One thing we love over here at The Dankles is that we constantly are given opportunities to unearth bright shining artists to the cosmos that you might have otherwise gone without hearing. Today we are shifting the lime light over to west coast producer Rhythmstar, who has just recently put forth his latest release ‘True Love’ this past October. After initially becoming enthralled by the album we were asked if we would like to chat Rhythmstar up a bit to see what he’s all about, we though it might paint you guys a better picture of who this artist actually is! Included below is a link where you can check out ‘True Love’, Rhythmstar’s debut full-length album. While it isn’t free like many other releases we bring you guys we can assure you that this fifteen track album is well worth the few bucks Rhythmstar is asking. ‘True Love’ is the embodiment of the past ten years of work that Rhythmstar has found himself encapsulated by and the beauty that has flourished forth from it. Reigning sounds form the world around and then smattering them with stylized textures, sub sonic, and gut bubbling bass we truly have one well rounded release on our hands. We will now leave you guys as you become a little more familiar with our producer at hand and dive in to find what really catches your ears on ‘True Love’.

TD: So you’re still a fairly fresh face in our book, would you mind introducing yourself to familiarize the new readers out there? 
Rhythmstar: My name Rhythmstar comes from my Mayan Glyph, the yellow Rhythmic Star. It came to me when I started learning about my astrology while living on the Big island. My sound is best described as transnational cinematic future soul music. Its percussive heavy. Its a tribal fusion that alchemyzes rhythms from all over the world with exotic instrumentation and growling, rolling, future bass. Tempos and genres have no boundaries.
        I view music creation as a spiritual art and my music is designed to transform people. Sometimes people describe my music as fresh or meditative sometimes its described as a beast. At the foundation of everything I make is the blues and the journey that I often find myself on musically, is the need to overcome. The sounds of seduction, of hope and of fear, are all equal players in my life and also in the music I create. I really strive to have my music inspire experiences that are both heart expanding and block rocking simultaneously
TD: How did you wind up getting involved in the music scene initially? Have you always been based off the West Coast?
R: I grew up in The City of Angels. My mom was an aerobics instructor, so 80s mixtapes were the soundtrack to my childhood. She made sure music was a constant part of my life growing up. I left home and travelled to Santa Cruz in 1995, where I met Lorin Bassnectar, he was the 1st DJ I ever knew, and he introduced me to these sounds called freakbeats and dream tempo which really opened my mind up to electronic music. I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2001 and ended up staying on Hawaii and Oahu for almost ten years. This was the 1st place I started DJing because nobody at the time was playing the music I was into, which was conscious hip hop. I had heard about these full moon partyies out on the lava.
        When I went out there for the first time, I saw this river of fire flowing down the Volcano and kids breakdancing to tribal house on a lava rock dancefloor under the moonlight. This full moon experience was so different from the big city rave culture I had experienced in LA and SF that it completely changed my perspective. I was sold on learning to DJ after that night.  I have always been kind of a quiet and shy person, a shadow dweller, but while living in Hawaii I felt safe to express myself with sound. The Goddess Pele Honua Mea who lives out there roared through my soul, and when all was said and done I was DJing across the islands.
        After playing shows with Ooah/Beats Antique/Freq Nasty/David Starfire/Ana Sia/Eprom and headlining The Hawaii Music Festival, I knew that I needed to start creating my own music. I liquidated my store Urban Jungle Clothing in Honolulu, and took all the money and moved back to LA to learn how to produce. Most of my time in LA has been in the studio, and studying music, and finishing this album. I just recently started playing festivals. In California I performed at the Symbiosis Gathering, in Nevada at Burning Man, and out in Colorado at the Arise Music Festival.
TD: We just saw the digital release of your latest digital mixtape ‘True Love’, how did this come together and what’s your intention behind the tracks you included on there?
R: I wrote the album with the intention of it being a flowing story. I also wanted people who haven’t seen me perform to hear how it sounds live at my show, and I wanted to make it unique from the album release, so I included some of my favorite remixs/edits/accapellas from this last year, and I also featured an unreleased track near the end “Tourmaline Gardens”  to give people a glimpse of the direction Im heading in currently
TD: What activities in your day to day life influence you to produce the music you do to this day?
R: I feel stuck alot of times. And I dream of travelling. This music is designed to take the listener around the world- I feel like if I can’t afford to go to a lot of the destinations I dream about, at least I can take an inner journey and travel with the music for a moment.
TD: You seemed to have tapped into a great style of music with this bass laden worldly vibe that comes across in ‘True Love’, who are a couple of other producers that aid in inspiring the music you make?
R: He’s not a producer but DJ Umb from Generation Bass has introduced me to so many different rhythms and styles from all over the world, his mixtapes have been very influential on me for many years now, and I consider him to be at the forefront of the music industrys constantly shifting landscapes. Umb is a fearless ethnomusicologist who is constantly unearthing underground sounds and putting spotlights on experimental beats from all over the planet. I love alot of different styles- But I am a junglist for life. Drum and Bass is the one style of music that has never left my crate over the past decade. In drum and bass I’m very influenced by the soulful rolling sounds of S.P.Y. and Lenzman.
        If we are going to talk about  Moombahton- I am really into the deep melodic latin side of the genre, for this reason I am a hugely influenced by Sabo and Nadastrom. For psychedelic music- what Torin Bird of Prey is doing right now is second to none. Torins sound is constantly changing, its fun, its trippy, its analog feeling, and its twisted. My favorite performer is Ooah of the Glitch Mob– he was the 1st person I ever saw use Ableton Live when I brought him to the Big Island in 2005. He set up a turntable and scratched over his entire set while a stemmed out 5 deck mix was bangin’.  I Just saw him and Boreta do a secret show at Burning Man where they dropped alot of the upcoming Glitch Mob album- it is amazing, and fans of the Mob are going to be in sweet minor chord heaven once the album finally drops later this year. Live electronica is my favorite – Im tremendously influenced by Polica and Coco Rosie and the XX– what these bands create is dark, beautiful and life changing to listen to
TD: This has become a pretty standard question of ours, what kind of equipment do you sit down with to produce in the studio? What about in a live show setting?
R: Ableton is my DAW. My favorite synths are from the Spectrasonics Family- Omnisphere and Trillian. I just recently got Camel Audios Alchemy, which I’ve been really enjoying alot. For Plugins my favorites are the PSP Vintage Warmer, Sound Toys Filter Freak and the Decapitator. I use the Sonalkiss EQ and SPL Transient Designer on every single channel of every track, and the Waves Phatter is my secret weapon for kicks and sub bass.
I believe in the less is more approach when it comes to performing live and to my studio- I have a MacBook Pro, 2 Event 20/30 monitors, an M Audio Axiom 49 Midi Keyboard, and a TC Helicon. For playing live, I have a custom midi template Iv developed over the years on my APC40. I stem out the intros to tracks for cleaner mixing, and I still create DJ style mixes, beatmatching intros and outros- slapping faders. I use minimal effects, but some of my favorites are the Orange Vocoder , redux filter ,and the gnarly metal tube. I really need to dance when Im playing, and let loose, playing live is one of the few times I really feel like myself, really feel free to just be me and I try to enjoy every second of it and not get too bogged down in complexities. I find the crowd usually bounces harder the more I move, so if I can inspire myself and keep rocking, then the venue always seems to rock too.
TD: Being that you just put out this new mixtape, can we look to see you out an on the road anytime soon?
R: Yes! A full west coast tour from San Diego to Seattle is in the works, and every year I go see my friends in Hawaii- so I will for sure be stopping over onto all the islands at some point this winter. I would also really like to get back out to Colorado, New Mexico,  Austin, and Tulsa to see some friends and rock it again.
TD: When you’re not working in the studio what are couple other things you keep yourself entertained with?
R: Right now we are really into the third season of Homeland; we just finished up Dexter and Breaking Bad of course- these shows are so well written and acted, they portray these unique dark heroes that really make you question traditional ideas of right and wrong or even who the enemy is. I also laugh alot, and watch Colbert, the Daily Show, and Key and Peele religiously. The main thing though, that occupies my time outside the studio, is my Beagle named Elle. Her desire to sniff the world, socialize with the other dogs she meets and walk around the neighborhood is an endless source of entertainment
TD: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, any last words for those people out there?
R: Thanks so much for this interview- Im a huge fan of The Dankles and you guys have asked a lot of really great questions. I just want to mention for a moment the power of music. Music is a gift from the universe that effects all beings- plants, the animal kingdom- people of course- on both a physical and spiritual level. Its more than just background music to party too. When its channeled correctly it can create miracles, and heal lives. I hope more DJs/producers realize this potential and use there skills to uplift people and really do something powerful and medicinal with this medium.
        I also hope people are not afraid to be different, and seek out music that is unique, and that actually makes you feel some genuine emotions. I hear music all the time that is so amazingly produced but has no meaning to it. When I first started producing, Bill Bless SOTEG, was doing my mastering- I asked him for some overall advice on my tracks, and what he told me was to think of Nirvana- he said Nirvana has a guitar, a bass, a vocalist, and a drummer- 4 parts- and people will listen to them till the end of time. He said all the layering and production tricks in the world wont cover up a track that has no story, has no soul, this has stuck with me for a long time.

