Stratos Union is the new kid on the block in the Dubstep scene, but they’ve recruited some stellar talents for their initial roster. The 2020 founded label strives to be a hub for collaboration and innovation, boasting big names like Chime, Dr. Ozi, Lizzy Jane, The Brig and tons more.
They just released their brand new, debut compilation project – Voyager. The project feature’s Stratos’ core artists fusing their styles across the EP, with four bone-shattering collabs that have already seen support from huge Dubstep names like 12th Planet, Skism, Dirtyphonics, and loads more.
Chime has been a Heard It Here First favorite for a while now. We’ve supported his work for years and are so grateful to have the chance to chat with him about his career, interests, and even receive some words of advice from the UK Dubstep fiend and gamer guru.
This man is going to be on the Lost Lands main stage much sooner than we all think and continues to crank out banger after banger after banger. Peep his Our Flame EP, off Disciple, here.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with not only Chime, but the team at the newly-formed Stratos Union. Check out what both had to say in our exclusive interview below and keep an ear out for more from Chime and Stratos Union very soon.
You are celebrating the five year anniversary of your Chime project, what can you tell us about the journey so far and how you celebrated with your fans the other week?
It’s been a fantastic journey! I’ve been making music for much longer than 5 years but I think the moment I rebranded as Chime was when things got a lot more serious. It’s been a joy to develop my signature sound over the years and dip into so many flavours of dubstep. To celebrate I held a livestream where I went through my discography and talked about some particularly special releases and my development to get me to this point. Lots of fun and it brought back a lot of memories about the lovely people and fellow artists I’ve met along the way.
Who were your first electronic inspirations? What about Dubstep in particular?
Initially, it was The Prodigy and Pendulum. From there, I delved into Drum & Bass and ended up discovering Dubstep. Xilent and Seven Lions were prominent influences for me early on as they proved that dubstep could be powerful and energetic yet still be infused with melody. That’s really my favorite thing about Dubstep in general too – the sheer impact you can create within the genre and how many different sub-genres and atmospheres combine well with it.
What would your absolute dream collab be? Can be with multiple artists from any genre!
As more of my dream collabs in Dubstep are becoming a reality, I’m gaining more excitement to work with some of my favorite Drum & Bass producers I was listening to from an early age. Even though it’s a lot more unlikely, I would love to work with Danny Byrd, Metrik, Netsky, or Camo & Krooked. Those guys continue to influence me strongly from outside Dubstep today too.
We know you are a big video gamer and Pokefan. That being said, who is your favorite Pokemon from the original 150 and then who is your favorite from Gen 2 on?
Definitely! From Gen 1 I think it’d have to be Butterfree. I always had one on my team and I love that it could learn all of the different status-effect/powder moves. From other Gens – I’m a big fan of Drifloon from Gen 4 because it’s a cute ghost balloon with a cloud on it’s head. Also, Scraggy from Gen 5 because it’s just so ridiculous that they made a Pokemon that represents a gangster!
Give us your three all-time favorite video games. If you can’t narrow it down feel free to give as long of a list as you’d like.
In no particular order – first up is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. When that game dropped in 2017 it consumed a week of my life. At that point I felt like I was losing my love for games a bit since it had been such a long time since I’d thoroughly enjoyed anything but this one pulled me right out of that. Exploration and discovery have always been my favourite aspects of games and this one just captures it so perfectly with a big dose of freedom.
Following on from the theme of exploration – Hollow Knight is my next pick. The sense of progression in this game is beautifully paced and I absolutely love the bug-themed characters.
My third pick is probably Pokemon Yellow. It was my first video game and I feel like my brain didn’t really “switch on” until I got absorbed by this game. Its simplistic 8-bit music has gone on to greatly inspire the kinds of melodies and chords I enjoy and implement into my music.
What do you want fans to know about Stratos Union? Will you be doing any other collabs with artists on the roster?
It’s the first bass music label to focus solely on collaboration which I think is a super interesting concept. I’m a big fan of bouncing ideas of others in music and combining styles and so I think Stratos will throw up some really interesting blends. I have a couple collabs on the go for the label but you’ll have to wait and see who they’re with!
What’s the rest of 2020 look like for Chime? What can fans expect from 2021?
Given that I recently released my new EP “Our Flame” over on Disciple, the rest of the year’s releases will mostly be collaborations. I’m definitely diving deeper into Melodic Riddim too – I’m supremely excited to see more tonality become popular in the scene and there are some really incredible producers honing their own flavour of the sub-genre so I’m eager to do the same!
What inspired you to create Stratos Union?
A huge passion for science, space and music played a big role in the Stratos project, imagining it as a universe of artists exploring new sounds, techniques and visuals. We were looking for a place where artists could share their passion and collaborate to create something bigger, that’s why we decided to create a label focused on collaborations. Unity and collaboration is our motto.
What was the process like? Obviously you guys have only been active a few months, but tell us about the process before the launch.
Launching a new label is not easy, we actually worked on Stratos quite a lot, around a year, to get everything ready for the “liftoff”. We started sketching the idea, our main goal, the roster and ultimately the brand. Branding was the longest part, we were looking for something unique yet familiar for our public. Something modern and stylish. Space exploration and science is the perfect balance between modernism and something unknown, something yet to be discovered or explored, something fresh and new.
How did you come about with this epic roster?
The Stratos team, beside the artists, are mostly managers, PR, and designers. We directly work with artists and managers to make sure both parties are excited as we are about the releases. The process of signing new artists in the roster will go through all the figures in the project, starting from Artists to Managers to Designers etc. , we’ll be investing a lot into our roster, and we wanna make sure everyone has a part in this effort.
What are Stratos Union’s plans for the rest of 2020?
We have a couple releases in store, we can’t wait to show you!
Beside releases, we’re looking into the possibility of launching physical stuff with our branding (apparel? Maybe). It’s been a weird but exciting year for Stratos, and we’ve only just started.
What do you want fans to know about Stratos Union?
Stratos Union is a home for collaboration between artists, where the biggest stars in the bass music scene collide, creating something unique. Our roster is currently closed since we launched a couple of months back, but we are planning to open it up and let other artists join the project soon. Keep an eye on Stratos Union!
Huge thank you to Chime and the Stratos Union team for taking the time to chat with us, big things in the future to come from both of them so keep your ears and eyes PEELED!
Be sure to support Stratos Union and Chime on socials below:
Stratos Union Twitter: https://twitter.com/stratosunion
Stratos Union IG: https://www.instagram.com/stratosunion/
Chime Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChimeTunes
Chime IG: https://www.instagram.com/chimetunes/