My name is Eryk Kowalczyk and I produce electronic music under the name Xilent. I've spent the last 3 years touring the world and playing my music to thousands of people. I've officially remixed for Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran and many more.

Perhaps people know me best for 'Boss Wave', which won the Best Music Video award last year at the BMA:

My new single 'Falling Apart' has just been released:

I am currently finishing work on my debut album which will be released in 6 months.

Ask me anything you like and I'll do my best to answer!




Comments: 173 • Responses: 34  • Date: 

FluppyCompCube23 karma

Could you please tell us something about your mixdown process? Do you work on your mixdown as you make a track or you do it in another part of the session? Is a proper gain staging, EQ and compression enough or do you use another effects? Lastly, how do you make your supersaws not clash with other tracks - is it only about sidechain?

xilenthimself27 karma

I've made enough tracks in the past to be able to tell which ones are my personal varourites when it comes to sound. Whenever I get an idea, I usually open that older project and treat it as a template that contains all my EQs, compressing, bus-ing and channel groups already in place. This reassures me that whatever sound I put into a track that has a certain amount of inserts already in it - will sound very good from the very start. That way I keep the previous mixdown coherent with whatever's coming next (cause you don't wanna end up with an EP or an album that has tracks that sound completely different when it comes to low-end, mid or loudness, etc). I'm also very impatient and I have to hear what the final track will sound like even when I'm still at 5% of making it, that's why the constant tweaking of a mixdown is essential for me as I go. Apart from the effects you mentioned, I also use a lot of spatial/dimentional stuff to widen the sound. Lastly, apart from sidechain comes ducking of certain frequencies, for example when you have a massively synth-packed track, adding a full female vocal line to it will require getting rid of certain frequencies from the group of synths to make the lyrics audible, and so on. Thanks for the question!

ak9music12 karma

When are we eventually gonna go for a beer? :D

xilenthimself8 karma

Dude, I'm like... right here! Wbijaj i biba!

xKore12 karma

what's ur favourite vest?

maw1429 karma

How did your name "Xilent" come to be? What were some other alias names you were considering?

xilenthimself21 karma

I've been a big fan of the Silent Hill franchise since I was 9. My initial idea was to call myself Silent as a tribute to the games, but I realised it's a bit of a broad word, so I just replaced the first letter with whatever was closest on the keyboard. Or at least that's how I remember it...

KruxOfficial7 karma

Please can you give use your tips for making funky, yet heavy basses (like the one in Boss Wave)?

xilenthimself9 karma

I have a couple of Massive patches and exported sustained bass sounds I've premade years ago that I'm constantly upgrading in my spare time - thanks to Massive being a standalone. Combined with CamelPhat's BP Filter and obvious EQing afterwards - usually works.

IAmTheCatMaster7 karma

How do you make those FUCKING AMAZING supersaws?

xilenthimself7 karma

They're basic mixtures of Omnisphere, Nexus 2, Sylenth and spatial imaging with a touch of subtractive EQ. All about layering and filling frequency gaps with harmonic chords that compliment other synths around it. Oh, and sidechain, duh.

ElliotBerger7 karma

Hey man, how're you? :) Was wondering if you had any insight to the glitches you do? For example the gaps between the supersaws in Falling Apart? And do you cut the reverb tails on your glitches and saws, or leave them? Thanks!

xilenthimself15 karma

I love to resample. When it comes to melodic glitches like in Falling Apart, I do a lot of foley and make noises to the microphone myself, then pitch up or down, stretch (Paulstretch - not reverb) and boost, right after I chop it up to harmonic pieces. I enjoy using SugarBytes Tornado mixed with Dblue_Glitch and Vocodex on the inserts of that. This kind of mixture combined with FabFilter Timeless is sometimes tough to control but when done right - produces really good effects!

