Sunday, September 26, 2010

A little bit from Kiat

Hailing from Singapore, Kiat is an artist who has been writing and playing drum and bass for a long time. We first came across him on one of his many visits to Melbourne, as he is represented by The Operatives, a collective who also represent both Fiend and myself. With releases on Metalheadz, Soul:R, Hospital and Kokeshi, Kiat has more than made a name for himself in the drum and bass world. As well, Kiat co-runs Qilin Music, a digital record label that releases left-field electronic artists from many different genres (look out for forthcoming Qilin release by our own JPS & Hooves - Robocaper).

But given this is Allsorts, and Kiat is very diverse, we asked him to do a mix for us representing the other sounds that he is feeling right now, and he has come back to us with this multi-genre gem. He also took the time out to answer a few questions for us and in case you were wondering, he also drew the picture of himself — so sit back and get to know Singapore superstar Kiat.

Q. Tell us a little about Kiat and your musical background

A. Hi! My name is Kiat from Singapore. Music has been in my life as far as I can remember. I was fortunate enough to have parents who listens to vinyl when I was kid. So I pretty much grew with all sorts of old school music from the 60-70’s around me. It was never a big part of my life but it was more like an old friend that you grew up with…someone you could hang out with in comfortable silence. I got into DJIng quite by pretty much changed the course of my life.

Q. How did you first get into producing and/or deejaying?

A. When I was about 17, I was a playing competitive tennis and my then doubles partner was this Swiss guy called Rico who was then living in Singapore. He had to go back to Switzerland and left with me his mixer as he had no more space for his baggage. I really didn’t know what it did but it didn’t take long for me to figure what it could do. I started to mix my dad’s disco vinyl and found the whole idea of mixing 2 differents sounds very intriguing. I pretty much just mixed records in my bedrooms but never really thought about playing in clubs as I don’t like crowded places. Fast forward a couple of years down the road, I played my first party and then shortly after, started to travel around the region to play gigs while I was still in the army. After the army, I had a 9-month stint at Velvet Underground/Zouk as a resident playing deep house and NY garage etc. Then I went to Melbourne to finish up my studies and got into more experimental beats and well as turntablism. In regards to production, it was Digital and Matty C who encouraged me to make music from years ago. Frankly, I really hate dealing with software but I get a buzz everytime I sit in the studio….Never looked back since ☺ This is the short version of my story, the actual version would be too long and potentially boring!

Q. What is the drum and bass/bass music in general scene in Singapore like?

A. I’m happy to say that the crowd here generally is quite open minded to bass music. As with all scenes, things move in cycles but over here…bassheads will always be bassheads no matter what genre of music!
In regards to the Drum and Bass specifically, things have quieten down a tad as other bass related genres have sprouted up but when there is a Drum and Bass party, it still goes off!

Q. What music are you listening to/loving right now?

A. My daily blend of music would always include some Kiwi grooves, some dancehall, old and new hip-hop. It really depends on what time and day it is really! Currently, I’ve been going back to my hip hop beats which feels comfortable right now. I think at the end of the day, all things go back to the roots and for me, it’s hip hop. On my current listening playlist, I’m feeling beats coming out of NZ and LA and bass coming out of the UK. If I had to name some producers, it’d probably be guys like Take, Free The Robots, The KarlMarx Project, Julien Dyne, Tokimonsta, Electric Wire Hustle, Milanese, JPS+Hooves, Low Limit… and there’s always the weekly does of Tribe Called Quest and Prince! On a local tip, it would have to be Max Lane, Izaak Stern and Kaye..

Q. You’re also a designer, tell us a bit about that

A. Along with my partners, we run a creative shop called OhPlay which essentially a little set up that does all sorts of design work, from record sleeves, book design, identity systems, animations, websites and some advertising work. I was formally working in the ad industry for about 11 years but I found it to be rather dull and old school mostly. So I just the leap of faith to see what would happen…it’s been a great ride! It still is. The thing is, it never really feels like work as I’ve got a great team of peeps around on the same vibe.

Q. Which designers/artists are you loving right now?

A. I’m not really sure about new designers but I’ve always subscribed to the thinking of guys like Peter Saville and Trevor Jackson who’s work really stands the test of time. For me, it’s always art that feeds the soul.. guys like Jose Parla, Damien Hirst, Jaba One, Tadaomi Shibuya. and also Frederic Plateus, whom I found out recently through Jaba One in Singapore. They just take art to a whole new level.

Download Kiat mix here

Tokimonsta - Bready Soul
Slugabed - Let's Go Swimming
Mike Slott - Knock Knock
Free the Robots - Select/Start
Lunice - Dilla Dolla Circulate Tribute
Karl Marx Project - Future pop
Ras G - Ras G Beat
Modeselektor - Fifty Weapons #1
Nick T. - GotSomeNerve
Julien Dyne - Layer Featuring Mara TK
Mike Slott - 40 Winx
Milanese - Shake Wut Ya Mama Gave Ya (Milanese Remix)
Prince - Gett Off
Kutmah - ??????
Low Limit - Out The Club
JPS and Hooves - Ninetee
Jahcoozi, M. Sayyid - Powerdown Blackout
Tokimonsta - Sa Mo Jung
Rick James - Ghetto Life
Amanda Blank - Might Like You Better (Lunice Remix)
Actress - Loomin
Stereotyp with Al'Haca - Up There
Mr. Oizo - Jo
Cerrone - Supernature
Bearweasel - Where's Ratty? - Ali Nasser Remix
Milanese - Wonderful World (Ft. Ben Sharps)
Roska - Time Stamp
Two Fingers - What You Know (Emalkay Remix)
Cherry + Kiat - Samurai Waltz (Kid Kanevil Remix)

Find out more about Kiat on Myspace

and on Soundcloud