Photos & interview by: Sterling Martin
Today, the guys over at WE GOT THIS CREW bring you an exclusive mix, featuring the futuristic vibes of multi-instrument virtuoso Russ Liquid. The first half of the mix is a fresh blend of new and exotic tunes from Russ, while the second half is left up to the post-trap feels of producer Tiger Fre$h.
Russ Liquid has puffed a breath of fresh air into the electronic scene using various approaches, a distinctive style, and loads of diversity to push his career to new heights. All of which have landed him a deserving position on Gramatik’s Lowtemp roster, with the likes of GiBBZ, BRANX, and Exmag, among others.
Recently, Mr. Liquid’s solo work has gained traction and gained widespread popularity as well, ignited by his Lowtemp release, In Love, last year. His unequaled talents as a multi-instrumentalist and producer have further lead to consistently accompanying Gramatik on stage, adding flavor to the live setting in proper fashion.
We got to chat with Russ about the mix, his recent work, upcoming releases and more in this exclusive interview with The Untz.
Tell us about your new mix with the WE GOT THIS crew. How’d it come about? What can fans expect from the release?
My homie Tiger Fre$h runs We Got This, which is a west coast crew of DD/producers—they hit me up to do a mix. What you can expect is awesome music! I have a bunch of unreleased music in my portion of the mix, including two unreleased collabs with Thriftworks.
You just played your first Coachella! What was the weekend like? How’d it compare to other musical experiences you’ve had thus far?
Coachella was most awesome, because I got to back up Raekwon from Wu-Tang—check that off the bucket list. I love Coachella though, and where as this was my first official booking for Coachella, I've played The Do LaB stage a couple times before, so I'm familiar with the Coachella spectacle. To be honest, The Do LaB makes Coachella for me. They're great!
So, you’ve got festivals/weekends like BUKU Fest, where you play with Gramatik and show up for an appearance at GRiZ’s set—but further you’ve got your own solo project that’s also growing at an exponential rate with numerous releases, features, performances and so on. How do you juggle it all?
I'll tell you, it's not easy. However, my passion for all things music keeps me going!
Just for the record, which instruments do you play and how do you incorporate them in your work?
I play: trumpet, all the sax's, keyboards, flute, bass clarinet, clarinet, bass, and laptop I use where necessary. Thing I like about playing so many instruments is that I don't wear out a tonality—I can keep it fresh, not monotonous.
What series of events landed you where you are on Lowtemp? What role do you have when performing with Gramatik?
I really owe it to my homey Gladkill for the Gramatik connection. Gladkill and Gramatik were both on tour with Bassnectar a few years ago and during that tour Gladkill told Gramatik about me. From there, I opened for Gramatik in San Francisco, met up with Gramatik and Exmag at NORTH COAST festival—during which I played with Exmag for their first show ever—then did part of Gramatik’s fall tour that year. Shortly after, Eric [Mendelson] left Gramatik to pursue Exmag full time, which is when Gramatik hit me up and asked me to play with him.
What inspired the Tillamook Sessions with Exmag?
Our love of music. We stayed at my cabin in Tillamook, Oregon, got inspired by the beauty of the Oregon coast and, of course, our mutual love of music. The two tracks we made flowed effortlessly from us... Never really had collaboration go so smoothly. Was an epic experience with my homies!
Not too long ago, you released the chilled-out track “Moody,” which got tons of praise. What all went into the creation of this one?
I just wanted to create a song that felt good to listen to. Contemplative beauty was the mission—simple yet complex.
Dance music is in a state of constant change, and you are among those at the forefront of breaking and remolding the boundaries. What (if any) is your opinion on the current position of the EDM world?
Hmm… I don't follow EDM, so I'm not too sure how valid my opinion is; that being said, I am seeing a trend of DJ acts making their show live by adding musicians, and also a return to melody. Funk and R&B are definitely finding their way into the EDM world, which I like very much.
What goals have you met in your journey as a musician? Which goals are there still left to meet?
I've made music a sustainable way of life for myself, which I'm very proud of and also very thankful for. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel blessed to be where I am and the amount of gratitude I have for everyone who's helped me along the way is infinite.
What do you have currently in the works? Anything else you can share about upcoming projects/collabs?
I have a couple EPs almost finished. One of which is a collab with ultra awesome guitarist Andrew Block (Stupid Americans), which is on the live, funkadelic, future-vintage vibes. And the other is a more chill, beautiful EP with lush textures that one can vibe with easily.
Save yourself disappointment and be sure to keep both eyes open for new music from Russ Liquid. Wherever he goes—soul-filled grooves are guaranteed to follow.
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