UnBalancedUK6 karma

Seven Lions mentioned your collab was coming 'soon' a few months back. Any updates on that front? Single or album/EP track?

xilenthimself11 karma

I really can't say much yet apart from the fact that it will only be a single track. We've been working on it on and off for so long, had separate tours and other stuff going on in the meantime, but I'm pretty sure we can finally say that it will be out on OWSLA in the coming months. Expect a preview VERY soon!

maw1426 karma

How do you get such wonderful mixdowns?

xilenthimself10 karma

First of all, subtractive EQ. I know it's what every sound engineer at any university would tell you, but it is the truth. Instead of boosting frequencies of a synth/bass that you think should be more visible, try decreasing other frequencies around it to make it stand out. Second of all, my parents have always been telling me that less sometimes means more and a pause is also a sound. I've been trying to incorporate these ideas and, I cannot lie, sidechaining is definitely a big part of it.

vingt_et_un5 karma

where to you see the EDM scene in the next 5-10 years?

xilenthimself13 karma

Unless something comes over to kick 'trap' out of the picture like it itself did to dubstep & glitchhop somewhat, I'd say... Twerk. Twerk everywhere unfortunately. Nah, I don't know really. Worst thing is that there's a lot of artists getting mass produced by huge labels that are only meant to be mascots dancing onstage while they play ghost-produced tracks made by a guy in Netherlands somewhere. If it keeps going like this and people won't create some sort of music revolution fronteer that would start appreciating music as it was appreciated from 60's till 00's, it will keep going into the more and more wrong, I'm talking nicki-minaj_-_Anaconda-wrong. But that's just my opinion.

maw1425 karma

Do you think dubstep is dead as reflected in that recent Beatport article on their sales trends?

xilenthimself6 karma

Not if someone keeps it alive, wink wink! Really though, fads come and go and that Beatport sales chart looked like a OnionNews joke to me at first. There are so many huge artists like Skrillex, Flux Pavilion or Zomboy that show us the complete opposite of what that chart allegedly portraied. I agree that many have, sometimes even entirely and radically, switched to bigroom and trap, but I wouldn't say the decline was THAT drastic. Yet.

SenseiTOP4 karma

favorite plugins? XILENT <3

xilenthimself3 karma

Omnisphere, Nexus 2, Sylenth, Massive. <3

Kalevipoeg6154 karma

What's your tip on countering writer's block? How often do you feel stuck when making a track? How is your production workflow organized? Do mix while arranging a tune or after the arrangement? What is your tip on improving at workflow? Do u feel that the best tracks are made in a session or several til hundreds of sessions?

And i'd like to say thanks and keep the good work up, xilent, u rock!!

xilenthimself4 karma

In the earlier days I've always had this habit of starting 10 projects with a drop or just intro - and never finishing them. That's because at the beginning I just had too many ideas for tracks. For some time I thought that's a bad thing, but when it came to the point where some of those tracks were only started and never finished not for the reason of having other ideas, but for having no ideas at all. At that point, all the other projects are a total remedy. Whenever such a writer's block hits me, I immediately close the project and switch to another unfinished one.

My production workflow is getting better, though I do tend to start tracks with the drop and then continue 'right' without looking at 'left', aka leaving the intro and the build up for last. All mixing and arranging comes hand in hand in my case, I would never start arranging a track without it sounding properly first, and vice versa. Mastering is usually in place on the master out, but I do my best to turn it on whenever I REALLY need to listen to the final product.

My tip for a better workflow than I currently have is... don't try to improve it and go with the flow. Wait until you get such an idea for a track that you immediately have to run to the studio and start working on it from scratch and whatever workflow will accompany it - that's the one, because it's made with passion. I know it sounds cheesy, but jeez!

Well, if we assume 'best' meaning the cleanest and simply 'banging' tracks, they could most likely be made in a matter of 2 or 3 sessions, but I wouldn't say they'll be very polished or would contain any detailed complexity. Those kind of tracks are also mainly created out of sudden rushes of ideas that may or may not seem cool to you anymore in a matter of days and looking back on a track like that will make you cringe. On my forthcoming album there are a couple of songs that I have been turning upside down and inside out throughout a span of 2 years, adding and subtracting synths, vocals, changing drums entirely, etc. 'Sleeping' on a track will make you realise how good or bad it is the next morning or next week, that's why multiple sessions (heck, even 30 or 40) are best and make you realise the true potential of a tune.

Thank you for awesome questions!

KruxOfficial4 karma

Who in your opinion are the most underrated producers out there?

xilenthimself10 karma

AU5, Fractal, Prismatic, She, Mr. Bill, Yanntek, Jikes, Bobby Tank and about 50 more.

