Following the release of ‘Ted’ in 2019 and ‘Ambition’ in 2021 Baltra continues to evolve his sound with new mixtape ‘Where I End’.

Philadelphia-born now New York-based DJ and producer Baltra first exploded onto the scene during the lo-fi house boom of the mid-2010s. Hits such as “Never let go of me,” and “Fade Away.” have racked up millions of plays on YouTube and other streaming services.

In the past few years, Baltra’s adventurous and original approach to production has led to him pushing his sound into new and exciting territories. Perhaps best exemplified on his albums ‘Ted’ and ‘Ambition’, we’ve seen Baltra gradually move away from his house roots to a more breakbeat-heavy sound. On ‘Where I End’ Baltra draws even more heavily on breakbeat, ukg and IDM influences while retaining the sombre vocals and emotional synths he has become so well known for.

Speaking on the project Baltra says The concept behind Where I End’ focuses on the personal freedom to close the door on one chapter in life and to open the next, all while feeling in control. Oftentimes we struggle to navigate through life with the feeling of independence, and sometimes we can feel like we’re not in charge of our own fate. This record is about the spiritual journey of finding the strength from within to reclaim governance over our own lives through conscious decision-making with our best interests in mind.


Brush Strokes

Brush Strokes was primarily groove-focused from the point of conception, with the main focus being the bounciness of all its parts. The vocal chops were cut in such a way as to create space for the track’s other elements so that they could co-exist in a meaningful manner without feeling diminished.

The most prominent synth I use is Arturia’s Analog Lab Prophet 5. I used it to make the bass and the raw lead sound. The drum programming utilizes modular drum samples that are rough around the edges, while the acid line that comes in during the latter part of the song was created using AudioRealism’s Bass Line 3. The vocal chops were cut & programmed using Serato Sampler.

Where I End

‘Where I End’ was the first song I finished off this record, and it would pretty much set the tone for what I would create thereafter. Led by a prominent vocal sample coupled with a breakbeat drum groove and big, emotional string pads, I wanted this one to make an impact off the jump.

The vocal narration communicates a moment in time when you’ve stood your ground and held true to your beliefs and boundaries — “This Is Where I End / Not Going With You”.

The bouncy bass line layer was created using u-he’s Diva, as were the sub-bass and string pad chords.

Tell Me

I reckon “Tell Me” is the most energetic song of the group apart from Wabi-Sabi. The track is led by a classic Korg M1 organ lead and Wavosaur’s RaveGenerator2, a soft synth full of legendary rave chords and more.

The vocal pads that show themselves during the final breakdown are from the Korg Triton. In combination with the “Tell Me What’s The Vibe” vocal, this track was intended to be equally dance-floor functional as much as it was to be AirPod-friendly.


Goodbye is a bit of an IDM-leaning journey of a tune, revolving upon a bright, metallic lead melody that ebbs and flows with delay f/x meant to further enhance its captivating presence and expression. This lead melody was created using Arturia’s Analog Lab while the bass line uses a sine-wave sub from u-he’s Diva.

The angelic vocal pads were created using the Korg M1. The subtle “Goodbye” vocal sample was intended as a delicate touch that highlights the triumph that one might feel from moving forward after the doors close on one relationship and open to the endless possibilities that lie ahead.


With druzy® I intended to make a heady, deep UK garage record rooted in groove rather than be led by a top-line melody. The bass line was created using u-he’s Diva, while the 808 bass hits utilize samples that were modified with colour enhancement using RC-20 Retro Color.

The accompanying pads are left to spiral organically (to wherever their heart’s desire). The crackling field recordings meander along a slightly more stream-lined path, while the reverb-tinged, angelic vocals help to tie all of these atmospheric elements together.


Wabi-Sabi, the beauty of imperfection, is intended to be just that. Rough around the edges, with the vocal samples being cut up from a field recording of karaoke being sung in the streets of Brooklyn. this track is meant to touch on both sides of the spectrum — raw and rugged while delicate and heartfelt at the same time.

The piano chords were created using XLN Audio’s Addictive Keys, and the arpeggio sound was derived from these chords using Xfer’s LFO Tool plug-in and some filter EQs. The drums are composed of one Amen break and one Think break to add slight variety and groove through layering, while a Reese bass sample was used to compliment the aforementioned piano chords on the low end of the frequency spectrum.


With Luv-N-Me I wanted to touch on what many might consider a more ‘traditional’ sound of mine. A 4×4 UK garage groove plus hooky vocal chops and sentimental chord progressions/top-line melodies — just enough elements to serve their purpose without overdoing it.

With bareness in mind, I realized the song’s impact would rely heavily on its arrangement — a challenge I’m always excited for. In regards to the musical parts, Arturia’s Analog Lab was used for all of the synth elements including the bass and melodic components, while Serato Sampler was used for cutting and programming the vocals.

Baltra’s ‘Where I End’ is out now on 96 and Forever.

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3rd February, 2023

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