DJ Spotlight: I See MONSTAs

Vibers, meet I See MONSTAs… although, MONSTA is a name with whom you should be familiar. The London-based trio, first discovered by Skrillex, are revolutionizing EDM. I See MONSTAs debuts a brand new name and showcase their forward-thinking, genre-defying productions in the ‘Evolution’ EP, in which each new song cements their dance and crossover credentials. Case-in-point; stepping away from their usual bass-filled productions, “Promises” is more euphoric and dream-like in sound, while its lead single by the same name is a soulful, progressive, DnB banger. Additional tracks explore blues, 90’s breakbeat, and gospel sounds. Grab the EP, and get the dow-low on I See MONSTAs’ sonic evolution with our exclusive interview with Rufio.

VIBE: Was your name-change prompted by your desire to explore new genres? How will I See MONSTAs differ from the MONSTA sound?
I See MONSTAs: We have wanted to change our name for a while. The driving force behind this was that we wanted a name that felt more representative of how we see things, our worldview in a way … MONSTA always felt like it was too much about who we are, and not what we are and we wanted to move on from that. The sound of our music is expanding naturally anyway and we have some very different sounds on the Evolution EP that we are excited to get out there; but we haven’t made a decision to “change” our sound in a calculated way at all.

Tell us about your new EP Evolution. What inspired it, and can we expect any remix packages?
The inspiration for the EP was quite simply all the experiences we have had and how they have changed us over the past eight months. We have been able to perform in so many different places, meet so many people, and be exposed to a vast amount of fresh and new music. That’s why we wanted to do a collaboration track as well, and Valentino Khan was one of our favorite up-and-coming producers so we connected and managed to grab one day in LA and made a track!

Will there be an Evolution tour? When can we expect you in the US next?
Well we have just finished a run of gigs that has been pretty much solid since just before the summer so we won’t be doing a tour as such. We have some shows we are massively looking forward to over the next few months: some supporting Knife Party for their Haunted House tour, we are over in CA [this week] for Escape to Wonderland and then we’ll be over in Chicago for NYE supporting Zedd and after that joining the Future Music Festival in 2014.

When you’re not listening to dance music, what’s playing on your iPod?
Quite literally anything and everything! Although, I think we all listen to a healthy dose of music from the 50-70’s … a lot of Jazz, Soul and Prog Rock usually gets blasted. Anything from Otis Reading to Toto via Yes or Tina Turner!!!

Let’s talk about the current state of dance music. What major changes have you seen affect you since the “EDM explosion,” and where do you see it going in the next several years?
It’s very hard to know how it affects you when you’re caught in the middle of it, but obviously there is a very healthy scene with many more club nights and festivals every year, so it has enabled us to do a huge amount of gigs which has been incredible and we are very grateful for it. There is of course a raging debate about market saturation and copycat producers, but I think that the thing that will keep dance music expanding and evolving is people who are prepared to make interesting and different music. So I guess it really depends on the next wave of up and coming producers (of which we are part of) making something individual and unique and if that sound gains success and recognition (on a fan level) then the music keeps evolving.

What artists are you looking to as inspiration, sonically speaking?
So many it’s hard to list just a few. Production wise I’d say Flume, Hudson Mohawke, Dogblood, Alvin Risk, Koan Sound, Kanye West.

Favorite track out right now?
Impossible question haha! Either “Alive” by Chase & Status, “Drink you Away” by Justin Timberlake, “Do I Wanna Know Why” by Arctic Monkeys or “Black Skinhead” by Kanye West.

In the spirit of Halloween, and of course your name ‘I See MONSTAs,’ what’s your favorite type of candy?
Blue Wham Bar!!!