GunslingerJones3 karma

First off, are you a fellow Savant fan!? I heard you drop one of his songs (Starfish) at your show and I went insane! Thanks for that!

Also, I often hear a lot of similarities when comparing your music to that of other artists like Seven Lions, Au5, etc. A lot of great work with super saws and big, full sounding drops. Are you influenced by any of them or anyone in particular?

Thanks again and keep up the great work, can't wait to see you live again!

xilenthimself5 karma

Savant is great, he definitely knows what he's doing. We've supported each other for a while now and we're about to remix each other's work soon. The artists you mentioned - we're pretty much all friends. It all starts with just one type of sound and it works like a spider-web, spreading an idea to someone's consciousness, making him produce a certain sound that imitates it and influences the initial sound back. Full duplex. Everything is a remix, therefore we've all inspired each other in due time. I believe Jeff (Seven Lions) has even said so in one or two of his interviews. Thank you for coming to my show!

Rainak3 karma

Hey, Xilent! I've loved all the tracks you've put out in the past few years, and I have a couple of questions for you.

First, who is your favorite artist in the edm genre right now, in your opinion. To put it better words, who do you hear songs from and just go, "wow, that's absolutely incredible!" ?

Second, what puts you in the mood to mix a DnB song or a dubstep song? Is it completely sporadic and you just like to mix whatever idea pops into the mind, or do you get in moods where it's just having a straight-up drum and bass addiction or a dubstep addiction for months at a time?

Also, For Once was awesome. Do another track with Skyflake =]

xilenthimself2 karma

Hi! Thank you :) 1. There are some amazing artists that get way too little attention these days and you know it's pretty difficult to pick just one, but recently I very often listen to BT's older stuff or Porter Robinson's new album and have to pick up pieces of my mind from the floor everytime. Cause yeah, blown. 2. Completely sporadic, I remember going on a big electro-house production binge last year and it still transferred onto this year, that's why there was so much material to pick from when it came to the upcoming album. It's weird, but I noticed that whenever I'm a bit annoyed or angry, I would sit down and write a drum&bass track, loosens me up. 3. Glad you like it!

ner04173 karma

What is your favorite song that you have produced?

xilenthimself5 karma

There are a couple of tracks ex equo, and I'm probably only going to make you angry by saying they're mostly from my upcoming album ;). That's just how it is, you only like what you're doing now and facepalm at what you were doing in highschool. But OK, tracks from years/months ago that I would still play live are: Tenkai (believe it or not), Infinity, remix for Ellie Goulding 'Figure 8'.

SorroWsWorld3 karma

Just wanted to say that you are my favorite artist and i love what you do! Keep at it. For my question, how did you choose the name Xilent?

xilenthimself3 karma

Thank you so much! I answered it in someone else's question. (tl;dr = Silent Hill)

Actionhippie4173 karma

Next Bass cave party is coming up! Did you have as much fun at Bass Cave as I did?

xilenthimself4 karma

Dude, one of my favourite USA parties ever. Manage to pull off my first ever stage-dive in my life in there! And what a place, I would LOVE to come back!

ThatAwkwardArab3 karma

First off, why are you so awesome?

Also, do you think you will be releasing full albums in the near future?

xilenthimself6 karma

YOU guys are awesome for continuing to appreciate my music! My full length debut album adventure forthcoming in 6 months.

Metronik2 karma

Hi! I manage a great little upcoming artist, so my question is..

Do you like his music? do you see him going anywhere? wanna tell people about him?

xilenthimself3 karma

Wow... that Borders track is bonkers! You've just added a new artist to my catalogue, holy shit!

KidROFL2 karma

Have you heard of DJ S3RL? If so do you like his music?

xilenthimself2 karma

Never heard of DJ S3RL to be honest. Should I have? :)

AtWorkRightMeow2 karma

April 13 2013 you came to the basement of Webster Hall, NY for your Boss Wave Tour and put on one of the best shows that my close friends and I rate higher than any show/festival we have ever been to. Recently it seems however, that most dubstep venues have turned into a big Trap Scene.

