A rising star within the dance community, MeSo, aka Kevin, unveils his brand new label launch, JIYU! With this new realm comes a collection of exceptional works from a diverse range of producers, and friends. To kick off the launch of JIYU, the new label is accompanied by a compilation titled Liberate Vol. 1, which is the first of 3 installments of adventure for MeSo. Join us as we glide through each track on the project with the Chicago-based legend himself, in this Electric Hawk Exclusive Interview.
MeSo dives head first into his exciting new venture with a mission to push you past your limit and into a new realm…
Liberate Vol. 1 will serve as a reminder to disengage from the norm or “status quo” when it comes to producing. Music is a form of art, and the most peculiar would always challenge the norm. This is something Kevin sought to nurture and grow alongside those who have crossed paths with him in the industry.
Christian Ramirez, Electric Hawk: How did you first go about curating this compilation of incredible artists? Did you already know the vibe you wanted to give off for your first release?
MeSo: I reached out to a lot of friends and producers that I’m familiar with. I didn’t know the vibe because I didn’t know what I was going to get. . .
RAfeeki – “Stuck In A Moment”
A familiar and inviting grumble of bass awakens and immediately hooks the listener into a trance. Tribal vocals echo among the steady almost as if guiding you to the next level of the song. A project born out of the depths of nature, RAfeeki smoothly plunges your senses within a sea of reverberating sounds with “Stuck In A Moment.” A splendidly liberating introduction into the realm of JIYU.
Salty & Waylo – “Mailman Dub”
Once submerged, you realized you are slowly sinking. Florida-native Salty & Colorado-based Waylo are there waiting to take your hand with “Mailman Dub.” The nature of his gesture, however, is not all that benevolent. Immediately you’re overcome by a deep, dark, and atmospheric bassline. This only thickens as the song progresses in a mesmerizing refrain with wailing synths. You realize the enigmatic duo are merely pulling you further into the realm. . .
CR: Listening to it front to back, this collection of work has a diverse range of sounds, how did you all manage to make it come together?
MeSo: After collecting the tracks, I started to write a story including a roller coaster of emotions with the tracks. That’s how this release was compiled and ordered.
CR: What were some of the biggest challenges in formulating this compilation and this label?
MeSo: The biggest challenge is creating the image/brand presentation which will be something that evolves for us as we go.
Dank Frank – “Outside In“
The story of JIYU began to formulate itself. The Wyoming-based producer, Dank Frank, thinks quite literally from the “Outside In.” This next track starts with echoing vocals that speak about “marking small pieces of the curve that will serve as guides for the transformation.” No that’s quite literally what they say. Joining their ethereal voices are ghostly rings and growling basslines. These growls invite other rancorous sounds and ominous melodies.
ZLEN – “Hackstock“
Once the transformation slows down, it is time to hack away at the old constraints. The Interurban producer, ZLEN, lays your being down on the “Hackstock” and begins to help free your potential. Ominous tones slither and crawl along your skin and into your ears. Once inside, you’re audio-perception is hijacked and redesigned with heavy and high-energy breakbeats. A real head thumper, this track will help regain control of your body.
Kyral x Banko – “Gurt“
To help further your transformation, answering the JIYU call, Denver-based duo, Kyral x Banko comes to filter your senses through the “Gurt.” This deep tempo track starts with an agitated chime that twists into a pernicious burble of bass grooves. A constant dance between layers of drums and percussions, this track will prepare you for the long journey ahead.
CR: What/Who were some of your inspirations for this Liberate and JIYU?
MeSo: There are a lot of inspirations for me right now, but the inspiration for JIYU would have to be the artists that are involved. I’m very excited and eager to progress with this project. We have a lot of ideas and are excited to work with each other.
Herbalistek – “Guffaw”
Coming from the island nation of Japan, the duo Herbalistek comes marching through the compilation with a boisterous “Guffaw.” A warp and looped vocal instantly begins and is joined by a lamenting synth. This surges in tempo momentarily to suspend you in a time-bending drop that alters your perception. The song then changes course with bold and fast-paced wobbles that overcome your body in a downright dirty fashion.
Shanghai Doom – “Instrument Complex”
Next up, the chilling and mysterious duo, Shanghai Doom, tap in to challenge your ego with “Instrument Complex.” In their signature dark style, they wash over you a sense of dread with futuristic tones that brings the dark unknown within your grasp. An earsplitting ring that can only be described as something of Eldritch descent, dominates your mindset. Soon after you’re left wandering the dark following the sound of an uneasy bell.
Super Future – “Make You Wanna”
The bell of course is the guide to the next leg of your journey. The vibrant, free-form bass Magus, Super Future, has arrived with his next track, “Make You Wanna,” and your next test. The song immediately gives off vigorous vitality. A fast-paced beat with a distant bassline slowly grows and becomes ever more present. Joined by distorted vocals, you’re instantaneously hit with a barrage of drums and hefty riffs for the remainder of the track.
