Like a mystic channeling a divine truth, the rising bass artist known as Yoko harnesses her subconscious and brings the realms of her mind into fruition through sounds and vibrations. With a deep intent to provide a transcendental experience with each and every release, the Denver- based producer has cultivated a sound that will take you on a journey like no other. With hypnotic soundscapes and wobbly drops, Yoko will blast you into the void without remorse as you’re engulfed in her captivating waves of bass.
Released through Veil’s label Street Ritual on May 19th, Yoko’s latest EP, Memoirs of an Abnormal Mind, consists of three genre-defying tracks specifically designed to transport you into the ether. The opening title track draws you in as downtempo elements and dark undertones begin to deconstruct your reality. The Amygdala then takes you on a wild ride through the cosmos itself with celestial yet distorted vocal work and ominous bass. By the time the third track, Lost in You, takes control, you find yourself completely lost in the otherworldly realms of Yoko’s mind as wonky bass drops and tripped out beats stimulate your senses.
The Daily Frequency caught up with Yoko to discuss Memoirs of an Abnormal Mind, working with Street Ritual, and so much more.
Read the full interview below.
Congratulations on the new EP Memoirs of An Abnormal Mind! How does it feel to have a record out with a label like Street Ritual?
Thank you! It’s quite surreal, to be honest. To be able to share my art on a platform like SR is truly a blessing; as a producer, I’ve always dreamed of my music reaching far and wide, so I am grateful, to say the least.
I really love the direction of your sound throughout the project. The melodic elements paired with that deep wobbly bass truly create a transcending experience. How important is it to take your listeners on a journey with your sound?
I produce with the intent of curating an experience, what drives me artistically is attempting to recreate the actual realms and dreamscapes that exist in my head every day. My goal is to provide listeners with an entirely new ether to be lost in, so for me, the journey is everything.
Memoirs of An Abnormal Mind is such a profound concept. In a society driven by conformity, what does it mean to have an abnormal mind?
The concept of the “abnormal mind” from this project’s viewpoint is essentially all about the ‘awakened’ mind. To be attuned and aware is to also be one’s true, authentic self without limitations. Society will attempt to limit your being physically, mentally, and spiritually, but with an awakened and driven mind, you can escape the illusions of this world.
Your sound as a whole has such an ethereal vibe to it. What about bass music is spiritual to you?
When I fell in love with bass music, I was hearing and experiencing it live, fully submerged by frequencies and subs that rattled my core. When you can feel those frequencies, and I mean close your eyes and truly escape into another dimension, where it feels like every sound is speaking its own language to you and through you, that’s where I find my spiritual connection. The very concept of producing sound waves in place of vocals can be very spiritual to me.
Let’s take it back to the beginning. You started teaching yourself production just four years ago, which is so impressive considering how far you’ve come. What inspired you to take the plunge into bass music, and what do you think is the key to your success?
Someone had sent me a link to Rezz’s 2017 Ultra Miami Set on Youtube, and while I was watching it, I decided to download Ableton and learn! I was instantly hooked when I heard her music, and seeing another female just crushing it lit a fire under me. I think the key for me is having such an inspirational and motivating friend group of producers and other driven artists that I can also learn from. My friends are truly like my family. I’m not sure where I would be without such a loving support system.
What advice would you give to someone who is just getting into production themselves?
Authenticity is your best weapon. Make the weird stuff, and then go back a week later and make it even weirder. So what if you won’t ever release those tracks? It’s still practice! And PLEASE: always try to finish your tracks. Get in the habit of staying organized in your DAW and finishing your projects. Lastly, write out your goals each month to make sure you stay on top of everything!
You have said that you grew up on classic music from 40s Jazz to 60s rock. Would you say your upbringing with those styles of music influenced your sound or who you are as an artist?
Definitely, I think there’s an art to the blending of classical instruments and bass music, but an even deeper, more untouched art with the instrumentation that comes out of the 40s-60s era. The noir essence is what captivates me most, and I aspire to utilize those older styles more in my sound.
Residing in Denver, it is safe to say you are living in the bass capital of the world. Would you say there is a certain energy or vibe out there that brings you inspiration?
Oh yes! I believe there’s no better place to be for an aspiring bass producer than Denver right now. It’s honestly overwhelming, though, with the amount of shows and opportunities that are always circulating, but having been out here for almost 6 years now, I’ve found my balance. For me, the scene of fellow, like-minded producers out here is what inspires me most.
On top of dropping a new EP, you just announced your first ever festival performance at Big Dub! How does it feel to book your first fest, and what can fans expect once you take the stage? Any surprises planned?
This couldn’t have come at a better time! I am so elated to play my first out-of-state show and festival, and I get to play alongside some of my best friends in the scene. I heard from a bird that there will be a Yoko b2b JABBS set… and I may have worked the past four months on an album, so I may have to debut it to celebrate..! I’ve got one more surprise planned for my set, but you’ll just have to wait and see 🙂
Lastly, if you could achieve one thing with your music, what would it be and why?
I just want people to be able to use my music as a sort of safe haven, where they can release and reset, fully immerse themselves and find healing or inspiration in. Knowing that it serves that purpose to others means the world to me!
Photos courtsey of Bryan Outwest.
Keep up with Yoko on Instagram HERE!
Stream Yoko’s Memoirs of An Abnormal Mind HERE!
Catch up on more exclusive interviews with The Daily Frequency HERE!