Hook N Sling talks ‘Tokyo By Night,’ returns focus to original material for 2014
The past three years have seen Aussie heavyweight Hook N Sling dominate the ranks of melodic house mastery.
A practiced hit maker whose balance of such gems as “Higher” and “Reason” made the globetrotting Anthony Maniscalco something of an enigma at the peak of the melodic big room spiral, the sense of ascendancy behind his output has been as much about hype as it has musical caliber. Behind the scenes, however, a record was brewing. It started as a suspected collaboration in 2011, was teased in a two-minute clip that set speculation circling across the industry. Now, “Tokyo By Night” has emerged in the form of an accomplished Axwell remodel. Dancing Astronaut checked in with Hook to probe the lifecycle and implications of this accomplished return to Axtone for 2014.
Some three years in the making and sought high-and-low on dance floors across the globe, the release of the Axwell remix of “Tokyo By Night” has been a long time coming, but drops to a resounding welcome from those who feared the track may never see the light of day. Inaugurated onto the label courtesy of remix duties for “Blow Up” alongside Goodwill back in 2011, the Aussie talent shows little grievance for keeping such prestigious company for round two and a patient wait for all involved. This was not your conventional remix equation, but with Axwell, convention has proven a practice blissfully challenged.
“To deal with Ax was a blessing because he is a perfectionist in every sense of the word,” explains Maniscalco. “I don’t think people realized it, but when I first premiered the clip back in 2011 that was the extent of my own progress on the record. At that time Ax heard enough to know that he wanted to be a part of it.
“There was an 18-month stretch of us throwing it back and forth, but what really took the time was finding a spot where both of us felt it reflected us personally. As a result, we put it to one side for a while and revisited the track in 2013. That process bought the new chords and melodies into the equation and finally we had this track that both of us thought was the real deal.”
As one of the more selective and ceremonious contenders of the 21st century crop, Hook N Sling found his feet during a period of unprecedented expansion and resurgence for the crafting of melodic club anthems. He reflects on the general state of modern dance music and its chops and changes with a reassuringly positive mandate, diverting only to consider the ease of access now available to the genre on everyone’s agenda in 2014.
“I see a lot of replication, but that’s just the price we pay for having such advancement on the front of technology. I miss that mystery that used to surround certain sounds. You’d listen to something in absolute awe because you just couldn’t tweak how someone could get to that finished result.”
Never one to be disheartened, Hook quickly asserts two key facts: He’s never been more inspired to make music and there’s to be no shortage of it for the remainder of the year. With the original edit of “Tokyo By Night” scoped for potential release later in the summer and further collaborative stints alongside Sultan and Ned Shepard and Ras penned for the summer trail, that impressive balance of melodic aptitude and coherent club domination looks certain to have a few more trophies before the year is out.
“With this record finally out there and all the positive movements that have been happening behind the scenes, I just feel really inspired to finish a lot of the records I have had lying around. There are a couple of club-orientated projects that are already being tested in my sets, plus a few exciting progressive and more melodically-focused collaborations enroute with some really talented guys.”
Purchase the Axwell remix of “Tokyo By Night”: Beatport