Interview by Arnold van der Walt
WRCKTNGL is a name you might have seen in the online electronic community in places like Plastician’s ‘Plastician Presents Wavepool’, as part of the TITAN cult or you might have stumbled upon some of his releases on electronic record labels like Terrorhythm or the massive BuyGore. He shared his brand new track, ‘Love Tones’ exclusively via The Playground and we also had a chat with this exciting producer.
Micah Vigil, who operates under the moniker of WRCKTNGL, hails from Denver in Colorado, USA. Having always been interested in music, he started producing his own beats at the young age of 15 with a strong focus on hip-hop and rap oriented records. He’s worked with multiple artists in the underground Soundcloud rap scene, including $uicideboy$ and 93FEETOFSMOKE. Soon after he found his own wave sound which quickly garnered him his own following in this fast-growing community.
WRCKTNGL’s latest offering, ‘Love Tones’, is a mysterious and dark production which lures you in from the get go with with a slow and dramatic build-up. Each bar adds a new layer of rich texture which surrounds the listener in a melancholic fog of emotional and deep bass. At the halfway mark, ‘Love Tones’ takes a surprising turn by going completely silent, grabbing the listener’s attention to the point of sitting on the edge of your seat, not knowing what to expect next.What follows, is a haunting outro that will leaves you feeling calm and at peace. WRCKTNGL’s ‘Love Tones’ is a testament to what wave music has to offer. Deep bass, swooping synthesizers and a vocal sample that reels you in, this is not a track to be missed.
We spoke to WRCKTNGL about his premiere via The Playground, getting lost in the fog and preferring to stare into a screen. Listen to ‘Love Tones’ below while reading our interview with WRCKTNGL:
‘Love Tones’ is available for free download.
Hey WRCKTNGL! First things first, to those not familiar with your deep wave cuts, how would you describe your sound?
I would like to think that my sound is like walking in the woods surrounded by fog, but to any average Joe I would describe my sound as very dark chill trap beats.
How did you get into creating music? Especially in a genre such as wave which is still really fresh?
Started producing when I was 15 years old just to keep myself busy really, I then started making beats for rappers to try to gain an audience, didn’t really work out. So instead I started focusing on my sound and trying to polish it, began to notice my sound fit with an up and coming genre and started labeling my music as wave, now here I am two and a half years later.
As one of the fastest growing genres out there, what do you predict for the future of wave as a genre?
Honestly I couldn’t tell you. Wave has so many opportunities right now, it could be the next big thing and get commercialized and be a trend or it could be like vaporwave. I guess it all depends on the community. A lot of producers are reaching for the commercialization, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not my cup of tea.
Any other sub-genres that you feel are completely underrated?
I haven’t really been genre digging lately. I used to a lot when I was younger because I was so obsessed with trying to find the next big thing, but nowadays I just hop on Apple Music and listen to 90s rock. If I had to absolutely tell you a sub-genre that should for sure get more attention I would have to say early dubstep music, like Malaa and Skream – that era.
You premiered ‘Love Tones’ via The Playground. What can you tell us about this track? What makes it special?
The song ‘Love Tones’ is just a quick little track I put together, co-produced by one of my best friends Andrew Wetmore. I had a handful of ideas and he just listened to what I had and he helped me comb out what sounded really good and what was complete crap. What I think makes this track special was the environment it was created in. The last two years I’ve been creating music by myself, but with this track I created it with someone who’s just as artistic as I am. It gives the song a more warm feeling.
You sometimes take on tracks to remix. How do you decide what to remix? And in what direction to go?
I like to make remixes to songs that are not as big, it’s the only way to do it. I feel if you remix a song that’s not very known and someone likes it, they could find the original version and hopefully like it to the point where they want to support that artist as well. I don’t really follow a direction, I kind of just follow where my ear takes me and build from there.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
My creative process isn’t consistent. It used to be when I had a lot more time on my hands. I guess I kind of just mess with sounds and drums until I find something that I like enough to build into a track, but nowadays it’s rare because I’m so picky with how I want it to sound.
Gary Numan is quoted as saying: “I have always been far more interested in sound than technique, and how sounds work together, how they can be layered. I think electronic music, (in its infancy anyway) allowed us to create music in a way that hadn’t really been possible before. It created a new kind of musician.” What are your thoughts on this statement?
Gary Numan brings up an interesting point. The modern day musician doesn’t have to be classically trained and have to know scales just to create music. Electronic music gives anyone the ability create it without any prior knowledge. Electronic music is powerful. So powerful in fact that 90% of music created today is technically electronic music.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
I prefer studio work and music creation, hands down. I’ve played a handful of shows and I really hate staring into a crowd, I’d rather stare into a screen.
Inspiration can come from any source. Which three albums have influenced you the most creatively?
Erykah Badu – Baduizm
Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
Hudson Mohawke – Butter
On a similar note, which 3 songs do you currently have on heavy rotation?
Kanye West – Gorgeous
Catslash – Half Drank
No Doubt – Sunday Morning
If you could collaborate with, or perform alongside any artist, who would it be? And why?
This question is always so hard for me to answer just because so many names pop up into my head. I would love to collaborate with Gud FKA Yung Gud who’s the producer for Yung Lean. The main reason why, is just because his sound has heavily influenced my wave sound and it would just be an honour to work with him.
Apart from the release of ‘Love Tones’, what does the future hold for WRCKTNGL?
There’s a new project that I’m getting ready to work on called ‘Micah’.
The new TITAN mixtape “005” comes out this Thursday, Nov. 1st
Famous last words…
Don’t be afraid to get lost in the fog.