TRON3X – “ISA”
Joining you on this campaign of musical freedom is the otherworldly visitor known as TRON3X. The Wisconsin-based artist brings with him, “ISA,” a cathartic track that changes the trajectory for the Liberate album. A more playful rendition compared to its predecessors, TRON3X demonstrates that you don’t have to be serious all the time. This metamorphic track brings you from grooving melodies to head-bopping rhythms that leave us feeling abducted within familiar tones.
SAGZ & MeSo – “Do It Like”
The next track brings a well-known, powerhouse duo. For any time SAGZ & MeSo get together it’s damn near culling. “Do It Like” brings a heavy kick-snare with a fast-paced steady beat that evolves in intensity as it progresses. A grunt-like bassline is contorted and stretched until it unfolds onto itself and drops the listener in a sideswiping wobble. A true testament to their talent, the musical kin make their mark on this journey.
CR: It seems like the idea behind JIYU is personal to you, can you explain more about that and how this has may affect you moving forward?
MeSo: JIYU is meant to be a safe and collaborative space for my friends and peers. I want to take out genres/rules that may divide us in some form and create a uniform experience and growth.
Xotix & Big City – “Fuggetaboutit”
Invited to this unique experience are the San Francisco duo, Xotix, and Virginia-based duo Big City. This next tune is a real party starter and if you thought otherwise, “Fuggetaboutit.” Otherworldly elements and tones start right away with a low guttural bass riff fused with exhilarating snares and drops. There’s a slight pause in the middle to emphasize the name, like something straight outta the Sopranos, this track will put out a hit on you! This tune is rich in layered chops and hard beats, something you won’t forget any time soon.
FRQ NCY – “ALT”
Still buzzing from his recent ‘Gems’ EP, the glitch master known as FRQ NCY, brings forth his signature sound. “ALT” is decorated in fine-tuned synths and high-pitched notes that engulf the listener. Almost washing away the previous filth in preparation for what is to come. A song that seems to have come from the future, FRQ NCY is able to help the listener achieve a state of bliss, if only momentarily. This track leaves you in a momentary state of bliss…
RUVLO – “Origins”
Beginning with calm and inviting chimes, “Origins” by RUVLO, fakes you out by suddenly dropping you into some weird sh*t. With a bouncy rhythm, with some minimal sub-bass frequencies, RUVLO does an exceptional job at keeping the listener on their toes. Ending in the same charming notes, “Origins” brings some calm to this otherwise turbulent journey.
CR: Did you have any self-discoveries while putting this incredible body of work together? How would you say your music has evolved since beginning this journey?
MeSo: I’ve been listening to the artists involved with JIYU for quite some time and their originality inspires me to try new things with my music. There is definitely a big change with what I am making now.
CR: If you can give us a hint, what else do you have in store for this upcoming year? Any solo MeSo projects? Or upcoming tours?
MeSo: I’m joining 3 stops of the LSDREAM tour and planning some curated events with MUZE and also with Spicy Bois. Also got an album in the works which will be a big change and evolution of everything I’ve created so far.
Blurrd Vzn – “Phantom”
The west-coast dyad, Blurrd VZN, are no strangers to the scene. In fact, they’re well-known heavy hitters and they live up to their reputation. With the next track, “Phantom,” they invite you to get into your own groove. An unearthly strum of a cord is mated with a simple kick/snare that is taken and accelerated with chopped vocals until it explodes into a frenzied bass drop that unravels as the song grows.
Jeffufu – “Isolate”
The final leg of the journey, Jeffufu, delivers a more melodic approach with heavenly vocals that add a deeper meaning. Painting a serene soundscape filled with lush synths and gentle basslines, “Isolate” sings to your inner soul; teaching that detachment is needed in order to have significant growth. A gentle end to a gentle beginning in a tumultuous journey within the realm of MeSo and JIYU.
MeSo, the industry serial entrepreneur, has certainly outdone himself with JIYU and Liberate, Vol 1…
This collaboration of artists has created something beautiful and challenging. Seeking to push each other further and further, MeSo just wants artists to feel free so they can do what they do best: create.
“I made JIYU to create a space for talented/dedicated friends to share, learn, and grow together, while being free to express themselves however they want. JIYU means “free” in Japanese. ‘Liberate, Deliver, Extricate’ are the synonyms that will be used to mark each compilation we will release. The inspiration to create JIYU started as an idea last year when I started to work with others more often, from hosting events to partnering up with my peers and forming MUZE MANAGEMENT. I reflected on all of the talented producers I’m friends with and realized that if we came together, we could form something truly remarkable and inspirational.”– MeSo
Listen to Liberate Vol. 1, the first project from MeSo and friends on his new label JIYU, below.
And if you’re looking for new music, keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts, or follow us on Twitch. Whether it’s the newest drops from MeSo all your other favorite artists, some old school, or underground—we just want you to hear it.