When it comes to branding one’s music in this at times over-saturated industry, the most effective artists redefine existing styles to create characteristic sounds listeners can readily identify with. It also takes thorough dedication to one’s craft, and a collaborative mindset to achieve the greatest possible creations. Enter longtime producer Frank Heiss, recognized simply as HEISS.
An active force in the electronic scene since 1994, HEISS has produced and worked with industry leaders while expanding his musical expertise over the past two decades. Largely producing within the realms of Sacred Bass music, HEISS has released an extensive discography, with two full length albums and multiple single/remix releases. His latest release, titled “Awaken(D),” is HEISS’ most collaborative work yet, with twelve original tracks all remixed by talented producers who share close ties with HEISS’ sonic vision.
Released Monday April 14 on the newly formed “Transcendent Tunes” label, “Awaken(D)” is a masterful work, one which embodies similar auras of the original tracks but is expanded on with the flavors of other top notch producers. I had the pleasure to chat with Frank Heiss regarding his latest release and what it takes to be a true musician in the modern day and age. Read through our conversation below and stream the brand new album “Awaken(D),” out today! Also, don’t forget to download the album on a “name your price” basis here!
When and why was HEISS started and how did you come up with the moniker?
HEISS: I previously created music in the nineties and early 2000s, but took a long break for about five or six years. In late 2010, following some personal difficulties and a renewed passion for electronic music, I began producing again. I settled on “HEISS” because it’s my name and encompasses everything I do under myself, with no leaning towards any specific genre or style.
You’ve released countless EPs and albums over the past few years, how do you feel your musical style has progressed through time?
HEISS: There are less rules and barriers in music. It’s ok to break free and create your own styles and experiment than it was in the nineties. Nowadays, people are more open minded to hear what you put out and my experimentation with producing has only increased.
Who are your top three biggest influences in music?
HEISS: I can’t name any specifics, but my contemporaries and friends who have remixed the songs on “Awaken(D)” I highly admire. I also love the way Gramatik goes about releasing his music on a free basis. He has a great philosophy towards the music scene.
How did you go about choosing producers to remix your songs for “Awaken(D)?
HEISS: Just making connections with people and reaching out. There were some producers I couldn’t get in touch with but most people were willing to create some unique music. I primarily sought out producers who were attuned to the core ideas behind sacred bass music and put forth their own characteristic styles.
“Awaken(D)” is your first release off your new “Transcendent Tunes” imprint. What do you hope the label will accomplish for the progression of sacred bass music?
HEISS: I think the name of “Transcendent Tunes” is perfect, because it implies music that transcends genres or musical barriers. I don’t want the label to focus solely on bass music, or glitch, or any specific style, but music that emphasizes the betterment of the human soul and spirit.
Which do you believe is more important in spreading your name: Releasing EPs and albums or playing live shows?
HEISS: They go hand in hand. You want to create music that makes people feel something special, and you want the live show to complement that. I think of people like the Grateful Dead, who took their recordings and enhanced them in their live shows by adding more musical elements and the like. Bands like Rush will play their music note-for-note from their recordings, and I don’t think that adds a very interesting element to their live shows. So I think it’s important to complement your recordings with a diverse live set.
What future solo projects do you have planned for HEISS?
HEISS: I’m working on projects with other artists that I can’t quite name yet. I’m also planning on releasing all my projects on a “pay what you want” basis, where if you don’t have any money to give you can still download the music. I’ll continually collaborate with other producers and continue to bring the sounds and style of sacred bass music to the forefront of the scene.
Thanks so much Frank, it’s a pleasure speaking with you!
HEISS: Thanks so much, I appreciate you spreading the word!