Last time you attended a show you didn’t play:
I took my girlfriend to see Totem the Cirque De Soleil show for her birthday last week… it was incredible. The arealists performances, the soundtrack, the humor, the futuristic tribal costumes. It was the next level- definitely our favorite show we saw all summer including all the festivals we were at. As a side note too… I think our scenes evolution is going to be to have more comedians at our events- Im talking opening stand up acts.
Last time eating something weird:
I had a horchata martini last night- highly recommended- The cinnamon/Vermouth combination is what legends are made of.
Last CD/vinyl you bought:
Got to hear Thich Nhat Hanh the 87 year old Zen Buddhist Master, speak at his temple in Escondido yesterday. I really wanted to bust out the iphone and record some samples because he was dropping knowledge- but he started talking about how he hadent used a phone for 30 years. I didnt want to disrespect him and bust out the iphone, so we bought a meditation CD from the monks before we left. Im planning on sampling the rich resonance of the temple bowls as well as his voice in some upcoming music
Last time out of the country:
The Yucatan of Mexico- Chichen Itza for the 2012 solstice
Last time you were forced into something:
Ha! anyone thats been in a long relationship can tell you being forced into things comes with the territory. Lets see… this morning I was forced to get up at 7 am to turn off the alarm that was going off in order to get my gf to work on time.
Last movie you saw:
Captain Phillips, about the Somali Pirates, which was excellent. A lot of respect for a film where you know how its going to end but still puts you in complete suspense the entire journey.
Rhythmstar on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud


About Amelia Waters