NotLö Finds Her Groove, Magic Through Bass Music [Interview]
This issue was originally written in September of 2020.
As it is for most of us, the magic of music is an escape for Alex Mantekas. Discovering her connection to music was to find an avenue to solace during the hardships of life. This connection sprouted years ago when she started regularly attending electronic shows as a fan. Mantekas was most attracted to the eclectic ambiences and experimental beats that filled the atmosphere. Having seen inspirational performances, especially by female artists such as Clozee, she felt called to begin her own inventive endeavor as an electronic artist.
Confident in her mission to keep the vibes high, she cleverly declared herself as the DJ named NotLö. This creative alias represents the high vibrational energy she emanates into and through her music. In the very beginning of her journey, NotLö reached out to friends who already had experience with mixing and producing. Through a combination of self-taught practice and learning from others, she began her melodic experimentation.
To migrate closer to the industry, she moved from her home in Charleston, South Carolina to Denver, Colorado. This was a strategic move considering that Denver is a central hub in the underground bass scene. The relocation was pivotal for her career, as it led to plenty of experience gained, networking opportunities, and gigs. Eventually, NotLö went about checking off her bucket list and worked her way to performing at one of Colorado’s most popular venues for underground music, The Black Box.
To further progress her abilities, NotLö brushed up on her technical skills while attending a non-profit, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, in Denver. This provided her the advantage to produce logistically proper sound. Additionally, she partook in an internship with a sound recording studio to further her knowledge. Her time spent in these professional atmospheres fine tuned her skills as a musician.
As a dubstep DJ specializing in low-end bass, her sound is distinct; resembling static, distorted grooves. Her goal is to create an elevating experience for listeners by building ethereal soundscapes in music.
Her beat concocting abilities don’t stop there though. She dives into other realms of electronic music while working with other artists such as Shatter, Vibe Emissions, and Wreckno. “Collaborations typically offer new experiences to expand my style.” said NotLö, who caught up with MP3DU this past year. In her case, experimentation knows no boundaries. Even though her signature style mainly features dark experimental ambiences, she can also be found working on uptempo dubstep tracks and even house music.
Despite a change in pace in the music industry, NotLö continues to grind out her passion. She works hard to maintain her career during these questionable times by booking virtual gigs and continuing to create music. In fact, she believes the time off has helped her career. To make light of the situation, she invested herself towards the new opportunities that have come her way. She explains how she utilized the extra time to her benefit, “Taking a hiatus from traveling and performing has given me plenty of time to finally find my sound and groove. ”
The power of technology surely has made positive impacts on her career this year. Riding the wave of virtual performances, NotLö has been featured in many live streams while working with entities like Aftershock and MP3DU. Putting together streams with others in the industry has provided quite the platform for her to perform. NotLö’s favorite aspect of the digital shift is the ability to work with video artists more often. Overall, the increased use of the web has led to a better connection with her fans over social media platforms. With a rise in followers and more frequent engagement with listeners, she’s able to continue building her fanbase.
NotLö’s latest project features an EP, titled Evolve. This artistic piece serves to epitomize the recent growth that NotLö has gone through as an artist and as a person. She describes the EP as her “most meaningful piece to date… with the most symbolism and work behind it. It really tested the boundaries with my creativity.” Each piece debuts NotLö’s signature musical flow. As listeners tune in, they are released into an enveloping atmospheric experience to get lost in the deep tones. The dark, eerie sounds layered with smashing drums and snares are bound to pull you in. The EP features a few collabs with artists such as Engix and LittyKitter, bringing forth a myriad collection of bass.
As an artist in 2020, NotLö felt urged to utilize her platform to curate events that promote awareness around various social issues in our society. Along with a few other artists, dedicated proceeds from live stream events to social organizations such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and RAINN. Her expressed support towards women, people of color, and victims of sexual abuse provides a positive message to be shared with fans.
NotLö is ecstatic for what the future has in store. As the dynamic situation surrounding the pandemic evolves, artists and event curators are working diligently to host safe events while still bringing back the fun times of live shows. She emphasizes how important it is to “put herself out there and reach out to other artists. Keep your project relevant and never lose your momentum.”