The wave music scene just got a treat: REMNANT.exe and Yama dropped their long-awaited collaboration, “DATASHARD,” and it is everything we could hope for. The track is a perfect blend between the gentle, melodic sounds that softwave aficionado Yama delivers, and the all-encompassing, futuristic, “Donkey Kong Country meets Blade Runner” type sound that REMNANT.exe is known for.
Both producers sat down with us to talk a little bit about the collaboration, as well as the state of the scene, some whimsical musings, and more. Check out their interview as you soar through time and space while listening to their new single.
Meet two pillars of the wave scene: Yama & REMNANT.exe
Unfamiliar with these artists? Take some time to get acquainted with these Forest Bois, and then read on to find their interview, below.
“Founder of the Seattle based music and event collective Human Error//, Yama has hand carved a place for himself as a pillar of the American wave community. Through his focus on community building and his dedication to the roots and evolution of the wave scene, Yama has garnered support from the scene all over the world as well as from other melodic bass artists such as EASTGHOST, Of The Trees, and Plastician.”bio & photo provided by the artist
“REMNANT.exe’s sound exhibits heavy bass foundations with dark melodic overtones, both reminiscent of the analogue sounds of the 1980s, and prescient of our inevitable technology controlled future. Some call his genre wave, glitch, space music, or trap, but regardless, REMNANT.exe has cemented himself as a pillar in the fast-rising wave scene who brings together a wide range of influences. With releases on Sable Valley, Ophelia, Alter/Ego, vibe.digital, Terrorhythm, Dektora, and Liquid Ritual and support from RL Grime, Baauer, Alison Wonderland, Krewella, Hekler, Hex Cougar, Plastician and more.”bio provided by the artist; photo (c) vibe.digital
REMNANT.exe and Yama talk all about “DATASHARD,” the state of wave, and even a bit about woodland creatures?
Ambur Masen, The Electric Hawk: Hi guys! Thank you so much for sitting down and talking with us at The Electric Hawk! To start us off, would you please introduce yourselves and your music to our readers?
REMNANT.exe: Thank you for taking the time to interview us! My name is Cosmo, aka REMNANT.exe. It’s always hard to accurately describe the music I make to people who haven’t heard it before, but someone once described my stuff as ‘Donkey Kong Country meets Blade Runner,’ and I really don’t think there’s a better way to put it [laughs]. Much of my stuff does fall under the trap/wave categories, and “DATASHARD” is definitely no exception to that.
Yama: Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down and talk with us. My name is Chris, but to 99% of the people who know me, I am Yama. I primarily make wave/trap, but I tend to stay very informed by stuff like phonk, DnB, and ambient. I also am head of the wave-centric label/arts collective, Human Error//.
AM: Congratulations on the new collab coming out, by the way. What can you tell us about “DATASHARD?” What was it like working with each other over Discord vs. working with someone in a live collaborative setting?
REMNANT.exe: Yama and I have been internet friends for many years now, and we started regularly hanging out on Discord voice chat during the height of the pandemic in 2020. I can’t recall when we actually started this collab; I think it was mid-2021. But, at that point, working over Discord and screen sharing with each other was second nature.
This was the first collab I’d done that wasn’t just remotely trading stems back and forth with no real-time input, and it was just about as interactive and productive as being together in the same room.
Yama: Like Cosmo was saying, we’ve been friends for a grip and started hanging out via Discord a lot more during quarantine. I personally am the worst person to collab with, passing stems back and forth with little to no communication, and I knew this, so I suggested us just sharing a screen on Discord.
Being able to have instant feedback and communication in a creative situation is super nice and it was just like we were hanging out in the same room. I don’t think it was too different from being in a live setting besides not really being able to take those lunch breaks away from the studio to talk about ideas in real life.”
Listen to “DATASHARD” on Spotify:
AM: Yama, in reference to “DATASHARD,” you once wrote, “This track is both nostalgic and a window into a far future.” That is quite the description! I really love that. Do either of you care to elaborate on this concept?
REMNANT.exe: If I recall correctly, the day we started this collab, I had discovered the song “End of Cycle” by Øfdream and Hidden Jayeem. Excited about how great the song was, I shared it with Yama, and he said something along the lines of, “Bro, let’s make something that sounds super Golden-Era Wave like this,” and that became our starting point.
As we worked through ideas, we ended up experimenting with many cool sounds and textures that ended up creating an interesting confluence, where the original wave sound is still very present, but there’s a futuristic sheen over the whole thing that makes it sound like something from a world that doesn’t exist yet.
Yama: Cosmo and I have always talked about working together on music but it just never properly clicked until he showed me “End of Cycle.” I was overcome with emotion–not only from thinking about Øfdream on it, but also from hearing this OG sound that, at the time when Cosmo showed me the song, seemed like it was dying out for the more EDM-vibed hardwave sound.
I definitely said, “Bro, let’s make something Golden Age.”
My production style is still very centered on the “OG” wave sound and I’ve always seen Cosmo’s own forward-thinking production style as some sort of time travel wizardry from the future. Our distinct sounds coming together just feels like an archeological dig site that hasn’t even been built or abandoned yet.
Making wave music history, together:
AM: You are both well-known figures within the wave scene; I was wondering if either of you has thoughts you’d like to share on all of the incredible milestones we hit last year, or on any exciting things that might be coming up?
REMNANT.exe: “Yeah, last year was incredible. I think in 2022, we saw more wave-oriented live events in the US and Europe than any year before. Also, many more artists from our scene are gaining serious attention from big artists and labels, giving the whole community a much wider audience, and the growth appears to only be continuing.
Personally, I have a ton of stuff lined up this year in terms of releases, all of which I’m super excited about, including some really cool collaborations, an official remix for one of my all-time favorite artists, and an EP that I consider to be some of my best work yet.”
Yama: 2022 was an absolutely massive year for our community. More and more, I’m seeing music by our peers getting played out by people like NERO, Krewella, RL Grime, etc., and more people in our scene are getting on some very sick labels that are more in the public eye, like Sable Valley and Alter/Ego.
In terms of events, I’ve been seeing more consistent live events around the world, as well as very consistent online events and VR spaces.
In December, we had the first North American Wave festival, Pantheon, put together by my team at Human Error//, with the help of vibe.digital, and Soul Food Music Collective, here in Seattle. I saw literally hundreds of producers from the community in person for the first time. So that was exciting, and only an appetizer for what’s in store for the future.”
AM: Lastly – you guys go way back, like, way back. Forest Bois days, right? So I was wondering… who’s your favorite forest boi? And by that, I mean: what’s your favorite woodland creature?
REMNANT.exe: [laughs] Hard to pick. I’d probably go with either hedgehogs or raccoons. Hedgehogs are just adorable, but raccoons are also so whimsical and hilarious.
Yama: I grew up in Kentucky, raised to hunt, and I’ve always thought of deer as very regal and ethereal creatures. They move like ghosts and their antlers are like massive bone crowns. Deer are sick.
Ready for more Yama and REMNANT.exe?
Between Yama being picked up by Triple A Talent, and REMNANT.exe’s long-standing relationship with vibe.digital, 2023 is sure to shape up to be a busy year for them both. In the meantime, you can find more wave music–including some from Yama–in vibe.digital’s “Best of 2022” podcast.
The podcast is now available to stream on SoundCloud:
Looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts. Updated every Friday with all the latest releases. Whether it’s the newest drops from REMNANT.exe, Yama, all your favorite artists, some old-school, or underground…we just want you to hear it.