A New Slant on Dance Music 

The Inside Scoop on Let's Go Outside

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Let's Go Outside (Steve Schieberl) produces music at a mystifying rate. Barely into his 30s, he's just shy of completing his 600th track. A couple years ago, having never attempted to get his peculiar brand of electronic music signed, he sent demos to a handful of prominent record labels that even the most established producer would be lucky to get a deal with. A week later he got a call from Soma Records, the highly respected Glasgow-based label.

"I'd been making music so long, I thought I'd start big and just see what they said. I thought they would appreciate that it was different, but not too abstract," Schieberl recalls. While his stage name refers to his love of outdoor activities, it's also appropriate to his sound, which falls outside the lines of even the most innovative new genres of dance music.

While on tour in Europe, Schieberl learned that he could get as experimental as he wanted with his sound, as long as he kept a solid foundation of dance beats that people could recognize. He returned to Portland last year and started a vinyl-only record label, Slant, to showcase an even weirder side of dance music.

When asked to describe the aesthetic of the label, he summed it up as, "Textured, but abstract. Psychedelic, but driving. One thing all of the music has in common is it can't land on one genre. If you can identify it strictly as deep house or techno it's probably not going to come out on Slant."

The label's inaugural release, Bicycle Day, is a tribute to LSD inventor Albert Hofmann, and the infamous day Hofmann dosed himself and rode his bike home from the laboratory. The debut track could definitely be the soundtrack to a two-wheeled acid freakout; sinister crackles, distant laser guns, and rusty water in metal tubes pull you into a deep, dark place, while punishing beats remind you to stay aware of your surroundings.

Schieberl explains, "It's not a celebration of acid itself, but the generation of thinking it spawned. The acid wave created a movement of people who were socially responsible, people who thought about putting peace before war, about ecology, and people who would ride their bikes to save the planet."

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