Behind The Scenes Of Senseless Live’s Latest Free Download ‘Gunship Cover’


With an ever growing fan base and reputation, Senseless Live have firmly established themselves as one of Canada and North America’s most exciting new acts, thanks to their catalogue of impressive and unique productions. The trio, consisting of John Glassey, Kim Sykes and Ron Dazo, have been creating some of the scene’s hottest Techno infused Deep House records – it’s no wonder they have been grabbing the attention of the scene’s heavyweight labels and DJs.

Responsible for hit records such as ‘Ricochet EP’, ‘Speak’, ‘Open Nature / Raw Hyde’ and ’Under My Wing EP’ and ‘Intentions’, Senseless Live have released on renowned labels like Cohesive Records – a testament to their hard working ethos. The group returns with their cover of Gunship’s iconic record ‘Tech Noir’ and we spoke to them about their work an ideas behind this track.


Hi Guys, thanks for taking time to answer these few questions. To get things kicked off, for those who are new to Senseless Live, can you tell us a bit about yourselves and your musical upbringing?

JG: I got involved with DJing back in 1994 while growing up in the underground Toronto rave and club scene. I started promoting and producing in the early 2000’s and just never took my foot off the gas pedal.

KS: My love for singing began in childhood, performing in numerous gospel, jazz, and classical choirs. I sang at every opportunity I could get: weddings, convocations, and sport events. My songwriting started in high school, but it wasn’t until 2011 that I began diligently writing and working with DJ/producers in the electronic music genre.

RD: I’m a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston where I specialized in composition and performance. I grew up on a diet of progressive metal and art rock, and my purpose is to inject those genres’ musical vernacular into more divergent styles of music.

Why did you guys decide to take the musical direction of producing Techno and Progressive-infused Deep House records?

KS: The goal of our music has always been focused around taking the listeners outside of their own heads, and inducing an experience that sweeps them away from the banalities of real life.

JG: We feel that with our musical backgrounds, I’m able to do this by making people dance and forget their troubles with driving drums and rumbling bass lines. Kim, on the other hand, takes a different approach with introspective songwriting by vocalizing existential lyrics that make the listeners contemplate darker philosophical topics. Naturally, by marrying the two concepts together, the collective direction of Senseless Live’s progressive-infused deep sound was born.

You have created a fantastic cover of Gunship’s iconic record ‘Tech Noir’. What was the thinking behind this project?

KS: While perusing a friend’s music library, we stumbled across “Tech Noir” and immediately found ourselves drawn to the song in a very innate way. It was such a strong parallel to the effect that we were trying to get across with our own music: the goal of plunging the listener headfirst into a daydream.

RD: With ‘Tech Noir’, we felt ourselves transported back to the 80’s with all the warm analog production and the retro synths reminiscent of when Minimoogs, MS-20s, DX7s, and 303s defined an era. Keeping that idea in mind, we decided to take a stab at re-imagining the song but still pay homage to its surrealistic nature. The result was a dark, moody, and intimate rendition from the Deep Tech approach. I think that the content of the spoken word intro really seeded the idea for a solemn delivery. “Hope for our future is now a stillborn dream / The bombs begin to fall and I’m rushing to meet my love”- so poignantly desolate and doom-laden that we flipped the song over to the bleaker side.

Was it a challenge to turn “Tech Noir” into a Senseless Live style track, or did you find it relatively straightforward?

JG: The challenge mostly came in the initial phases. We had just taken Ron in under our wing as the third member of the group, and we were all still trying to get accustomed to the new dynamic he added and the way he worked.

KS: Given that it was our first production as a trio, it all still felt like a first date. We were all kind of feeling each other out and making sure that everything was copacetic in terms of each member’s contribution toward the direction the song was moving it. But soon after we crossed that threshold and got more comfortable with each other, adapting “Tech Noir” into the Senseless Live sound became very natural. Things just started falling into place.

JG: Overdosing Ron with as much deep tech house as possible during those weeks definitely helped shape the track’s sound.

You must have got inspiration from the original record when producing the record. Did you get inspiration from anything else?

RD: Inspiration also came from the process of self-discovery as a newly formed trio. With a new variable in the equation, the challenges of feeling each other out during the initial phases rewarded us with various new angles to approach the way we produced. The process was definitely an invigorating paradigm shift that added more colour to our tracks.

How long did it take to produce the track?

