Interview: Best Available Technology (w/Mix of Original Productions)
i’m not sure if it’s complimentary to consider an artist’s music “appropriate” for soundtracking a natural disaster or observing one second-hand while stuck outside in various airports, but Kevin Palmer’s sonic experimentations as Best Available Technology did just that for me. Kevin was kind enough to send through just under 40mins of original material in a KORTMIX the day before Sandy hit NYC, so my time spent fervently refreshing news sites with Kevin’s mix on repeat led to quite the dramatic evening.
Kevin composes visceral dub rhythms emboldened with natural hardware compression - think the ‘Shlo-Fi EP’ underscored with Basic Channel’s patience. Composed of all unreleased material, this mixtape offers a clear purview on BAT’s sonic temperament and meditative practices. He was gracious enough to answer a few of our questions as well, so enjoy the double whammy of mix + interview after the jump:
Interview: Yves Malone, a Lost Composer of Horror Film History
horror film soundtracks both obscure and renown have risen in popularity these past few years, from more electronic producers recalling John Carpenter’s synth-laden epics and labels reissuing classics in commemorative packages. we at the kort are fans of both, so you can imagine our excitement when we stumbled upon Yves Malone - a composer whose work has featured on a number of lost B-movies from the 80s, and whom has only recently opted to share his past works, lost in time, with the internet community.
Interview & Mixtape: Samuel Kerridge
While much of electronic music that you hear about these days tends to be outward focusing, exuberant styles made for the dance, there is a steady undercurrent of disfigured, foreboding tracks that seek to re-define the relationship between rhythm and sound design. The cumulative effect of these experiments can result in a trance-like state when listening; meditative stretches of time that the human mind can’t always explain.
oddlogic is one busy man. beatsmith, label manager, and now magazine editor, Alex Gohorel is DIY incarnate. curious about the juggling act and impressed with his latest EP, Darkling, we reached out to learn more about the man behind Outlier Recordings. click through for our interview with Alex, and stay tuned for an exclusive mix next Monday.
Aaron Carr produces streamlined garage and melodic two-step music from an unlikely American destination. His lethal and underrated b-side “Rugged Angel” appeared on the inaugural press of UK funky queen Cooly G’s fledgling imprint, Dub Organiser, a few years back. Since then, he’s been gathering a storm of momentum since. We spoke with the amicable Arethis to find out just what he’s been up to, and how one comes to make dancefloor electronic in the Carolinas...
Interview: Head Boggle
Derek Gedalecia produces artistic sound collages under the Head Boggle moniker, and he has been doing so for close to 7 years now. If you’ve never heard what a field recording from a particularly tense bus trip, a warbling Italian horror movie synthesizer and free jazz sound like when mixed and layered within one another, then you’re in for a treat. The Kort decided to get to the bottom of this project and get some details as to the inner machinations and thought processes behind this mastermind of kitchen sink electronics.
Andy Donnelly wears many hats. The English producer relocated Down Under years ago and gradually developed a penchant for music-making that will now see light on his first vinyl release, Circuit Theory, due on Granholme in the coming months. Kloke’s tracks have a carefree quality to them, a certain laid-back aesthetic that really places the listener in sunnier climes almost effortlessly. In addition to his hyperactive, coral-colored musical output, however, Andy has recently become a father. And so with congrats to the new family man, we spoke with him about his work, growing up, and some soothing sounds for baby…
Interview: Will Long (Celer)
Rarely does an artist’s music fit so comfortably into a variety of circumstances, allowing the listener to imagine his or her own narrative regardless of what is occurring around them. Even rarer still is the artist who displays genuine honesty when discussing their work. Will Long doesn’t prattle on about scenes and genres, preferring instead to offer an insight into his experiences with people and places around the world. The depth of his many releases reflects this candid sentiment; we spoke with the (currently) Tokyo-based producer about his recent work, An Immensity Merely To Save Life, and adapting to life on the other side of the world.
Interview: Ricardo Donoso
We had the privilege to see Ricardo Donoso perform live last weekend at the Bunker, a spellbinding affair of polyrhythmic sine waves that began a night of interstellar electronic too rarely experienced in New York City. It is a further privilege to have Ricardo, whose recent LP ‘Progress Chance blew us away, answer a few of our questions on his various musical projects, his thoughts on live performances, and what’s in store for his imprint Semata Productions.
