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Recoil [ZA]: “It’s all about the music at the end of the day”

Hailing from the vibrant musical landscape of Cape Town, South Africa, Recoil [ZA] is a DJ and producer who defies the constraints of conventional genres. With a diverse range of influences, Recoil [ZA] creates a unique tapestry of sound that transcends boundaries, incorporating ambient textures and pulsating beats of techno and breaks.

Photo credit: Recoil [ZA] – Official

Drawing inspiration from Cape Town’s thriving music scene, Recoil [ZA] finds his creative sanctuary in the city’s diverse cultural melting pot. Immersed in the world of electronic music, he has honed his skills and developed a distinct sound that reflects his broad musical tastes.

Recoil’s debut release, ‘Spark/Last Day On Earth’, showcases his unique perspective. The EP, released on his own label, Balanced Digital, has gained rapid attention and acclaim. Renowned artists such as Danny Daze and Secret Cinema have expressed their support, and the tracks are making waves on dance floors worldwide.

As Recoil [ZA] continues to pave his own path, EG had the privilege of catching up with him to discuss his recently released ‘Spark/Last Day On Earth,’ as well as future projects and endeavors.

EG: Thanks for joining us today, Levi. Where are you right now?

Recoil: Thanks for having me. I’m currently in the place I call home, a small fishing village on the southern tip of Africa. It’s about a 45-minute drive south of Cape Town.

EG: Can you share the inspiration behind the title ‘Spark/Last Day On Earth’? How does this title encapsulate the essence of the EP?

Recoil: These tracks came to life based on our local Techno scene here in Cape Town. A while back, I was listening to a mix by this incredibly talented duo called Novelty and immediately felt the urge to open up Ableton to start crafting some ideas. The titles of the tracks are pretty self-explanatory. ‘Spark’ was the initial brainwave I had when creating this project, and ‘Last Day On Earth’ captures a sense of urgency and intensity, representing the culmination or climax of a journey.

EG: The creative process is always fascinating. Could you walk us through the journey of crafting each track on the EP, particularly ‘Spark’ and ‘Last Day On Earth’? What were the key elements that made them stand out during production?

Recoil: Both tracks seemed to come together quickly, which is quite unusual considering how I normally work in the studio. I already had a clear direction of what I wanted to do, which was blending breaks into fast-paced Techno.

EG: When exploring the themes of your tracks, what messages or emotions do you hope to convey to listeners through ‘Spark/Last Day On Earth’?

Recoil: This EP was specifically designed for the dancefloor. I tried to envision what would make me go crazy in a club or festival and based the tracks around that. Energy, energy, and more energy.

“I want things to get weird and keep my listeners intrigued all the time”

EG: Your bio mentions a diverse range of influences. How have these influences shaped the distinct sound and style that we can expect from your EP?

Recoil: I really wanted to stand out from the crowd and bring something a little different to the table instead of conforming to something predictable. It’s so easy to get lost in all the Techno that’s being put out there, so for me, it’s important to stretch myself to the ends of my creativity. I want things to get weird and keep my listeners intrigued all the time.

EG: Given the support from industry heavyweights like Danny Daze and Secret Cinema, how does it feel to have your debut EP recognized by such influential figures?

Recoil: The support I’ve already received has been really humbling. Having artists like Danny Daze and Secret Cinema show love is the best compliment any producer could wish for. Both have been instrumental in growing my love for electronic music from a very young age. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Stacey Pullen, Anfisa Letyago, Charlotte De Witte, and Theo Nassa for their support. It means the world to me!

“I’ve learned that having complete control over my music is invaluable”

EG: Let’s talk about your South African heritage. How does it contribute to the sonic landscape of your music, and how do you infuse elements of your cultural background into your sound?

Recoil: The techno scene in South Africa is currently thriving, and I’m greatly inspired by my peers, namely Terminus, MVLS, Novelty, and the entire MUUD crew in Johannesburg. It’s amazing to witness such passion for music so close to home. Our country has always had deep roots in House music, so being able to witness its growth over the years has been something special.

EG: ‘Spark/Last Day On Earth’ was released on your own label, Balanced Digital. How does having your own label contribute to your artistic freedom and expression?

Recoil: The decision to release on my own label stems from my years of experience in label management and A&R. I’ve learned that having complete control over my music is invaluable. Investing in my label is also an investment in myself as an artist.

“My focus will always be to have fun with this project and not put too much pressure on myself to achieve certain goals”

EG: Apart from the EP, as you continue to shape your path in electronic music, what new sonic territories do you envision exploring in your future releases, and how do you see your music evolving?

Recoil: Listeners can expect a range of diverse sounds in my future releases. I’ve been working on some purely ambient tracks to complement my Techno and Breaks. Essentially, expect the unexpected!

EG: Finally, what are your broader plans for the future, both musically and personally? Any projects or collaborations on the horizon that you’re particularly excited about?

Recoil: Now, I’m just taking things day by day. My focus will always be to have fun with this project and not put too much pressure on myself to achieve certain goals. It’s all about the music at the end of the day, and I intend to keep it this way. Regarding upcoming projects, I’ve just finished a remix for Secret Cinema’s Gem Records, which will be released at the end of January 2024. So keep an eye out for that one!

EG: Thanks for sharing your insights with us. All the best!

Recoil: Thank you for your time and for chatting with me.

Recoil [ZA] ‘Spark/Last Day On Earth’ is out now via Balanced Digital. Stream and download here.

Follow Recoil [ZA]: Spotify | Soundcloud | Instagram

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