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Noisey

Brenmar Gives Us the Low-Down On 'High End Times Vol. 1'

The NYC-via-Chicago club auteur dishes on working with Mykki Blanco, Sasha Go Hard, and more.

by Jessica Gentile
Feb 21 2014, 1:57am

If the word "swag" was still even a little bit relevant, we'd use it to describe Brenmar. However, now that "swag" is out, we've settled on "sexy," because his music is just that. The erotic vibes stems from the Brooklynite's process: he's always thinking about the ladies when he's making beats. Brenmar, a Chicago native née Bill Salas, is known for his steamy aesthetic, which he calls "club music for the present." It's a carefully-crafted formula that combines sounds plucked from American-bred permutations of dance music with rap and R&B influences, and Salas spends a lot of time fine-tuning with the mixture in the studio. For a while there, he was churning out remixes and edits every few weeks, so when we didn't hear from him for a while, we knew something had to be up.

Well, we were right. This week, out of nowhere, Bill pulled a Beyonce and dropped a mixtape titled High End Times Vol 1. The set, which you can download in the player below, contains eight Brenmar originals featuring guest appearances by vocalists like club music diva Uniique, New York's buzzing RnB singer Ian Isiah, Chicago rapper Sasha Go Hard, and Mad Decent's badass Dominican princess, Maluca. Before we get ahead of ourselves, we should admit that this mix isn't perfect, and there's definitely something wrong with it: we wish it was longer.

But we'll obsess over the bangers we've got while we wait for Bill to bring us volume two. To bide the time, we asked Brenmar to tell us about the tracks he created for High End Times Vol. 1 and the inspiration behind them.

Medusa feat. Rush Davis
"I met Rush near the end of 2012 in LA at a Mustache Mondays party I was DJing that night. He approached me because he liked my music and remixes, dude was chill and we kept in touch afterward. 'Medusa' was one of the first songs [I] started for High End Times. We recorded half of it in NY, then the other half when I went out [to] LA again a few months later. Rush is a new singer on the scene but he's already been putting in some serious work behind the scenes, writing for a lot of pretty famous peeps. You'll be hearing a lot more of him this year."

All This Green feat. Mykki Blanco and Maluca
"Mykki and I recorded 'Wavy' together, so I knew I had to have him on the mixtape. I also knew I wanted a bad bitch for the hook, so I hollered at Maluca—we're all friends so it was just a matter of getting into the studio together. I worked on this one in multiple sessions, [it] took me a little while to finally get it to hit the way I wanted, but I think it's maybe one of the heaviest on the mixture."

Hey Ladies (Get Up) feat. Uniique
"No bullshit, this was the initial inspiration behind this song. Uniique is a good friend and a talented DJ/producer doing her thing outta Jersey."

Like A Ho feat. EMPDASME, Junglepussy, and Doley Bernays
"I heard this EMPDASME track a little after it first came out, and have been friends with EMP since. We started "Like a Ho" together and I immediately thought we needed a girl to help balance out the energy in the song. Make no mistake—there's a lot of THOTS out there, but this one [is] supposed to make you laugh a bit too. [It's] just some fun hip-hop party shit. I reached out to Junglepussy and she was all good vibez and energy. Then I reached out to Doley Bernays from the Bronx for the second verse and that was that."

Super Fly feat. Sasha Go Hard
"I first heard Sasha on 'What We Do' and immediately fell in love with her. She all tiny and cute, but harder than most MF's making hip-hop nowadays. Sasha is the real deal and a unique voice in hip-hop, the girl has bars for days. I sent her a bunch of beats and she ended up choosing the weirdest/fastest/hardest one...I luv her!"

Payroll feat. Calore
"Calore is super unique and a good friend—we both just get zooted in the studio and work on music and have fun. We recorded 'Beads' together with Mike Q last year ,and I knew from the beginning I wanted her on my mixtape. We recorded 'Payroll' over a few sessions with our friend Sam Coffie. The vocal sample in the song is from the movie Backstage."

Expensive feat. Ian Isiah
"After recording 'Sweat' with Ian for his mixtape I knew I wanted him on mine. This was the last song I recorded for High End Times. Me and Ian are just on the same page when recording, it's easy and fun. I wanted something with a 90bpm bounce—I love so much of what's coming out of the west coast R&B scene right now, this was my little ode."

Trouble Girl feat. Ziggy The Zombie
"I met Ziggy via DJ Sliink one day when they came over to my place in NY. We kicked that night and Ziggy literally just played me some rough recordings he had through his phone speaker. I was really impressed, but we didn't link again for a long time after that. I had the beat for 'Trouble Girl' for a while and actually tried recording to it with a couple different people, but wasn't sold on any of them. I sent it over to Ziggy kinda on a whim, hoping maybe he could do something with it. Ziggy called me a few days later telling me he had written to it. He came to the studio and we recorded both verses and the hook in less than two hours. I was blown away. I loved where he took the song. Ziggy has a lot of potential and we'll definitely be working together more. I could tell you who the female is on the hook, but she might kill me."