SOUNDQ (short for Soundquake) is the alias of Krakow-based pop producer/vocalist, Kuba Kubica. SOUNDQ is fast in making waves in the electronic indie music scene, and judging by this latest release, it’s not hard to see why; Party Machine is infused with a level of detail that is seldom found these days, from its slightly rusty feel to the hypnotic frequency of its bassline.
As soon as that deep-tech kick comes in on Party Machine, you know you’re in for something sublime. Starting with some minimal synth plucks and simple percussion elements, the track builds up to a breakdown that consists of a rising synth and an exciting distorted bassline. It’s almost impossible not to feel upbeat when the drop hits, it’s been very well executed – nothing is too cluttered in the mix and everything that should be heard, is. If you’re familiar with SOUNDQ’s previous works, you’d notice how he put little elements of disco into his songs here and there, giving his tracks a danceable vibe; this track would kill it in any club!
In addition to a beautifully structured track, Kuba has not compromised even a bit when it comes to the vocals. Usually, in tracks that sound a lot more techno than anything else, you’d expect airy female vocals to fit the vibe, but Kuba has done one better and delivered an amazing vocal performance on Party Machine. Generally singing in the higher register, Kuba has constructed a pleasing vocal spectrum by layering stacks of airy vocals and processing them well.
The ingredients in Party Machine couldn’t be simpler, but what makes the track special is how it isn’t confined to only one genre and doesn’t only have one certain group of sounds. The track is underground, catchy, danceable, and propulsive. The extra layers of emotion, depth and the danceable vibe make it even more lovely.
Interview with SOUNDQ
1- “Party Machine” is a killer club track that will get anyone up on their feet! Which genre would you categorise your track in and why?
Thanks Man, I’m glad to hear you like it. Whether it keeps people on the edge of their seats or gets them on their feet, I’m always humbled to hear my music actually has some effect on the listener. As for the category, I am a bit of a juggler with a severe consistency deficit. Depending on my current mood, I can go with any combination of Alternative, Outsider, Dirty or Dream on one side and Dance, House, Techno or Pop on the other. I think “Outsider Pop meets Progressive House” is that place on the map of styles that Party Machine occupies.
2 – If you could open a show for any artist with this record, which artist would it be?
That would be quite a gang really. Let me think… Sufjan Stevens, Jacques Greene, Kelly Lee Owens, Sega Bodega, Koreless. FKA Twigs for sure. I certainly wouldn’t mind it if Moderat reunited and invited me to go on tour with them.
3 – The rusty electronics and slight distortion in the track sound amazing! Who are your inspirations and how have those artists influenced your sound?
Thank you. All the artists that I’ve just mentioned have had a big impact on me in one way or another. If we’re talking about the instrumental soundscape alone, there are two sides to it –there’s the distorted and saturated feel to the LoFi House genre that I felt connected to from the very first time artists like Mall Grab or DJ Seinfeld started emerging. On the other, I’ve also been naturally drawn to the immaculate sound of Stephan Bodzin, or Rodriguez Jr. I guess my own sound resides somewhere half-way from clean to dirty. And then there’s the aspect of the connection I have with the tools I make music with – they just sound gorgeous when distorted or saturated.
4 – What could you tell us about your journey from Subsolar to Party Machine?
Well, it’s been quite a journey for sure. Even though it doesn’t feel like a long time ago, Subsolar was released in 2016 and that’s 5 long years. Back then, I didn’t want to expose my voice too much. I wanted it to be as egoless as possible. I felt I needed it to only express the inner-most subconscious yearnings and existential paradoxes. Over time and with each subsequent release, I’ve been resurfacing with a more personal tone – not quite full of myself, but also not dismissive of what’s distinctively me. In Party Machine I’ve not even done as much vocal layering as I usually do. I wanted to keep it honest and straight-forward, but in an individualised way.
5 – The top-line is quite catchy and kinda gets stuck in your head. What was your writing process in “Party Machine”?
Those were two separate processes really. I came up with the vocals and lyrics while jamming at home in January. It was a Friday, we were all in lockdown (not that the weather would make going out a tempting prospect anyway) and I wanted to finish off the new instrumental I was working on. It proved to be a dead-end street, but in the process, I would just start singing. That was when the top-line together with the lyrics suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I started a completely new instrumental track a few months later to accompany the vocals. I had the two stored separately for another few months, and then when I got to work, I found that combining them was actually a lot tougher than I thought it would be. On top of that, my desktop station ceased to cooperate with me. I had to work on another laptop and address a ton of software issues. Long story short, that final stage of work was a complete nightmare, so I was very relieved once I sent the track off to mastering.