If you’re well connected to the dubstep circuit, Ryan Sinatra, AKA Notixx, should already be a familiar name. With dozens upon dozens of Soundcloud releases over the past three plus years (apparently, too many for him to recall), he’s traversed nearly every tempo and subgenre within bass music: dubstep, drumstep, drum ‘n’ bass, twerk, trap, and breakbeats, not to mention all the tracks ranging from vibey to hyphy that escape categorization. Two EP releases on Dub Police and reposts by EDM.com declare him a certified success in the books of all aspiring bass music producers, and now that he’s got one music project consistently racking in Soundcloud plays and show bookings, Sinatra is making waves with co-producer Jake Broffman as the newly formed bass house/breaks duo Dusty Bits. My personal involvement advising the Buffalo-based duo granted me a last minute Skype session to chat with Sinatra about his original (and still thriving) project Notixx, his beginnings as a musician, and his creative process.
What artist or artists really got you into the idea of making bass music?
Around the time when I was getting out of playing in a band and I had just started college, I was still interested in music, and the ‘artist thing’ for me was that I just wanted to be able to do everything myself. I think first I heard Wolfgang Gartner and some comlextro-ish house-y stuff. And I was like, “This is pretty cool,” but really, when I heard Skrillex and Kill the Noise and some of the old UKF dubstep and early Zeds Dead, I was like, “This is the kind of stuff I would be interested in making,” because it had that more rock feel to it with a broken beat. I tried to start making music and, of course, the first few songs I made were awful, but that was what really got me into it, like, the really early dubstep, Americanized dubstep stuff.
What’s your favorite soft synth that you like to use a lot?
I would have to say…I don’t know about favorite, but favorable is Sylenth. I use Sylenth a lot. I really like some of the more modular sounds you can get from Sylenth. There’s a lot of really cool synths you can use—a lot of cool bass synths, very simple ones, square waves and sine waves.
So your release, “We Go Hard,” is quite the head banger. Could you take me through the creative process for that?
Okay, so that was the first song I wrote using Serum because I had never used it before. So, I downloaded Serum, and I was like, “People are really excited about this synth. People are really excited about the possibilities. People are really excited about how crispy it sounds.” And I instantly liked it a lot. But it was hard for me to make anything in there that would sound good. I would make some cool, awesome sounds and then I would put them in the song and start working with them, but I just couldn’t get anything working out of it that I liked. And this was the first time I sat down to work on music for a day that it really just clicked. So, that song I wrote in, like, two days. I just went through and finally started getting things to work, so almost all the heavier—the intro, heavier bass synth—is all Serum, and then all the main bass synths are done in Serum. I had this idea in my head where I really wanted to do something that day that was a four on the floor, so there’s a kick-snare pattern where there’s a kick on the snare, too. So, between those two things that day, I ended up with just a really heavy stomping song.
So, I guess a little over a year ago you started to make those breaks-y songs before you started the side project Dusty Bits.
I think there was, like, one. I can’t remember more than one.
I think there’s two. I remember seeing two on your Soundcloud. There’s the Soulja Boy remix…
That one was definitely one of those clubbier ones. Yeah, it’s so funny because I didn’t think about that track until Jake was like, “We should play that in our sets.” And I didn’t even realize I had made a track like that, with breaks—Oh, there is another one! It’s the “Rattlesnake” remix.
Yeah, that’s it.
You know, I don’t really know what influenced me to make music like that because it wasn’t a popular thing at that time. It was more of just that I liked the tempo and style and wanted to see what I could do with it. I think Jersey club had a lot of influence in that. There was a lot of Jersey club, like Trippy Turtle stuff going on around that time. He would do the Jersey club break pattern then go into the really soulful 130 trap stuff. And I think that’s what influenced me to write in that style, but I’m not sure. But, I liked it, so I went with it.
So now that Dusty Bits has started to pick up a bit of momentum recently, do you find it difficult to separate the projects, to compartmentalize, or is it easier to have these two different projects?
No, it’s definitely a good thing. There’s not difficulty with it. It’s definitely good to be able to divide the projects now. I don’t feel like there’s any overlap in my mind.
If you, hypothetically, found yourself in the middle of a human centipede, who would you want to be in front of you and who would you want to be behind?
That’s the worst question ever.
Thank you. You don’t have to answer it. We can totally ignore that that ever happened…or you can answer it. No pressure.
Man, I don’t really know. I wouldn’t want to be in the situation at all.
If you could see three artists in a human centipede, who would it be?
So, it would have to be three people I don’t like at all because they would have to be in the worst situation ever. I feel like Carnage would be right in the middle because I can’t stand his attitude. There’s a lot of people I dislike, but he’s definitely one of them. Deadmau5 would have to be in the front. I feel like he doesn’t have to take anyone’s…butt. He likes calling people out. And then Carnage, and then you can put Justin Bieber at the end. Nah, I actually have a soft spot for Justin Bieber because I feel like he’s just trying to continue on his way musically, and I feel like he’s doing a pretty good job at it. So I can’t hate on him too much.
Well, thanks for taking the time to chat with me.