Conscious Creators 010: ATYYA debuts ‘ilixir’ alias with dark, driving two-track EP, ‘Mage’
Photo credit: Ryan Quella.
The world of EDM is vast and diverse. From the commercial realm to the underground, electronic music is always moving at hyperspeed. But how can fans sift through all the noise to seek out the more substantive, meaningful, consciously-attuned musicians? Introducing: Conscious Creators, a focused writing series dedicated to highlighting artists who continually devote themselves to creating music that upholds CE’s mission.
These are the industry tastemakers committed to bypassing the surface-level gimmicks in favor of something more substantial. Their art encourages alignment with the self, affirmational living, shadow and light work, self-healing and self-love, living authentically, practicing intention. These are the creatives dedicated to leading their audience into a conscious awakening.
Bass music wizard ATYYA has long been a mainstay of the deeper side of the genre. Since his breakout tune “Oceanic” in 2014, Tyy Clark has been on a constant release schedule, consistently dropping singles, remixes, and EPs, as well as touring internationally alongside some of the premier acts in the scene. His music has been remixed by CloZee, CharlestheFirst, Desert Dwellers, and many more. 2019’s full-length Limitless LP saw him at his most grounded, comfortably cementing his place as one of the progenitors of modern bass music, and his sound has only continued to grow since then. Now, he’s debuting a new alias, ilixir, that aims to solidify the deep resonance of his roots in the music.
As any successful artist hungers for more growth, creatively and professionally, their sound ends up evolving along the way. In 2020, ATYYA released a slew of hip-hop remixes that hinted at the evolution of his sound. From Post Malone to 2 Chainz, the set of five “ATYYA Flips” represented a brighter, higher-energy side of the music. The addition of mainstream rappers over underground bass sounds ended up being a head-noddingly appropriate combination, and suggested that the ATYYA sound was morphing. Just recently, he also dropped the single “Just Say” that builds on this energetic and vibrant theme.
Of course, the love for the deep and contemplative minimal sound remains. It’s no surprise that he wanted to continue carrying that torch, while ensuring that other paths lay open for the ATYYA project. So how does a fan differentiate between the separate projects? And is ilixir an evolution of the sound, or a return to ATYYA’s dubstep roots?
“Since my roots are in old school dubstep, a lot of my inspiration comes from that UK sound, which features more subdued bass sounds, cavernous reverb and tape delays, and skank chords (as opposed to mainstream commercial dubstep’s hard-hitting “in your face” bass sounds and pop song structure.) However, from the perspective of my music career, ilixir is definitely an evolution to something different. ilixir is darker and more driving than most of ATYYA’s discography, which will also attract a new crowd on music platforms and at shows.”– Tyy Clark
After the release of the Limitless LP and the two dubstep singles “Ritual” and “Animalistic,” he felt the continuous pull in this deeper sonic direction, but was wary of making it too definitive of the ATYYA sound.
“ATYYA has always been an explorative music project…At this point, I felt I was really enjoying making deep dubstep tunes and wanted to continue…but I wanted to avoid pigeon holing ATYYA as a dubstep artist only, and also stay true to ATYYA’s definitive sound. After feeling into this dilemma, I got a wave of inspiration; I will start a new music project dedicated to my deep dubstep sound. That was the moment ilixir was born.”– Tyy Clark
So the release of his two-track Mage EP comes at a pivotal moment. As the veteran producer leans into this style completely, confidence practically oozes out of the speakers with each track. The titular “Mage” begins with a style familiar to deep dubstep fans—clean, booming sub bass provides the foundation for a tapestry of ethereal, haunting synths and reverberating echoes. Syncopated hand drums and floating vocals, punctuated with the occasional throaty bass growl, drape the track in an aura of pure shadowy swagger.
“Monk Dub” is a continuation on the same theme, and calls to mind a hidden mountain temple. Bells and pads that seem to echo off of snowy cliffs drift in the atmosphere, and the slow, swung kick drum is the heartbeat of the deep, thoughtful tune.
The two-track project is a quality release that dovetails nicely with ATYYA’s catalogue, and is indicative of the kind of output we can expect to see from the artist going forward. A new, more melodic ATYYA album is on the way this summer,and we’re looking forward to seeing all the music released under either project.
ilixir – Mage EP
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