My first question is do you see alot of dubstep artists evolving their style to trap now and why? Second question is can you please come back to Webster Hall and remind everyone how amazing dubstep shows can really be?


Also my friend wants to know if you kept the Boss Wave Robot and if so how many times you've have sex it in? Love the new song man keep it up.

xilenthimself4 karma

I remember that party, you guys were great! It was a wicked way to finish my tour for sure :) And it was about a year since I've been to Webster Hall beforehand, on the upper floor.

I know what you mean by that, trap has dominated a lot of festivals and venues, and I don't wanna be harsh but it must have something to do with how easy it is to produce a basic trap beat. Unless you're making stuff like Wave Racer or Bobby Tank, which deserves way more attention than it has.

I don't wanna bash the 'trap' fad because I myself have experienced that it CAN be fun when it's well done and the person behind the decks knows what he's doing, but if you're playing a constant set full of these "rap instrumentals" as some like to call it, it really does get boring.

I would be super happy to come back to New York this year, I'm actually doing a tour around US before this year ends and hopefully will be around ;)

Thanks a lot for the support!

GlenCompton2 karma

What music are you currently listening to?

xilenthimself3 karma

Grum - the 'Heartbeats' album from 2010.

Overtone27012 karma

Hi Xilent, I hear that you completed a music course of some kind in Edinburgh. I am Scottish myself so first of all, did you enjoy studying in Scotland? Secondly, I am an aspiring music producer and I wondered if you felt like the course gave you the knowledge to produce or if you believe it is better to learn on your own behalf. Lastly, do you think there is room for anyone to make it in the music industry? Given the fact that there are so many people making electronic music these days. Thanks and please continue to keep making awesome music :D peace!

P.s. Clear Your Mind is my fave track by yourself - so epic!

xilenthimself2 karma

Hi! I really liked Scotland throughout those 5 years and wouldn't mind coming back there with my wife at some point. The university was really well facilitated, organised and friendly - compared to what I would have to go through in my home country. My sound designing professor taught me a couple of very useful things and introduced me for example to the art of foley, which is very useful. At that time I've already been fluent in my DAW, yet I was told to 'forget about Cubase', because 'we're working with Pro Tools now'. This made me realise that it would have to have been a Music Production course to maximise the potential. In the end I only got more motivated by my professor's final words right before I took a leave due to my Xilent AU/NZ/Japan tour which would have prevented me from finishing the courseworks anyway: 'you already know enough, go and seize the opportunity now'.

If there wasn't room for anymore new artists, I wouldn't even be answering your question now. ;) There's always room for producers with more and more innovative ideas that bend the genre rules and have to struggle in the wake of social media's greediness. Then there's progressive bigroom festival trance/house producers, for which there'll always be a demand. I never even dared to dream that times like these would come for me, where I would hear that I've changed someone's life or majorly influenced someone to make music for themselves. All I had to do was just keep going at my own pace. You can do that too!

ThatRedditerGuy2 karma

What inspires you?

xilenthimself7 karma

Pretty much everything around me. Since I was a kid a major inspiration is still trance music to me, sort of weirdly mixed with the punk-rock phase I went to as a drummer during my youth days.

Werubamexicanmonkey11 karma

Who does your cover artwork?

xilenthimself2 karma

Previously Vince Peersman, currently Cameron Gray. Both very talented graphic designers!

prisma-dnb1 karma

To teraz pytanie od rodaka ; 3 ! 1. Czy masz jakieś ulubione wtyczki lub hardware pogłosowy i coś do poszerzania obrazu stereo? 2. Na jakich poziomach utrzymujesz ścieżki podczas miksowania? Osobiście staram się nie wychodzić powyżej -8db, ale często na sumie jednak mam i tak problem z przesterami wybijającymi się blisko 0db ; c

Pozdrawiam prosto z Bydgoszczy ! ;3

xilenthimself1 karma

Do poszerzania stereo uzywam jedynie Ozone 5 Imager. Jesli chodzi o basy i synthy to nakladam mnostwo warstw i grupuję je odpowiednio, przez co zazwyczaj jak jakies ścieżki synthów przebijaja sie ponad -4db to juz dla mnie za duzo. Stopa i werbel - spoko nawet na 0db. Ogolnie noise war! Pozdrawiam i dzieki za pytanie!

