Two Tails recently dropped a 2-pack EP on one of his favorite labels, Box of Cats. Score. Then, it hit No. 1 on Beatport‘s bass house chart. Double score. For any rising producer, this is a dreamlike sequence, but Two Tails is living proof that dreams do come true. “Alive” with Casmalia and “8-Bit Kiss” further prove anything is possible through the power of house music.
Each track delivers strong, driving energy and impeccable sound design down to the details, all of which had us wondering how these tracks came together, creatively. We get this is a dream-come-true scenario and all, but these ideas don’t simply fall from the sky — do they?
So we had to ask and Two Tails answered. Read below as he breaks down “Alive” and “8-Bit Kiss,” how they started and how they came to be. Huge shoutout to everyone who made this EP hit No. 1!
Two Tails (Box of Cats)
Alive w/ Casmalia
After almost a year back and forth with the label, they picked up 8-bit Kiss and asked to do another single to complete the release. I was chatting with my friend Shannon aka Casmalia about it and she really wanted to do a collab so she sent me this song she wrote called Alive. I originally turned it down because the song was already almost finished. It had a really dark techno vibe to it and figured she would be able to keep it for maybe her next release with My Techno Weighs A Ton. After a few more days went by she sent me the track again just telling me to take it and make it the final track for my release. After listening to it a few more times I started to get some ideas so I accepted. I pretty much stripped the song down bare leaving a few core things she had done.
Her vocal, some effect samples, and a couple of other sounds that I really liked and just wrote around that. I started with the main first drop by redoing all the drums, added a new bassline and just gave it the Two Tails makeover that you can pretty much hear in any Two Tails song. Next, I started working on the intro. I left a good amount of sounds she already had placed added some more effect samples wrote a melody using a really old sound I made in Sylenth years ago and it just worked. Once I got to the breakdown in the middle of the track I knew I wanted to have something way more melodic. The main sound you hear is actually a sample I found. I really liked that sound because it reminded me of what Zonderling sounds like.
I used a bunch of effect plugins I have with gross beat automating the half time in and out. Gross Beat is an FL Studio effect plugin and automation is basically drawing out the way you want to control something within your D.A.W (Digitial Audio Workstation). Once I got to the second drop I pretty much just copy-pasted the first drop but changed the first 4 bars a little bit but, originally what I had Casmalia hated, and bugged me for like 2 weeks to change it. So we got on a phone call and just passed ideas back and forth for probably about 2 hours till she just made a little rise bass sound that just ended up working perfectly. My choice of DAW is FL Studio and Casmalia uses Ableton.
The way this song got inspired into what it is… is kinda weird. It all started with a weird sound from a kiss. I kissed my at the time girlfriend quickly and it made such a weird noise that I wanted to do it again but recording it. So I got out my phone and just recorded it a couple of times. I ended up using that sound to make the clap in the song. Tons of effect plugins, and a smaller real clap on top of it to give more of a crisper punch since it was recorded with my iPhone after all. This was the first time I ever wrote a whole song surrounding just a clap which is where the name stems from.
I chose 8-bit because I put a light bit crusher effect on the original kiss sound aswell. The bassline was inspired by Mason Maynard an artist known for releases on Relief and Sola. I really like his style and wanted to create something similar but like on ‘Alive’ the Two Tails makeover. Honestly, I don’t remember much more of how the song came together since I made it so long ago but, the bassline was made in Native Instruments Massive. There are 3 vocal samples. 2 from Splice and a laugh which was recorded on my phone during the whole kissing thing going on I just put a delay on the laugh and thought that sounded cool and kinda filled some space I felt was missing in the song.
The main laser is a sample I had to manipulate a bunch to fit with how the track progresses. Another funny story is when I started working with Box of Cats to do a release they originally turned this song down which started almost a year of sending songs and having them turned down. After Wongo started playing 8-bit Kiss, getting a good crowd reaction he decided to take it back to the team and luckily they all agreed to sign it.