Jealousy is a weird thing. Quite often it can provoke a false sense of competition where there honestly isn’t really any to be had. By this I’m not talking about the vicious strain of burnt lover jealousy that’s helped populate a hundred American cop shows with hapless offenders; I’m talking more about the “Damn man, you signed this?” kind of jealousy. I saw Scratcha quipping about labels not putting in the time to properly develop their A&R by advising wannabe outfits to “spend more time on soundcloud” on twitter the other day but eventually, the pangs of your own desire should subside and things may well flourish and mature it a mutual kind of respect – providing that the material in question is strong enough to age well, obviously. You can also use that jealousy as inspiration for a lot of things by the way; that’s probably the best way to really hold onto and harness it.
The Granholme label has been a point of contention for a while in that a guy I know got his shit together ahead of me and began working out the kinks of a release schedule packed with material he’d been teasing and showing me for a while. To be brutally honest any kind of personal jealousy turned to a weird kind of admiration for his cause as soon as he passed me the first record, him stood there smiling at what he’d done before finishing a cider and chipping off to get a train to Cardiff. It was more a realisation that this type of shit was possible, achievable and rewarding to do than any sort of an epiphany. But I distinctly remember it happening then.
The label’s latest record is the work of an Australia based UK producer called Kloke. I noted in a recent DJ Mag review that some of his work sounds a lot like Martyn and I really should have then went on to say that that’s never really been anything near a bad thing, with Martyn’s Great Lengths being honestly one of the first great dubstep LPs; but that’s kind of a hard and long winded point to get across when you have just 75 words to do it in. Kloke’s music deserves more than a lazy soundalike comparison anyway; it’s rich and wonderfully textured and at the same time as melodic as it is vehemently mixable. It’s definitely got that genre intersection vibe to it that made Martyn’s early work so obviously different from the crowd but it’s also incredibly accessible, gorgeously weighted and most importantly: catchy.
To mark the recent release of Kloke’s four track Circuit Theory EP on the Granholme label then, we shot some questions over to the southern hemisphere and we’re now using his answers to better introduce him to our readership and to frame the 137th mix in our ongoing series.
Sonic Router: Let’s start with an introduction. Who are you? Where are you? How did you come to be there? What made you want to make music in the first place?
Kloke: Hello I’m Andy, I’m currently sat in my apartment on a very sunny winters morning here in Melbourne. Nick Drake’s on the turntable and there’s a small baby fighting for my attention beside me.
I think what got me into making music initially was a love of drums. One of my Uncles gave me his old drum machine when I was about 10, a Boss DR-110 which I still have. Messing about with that probably sparked it all off. I then spent years playing various instruments in bands but I think the key thing was realising the creative potential of samplers – the idea of manipulating sound and creating new sounds from scratch is something that still fascinates me. As far as what I make now as Kloke – that started about 5 or 6 years ago.
What are you using to make it? Can you describe your ‘studio’?
I share a studio with another producer and we’ve got a bit of hardware set up in there… some old synths, space echoes, rack stuff etc. But currently I’m doing most of my stuff at home whenever I get a spare minute… I’m still using an outdated version of Cubase and an ever expanding collection of samples that I’ve been building up over the years.
How did you get into electronic music?
I suppose being exposed to all the electronic stuff that was in the charts in the mid-late 80s when I was a kid. All my pocket money went on 7″ singles, things like Blue Monday 1988 by New Order, Inner City, Public Enemy etc. Loads of really dodgy stuff too of course… back then I hated anything that wasn’t made with ‘real’ instruments for a good few years and I didn’t properly get into electronic music until the early/mid-nineties with drum & bass and all the amazing dance albums that came out around that time.
You’re based in Australia/Melbourne right? Am I right in thinking that’s a recent move? How are you finding the city in terms of the nightlife? Do you go out a lot to clubs? Do you think it helps to?
Yeah I’m originally from the UK but I moved here in 2007 and spent a couple of years living in New Zealand before that. There’s a very healthy music/arts scene in Melbourne and loads of really good bars. There’s certainly no shortage of decent nights and DJs but due to the aforementioned baby I very rarely make it out to clubs these days. I think certainly as a producer it’s vital to know what it’s like to experience music on a proper soundsystem at loud volumes where you can actually feel certain frequencies. In the right moment with the right DJ and the right tune it can be life changing; something I’m sure a lot of people can identify with. I still remember hearing ‘Metropolis’ for the first time at Blue Note on the ridiculous system they had in there, stuff like that becomes part of your musical DNA and stays with you.
Your latest work is out on Granholme. How did you hook up with Graham? What’s the working relationship with him been like?
Through Martyn basically – he’s always been very supportive of my music and when I finished ‘Circuit Theory’ he messaged me back saying “Graham wants to speak to you!” One of the few other people I sent it to at the time was Micky from [nakedlunch] who it turned out had also passed it onto this mysterious Graham character. Then I found out he’s involved with 3024 and was starting a new label and things just clicked into place.
Can you give readers an idea of what they can expect from the EP?
I think all 4 tracks are quite different in terms of style and mood. Some of it’s quite densely layered & maybe best appreciated in headphones, others are maybe more dancefloor friendly. That’s quite a hard question to answer actually… I guess I try to aim for something with a certain timeless quality rather than just trying to fit in with whatever’s fashionable at the time. There was a lot of love that went into all the tracks on the EP which I hope comes across too.
What else have you got coming up in the future?
In terms of releases there are a few things on the cards but it’s too early to say anything at this stage. The main thing I want to focus on is developing and broadening my sound. I think I’ve finally got to the point where I’m happy just to make stuff that I like and that feels like an honest representation of what I’m about musically, if other people like it too then I’m really thankful for that.
Tell us a bit about the mix…
It’s just a bunch of stuff I’m into at the moment really along with some older music that has some kind of significance to me. There are a couple of things from some other Melbourne producers and some newer bits from myself. It was done on a couple of 1210’s, a mixer. I borrowed a mate’s Serato for the unreleased tracks (cheers Leo). I certainly don’t claim to be the best DJ in the world and I don’t really play out that much so my approach to mixes has always been to create more of a listening experience than just beat-mixing wall to wall club tracks.
Traditionally we ask mixers for some wise words. Do you have any wordly wisdom for our readers?
Yeah, never embark on a 12 hour train journey in India with a dodgy stomach.
DOWNLOAD: Kloke – Sonic Router Mix #137
Hidden Agenda – Pressin’ On [Metalheadz]
Gang Related – Ready Or Not [Dope Dragon]
DJ Krust – Ideal World [Full Cycle]
West Norwood Cassette Library – Coming On Strong (Pangea Remix) [WNCL]
Sentel – Shut Your Eyes [forthcoming Granholme]
Vertigo Face – Casing Rainbows
Kloke – Hawkers [Granholme]
Pariah – Rift [R&S]
Kloke – Untitled
Feloneezy – Ghosts
Kloke – Untitled
Drexciya – Depressurization [Shockwave Records]
Kloke – Circuit Theory [Granholme]
Kloke – Sunken
Samaritan – Miguel
Kloke – Untitled
Brian Eno – Beclaimed [Island]
Harmonia – Watussi [Brain]
Parallelogram – jdrums/elos [/parallelogram/]
Kloke’s Circuit Theory EP is out now through Granholme.