. It's all a process of sharing and experiencing together, not a diva festival, which too many performers turn it into.

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