Haywyre blends classical and modern tropes on new LP, ‘Two Fold Pt. 2’ [Interview]
Monstercat is one of Canada’s most highly-regarded independent electronic music labels. Known for launching the careers of artists like Krewella, Vicetone, Pegboard Nerds, and more, the imprint has a keen eye for boundary-pushing talent. Although their label hosts a breadth of exciting acts at the moment, one artist that is truly charting his own path is Haywyre.
Martin Vogt, as his real name goes, had the opportunity to take Two Fold Pt. 1, to Monstercat, which marked the label’s first artist album release. The full-length piece allowed Haywyre to truly bring his unique blend of classical and electronic music to the masses. However, there was still one question that remained after the original hype of Pt. 1 had settled: what would Pt. 2 entail?
Almost two years later, Haywyre has followed up his introductory album with its natural successor, Two Fold Pt. 2. We sat down with Vogt to discuss his sophomore LP.
“Originally, I wasn’t even sure there were going to be multiple parts because I was working on the first album,” he says. “I realized that the idea behind the first album was significant enough to end it there, but I decided to name the album Pt. 1 then see where it goes from there. I originally thought it would go further than two parts, but now I’m thinking that I’m going to wrap things up here.”
Although the second part arose organically, two albums is no an easy task — let alone creating a bridge between the two.
“Naturally, they’re connected because the influences that helps inspire the first album and the influences on the second album come from my own experiences so they carry over,” Vogt explains. “The second one is a step in a different direction sonically. Overall, the first part was a bit more aggressive and I think was focused on different elements. The second part definitely used more lyrics. There’s about five tracks that I wrote lyrics for.”
The album begins with “I Am Me,” a cinematic opener complete with a gradual build of ambient noises, anthemic percussion, and commanding guitar lead. The second track, “I Am You,” presents a synthesis of early electro with furious synth lines and brisk robot vocals with a modern future bass style.
The album carries on like a continuous story, with Vogt experimenting off the beaten path at periodic intervals.
“I think there is definite consistency to the entire piece. At the same time, I do think there are some tracks people will choose as the standout pieces that have more of a familiar approach to electronic music that people have seen me do before,” he explains. “But then there is also stuff on there that is a little more foreign. For example, the third track on the album, ‘Restraint,’ is just essentially ambient noises. It’s more immersive, and instead of hearing single after single, each track continues the story at each step compared to the first one.”
After hearing Haywyre’s insights behind “Restraint,” the role of the song becomes clear, serving as a transitional track to cleanse listeners ears before the main portion of the album. The fourth track on the album, “Impulse,” features heavy basslines and darker moods before Haywyre heads into more commercially appealing tracks, “Do You Don’t You.” A seductive blend of bouncing vocals and light synths, “Impulse” and “Do You Don’t You” contrast each other but stand out as two of the track’s strongest productions.
Through “Do You Don’t You” and the following two tracks – “Moment” and “Memory” – Haywyre clearly demonstrates the divergence of Two Fold Pt. 2 from the aggressive nature of Two Fold Pt. 1. “Moment,” for instance, flaunts expert vocal chop work underneath wobbling bass and synth combinations, while “Memory” puts Haywyre’s impressive guitar dexterity on full display.
Many people know Haywyre through his live renditions of his own tracks as well his viral cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” which has racked up almost a million and a half plays on YouTube. When asked about how he plans to evolve his project moving into such a momentous year in his career, he replied:
“What I want to focus on is more performance based music, and my original goal with Two Fold Pt. 2 was entirely performance oriented, however, the deadlines I was working with it couldn’t end up turning into that so I turned it more like Pt. 1 where it was thematic, independent but still connected. I could definitely picture myself really pushing the boundaries on the performance aspect of my tracks.”
“Transient” reflects a similar mood to that of “Restraint” in that it is very instrumentally driven, however, “Transient” is the perfect example of Haywyre’s affinity for blending classical and electronic music into one.
Finally, we come to the last track “Endlessly.” The first single released form the album, “Endlessly” stands as one of Haywyre’s finest works to date. Blending a combination of influences including nostalgic robotic vocals, trilling guitar melodies perfect for live performances, and crisp percussion, “Endlessly” is not only a clear cut example of Haywyre’s performance-based type of music but the inspirations from the past and present embedded in his work.
“Actually, for better or for worst, I felt limited working on this album because I wanted to use the inspirations I found in media and literature and push that through my music. I found that while I was working I wasn’t always inspired to make more music to fit that description. It proved I was ready to wrap up making music for this album, and moving forward I can easily see myself branching out. It’s a hard thing to say as I just finished this album so it’s hard to know which direction.”
Ultimately, Haywyre’s new album reinforces his ability to carve his own niche in the electronic music landscape. It’s no surprise that his unconventional approach to production and his mesmerizing live show have landed him support slots on the tours of Zedd, Gramatik, and Mat Zo. The future is bright for Haywyre, and with an innovative mindset and one of dance music’s most respectable independent label’s behind him, this rising producer is sure to make a memorable impact on the scene in the coming years.
You can purchase Two Fold Pt. 2 now on iTunes.