I'm not sure about you, but 2013 would've been a different year if AC Slater didn't crush each and every release, mix, and remix that he touched. Dude's been a fixture in the American dance music scene over the last six+ years, and it's interesting that in 2013, he seemingly dug back into the styles that were popping in the bass scene from back then, updating it and churning out a heap of heaters. Seriously. His Return of the Underground was chock full of bangers, and the real eye-opening EP for a DAD like me. And maybe it was just for me, but from that release on, something was sparked. With the way the bass-heavy house was permeating the scene (from figures like dirtybird in the U.S. and Black Butter in the UK), AC Slater was somewhere in the middle, blending some of that hip-hop aesthetic that we love as well. He's just the man, and truly is my pick for 2013 MVP. I had to speak to him to see how he felt about his 2013, and get some insight on what he figured were some of his high points.
You’ve been around for a bit; looking back, you’ve been dropping tracks for 12 years or so. Would it be fair to say that 2013 was one of your better years in terms of exposure/recognition?
Yes 2013 was a great chapter. The past two years I was experimenting musically, trying out slightly different styles and sounds, this year I circled back around to what I was originally doing in 2007/2008, which is bass heavy house music or whatever. It just felt so natural and fun making music this year. The bass possessed me and took control.
You also dropped an impressive amount of material this year - all of consistent, mind-blowing quality. Did you have a particular state of mind in terms of approaching your career in 2013? Were you planning on this mini takeover of sorts?
Really I just rediscovered some inspiration in the studio. I scaled back the heaviness a little and got a great response from people, it came pretty easily so I just kept going with it. I looked back at my older music and was just like “damn why did I stop doing this?” I guess sometimes you just need to go searching around a bit to bring you back to where you belong.
What would be your picks for your favorite tracks that you released in 2013, and why?
I think the biggest tracks in my sets have been “Out Here” & “Go Harder,” both featuring the vocals of Dell Harris. Some other favorites are “Doing It,” a collaboration with Taiki & Nulight, and “All Night,” a cover of J. Cole’s “Power Trip” that I wrote with Anna Lunoe.
Are there any tracks you think people slept on? Which one(s)?
I don’t think any were slept-on really, but I want to be able to reach a wider audience. In America, EDM and trap are obviously the most popular sounds, and in the underground scene house music rules, but I’m somewhere between the two of those, so it's sort of hard to fit in with any one scene. As we build, though, we are bringing more and more fans with us.
We’ve been following you, and even went out of our way to talk about how impressed we were of you this year. From impressive remix credits to being a part of a RBMA Culture Clash-winning squad, what would you say were some of your 2013 highlights?
Man, winning the RBMA Culture Clash was such an incredible feeling. Trouble & Bass is my family and I flew out to NYC like three days before the Clash; we sat in the studio and just worked our asses off doing edits, disses, drops, and trying to book our guests. After all that work, the night itself just flew by in one big blur and before I knew it we were standing on the stage holding the trophy with Miss Info. Other than that, just watching my fan base grow and show me so much love on my new music as it came out. I also got to hit Europe again for the first time in two years, and sold out all the shows, it was awesome.
What are your plans for 2014? What can heads expect from you as an artist, as well as from your Party Likes Us imprint?
We’ve got big things lined up for 2014, man. I’ve got a lot of music on my computer ready to wrap up and get out there. Some really big collaborations are currently in the works that I just cannot wait to finish up and release. On the remix front, I’m wrapping up a couple big ones to come out in the first quarter.
In January we are starting a Party Like Us monthly event called “Night Bass” in LA to showcase our brand of bass and show people what we’re all about. On top of that we’ve signed a few artists to the label so that we can properly develop them and allow them to take over the world.
If heads want to catch you spinning before the end of 2013, where will you be touching down?
New Years Eve in Seattle at Resolution. It’s a huge line up!
To coincide with this interview, AC Slater gave away his bootleg of Jhene Aiko's "The Vapors," which pretty much sums up everything we've loved about his work in 2013, and what we're thinking will come in 2014. Cheers!