Ultraviolent: Hook N Sling on Lana Del Rey Remix & Upcoming Collaborations

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With an endless stream of party-ready beats and no shortage of soaring melodies, Anthony Maniscalco has the dance community hook, line, and sinker.

Adopting the stage name Hook N Sling, Maniscalco has released a stream of high-profile collaborations with some of EDM’s biggest stars, including “Reason” with fellow Australian DJ/producers NERVO and the Beatport No.1 “Tokyo By Night” with Axwell. However, with a hyper-melodic approach to creating festival-ready progressive bombs, he’s already well on his way to the top on his own.

His hot streak shows no signs of letting up, either. Just last month, he premiered his crackling electro-disco remix of Lana Del Rey’s apocalyptic alt-pop single “Ultraviolence” that quickly spread like wildfire. DJ Times caught up with the Aussie shortly after his performance at New York City’s Electric Zoo festival to chat about his production methods, upcoming projects, and—of course—Lana Del Rey.

DJ Times: You just played on the Main Stage of Electric Zoo. How was the performance?
Anthony Maniscalco: It was good! I think I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t get washed out. [laughs] I was playing from 2-3 PM, so I had that warming-up time of day where I started with half a crowd and finished with a full stage. I really enjoyed it. I did want to yell over the PA that I had free beer to get even more people to my stage, but I’m not sure if that would’ve been totally appropriate.

DJ Times: What gear are you using in the studio?
Maniscalco: I’m using a MacBook Pro, Ableton Live, and a nice pair of Genelec 8050 monitors. I’ve got some basic in-and-outs like Apogee. I use hardware on occasion. I’ve got a Mini Moog Little Phatty out in Australia, but it’s not with me in Los Angeles. I do have a Mini Moog Voyager that I brought over and also a Nord 2X which I really love.

DJ Times: Are you primarily producing on the road or in a studio?
Maniscalco: I tried producing on the road, but I just can’t come up with anything that makes me go, “Yeah, that sounds amazing!” I have to hear it in the studio to have that reaction. Even if it does sound amazing on headphones, I want to know how it sounds in a club or in the studio. I start little ideas on the road and finish them up in the studio.

DJ Times: You released a remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence” a few weeks ago. How did you tackle remixing a track that seems like the antithesis of dance music?
Maniscalco: I kind of like that sort of mixing, to be honest. I tend to do well with indie vocals that aren’t necessarily dance vocals to start. With ["Ultraviolence”], I really liked the musicality and organic nature of it to start with, and that’s kind of a weird place to start when I’m doing a remix of a track. I tried to naturally mash together that style with my style to stay true to the original. It wasn’t a dilemma, that’s for sure. I had it finished in probably three to four days total. It wasn’t start-to-finish, but I had the idea. I had the chords, bassline, and drums down, and I just needed to flesh it out after that.

DJ Times: How’s the response been?
Maniscalco: Soundcloud’s gone crazy. We’ve only premiered the radio edit so far, but the full version’s coming out soon. No one’s heard that yet besides in my sets, but everyone loves the radio mix. I know that a lot of Lana fans are protective of her, so I’m curious what they think about it. From the dance side of the fence, everyone’s been really supportive.

DJ Times: What sorts of projects are you working on now?
Maniscalco: There’s a new record coming out in November that I don’t have a final title for yet. [l[laughs]’ve got 24 hours to do that. I just finished two masters in the past week, and I’m mixing down the “Tokyo By Night” original that’s coming out in October. I’m not working on any remixes right now, I’m mostly just doing originals and collaborations.

DJ Times: Who are you collaborating with?
Maniscalco: I’m doing a record with Sultan + Ned Shepard right now; we’ve got a record that we’ve been trying out live. I’ve also been in the studio with Far East Movement over the last couple of weeks. We’ve got something pretty fun coming out soon.

DJ Times: What else is in the pipeline for Hook N Sling fans?
Maniscalco: I’ve got a couple of other collaborations in the works. I’ll be announcing them in the next month or two. I’m working on about five singles which are all works-in-progress. These are all in addition to the three that are already finished. I’ve got a lot of original music coming out in the next six months; you’re going to be sick of me by the end of it!

Stream the radio edit of Hook N Sling’s “Ultraviolence” remix below ahead of its full-length release via Armada Trice on September 27.