JG: We discovered “Tech Noir” at a very busy point in our schedule. We were composing new music; coordinating with other artists regarding remixes of our songs that they wanted to produce; and redesigning our set to incorporate live instrumentation. ‘Tech Noir’ found itself in the backburner for a little while, which turned out to be beneficial since we were able to allow the song to gestate longer. When time came to hammer it out, it only took us a handful of late-night sessions over a couple of weeks to get the final cut out.

Can you tell us a bit about the production process of your cover?

KS: As with our previous releases, it all started with John creating a beat and multiple variations of which we could all play around with. We really went for a downtempo feel for this one. After that, I took the lyrics and adapted them into my own singing style by restructuring the prosody of the lyrics and reharmonizing the melody into a more minor key context. Finally, Ron analyzed the resulting vocal line, and arranged complementary chord changes and counterpoint instrumentation to make the vocals shine.

RD: Given that this was a cover, we also made sure to try and keep Gunship’s essence intact. You’ll hear this through John’s selection of retro-sounding synths, Kim’s use of atmospheric delay on her vocals, and myself playing variations on the original song’s main motif.

What equipment did you guys use to create the record?

JG: Equipment was pretty straightforward this time around. The recording process was based around two computers running Ableton. The synth and bass sounds were mostly derived from Sylenth. We also experimented with rewiring Reason into Ableton and extracting some leads from Maelstrom and Thor. Ron used an 8-string electric guitar which we’re showcasing for the very first time on this track. And, we’re proud to say that we did not use any pitch correction on Kim’s voice- only simple delays and reverb, so you get an authentic performance when you listen.

What has the response been like so far after releasing the record?

RD: The response thus far has been quite positive. The track has been listened to thousands of times in the short duration that it’s been up, and the fans have definitely graced us with their kind words. The overall sound and feel of the track have been compared to the likes of Massive Attack and Portishead- quite huge, yet humbling, compliments that only make us want to work harder at honing our craft.

KS: I think the best response we’ve gotten yet was actually making someone cry upon listening. Another friend of ours was out driving with his mother and had to make a quick stop to pick up groceries. He left his mother in the car and decided to keep her entertained by giving her a sneak preview of our work. His final instructions were to “close your eyes and drift”. Minutes later, he found his mom broken down in tears and just bawling from listening. Eliciting such a strong emotional reaction from a listener was definitely one of the most profound responses we’ll cherish for a long time.

You have released the cover as a free download via your official Soundcloud page. What was the meaning behind this?

JG: The point of releasing it as a free download was to just share our art as freely as possible and have it naturally proliferate into the different niches of the electronic landscape. The aim was to get more listens, have it shared, get the word of mouth out, and hopefully, win over more new fans!

If you could choose one person to collaborate with on a future record, who would that person be?

KS: We’ll have to go with two people. The Canadian band, Bob Moses, who are doing some really excellent things right now.

Do you have any upcoming shows/tours in the near future?

RD: Yes, John is slotted to do a DJ set down in Calgary with Nathan Barato, and represent Senseless Live some more by spinning the latest remixes of “Under My Wing”. Those remixes come out through Cohesive Records pretty soon, but John’s going to be giving the audience a little taste of what David Granha and TrockenSaft were able to produce.

JG: We’ve got a number of local shows here in Edmonton coming up, and we can’t wait to open them with “Tech Noir”. We’re slotted to play in the Astral Harvest festival here in Northern Alberta at the end of June. We also intend to venture out west to Vancouver and Victoria to do a couple of dates as soon as the details are finalized.

Where would you like to see yourselves in 6 months time?

JG: Now that we’re in the full swing of things as a trio, we’re working on new material for a new Senseless Live EP that we’d like to release within this timeframe. We’d like to engage more international artists and do collaborations with them. We’re currently remixing Framewerk’s ‘Spacewalking’ and adding vocal lines in, as a gesture of our thanks for their awesome treatment to our song, ‘Ricochet’. Also, the Saunderson Brothers will feature Kim’s vocals in an upcoming release, so we’re excited to see that roll out and gain traction in the coming year.

To end things off, what are your plans for 2016?

KS: Our main goal is to conquer more of Canada. There’s a lot of ground to cover and a lot of music scenes we would love to infuse. We’d love to hit the road with the live set Edmonton has enjoyed so far!


Check Out and Download ‘Tech Noir (Senseless Live Cover) Here:

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