Who in the hell is Helix? An American producer channeling continental 90s techno and the current wave of London grime/juke/electro? What’s that even mean? Should we haphazardly try and define a disjointed, crowd-concussing jam like “Stacks Riddim”?
Probably not. But after hearing his name whispered around certain Brooklyn circles over the past few months, with releases rumored to be consolidating around some of the UK’s most enviable dance imprints, The Kort tracked down the character known as Helix to find out wtf is up…
The Kort: What’s your deal? Name, location, the daily routine?
Helix: My name is Beau, last name isn’t important. I live in Savannah, GA, and I’m from a small town in southeast Georgia that you don’t need to know the name of.
K: What’s the music scene like where you are?
H: The music scene here is pretty awkward, but I plan on throwing some parties soon, just in people’s houses and shit.
K: How did this music-making habit of yours come about, and how were you able to hook up with some of these labels in the UK?
H: I got into music production a couple years ago, not really sure how, it just seemed like that’s what I should be doing. As far as hooking up with labels from the UK, I’ve been friends with Bake since long before All Caps was a label.
K: We’ve been hearing “Stacks Riddim” getting play from all across the Hessle board recently, and on Ben UFO’s Rinse mix as well…what’s up with that?
K: Tell us about your production process: any specific equipment, software, work routine you follow?
H: My production process is all loops and compression. I use Renoise, some plugins, and mostly just the native effects in Renoise.
K: What’s your take on music in 2011, and specifically this battle between retro and futuristic styles? Do you give a shit? Any thoughts on what’s around the corner?
H: Music in 2011 is pretty wild, because you’ve got labels from Australia that release grime and house with respected London MCs, and at the same time, you’ve got Ostgut Ton releasing a who’s who of techno producers in the 90s. I’m not really sure if there’s any moves towards the future exactly, but we’re seeing a lot of kids listening to classic dance records, and they’re learning from them and adapting to use older styles of music. I think in a few years we’ll be seeing these same kids branching out into their own styles of music.
K: What’s on the horizon for the rest of 2011 and into 2012? Any artists you’d like to recommend?
H: Personally, the artists I’m digging right now are Objekt, Darling Farrah, DJ Pete (as always), Incyde, DJ Spooky, Ozka, Jakob Altmann, Unbroken Dub, Pariah, Pearson Sound, Locked Groove, Aubrey, Skudge, Jam City, Sigha, and the Frozen Border/Horizontal Ground camp.
(Shouts to All Caps, Other Heights, Night Slugs, my girlfriend, my roommates, and Ivan Feign)
Helix has releases coming out over the next few months that will cause dancefloor temple tantrums, starting with “Stacks Riddim/Honig” on one of the more interesting labels to crop up in recent years, All Caps outta Glasgeeeeee. Keep your eyes peeled and ears promiscuous, this guy’s stirring up trouble…
Check his exclusive, jaw-dropping mix for The Kort below:
Interview: Keyboard Kid
The world of #BASED music has made a significant dent in the aural landscape of this past year as both the mainstream and underground embraced the laid-back, nostalgia-ridden gangster vibes of this new breed of hip hop. Leading the charge is Lil B, who’s prolific output and abstract rhyming patterns have drawn the attention of thousands across the globe.
The beats behind Lil B’s words are gaining widespread notoriety as well, and so we spoke with one of the prime proponents of this new #BASED style in Keyboard Kid out of Seattle. Between sleep, a day job, and hazy evenings, this guy’s crafting some seriously soulful compositions, from Rolls Royce (below) on through “Chasing the Rain”…
The Kort: So what’s your deal? Name, location, the daily routine?
Keyboard Kid: So The Name Is Greg Phillips Jr.. But As An Artist I go By Keyboard Kid 206..Northwest Astronaut..But The 206 Stands For My City Seattle,Wa…Which I’ve Lived Here For Most For My Life. But Man As Far As the Daily Routine Goes…It’s Just The Non Stop On the Go..I Work A 9-5 Like Most..But Im Also Steady Makin Beats And Music and Getting Online..Which gotta Get More Active On.. But Whether it be Up Early At 7 or 8a.m. before I go to work..Or When I Get Home I’m Makin Music From 11 At Night To 2a.m. .. sleep Wake Up at 6 Do it again. I’ll Stay up all Night.. So its Jus Lots Of Work Man And all Niters Being Pulled..Smokin Trees…Probably Not Too Healthy But I can Rest When I’m Old If I’m Blessed TO Make It There n See The Hard Work Pay Off.
