Interview: Rebel Boy & Sam Wolf

With a run of past releases on labels like Senso Sounds, Respekt Recordings, and 1605, Rebel Boy and Sam Wolfe are leading the pack when it comes to the future generation of American born techno producers.

The Los Angeles and Atlanta based artists recently dropped a brand new collaborative EP for their return to UMEK’s 1605 imprint, titled Psalm 39, the EP delivers two fresh originals.

We caught up with them both to chat about how they came to be working together, what inspired their new EP, what we can expect to hear from them in the near future, and more. Get the full discussion and listen to Psalm 39 below.

You just dropped your new collaborative Psalm 39 EP on UMEK’s 1605, talk us through the two tracks included on this one?

Rebel Boy: Yes, very excited about this EP, as it’s doing amazing on Beatport at the moment! I decided to dig deep into my trance roots in regards to the melodies in both tracks, and when paired with that big, ferocious energy that we’ve delivered in our past collaborations, it was the perfect pairing of dark and anthemic.

Also, slightly similar to our previous track on 1605 called ‘Black Veins’, but we took this EP up a few notches in regards to the epic nature of both cuts, which we tailored for the mainstage at peak time. Big kick drums, heavy rumbles and astronomical proportions of dark, melodic sound.

It’s not the first time that you’ve worked together on music, how did you first come to collaborate?

Sam: When I first began my journey in production, I met a local Atlanta producer who recommended Rebel Boy as a teacher for production and mixing techniques. We have been working together as mentor / mentee for over two years now. After grinding in the studio for a year through COVID-19, it got to a point where we developed a seamless working relationship, and thought it made sense to try and make collaborations together beyond Rebel Boy just helping me with my own music.

That decision resulted in the ‘Adrenaline Machine EP’ with The YellowHeads on Senso. After that become a hit, we decided to do another EP which would be Black Veins and Dismantle the System. Since UMEK wants to test his new artists on a VA first, we put out Black Veins on ‘Desiderati 4.6’, and needed a new A-side for the follow up EP. That turned into a three-month grind to create ‘Psalm 39’, which in retrospect has been completely worth it with the amazing response we’ve had to the tune.

One of you is based in Los Angeles, and the other in Atlanta, how would you compare the club scenes of the two?

Rebel Boy: Having played shows in both cities, the techno scene in LA is a lot more prominent, and I believe it plays host to one of the strongest and most devoted techno communities in the entire US. The Atlanta crowd was very much into the “big and dirty” sounds of techno, which makes sense considering their affinity for bass music. ATL also has a rich history of legendary rap artists that have emerged from there.

Sam: In Atlanta, hiphop is king, so trap and bass music play a very big role here. That’s not to say underground techno isn’t making a huge wave right now, but I would say the dubstep / bass music scene here is more prominent.

Previously you’ve released music on Respekt Recordings, Tronic, Phobiq, and Senso Sounds, what do you look for in a label when considering them for a release?

Rebel Boy: I won’t sit here and pretend to not care about the stature of a label, but what I feel is equally as important, is the care and attention to the artists. My previous EP was released on Spektre’s Respekt Recordings, and like UMEK, they are also great guys with a wonderful insight into electronic music.

Sam: The style of a label is something that will accept my unique sound, and is pushing the genre forward, then for me that’s a good direction.

And which other imprints can we expect to see you on soon?

Rebel Boy: I’ve just finished a remix for Balthazar & JackRock’s label Renesanz Records, and also signed a new single back to Riot Recordings, which is working with Dr. Motte for the ‘Rave The Planet’ series to help fund the relaunch of the Berlin Love Parade in 2022.

Sam: My next EP called Prison Break is dropping September 17th on 1605, along with a fun remix I have done for a good friend and great producer Karim Alkhayat, and that’s coming out on Deep Therapy Records in October.

What advice would you give to aspiring producers that want to collaborate successfully?

Rebel Boy: Share the vision and understand your contribution.

Sam: Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, and push the other collaborator to not settle for something until it’s really special. Rebel Boy and I have a very unique workflow where we will spend time with each other on Zoom inside the project. We come up with ideas and then break for a week to work through the ideas on our own, then come back to the project, and together work those new ideas in. It’s much more collaborative than just sending each other stems.

Thanks a lot for answering our questions, is there anything else you want to mention before we finish up?

Rebel Boy: Thank you for having me! And yes, big ups and love to everyone believing in my sound, and to those who have supported our new EP. You guys helped us hit #3 on Beatport, many thanks!

Sam: We really appreciate all of the positive feedback, and glad to see our tunes make such a big impact. I also enjoy giving feedback and connecting with other producers on Instagram, so don’t be afraid to reach out and send me a DM.

Rebel Boy & Sam Wolfe – Psalm 39 EP is out now on 1605.