Straight outta Russia, one of Hardcore’s most unique acts The SATAN has been making some serious waves with his diverse and exciting signature style. Cleverly blending aspects from other genres, like Drum ‘n’ Bass with Hardcore, he’s been able to achieve a matchless sound that has him on the radar of the whole Hardcore scene!
We had the honour of catching up with The SATAN to speak about how he discovered Hardcore, his releases on MOH and more.
Hi Denis! How are you going at the moment? What have you been up to?
Hello! Everything is going pretty good these days. I’m traveling a lot, playing many gigs, meeting nice new people and of course making new music regularly.
How has 2019 been for The SATAN? Can you share some big career highlights?
This year was really packed with new things and changes in my musical career. First of all, I have to say that I’m really happy I joined Most Wanted DJ Agency. It’s a big and important step for me and I’m excited about my future adventures.
I also released an official remix of Angerfist’s “Send Me To Hell”, as well as released my first solo “Demolition” on Masters of Hardcore. The festival season itself was really great with many events and performing on bigger stages. It seems that 2019 was a great year for me, and it gives me extra inspiration to work harder and achieve new goals in the future.
You come from Russia and we were wondering how you got involved with Hardcore?
Well, let me tell you how I discovered Hardcore first time. It was almost 20 years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday… One day after school, my friends and I went to the record shop to see what new stuff they had there. At the time I already knew what Breakbeat and Drum & Bass were, but I hadn’t heard Hardcore yet. I was searching for something new and suddenly found a record with the title ‘Hardcore’.
The cover had some demon and skull on it and I said to my friends: hey guys, I have no idea what Hardcore is, but I’m pretty sure that it’s something interesting. So we asked to listen to it in the shop, pressed play and… it just blew my mind! I’d never heard anything similar before, the atmosphere was so dark and the kickdrums were so hard, it definitely fit with my taste. So I realised that I was 100% right and of course I bought it immediately. Since then I began searching for new Hardcore music, but to be honest it was pretty hard to find these kind of releases in our record shops. So I was lucky that my first experience begun with the good stuff.
What was the first Hardcore track you ever heard?
The first one was Omar Santana – Necronomicon. Dark, mysterious intro and breakdown like a soundtrack from a horror movie, heavy kicks and synths… All this made a really good first impression of Hardcore. And I was happy that I discovered such a nice genre in addition to the music I already knew.
For how many years have you been producing music?
I started in 2006, so 13 years of making Electronic music.
Have you always been producing vicious Hardcore as The Satan? Or what other types of music have you been producing?
In the beginning I was making hard Drum and Bass. But I always wanted to find a way to combine it with Hardcore because I like both genres. So even amongst my first D’n’B tracks there are a few of them which contain Hardcore elements and distorted kicks. And one year after I started, this idea of mixing different styles brought me into Breakcore music. Really complex, experimental and sometimes even semi-chaotic structure. It allowed me to mix Hardcore, Drum and Bass/Jungle and even Metal in one, erasing the limits between different genres. All these ingredients were mixed with a fast tempo, mostly 200+ BPM. Technically it’s interesting to do, but at the same time this over-complexity makes it almost unsuitable for the dancefloor. But I have to say that it was a nice experience from 2007 till 2014 and also during that period I improved my skills and quality.
So after years of making pretty experimental and fast breakbeats I decided to go back to slower and more dancefloor 175 BPM stuff. It was still a mixture of Hardcore and Drum and Bass, but just in a different form, which could be considered as ‘Crossbreed’. I was pretty happy with the result and with this stuff I got noticed by Yellow Stripe and PRSPCT labels.
After my first set at Dominator I returned to my studio full of inspiration and wanted to try something new; to make a track, which would show my own vision of Hardcore. This is how the track “Meat” was born. At first I didn’t expect that I would get such nice feedback on it. It was another experiment for me but then I realised that this kind of stuff is exactly what I want to do.
For those who aren’t familiar with The SATAN’s sound, could you describe it?
Now I concentrate on Hardcore, but my tracks are still influenced by my previous multi-genre experience. For some people it sounds like Uptempo, others consider it to be Industrial Hardcore or still even Crossbreed because of healthy dose of breakbeats in some tracks. But the truth is that it’s somewhere in between. I don’t want to be limited by sub-genres, I just want to create Hardcore the way I see it. My music is changing, but the main idea remains the same: I always do hard and dark stuff.
You recently released a remix for Angerfist’s “Send Me To Hell.” How did that go for you?
It was a big honour for me to work on it. I was trying to use all my technical knowledge and skills to create my version of this track but to save the vibe of original one at the same time. I think it’s important to keep the right balance between the original idea and your own vision when you do a remix. So listeners can still recognise “Send Me To Hell” but at the same time also hear my signature tricks and some extra dose of darkness in it.
You just released your new solo “Demolition” on Masters of Hardcore. What is the track about?
In a few words, this track is about evil energy which lurks around every corner and demolishes the dancefloor!
Rumour has it that a lot of artists dig your production skills. How did you develop such a unique signature sound?
For me, the most interesting part in the production process is synthesis and sound design. I prefer to create everything from scratch instead of using ready-made samples. It’s a long and hard route, but I think this is the key to achieve your own signature sound. The ability to create something from nothing makes that special feeling and you’ll never get bored with it because you always learn something new this way.
I also studied sound engineering at university, so this also helped me to understand the technical side of the production process and create structure with my knowledge. When I create new tracks I’m always trying to do it with the highest quality to keep it loud and clean at the same time. And of course my previous experience with different genres has also played its role to form the sound I have now.
What else is coming up for you in 2019?
I’m always in process of creating new music, and in near future I’m also going to release new tracks on PRSPCT, Hong Kong Violence and more. And as for gigs, I’m really happy and excited that this year I’m going to play for the first time at Thunderdome, Angerfist’s solo event and the Radical Redemption event. I’m looking forward to it.
Before we wrap up this interview, can you teach our readers something in Russian?
Ok let’s do something simple and try to say “I love Hardcore” in Russian. It should sound like this: “Ja lublu Hardcore”.
Thanks to THE SATAN for the interview. Be sure to keep an eye on his social media to stay updated on all of his new music & tour dates!