Chris “Sully” Sullivant has unleashed his Encrypted EP through his home label of Wakaan and we could not be more blown away. The Michigan-based producer is known for his thick, […]
Chris “Sully” Sullivant has unleashed his Encrypted EP through his home label of Wakaan and we could not be more blown away. The Michigan-based producer is known for his thick, harmonic bass design and heavy dubstep sound with a focus on musicality and tonal purity. This highly anticipated EP showcases his versatility with entries that lean into different genres like melodic bass and DnB, while it also stays cohesive and true to Sully’s vision for his project.
Sully has been a rising star in the bass music scene for a few years now. His 2019 collab with G-Rex titled “Clique“ first put him on our radar and his consistent output of amazing productions since that time–including “Duck Hummus,” “Frequency Shift,” “King Kong” with Dirt Monkey, and many more–has really impressed us and secured him a die-hard fan base. During the Dark Ages of 2020 and 2021, he created tightly-knit communities on Discord, Twitch, and Facebook that provided a haven for many bass lovers struggling to cope with the realities of COVID and quarantine. We couldn’t be more proud of Sully, and know that his Encrypted EP is just the beginning of what he has in store for us. Let’s dive in.
First up is the title track, “Encrypted.” Ambient textures and effects lead into a banger of an intro that features catchy vocal phrases and a ripper of an acid bass that teases the energy of the track. The first chorus is absolutely enormous, with some of the fattest bass we’ve heard in a long time perfectly arranged over a strong drum pattern to create a festival banger of epic proportions. Big sustains and thick wubs are immaculately designed and thoughtfully laid out so that each element in the track compliments the other. The midsection brings back the acid bass and massive buildup, before sending us to space in the second chorus. The variation and repurposing of basses from the first half is absolutely masterful, and everything feels exactly as it should. We can’t wait to lose our minds to this one in a live setting.
The second effort is titled “Deeper,” and leans into Sully’s melodic strengths, while hinting at some of his aspirations for the sound of the project in the future. We’ve covered this one previously, and you can check out that article here. Since that article came out, I will mention that my appreciation for the track has become even deeper (… pun intended). Its multifaceted sound leads to an ever-shifting interpretation and evocation of emotion. This song is a reliable feel-good song, breakup song, motivation song, love song, and so on. Almost any feeling can flow through the track, and listening to it in different frames of mind over the last month or so since its release has allowed me to work through those feelings in different ways. I think this is what makes a piece of music truly great. Thank you Sully for sharing this with us.
Onto “Impulse,” a collab with another rising star, Tape B. This one starts with an atmosphere that evokes you’re-on-an-abandoned-space-station-circling-a-dying-star vibes. The intro sets this dark tone for “Impulse,” with its ambient sounds and effects, while a massive riser prepares us for what’s next. The chorus is WILD. A fat sustained bass rides over trap-style drums. But the attention-grabber is the zappy bass that sits at the forefront of the mix. In the second chorus, Sully and Tape B switch up the patterns for an even more aggressive feel. This sounds like bass music from the Helix Nebula, and we absolutely love it.
The fourth and final tune of the Encrypted EP is a true DnB banger. Drum and Bass is known for being at times difficult for traditional dubstep artists to successfully produce. But with “Head Knock,” Sully is really showing off just how versatile he really is. Even the neuro basses that he teases from the start of the intro are just disgusting. An Amen Break drum pattern in the build sets the expectations for the DnB madness that is about to ensue. The chorus has a killer pattern of dirty basses, all immaculately designed and arranged. This is a pattern for the Encrypted EP–-it’s just so tasteful. Perfectly mixed drums sit underneath, switching to halftime in the first part second chorus for a slower, grungier feel. The mix is full of ear candy, from the vocals, to the fills, to the subtle effects that fill the space. “Head Knock” is a masterpiece of heavy DnB, and will be on my rotation for a long time to come.
Here is what the man himself had to say about the new EP:
“The Encrypted EP represents unlocking a new dimension of my creativity. I didn’t want a ‘genre’ or ‘style’ to dictate what I put into this project which yielded a well-rounded product like I’ve always tried to accomplish with my music. From the sound design to the songwriting, I put endless hours into making sure this project was a step forward for me creatively.”
Sully also took to twitter to share more background on how the Encrypted EP came together, so make sure to check out that thread below for all the backstories. With this collection out, we are more excited than ever to catch Sully live in 2022. He’s slated for BVSS CVMP, Global Dance Fest in Denver in July, Electric Zoo, and Evolutions Festival, with more to be announced. Make sure to catch a Sully set this year – it will be one for the books!
I'm going to try something new where I provide a little background story for each of the songs on the "Encrypted" EP
Follow the thread to see how all 4 songs developed!
— Sully (@_SullyMusic) June 28, 2022
What did you think of Sully’s Encrypted EP? Let us know in the comments or on our socials!