Inside not yes' new 'yain't no' EP on Intrinzic Music

Kit Dalton |

Hailing from the Netherlands, self-described 'biggest idiots in the game', not yes presents us with their uniquely designed and highly anticipated debut EP 'yain't no' on Intrinzic Music.

Little is known about the pair of bass enthusiasts, which adds all the more to the mystic. Garnering support from the likes of Saturate, Noisia radio, Inspected and more, it's hard to not be intrigued by this pair of rising producers. We caught up with them for a chat about the release, how the year has affected their production and what's in store for 2021.

Tell us a bit about the formation of not yes? How did you meet, and what led you to your sound as it is today?

Job: We met about 7 years ago at high school and connected through our love for producing music. It was only after two years of producing music together we found out we could also hang out instead of just making beats together. That’s when we also became friends.

Our sound has always been heavily dictated by taking everything that we find funny or inspires us, into our musical context. This could be sampling obscure youtube videos to make melodies or mashing together phone recordings of us trying to beatbox.

Fotis: We produced music under a few names, together and individually, but we always felt like it wasn’t completely where we wanted it to be, until a year ago. This is when we felt we had a vision we both could stand behind, and when we started ‘not yes’.

What background influences do you draw together when working with one another? Has it evolved over time?

Job: I think we have a very broad spectrum of influences with some overlap in the middle, this overlap is essentially what inspires not yes. I started as a metalhead and used DAW’s to write songs for my metal band where I played as a drummer. Slowly I found out that when I wrote electronic music, I could do the most insane stuff, without having to work with the human limitations of my band. This is when I shifted from names like In Flames, Bring Me The Horizon to Noisia, Current Value and many other bass producers. But of course, my inspiration always changes, recently I’ve been very inspired by more UK stuff like Ivy Lab and garage.

Fotis: For me, the red thread of my musical inspiration has always been hip hop. This is how I started with music production; Making hip hop beats in my bedroom in Greece. Slowly my inspiration shifted from Greek Hip Hop to names like Third Person Lurkin, which soon after bled into dubstep through names like Zeds Dead. Recently I’ve been jamming to weird subgrenes like phonk and some tracks of various other genres that inspire me in either their aesthetic or how they are crafted in terms of sound.

Job: It’s funny because that reminds me of the first time Fotis wrote a clunky off-time drum pattern. It freaked the metal drummer in me out cause I was so used to quantizing the hell out of everything. I had never seen something like that before. I’d say that now with ‘not yes’ our styles have blended more, pulling inspiration from both brains and mashing it together into something we both like.

Fotis: Yeah I think our collaboration is complimentary not only in style, but also in workflow. For example, where Job can really zoom in on the composition or groove, I like to spend a lot of time on how all the specific elements sound.

The ep is astonishing, some superb forward-thinking ideas in each track, was there an initial concept to the project?

Job: Thanks, much appreciated!

To be honest we never start off with an initial concept, genre or vision of what we’re going to make. It always starts with a rough sketch that conveys a groove or feeling. We then just build onto what we hear. Then it either doesn’t work at all, or it slowly evolves into a concept or story naturally.

Our second track ‘huh’ for example started with the groove and the slightly confusing ‘huh?’ quote right before it kicks in. The more we worked on it, the more odd and alien it became. This is where it evolved into a story about the confusion that exists around aliens and the absurd conspiracy theories people have been throwing around lately.

Our third track ‘fuck the poet’ started with a beat we made with the pedal sounds of a piano (that are still in there actually). Then the moment the car drifting bass sound came we knew: this track is about the most intense chase scene ever.

Fotis: To support this further I’ve created and edited a video for each track that accompany the concept and story of the track. These are posted on both Instagram and Facebook and have gotten quite some nice responses.

How did you connect with Intrinzic?

Job: Through the good ol’ Soundcloud! Intrinzic’s first LP was really sick and we connected around the time it was released. We then started chatting about releasing something together quite soon after.

The release is coupled with an additional few extras including dice, vinyl and prints. What was the premise behind the selection of merch? And what does it mean to yourselves to have a release on vinyl?

Fotis: We don’t wanna spoil what the dice are all about exactly since they will be prepared over the Christmas holidays and sent to people who ordered vinyl, but we can say it started off as an inside joke. Then Intrinzic was actually up for making it a real thing, which we didn't expect but are very excited about.

Job: Yeah and It’s actually the first time we release anything on vinyl so we’re super stoked about it! We’ve done a small limited selection which people jumped on like crazy so that shows people are still interested in having something physical in this digital age, which we thought was cool to see.

What tip has made the most impact on your production?

Job: There’s a few that impacted our production a lot but if we had to name one it’s that; If the idea isn’t there yet, we try to spend the fewest amount of hours possible on mix, structure, tidiness and other time-intensive tasks. Our sketching phase is ruthless and absolute chaos, which is great for creativity. Only when the idea is actually worth it, we’ll put in the hours and hours to mix, structure, fine-tune and finish.

Because of this we can try out ideas faster and we’re way less invested in ideas, which allows us to easily kill them if they’re not good. More ideas also means there is a higher chance of one of them being actually good and worth pursuing.

What’s in sight for 2021?

Job: We have loads of new exciting tracks and releases coming up in 2021, so definitely stay tuned into our Soundcloud and Instagram.

Fotis: Besides the tracks, I think we also want to take not yes further than just the tracks on their own. We’re experimenting how far we can take our vision of ‘not yes’ and everything that could possibly surround it, from odd live streams to promo ideas and video clips.

We had the unfortunate timing of starting not yes right before the start of the pandemic. So, if covid allows, we’d be very hyped to do the first proper ‘not yes’ live show in 2021.

Thank you both for taking the time to chat, is there anything else you would like to add?

Job: Just a shout out to both Intrinzic and you guys for being incredible chill people to work and hang out with, and that we’re grateful for all the support and comments we’ve received so far.

You can grab the ‘y’aint no’ EP here.

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