The Kort: How did this music-making habit of yours come about, and how were you able to hook up with Lil B?
KKid: As Far As The Making Music Habit Goes You Know I had always Had Love For Music…Lots Of Good Music Was Being Played Around Me. Soul With My grandpa..Jazz..Hip-hop By My Mom n Dad They Were Young Parents…But As I Got older I Would Ask For DrumSets But We Couldn’t Afford Them And We Ain’t Have Space For Em In an Apartment..So Finally Round Middle School With The Internet Age Coming About You Know Napster Things Like That. I Gained Access To Tons of Music.. Got Hipped To Downloading. So Finally I downloaded Like E Dj Or Something By Like My Summer After Sophomore Year Of High school n Started Trying To Make Basic Beats.
But anyway around that time I Jus Happened To Stumble Upon Fruity Loops Like Junior Year Like A real Early Version I taught myself everything I kno. My early beats were like real crazy n spaced out n techno. But as I got better my friends were like, “yo start workin wit rappers”. I ain’t really let anyone hear my beats for a long time…So round 06-07 I Was Online Seein’ Lil B’s Myspace Page N I Was Listenin To His Music..n Had Heard The Pack’s Music Previous To That. I Knew We Were Around The Same Age Bracket N Would Possibly Have Some Things In Common..N That Wats Crazy To Me about The internet!
But So I message Him On Myspace Like Yo I don’t Want No Money or Nothin I Jus Like Ur Music N Style N I Think I Could Make Some Hot Beats For You.. Suprisingly he hit me back like yo send some here and gave me his email. So I Jus Sent Him Like 5 Beats or so..He Message Me back like Those Are Sick And he gave Me another of his emails..I sent 5 more..he was like “yo I really dig ur sound n imma be startin my solo shit”. so pretty much I was like yea lets do it n That was the start of Basedworld.
As of Me Bein involved With B …we been friends since. Man and thas round the time all the based freestyles n myspace pages started to develop..lots of my beats were based freestyles he did on original tracks of mine, Lots of Rare Ones. Man It’s kinda Crazy how it all happened too.. But it was jus timing n ideas and man the rest is history. Shouts out to B..Man based For Life.
The Kort: Tell us about your production process, any specific equipment, software, work routine you follow?
KKid: As Far As My Production Process Its Really Based off Me And My Emotions… How Im Feeling That Day Or Maybe Jus Me Taking In Sounds Of Life as The Day Progresses..I Get Home And Try To Channel That Into My Music. It’s Really From The Soul..Soul Music..Just In a New Form. I say That Becuz I Use FL Studio N A Lot Of People Kinda Look down On That, Like o U Don‘t Play An Instrument or use External Hardware. But Music Is Music Doesn’t Matter How U Create It to me. As Long As it Sounds Good. But Man I Jus Got My Laptop..Headphones..Midi Board..N My Lil Speakers..Real Bedroom Style N Low Key. But I Normally Sit Down I’ll Like Have A Melody In My head if I Use Synths..But when I Sample I Jus Listen For Whatever Interesting Sounds Pop Out..I’ll Sample Anything, Lol. But Lots Of Trees N Jus Zonin Out Man I Really Go into BASEDWORLD When Makin This Music. Jus Its Real Unconscious..I Don’t Even Know How I Create Wat I Do Lots of The Time.
The Kort: What’s your take on music in 2011, and specifically this battle between retro and futuristic styles? Any thoughts on the “based” term for your style of hip hop?
KKid: My Take On Music in 2011 is that there is a shift of consciousness and Music Is starting To Reflect more on wat the everyday person is goin thru. You Know Main Stream Pop is Still On Top right now..But there is a real nice movement, one that breaks the mold, and thats emerging. I feel like more than ever now u can just create art and sumone somewhere is gonna vibe with you..thas wat I love about the internet age of music. But The Retro And Furutistic Styles Are Meshing but in different ways… it seems like people are just pulling from whatever genres they like and making it their own. I also feel The internet puts the power in the listeners hands, your gonna go find the music u like and enjoy it. You don’t have to be fed “wats cool” thru the radio or tv anymore.
