The Story Behind Yheti’s New Album, ‘Everything New Was Old’
In the ever-evolving realm of electronic music, change is not only expected — it’s celebrated. As a pioneer in the experimental bass community, Yheti has continuously taken his musical wizardry to display the beauty of change that emerges when artistry meets technology. Yheti sat down with MP3 MAG following his latest album release, Everything New Was Old, to discuss the ins and outs of the new album, the birth of his career, and how change has manifested in his music, and more importantly, his life.
Since a young age, Tyler Holler, better known as Yheti, has been deeply immersed in the world of music. During his teenage years, he dedicated his life to the creative craft when he learned how to play the drums and piano, and later joined a metal band. His strong love for death metal and rock music introduced him to the expansive world of live music, where he fell in love with the electrifying experience and raw, visceral energy of a good crowd.
Growing up in the tranquil city of Piqua, Ohio, there wasn’t much of an electronic music scene, so the internet became the primary source of exploration during the early years of Holler’s music discovery. Artists like Aphex Twin and Sqaurepusher helped aid in the discovery of electronic music for Holler. While listening to their music, he developed a love for their intricate musical patterns and drum programming, and brainstormed the idea to recreate it himself.
“I tried to make some of that music myself, but really I just put a bunch of random drum hits in my program,” Holler said in an exclusive interview with MP3 MAG. “When I realized it didn’t sound anything like music, I discovered that there’s a lot more to producing than using a ton of drum heads.”
As Holler’s artistic journey began to unfold, he embraced opportunities to step out of his comfort zone and showcase his talent as a performer. Occasionally, he would open his transform his house into his own personal venue, where he would invite around 100 people, cook for them, and give them free beer while he played some of his unreleased music. This allowed him to create an intimate space that allowed him to graciously host friends and unveil new music in a way that felt authentic and personal.
Following a pivotal move to California, Yheti’s career quickly began to soar. From starting in a small town in Ohio, to playing massive venues like Red Rocks and WAKAAN Music Festival, Yheti has established an incredible name for himself, but stays true to his intricate, elaborate sound.
As an emerging artist in the beginning, it was easier for him to get away with more experimental sounds, but now that he consistently performs on bigger stages, he’s embraced the challenge of striking a delicate balance between crowd-pleasing performances and the preservation of his distinct sonic style.
Growing as an artist means change is inevitable, and Yheti has discovered a way to stay true to himself, while adjusting his sound to constantly stay fresh. His newest album, Everything New Was Old, is an ode to recreating what was once already beautifully made, while giving it a modern twist. The album consists of 20 reworked tracks that have been previously released over the years.
Yheti’s muse for this latest endeavor was simple: He realized that no one — not even the many artists that he so greatly admires — ever pulls a creative idea out of thin air. Almost everything that is created in music relies on a mosaic of references that blossom into the idea it eventually becomes.
Yo! Mega happy to announce my new album "Everything New Was Old" will be out Sept.1st. ! :::')
20 New audio works created with resampled Old Yheti tracks reimagined with modern technique.
Feels like my magnum opus and my best work yet 😁
Track 1 out everywhere tomorrow <3 pic.twitter.com/FruumWsOcf
— Yheti (@yhetimusic) July 4, 2023
“The more I’ve met other artists that I admire, the more I realize that everyone’s using one, two, three or four different references to create something new,” Holler said. “I’ve never come across an artist that isn’t referencing some other art to get the results. Even in pop music, people often reuse the same choruses or the same chord progressions. I just realized that all art is like a derivative, or an evolution of something that came before it.”
Originally starting with 30 tracks, Yheti narrowed the album down to a collection of 20 masterfully reworked gems that were sure to set the dance floor ablaze. Starting with a deconstructive approach, Yheti began breaking each track down into individual drum hits, samples and effects, then loaded them onto a drum machine and let the magic happen.
The result is an album composed entirely of fresh tracks, consisting of familiar elements that intermingle with new and improved sound design to create an unforgettable auditory experience.
The transformation in Yheti’s sound, especially on Everything New Was Old, stems from a careful development of sound design, as well as improvement in technology over the last decade. He found himself developing incredible ideas, but the limitations of technology often presented obstacles that steered him away from his ambitious ideas, which constantly sounded different in his head.
“I realized I used to have a lot of issues with my computer not being able to handle the amount of plugins or edits I was doing,” Holler said. “I would have to limit the complexity of the track, because my computer couldn’t handle it. It would start glitching out and slowing down and crashing. But now the technology is so good that I can do pretty much anything that I can imagine and my computer can handle it.”
Because of these improvements, there’s an incredible amount of musical freedom now, especially with fans being increasingly open to multi-genre music. This allows Yheti to play in whatever tempo he prefers, or to really go outside of the box and do something off the wall without people getting upset at his experimental sounds.
While all of the songs on this album are incredible, the one Holler holds closest to his heart is the track “We Found You.” In this song specifically, he takes all of the sound design knowledge and new techniques he’s acquired over the years to make this track one of the most complex musical compositions on the album.
“I utilize this technique that I came up with called ‘flowering the beat,’ Holler said. “Essentially I’ll make one drum beat and one baseline, and then I’ll mute the drum beat and write a new beat to the same bassline. I’ll do that over a dozen times, then pick out the best loops. That’s why ‘We Found You’ has a different pattern in every bar, so it doesn’t ever repeat the whole track. This is something that I’ve never done before, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard anyone else do that.”
For an optimal listening experience of the new album, Yheti suggests fans immerse themselves in the sound from beginning to end using high quality headphones or top notch speakers. The grand story behind the album is to make you feel like you’re at a music festival. The first few tracks of Everything New Was Old feel like the first setting sun at the festival grounds, but as the album progresses, the music brings you to the early morning sunrise.
Of course, nothing can fully replace hearing Yheti perform these tracks live, which is why you should definitely experience the album during one of Yheti’s upcoming performances at Illuminated Experience, WAKAAN Festival or Haunted Forest.
I've been working every day on new tracks for my Wakaan and Orlando sets next weekend 👨💻 🔊
I might be crazy, but I'm making new edits of my album tracks. Want my sets to feel really fresh and familiar at the same time. 💙
— Yheti (@yhetimusic) September 22, 2023
The concepts of evolution, as well as personal growth, have left a mark on Yheti’s life and music. His unique style and distinct identity have carved out a beautiful niche in the dance music scene, and the outcome of this latest album is an obvious testament to that. Being true to yourself and following your passion will always point you in the right direction.
“I want people to feel confident in their imperfections and unique in their own silly way, Holler said. “The dissonance and strangeness of life doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The sadness and terrible circumstances in life can add richness to the beauty and joy of life. If you acknowledge and embrace sadness and darkness, you can be happy and joyful at the same time. I just want people to feel whole as much as possible.”
Feature photo shot by Ricardo Muaricio.