Sitting in the green room with rising electro star Dylan Eiland (better known as Le Castle Vania), it’s immediately clear that he’s much more than just an electro DJ. He’d just finished blowing the roof off of Foundation Nightclub, with a set that included everything from energetic originals to killer remixes (and even some Smashing Pumpkins). The most intriguing aspect though was that as the night went on, the music never seemed to sit in one genre for long.
He worked in some dubstep, but himself admits, “I’m not a dubstep artist.” He’s developed an iconic high-energy electro sound, but at the same time refuses to let that define him. It begins with changing the mindset of people coming out to his shows, and “establish[ing] it as it’s own thing. You’re not going to an electro show, you’re going to Le Castle Vania.”
When developing a full live experience, there’s no better mentor than Joel Zimmerman, the man behind deadmau5 and the mind behind Mau5trap Records. Getting one of dance music’s biggest heroes to listen to your music is something else entirely, and sometimes happens in the most unlikely of ways.
“A friend of a friend played my album for deadmau5. I got a text one morning from Joel that said ‘dude I heard your album, it’s fucking awesome.’ I still have that text saved on my phone”
As it turns out, that mutual friend was deadmau5 co-producer Steve Duda. The lesson here of course is that when it comes to getting your music heard, it never hurts to be one degree removed from Joel Zimmerman. With Le Castle Vania’s Prophication EP dropping on the Mau5trap label on September 2nd, there’s something to be said for being taken under the wing of one of the most recognizable and prolific acts in the world.
If you’ve been listening to Dylan’s output in the last year (and trust us, you should), it’s abundantly clear that despite his close ties to Joel and the electro scene, his music is entirely his own. In the Prophication minimix, we get what he describes as a “rock-influenced sound” that’s just the “beginning of things to come.” With live string arrangements and heavy rock vocals, nothing’s been held back.
In order to truly master string orchestration, an unlikely expert was brought in. Composer Tyler Bates (whose body of work you may recognize from a little movie with some Spartans called “300”) set out with Le Castle Vania to combine their creative power. In the process, they created a vast orchestral landscape that blended with the down and dirty characteristics of Dylan’s music. It was this collaborative effort that truly connected the two.
“When you’re really passionate about music and putting your soul into it and you’re working with someone, you’re really sharing a piece of yourself with them.”
That passion carried over to the production process, where Dylan set out to focus more on songwriting in a scene that’s “become so much about just creating sounds.” He grins as he quips, “It’s like that joke, you want to know what next week’s top 10 is going sound like on Beatport, go listen to this week’s top 10.” With the bulk of artists making music specifically tailored to top charts, Le Castle Vania’s philosophy is to run in the opposite direction.
Through that process of innovation, Dylan created an EP that’s serves more as a glimpse into the future than a stand-alone work. With Prophication dropping on September 2nd, it’s the first step towards his first full album premiere, which we have the exclusive story on.
“The name of the album is Invocation. It’s about invoking something in you, that’s why Prophication is like the prophecy to Invocation. (laughing) I haven’t even really explained that to anybody yet.”
We can count on the album expanding far beyond the scope of Prophication, including songs that will be “more like the indie-disco things I’ve always kind of done.”
While there’s no set release date, we do know that we’ll be getting close to fifteen tracks, and even some close Seattle ties. For one of the older tracks on the album, Dylan sat down with Johnny Whitney from the local Northwest punk band Blood Brothers to lay down vocals for a track called “Prism Rider.”
“I’m a huge fan of Blood Brothers. Johnny is amazing, super talented. He has a really original style as far as his vocals–I’ve never heard anyone who sounds like him.”
In the end, that connection to Seattle perfectly sums up what Le Castle Vania has accomplished with his body of work. You’d be hard-pressed to find an electro artist looking for punk singers to track vocals, and it yields a sound that is entirely unique.
When an artist and his craft exude that type of honesty, people can’t help but stand up and appreciate it. That’s the beauty of the music; it connects with people in a way that no other genre can. With Le Castle Vania we get that same relationship, and the writing on the walls tells us of much more to come.
Prophication EP Released on September 2nd and is available to download here.
As of now there is no release date for Invocation
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