As Far As the Term #BASED and how it relates to my music, it’s all honest pure creation from the soul. Like I feel my production is the equivalent to Lil b‘s Rappin.. Im Sayin The Same Things But in Music Form! U Jus gotta Open Ur Mind N feel It..I try To Paint Visions n Create Soundscapes for the based Lifestyle…When U Hear My Music I Want U to feel Like Your In BasedWOrld. But even if u have heard my raps which many haven’t its real postive and thoughtful for the most part…
I do make fun songs too..But They Mostly Are freestyled From The Top..I Literally Hopped Out of Bed and Rapped Most Of My Songs Half in a Dream State Same Goes For Some Of My Beats when I created them. But mainly its jus I don’t like to be categorized and I don’t like my music categorized by people tryin to put me in a box. my music is art and and its just that, and So I feel like that rebel side of #based is wat drives me and my style as well.
The Kort: What’s on the horizon for the rest of 2011? Any artists you’d like to recommend?
KKid: For 2011 I Got Another BASEDBEATTape Comin Called “The Mind Is So Complex When Your #BASED” …Also Im Workin On Two Mixtapes… and my CosmoNaut Ep . Hopefully I Can get em out by December. I Got More Music With Lil B Comin, Lots of Production I Have Been Doing For Him…So Look Out For His Next Projects.. Also Look Out For My Homie NEEMA out of 206, I’m Producing A Whole Project For Him Called “CIGAR ROOM”. GOnna Have Some Real Diff Features From Artists You Havent Seen Me Work With… Don‘t Wanna Say Too Much But… I Think It’ll Showcase More Of My Diversity As A Producer! That’s Comin Out 12/20/11, So Lookout for that. Got More Work Wit Main Attrakionz Comin…Western Tink Of Mobbin’ No Sobbin’…Im trying to link up with more based artists…I’ve Talked To Clams aBout Getting Sumthin Hot Goin Real soon, I think The People would Dig It. I Just Have Lots Of Rare Collectibles And Production Comin!
Oh and EXCUSE MY GRAMMAR AND TYPING!!!
A quote from
What is it about the collaborative process that appeals to you? Is it the social element, or people contributing stuff to tracks that you wouldn’t necessarily think of, or something else entirely?
“Both of those things definitely. Music is people is music – I grew up making music collaboratively, I think now people are so used to ‘bedroom producers’, as they used be called, being the norm now, you forget that records in the past had lots of people working on them, engineers, tape ops, microphone dudes (is that an official title?), then the producer, and the artists you know? I love the fact that everyone can have a studio in their room now, but I think you can get closed off – I like having other people in the room, having a little bop as you make a beat.”"
Visionist is Louis Carnell, a recent graduate and rising mover and shaker in the world of underground dance music. Based out of London, Carnell has been building his reputation over recent months with forthcoming releases on 502 Recordings and Left_Blank, which we had the pleasure to preview yesterday. Coming soon will be the first release on Carnell’s new label, 92 Points, featuring a vicious exercise in tribal percussion and warped urban voices called “Mr. 67”.
We spoke with the man they call Visionist to find out what makes this particularly ambitious London rude bwoy tick…
The musical compositions of London’s Felix Manuel first came to our attention by way of a remix for enigmatic dub-kwaito experimentalists, LV. Having enjoyed their wild card catalogue for quite some time, it was with delight we discovered DjRum’s remix of their recent minimalist beauty, “Explode”. Orchestral string arrangements, twinkling chimes, and a classicist sense of structure gave Zaki’s sublime vocals the perfect complement, creating a gorgeous piece that stood out from the rest.
The Kort chased down Mr. Manuel as we were eager to learn more about this mysterious artist; it’s not every day you come across a seasoned, old school composer in the world of bass music…
The Kort: So to begin, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How’d you get into music?
DjRum: Well I started out Djing, and production came later…actually I started out playing jazz piano. I was really serious about that, but then I got my first pair of decks when I was like 18 and that was it. I started producing at around the same time, really lo-fi sample based hip hop. I began getting technical with my production maybe like 5 years ago, but I still feel like my production is pretty lo-fi.
K: We first heard of your work through the recent remix you did of LV’s “Explode”, how did that come about?
D: Hmm…well Second Drop Records got in contact through a mutual friend, wanting to work with me and it just sort of fell into place! I’ve been a big LV fan since their first Hyperdub release so i was honored…plus Zaki’s vocal is unreal! There’s no way I could turn that down.
K: Your use of a thumping electronic beat with more organic samples and textures is what drew me in, do you really strive to bring some human element into your productions?
D: I don’t use synths at all…well maybe for bass sometimes. I’ve never been that keen on really electronic sounding instruments, brash synths, etc. All of the synth-like sounds you hear in my music are made by layering heavily treated samples. I wish i knew how to use synths well but I’ve never been interested enough to get to grips properly! I spend far too much time crate digging for that…
K: Definitely feel you on that one, it can be infintely more fun to sample cheap vinyl than tinkering with a software synth! Do you use a 404 or any sampler for your work, or sample directly to computer? Any particular programs you stick to?
D: ABLETON IS THE DADDY. It’s very quick and easy, which means ideas can flow out much more quickly. I find this really important, I made my first tune on a 4 track with a Dr. Sample and a belt drive turntable. I’ve used lots of different software though, I used Cubase for a while but I’d much rather use something that keeps it simple.
K: That’s a good way of looking at it, I have Ableton but haven’t cracked at it yet…much more a Record/Reason diehard, for better or worse.
D: Give it a go! I’ve never come across anything better for manipulating audio.
K: So what are your thoughts on DJing, are you a vinyl devotee or are you willing to DJ with mp3 programs, and/or Serato?
D: Having spent 10 years working on turntablism techniques, I’ll never turn my back on vinyl Djing. I’m much more accomplished behind the wheels than I am doing an Ableton live set, but for practical reasons I do find my self playing out on Ableton. I do most of my mixing on my radio show on Ableton as well. I think that certain genres of music suit different platforms… hip hop needs turntables, techno needs digital precision. If you wanna use turntables to delicately blend tunes, you should probably fuck off and get yourself on a laptop. Turntables like to be pushed around!
K: That’s a valuable distinction between genres and DJ styles, I like that a lot! Who are some of your favorite DJs?
D: Strictly Kev is probably the best Dj I’ve ever seen, absolutely amazing style, proper showmanship, acute taste and obviously a wicked crate digger. He just drops pure knowledge. Most of my favourite producers I wouldn’t really rate as Djs particularly…
K: True that…who are some of your favorite producers then?
D: Scuba, Murcof, Andy Stott, Svarte Greiner, Madlib…oof and Rockwell!!!
K: Yeah, that Andy Stott record is nuts, the recent one…
D: I’m not so keen on the recent one if i’m honest…
K: Oh really?
D: Yeah i hated it at first, then it kind of grew on me…but for me the Daphne records stuff, Hate, and his more solidly dub-techno stuff is where it’s at. BIG fan.
K: For sure, Modern Love knows what’s up…and so you live in London, whereabouts exactly?
D: SOUTH London, love it down here!
K: How long have you lived there?
D: Hmmm don’t really know, maybe 5 years or something like that…I first moved to London maybe 9 years ago, but south London for like 5 years. It’s nice, you should visit! I think Peckham might be the center of the world…
K: Haha, yes indeed…I’ve been to Brixton and Clapham, went to a DMZ night at Mass in 2009…speaking of, you got a favorite venue in the city?
D: To be honest, I generally prefer squat parties to clubs, but clubs do tend to book better lineups. I like unpretentious venues: a room with some speakers in it, that’s it. Corsica Studios is good. They’ve got an AMAZING sound system!
K: I’ve heard good things about Corsica…
D: Yeah, they got a nice Funktion One rig set up well by people who know what they’re doing and care, and it shows. And again, it’s just a room with some speakers in it…job done! I think that really struck me when I first went to DMZ actually…lights off, music up, no mucking about!
K: Yeah, they’re serious there. All about the tunes, the way it should be…
D: I’m all for having a party, but sometimes you do just want to find a space to skank out!
K: Eyes down, ears up…
D: That’s it!
DjRum’s remix of LV’s “Explode” is available on vinyl and digital now, and his two digital releases from 2010 can be found here. You can also tune in to his monthly show on Sub.fm, Yardcore, by clicking here. Cheers to Felix for the interview, we’ll be keeping an eye on this like-minded producer’s stellar work for a good, long while…and we strongly recommend you do too!