SOLA’s Spotify Playlist Takeover
SOLA have just unleashed their brand new LP ‘Stars Align’, the debut album which firmly solidifies them on the map following a massive eighteen months.
The Manchester based pair have spent the last year and a half smashing through playlists and gaining notoriety through tastemaker support, which shines through from reviews in UKF to plays on BBC Radio 1. And we asked SOLA to give us a breakdown of tracks they’ve had in their Spotify playlists, including their own music, as well as from some of their favourite artists. As they explain in their own words:
‘For this T.H.E Music Essentials Spotify playlist takeover, we decided to pick three tracks each and then choose the track of ours that when we made it, was such a leap forward in terms of polish that it gave us the confidence to start planning our debut album.’ Check out their selections below –
Opiuo – Robo Booty
Opiuo was a big inspiration for the track Turncloak. On tracks like Robo Booty he uses chopped up US Hip-Hop samples so I thought it’d be cool to do a British version of this technique and use Grime samples in a similar way.
Pendulum – Hold Your Colour
The first Drum & Bass track I heard that felt to me like a full actual song designed to be listened to from start to finish. Which is something you definitely need to be aware of when making an album.
Metrik – Thunderblade
Sort of the opposite to the last choice, this is a straight club banger that fits perfectly on an album. In my opinion a good D&B album has a good mix of the two types of tracks keeping it balanced.
Metrik – Genesis
What I love about this tune is that it’s so driving. The way all the elements work together to keep the energy levels sky high is what makes this track so memorable.
Erb n Dub & Malux – Drummer VIP
Everything from the swung drums to the snarling basses make this tune go HARD. Those drum edits are something else and were definitely an inspiration for some of the engineering on our album, that you can have several edits in a row and if done right it won’t sound like too much.
Smooth – Cyber Funk
Hands down one of my favourite tracks in this style ever made. The crowd reaction when I used to shell it down in packed clubs was next level. An absolute crowd moving, ass shaking, head nodding, arms in the air anthem of a tune.
Sub Focus – Solar System
I absolutely love this track, from the clean production, tight drums and catchy riffs of the drop, to the epic 64 bar intro which expertly builds tension in layers. It’s definitely a track that inspired us to really work on our intros for the album and try to make them as strong as the drops, and not a weak link in the tracks.
Metrik – We Got It ft. Rothwell
You may notice a lot of Metrik stuff on this list, he’s deffo a personal hero of ours… in fact he was booked to play my wedding but couldn’t make it due to the Covid situation at the time. As well as this track being one of the best DnB album tracks of all time (and leading to one of the best DnB remixes in recent times courtesy of S.P.Y), this track really helped me to nail on my vocal processing sensibilities. Useful for an album with 5 vocal features.
Opiuo – Bill Bro Baggins
I wanted to have Ray Keith – Latin Quarter as my final choice (a large part of my inspiration for doing Pico De Gallo) but sadly it’s not on Spotify. I’ve instead chosen one of my favourite tracks of any genre ever made. It didn’t directly influence any particular tune, I just love how it constantly subverts expectations, and that’s what we try to do with our edits and switch ups on every track.
The Sola track that made us feel ready to make an album:
Sammie Hall & Cranium – Holding On (Sola Remix)
We had worked closely with Sammie for over a year, so when we got asked to do this remix, we wanted to do something really special for it. We changed our entire way of doing drums, basses and mixdowns around this time and this is the first tune with all the new methods. The first track that was released that really sounds like the Sola sound we have today (there are tracks we’re proud of before this time but we were still finding our sound). When this was released and we got such positive feedback from it, we had a chat about doing an album, and the rest is history.
Listen to the full album here and grab your copy here.
Hannah HelbertContent Writer | Bass Music News & Editorials at T.H.E – Music EssentialsHannah has worked in the music industry for over five years, spending her time primarily across dubstep and drum & bass. However, she’s a fan of a variety of sub-genres, which also include bassline, garage, tech house and many other types of electronic music. Latest posts by Hannah Helbert (see all)
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