KesignArt1 karma

Where can I buy the aviators you wear?

xilenthimself1 karma

We are actually considering adding the glasses to my merch!

crifox1 karma

have you worked on some more ultrafunk?

xilenthimself2 karma

By 'ultrafunk' you mean the name of my EP? I love how people had tagged it as a subgenre ;) Yes I have! I've missed that fast-paced pumping energy for over a year now and once you get inspired enough (not only by listening to your old stuff) you tend to get sentimental, hehe. There will be some of it on the debut album and more afterwards I'm sure!

Magiicism1 karma

Hey Xilent, you've been a HUGE musical inspiration mine for the past 2 years. Seriously, thank you for exisiting.

But now for my questions.

  1. I see you've done a lot of remixes for various styles of tracks. Were you actually able to find inspiration from every single track? Did you try to make it fit to an idea you had for an original? How did the writing process go for you?

  2. Did you ever have moments of doubt in your musical career (electronic or in your drumming) about being able to make a living off of your dream? If so, how did you combat the feeling and "keep on."?

  3. No question, I just want to again thank you from the bottom of my heart, your creations have done so much for me.

Btw congratulations to you and Svetlana on the marriage!

xilenthimself1 karma

Really appreciate it! My pleasure entirely. 1. When I get a remix request from an artist, there's usually already an idea they have in mind as to what kind of vibe they'd want me to follow. If they're really strict, it becomes less of a creative process and more of an assignment. However, for majority of the remixes I've done, I've been given free will. If it was a track like the "Sway - Wake Up" remix, I would lean towards more of a funky radio approach, add angry basslines and a hookline to make the crowd wanna jump to the ceilling. If we're talking the "Ellie Goulding - Figure 8" remix, it had to be emotional especially regarding the lyrics, so it wouldn't work without epic supersaw pads and spatial madness. You just really have to adapt to the original artists perspective and take it from there. 2. I did, in 2009 I actually never wanted to touch production again and stick to DJing/punk-rock only. Constructive feedback kept me going and I was lucky to be taken under the wings of a label that encouraged me to go on producing. 3. It's very heartwarming to read that, that's basically all I require from life. Thank you once again!

TheSliceman1 karma

I love your earlier stuff Xilent like Sleepless, Choose Me, and Touch Sound.

What are your thoughts on the "Dubstep is Dead" Beatport story that came out last week?

Im torn up, as Dubstep is probably my favorite genre ever.

xilenthimself1 karma

Like I said in someone's previous reply - someone has to keep it alive. Personally I really don't like to stick to just one genre, the album will actually be a total middle finger to genre-specifying, but dubstep has already partially been pushed off by trap, which, I think, only shows that what's easier to make is also easier to hear for the masses, I guess... but again, I elaborated on this in another reply, too. Thanks for commenting!

Dat_person1 karma

I was wondering what you use for sub-bass and how you go about mixing it? Big fan of your music man keep it up!

xilenthimself2 karma

Just an NI Massive sine-wave, really. Making sure every note I play is the same volume and keeping it fairly close to 0db. I would then sidechain it with the kickdrum depending on how heavy the kickdrum is.

Igoroski1 karma


0:37 what it is and when it coming out? it's so FUCKING WOW

and this

really great melody, pure perfection. i like how your style is changing from tune to tune. why i have to wait so long for your every masterpiece? 13.06 Wrocław - best day of my life :D ( even borrowed some souvenirs :D) You have to repeat this. Are You planning any show in our country in this year? I have to be there! Sorry for my english, im only a poor polaczek cebulaczek from the wieś. :D MORE NEW TUNES PLS GREETZ, POZDRO (for Svetka and ms. Pebbles too ofc ;D) ps. I'm addicted to SKYWARD II and in my humble opinion Your Sleepless remix has THE BEST intro in the fucking world. YO!

xilenthimself1 karma

Both these tracks are forthcoming on the debut album in 6 months, the first one you'll hear (and see) in about 4 months already! Thanks for the opinion dude! I really liked that Wrocław party, actually I'm doing a Poland tour in the next 2 months or so, and zahaczam o Wrocław na pewno!