Electronic dance music has gotten too safe. Somebody needs to come in and shake things up before the genre becomes swallowed up in a haze of corporate machinations and twirling glow sticks. Sluggo is the antihero EDM desperately calls for. The Phoenix-based artist, producer, and C.E.O. of Ultragore Recordings makes violent, visceral, and vicious dubstep; embracing everything from heavy metal to first person shooters, he taps into a guttural edge and pulls out dark grooves so staggering you can't help but move. With knives sharpened and guns blazing, Sluggo stands on the cusp of another electronic revolution.
To create this sound, he's not drawing from the usual places. He's quicker to cite Pantera and Killswitch Engage as influences than anything else. "Growing up all I listened to was rock, metal, and rap," he affirms. "I like the gritty style of bass music. It's heavy, dark, and evil shit. Those grimy bass lines could be like a raw guitar chug. There's double bass with the triplets. Whatever I do needs to be gory, ultra-violent, and metal as fuck."
Sluggo has been honing his skills from a young age. In high school, after visiting one underground party, he started to DJ. From there, he spent countless hours learning synthesis and became one of the early purveyors of the North American dubstep scene along with Excision and Borgore. In 2010, he founded Ultragore Recordings and released his single "I Get Violent" on Beatport.
Since then, he's had 29 releases and 52 songs come out under the Ultragore banner as well as music from Helicopter Showdown, Liquid Stranger, Torqux, Bare, and many more. He's also managed to reach the coveted Beatport Top 5 multiple times. Further branching out, he even created an official remix for deathcore stalwarts Iwrestledabearonce. However, his world changed in 2011 with a song entitled "Dark Crystal".
Sampling the 1982 film of the same name, the track remains emblematic of Sluggo's distinct alchemy of dubstep and gritty soundscapes. Legendary Korn singer Jonathan Davis heard "Dark Crystal" and instantly became a fan. He contacted Sluggo and invited him on tour with Korn and began collaborating with him on his J Devil project.
"I've always been a huge Korn fan, and I feel like 'Dark Crystal' was really the beginning of everything for me," he smiles. "It's a crazy song, and it's actually very metal-influenced. The movie made for an epic sample, and music is super grimy and grind-y."
On the other end of the spectrum, "Get Gorey" takes a cue from the classic game Doom and blasts out a flurry of fiery synths. Then, there's "Our Wrath" [Featuring Nerd Rage], which engages a pure metallic stomp. Live, these songs can either make audiences move or mosh, and the artist assaults every stage with uncontainable energy.
Ultimately, he's not going to just blaze through EDM though. "I want diversity," Sluggo declares. "I want people who listen to heavy music, hip hop, and country to dig my shit. I want them to think, 'What's going on there?' I want them to feel it and have fun. That's it." - Rick Florino, May 2012