Isolate unveils Sahar’s latest musical venture, “Stereo Love”. A seamless blend of five tracks merging electronic beats and nostalgic tones, this latest release skilfully amalgamates reflective lyricism, vintage instrumentation and pulsating rhythms, showcasing Sahar’s artistic finesse. The emotional core of the EP resides in its title track, “Stereo Love”; a vivid portrayal of the challenges in early relationships. Imagine two individuals, akin to out-of-phase speakers, seeking harmony amidst the tumult of love. The song’s reflective and positive tone creates an atmosphere that’s both relatable and uplifting. 

Progressing through the EP, “Where We’d Be Now” – released as a standalone single on January 19 – explores the landscape of wasted time and lost futures. Vintage-inspired instrumentation, saturated with analog FX, strikes a delicate balance between authenticity and nostalgia. The dreamlike vocals and swung percussion inject hope into the track, while an underlying sense of potential unravelling adds an enchanting layer of complexity to the narrative. The EP is completed by three tracks designed for peak time club use, as Sahar showcases his versatility as a producer and his commitment to delivering an immersive experience for diverse audiences. “Freq Ctrl,” the EP’s deepest track, envelops listeners in an atmospheric soundscape, featuring massive bass stabs and a chaotic drop that pushes sonic boundaries. “That’s Right” takes a different turn, crafting a peak-time, party-starting anthem with hip-hop-influenced vocal samples set to ignite dance floors. As the EP reaches its pinnacle, “Midnight” emerges as Sahar’s personal favourite in terms of production. Drawing inspiration from the legendary Daft Punk, the track boasts chuggy groove elements and a heavily automated vocoder, creating a dynamic and infectious energy. We caught up with Sahar to find out more.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your musical journey leading up to the release of your latest EP, “Stereo Love” on ISOLATE. 

So I have been heavily into music from a young age, I grew up surrounded by my dads huge record collection and I always had my ears open for something I liked. My school was very musical too, which I always overlook, but it probably had a big impact on me. Most weekends, I’d go to see different peoples bands playing somewhere or other, which is probably what got me into playing instruments in the first place. For me though, despite being a very outgoing person in day to day life, creating music has been a very personal thing and I’ve always been most content when working alone. 
At 18 I started going to raves all over the UK and began to fall in love with dance music and the spirit of night clubs. Not long after, I began playing in clubs myself and within the year I was making my own music. Ever since then I’ve been obsessed with improving my skills and trying to carve out a niche sound that people connect with. 
I had my first release in 2019 and things started to really blossom from there. This whole thing has been a very gradual process for me. I work hard and each year is a little busier than the last. 

Can you describe your individual sound and style in your own words and what makes it uniquely you? 

I don’t know really, I feel like it’s hard to pin down because, to me, all of my tracks are very different from each other and I have no set process when making music. I sometimes worry about this – that the style of each track may be so disparate I lack a certain sonic identity, but that’s probably in my own head. 
I think over time my Vocals have become the most uniquely distinguishable thing about my music. I’m actually happy about this, because as a producer, it gives me more freedom to do whatever feels right in the studio – know even if I go totally out of my comfort zone, a small vocal part from myself will make make it sound unquestionably like a ‘Sahar track’. 

What was your creative process and the inspiration behind your “Stereo Love” EP and the creation of its tracks?

My inspiration generally comes after I’ve already started a track. I don’t go in the studio with a particular idea or direction anymore because whenever I have in the past the track never comes out good. You can’t force it. I find it best to just start playing around and recording everything until a sound or sequence really sparks my interest. After that I try and build around a main theme, layering sounds and adding some supporting elements. 
The style of every track essentially comes down to whatever my mood was that day. I try to have an instrumental track finished in a day as I never know what mood I will wake up in tomorrow, it’s so easy to ruin you tracks this way. For example, if I make something dreamy and melodic and the next morning I want to make techno, the worst thing to do is open yesterdays project as I will undoubtedly contradict the theme and spoil it. This is why I only start a new track now if I have 6-8 hours to see a first version through to completion. 
The only thing contrary to this way of working is the vocal parts. The vocals on this EP and with almost all of my music come right at the end, often months after the original track is conceived. I like to listen to a finished instrumental for a long time in lots of different places before I write the lyrics or even decide on the theme. It’s necessary for me get to grips with the feeling of the track away from a computer screen. 

You were featured on the ISOLATE’s recent remix album to mark their fifth anniversary. Can you tell us how you first connected with the label founders Alican & Murat, and what it means to you to be a party of the ISOLATE family?

Yes, you said it perfectly in the question to be honest, I see ISOLATE as my music family. They were the first International label to really show belief in me and they have been doing all they can to give my music a platform ever since. I couldn’t be more grateful to them.
My initial interaction was with Alican on IG messenger, just asking if they were accepting demos, and thankfully they were. The first time I met Murat was at ADE in 2022. I’ve played for them in Istanbul, London and twice at ADE now. They are great people and their parties are always lots of fun! 

Could you delve into some of the technical elements that define the sound of the “Stereo Love” EP and how they contribute to the overall atmosphere of the tracks?

It’s quite a big EP made over a long period of time, I think the only running theme for all of the tracks is the Octatrack which I use as my main drum machine and sequencer for all of my other equipment. I love this way of working as it allows me to really focus purely on sound rather than looking at a computer screen, which i find distracting. These days, I try to have all my elements ready to go before I even look at the computer screen. 
Regarding the technical aspects of Stereo Love – I think what has struck me from the reaction and feedback this track has had is how deeply people connect to the vocal. I believe the sound design in the build up really has a big part to play in this. All of the sounds in this track have a raw, home made, slightly wonky aesthetic. This sets the tone perfectly for the vocal, making the words feel more honest than if the track was immaculately produced. From the first draft guitars, to the loose organic sounding percussion and even the distorted flute sound which i agonised  over and doctored endlessly, still sounds kind of careless and thrown together but in a beautiful way. 

You are also a resident of *riffraff. Can you tell us more about this, and how this platform has contributed to your musical growth and expression? 

Yeah, I became a resident DJ for *riffraff in about 2015. The party was already well established by the time I joined and has recently celebrated its 20th birthday. Having a monthly residency definitely helped build my skills and confidence as a DJ, it also gave me the opportunity to try new things and make mistakes. I consider myself very lucky to have had this experience. When you’re starting out in a small town, it’s incredibly difficult to play regular parties where people are interested in what you want to do, if it’s outside of the commercial, without an established promoter with a committed following taking you under their wing. 

Looking ahead, what can we expect from you in terms of your musical evolution and upcoming projects beyond the release of the “Stereo Love” EP?

I’ve got a really busy release schedule all planned out up until summer, with a few more discussions ongoing. For a lot of years I’ve been sitting on so much unreleased music, I think this is a good time for me to show people what I’ve been doing all this time. Beyond that I plan to start my own label. And creatively… I have a really strong urge to work on a big project but I haven’t decided what yet, like with most things, I’m just going keep doing what I love and I’m sure it will come to me when the time is right.

Sahar – Stereo Love is out now via Isolate: