Do you know Kastle? Because you should – you really, really should. The San Francisco-based producer has just released his eclectic, self-titled album that’s been receiving rave reviews.
5 Magazine talked to Kastle ahead of his appearance with XXXY this Wednesday, May 22 2013 at Home Base, presented by Red Bull Music Academy and 1833 at Lincoln Hall.
People who aren’t familiar with you are going to want to know within 5 seconds of reading this what kind of music you make and what folder they can politely file you into for later perusal. I’ve lost their attention already, because I can’t actually do this. What can you tell me about your musical influences and what you’re trying to do?
I’m just very simply trying to create my own unique world. With both my own music and my label, Symbols, I want everything to be an extension of myself and my search for truth in the world. Music is such a powerful form of expression. I want to create something new and fresh that didn’t exist before in hopes to inspire good in others.
Who did you make this album for?
It’s kind of weird to read interview after interview of people demanding to know why your “album sound” is different from your “DJ sound”. Is this ever wearisome? I mean this isn’t Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. Without being TOO snotty, if I hadn’t heard it already I would have thought from this line of inquiry you released an album of musique concrete recorded out of kitchen sounds.
Yeah I don’t know? I definitely approached the album in a totally different way. The songs still very much work in a club/live environment and were written with a big system in mind. However the vibe of the live show is definitely very different. Very dynamic and obviously not the same type of journey as a DJ set. I guess you could say each song is an individual glimpse into my soul.
For your live sets (which you’ll be doing here in Chicago), do you have everything pre-planned or are you able (and willing) to improvise?
There are tons of improvisation in the live set. In fact its a very dominant aspect. All of the melodies and solos are played live. I’ll often embellish on a particular part of a song more so than I might another night. I wanted it to all be very “of the moment” and every show is different. I’m not just up there pressing buttons and enabling FX plugins. It’s all about using my hands on the keys.
You did a UK Garage and 2-step mix a few months back that was really fucking good. How often do you get a chance to play this sort of style, if ever, and when did you get into it?
It’s probably obvious that garage has largely influenced my overall sound. But to play an entire set of old classics is pretty rare. But that mix tape was inspired by a special set I did in San Francisco last year in which I played all those old classics. Wish the set had just been recorded live but I figured I’d just pull from the same crate and make a mix.
Todd Edwards also did a remix of one of your tracks, “Time Traveler” that came out a year ago on Seclusiasis. Did you have anything to do with arranging that?
We invited Todd to special guest my Time Traveler EP record release party in NYC a couple years ago. So there I am, just finished playing and one of my idols performing a set and out of nowhere he drops a remix of “Time Traveler” that is most obviously by him. I had no idea he had done it. Todd did it as a thank you for having him on the show. He is a true legend and major inspiration.
You’re on tour right now. Have you listened to Music For Airports in an airport and what was the last music you listened to in an actual airport?
Oh man, I used to! Thanks for reminding me that it exists. I think the last thing I listened to at an airport the other day was the forthcoming Liar album which will be releasing on Symbols towards the end of summer.
Essentials: Kastle will be performing alongside XXXY this Wednesday, May 22 2013 at Home Base, presented by Red Bull Music Academy and 1833 at Lincoln Hall. His self-titled album, Kastle, is out now. For more info, hit up symbolsrecordings.com.