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Interview with Klute
18 June 2006, Lviv, Ukraine


backpacker: Iíd like to start with general impression about the party and your visit to Ukraine. How was it?

Klute: It was good! I very much enjoyed playing. What can I say; I really donít know how to express itÖ People are very friendly here.

bcpk: Whatís the difference between people in for example England or other countries where youíve played and people in Ukraine? Can you see some difference in perception, going crazy, whatever?

Klute: I guess the main difference is that itís much more East: I kind of look and find the further East you go throughout Europe, the less jaded people become. So, you know, youíve got London where people are kinda bored Ďcause they got so much of itÖ and you come this far East and people havenít had so much exposure to the music, they are little bit more excited about it.

bcpk: Maybe they are not so fed up with that?

Klute: Yeah, fed up Ė thatís what jaded means.

bcpk: Youíve played a wicked set yesterday and Iíve recognized just 5 or 6 tunes or so. Can you please tell a few general names of what youíve played?

Klute: Iíve played a lot of tracks from the SKC album which is coming on Commercial Suicide. Must have played maybe five tracks from that one. I think, what elseÖ Break, few things from meÖ

bcpk: Forthcoming or already released?

Klute: I canít remember.

bcpk: There definitely was ďCome back to meĒ released on Soul:RÖ

Klute: Youíve got a better memory than me!

bcpk: So, Iíve got a question concerning your debut on Soul:R: how are you feeling it? Maybe thereís some particular story behind those tunes?

Klute: Not really. I guess the story is that Iíve been friends with Marcus Intalex for a long time, and Dominic, and ST FilesÖ So weíve been good friends for a while. And weíve also been trying to do a record for a long time. But that was always the case that if I gave them the track that Iíve been thinking of, maybe they didnít like it or they heard the track they wanted and I was doing an album or something. Iím trying to think back if there was stuff that Marcus wanted to put out on Soul:R Ė stuff on ďNooneís listening anymoreĒ that he wanted to put out. And we even collaborated on ďMake a standĒ and that one maybe was gonna come out on Sour:R. But then it finally maybe this track is not with Soul:R in mind and just a track that I madeÖ

bcpk: Do you make tracks keeping in mind for what label you are doing them?

Klute: Sometimes I do, like I did with Hospital.

bcpk: Have you actually did a track keeping in mind that it must be within the framework of Hospital?

Klute: Yeah, I guess. I mean sometimes it doesnít work, sometimes it doesÖ

bcpk: Is it tough when youíve got a framework you have to fit into?

Klute: NoÖ

bcpk: Because you stress in the interviews on being different, thatís why Iím wondering about that framework limitsÖ

Klute: No, not really. I just canít help it being a little bit different Ė thatís my nature.

bcpk: What about the difference between singles and albums you are doing? Are albums a kind of message you want to deliver rather then singles?

Klute: I suppose thatís the equivalent of writing a book and a single is like a magazine article. Itís like that.

bcpk: Nice definition indeed!

Klute: Itís a bunch of chapters instead of, say, one chapterÖ

bcpk: Iíve read about your punk past and as far as Iím concerned your punk attitude persists: like everythingís imposed (news, politics etc) and you are rejecting all that stuff. Does that hold true?

Klute: Yeah, pretty much, as much as I can.

bcpk: What form does your rejection take or its just inside your head?

Klute: Yeah, a lot of it is just inside my head, but I guess more than anything itís about questioning Ė question everything. I have the problem with the process - things in life become like ďthis is how itís doneĒ. Maybe, you know, you go to high school, you get a job, and then you finish working for the dayÖ

bcpk: Like the predefined process?

Klute: Predefined process, yeah. I was just finding a good word to describe it. Normality, the process of normality.

bcpk: Who are you by profession? What education have you received?

Klute: I left school when I was 16 so there was no high school education. I didnít do any college or anything. My sister tells me off the thing I donít believe in education, because itís an ignorant statement, because education exists, so I canít say I donít believe in it, but, you know, Iím not into itÖ This is coming from an English perspective, because when you come out to Europe education is obviously much more important.

bcpk: Do you feel dubstep stuff? It came to the forefront during the recent years and itís being like something completely differentÖ

Klute: Well, itís an interesting thing. I was very interested in it before it became popular. For me it was like loose cannon. It was something that was out of control, a little bit different and showed the possibilities of, you know, being truly open. But now I think because itís become more popular, itís become a rule-book like any other subdivision or genre of the music. Once it became established, there are rules and this is how it is. And to progress within that you have to build on the set of principles which to me is fact of life, but itís boring and I had enough of this in drum&bass or techno or whatever. Yeah, itís the processÖ And for me itís a bit disappointing, Ďcause to the certain extent itís the same thing all over againÖ Itís now been recognized and a lot of the music sounds the same like each other. But there are definitely some individual people like Kode 9, Digital Mystikz, Loefah Ė I canít remember who else got in this Ė the tremendous amount of sounds is cool soundÖ


bcpk: What about other dnb-related subgenres? Which particular subgenre are you feeling or some producers that are moving the sound forward?

Klute: SKC, I think. I respect some musicians in musicÖ Within dance music itís very easy to make dance music, so I think when a musician makes it you can tell it Ė they are bringing melodies and stuff like that. And thatís what I appreciate Ė a good tune is a good tune and to me itís tribal, isnít it? I have a problem of being tribal within drum&bass.
ďI like drumfunkĒ or ďI like some techstep or neuroĒ or whatever Ė for me to make statement of ďthis is what I likeĒ itís cutting down everything else. It becomes something beyond the music if you say that you belong to something Ė you know, ďIím a drumfunk fan and I go to the Streetbeats forum, SubvertCentralĒ - for me itís a little bit close-minded.

bcpk: What about Amitís stuff? Do you consider it to be very progressive or heís drifting away from d&b into his own realm?

Klute: No, I just think itís a bunch of music.

bcpk: I read the discussions at www.breaksblog.biz where some people claim Amit to be pushing the d&b sound forward, something like the future sound of d&b, while others say itís not d&b at allÖ

Klute: Itís not a future of d&bÖ Another interesting one is that people will say itís not d&bÖ The statement ďitís not d&bĒ I find kind of disturbing Ė itís being set in a closed way to say ďitís not d&bĒ. It brings the question ďwhat is d&b?Ē You know, itís some guy doing his thing Ė thatís all it is. Itís hardly stockhousing and I find it very interesting that some people are so mystified by it, you know, itís not rocket science, itís just musicÖ

bcpk: So there are no strict criteria for the tune to be released on Commercial Suicide: has it just to be original and different?

Klute: It has to be something I like.

bcpk: Is ďSplendorĒ still favourite tune produced by yourself?

Klute: Yeah, I donít know, maybeÖ

bcpk: I read somewhere that each time you listen to it you hear something new over and over againÖ

Klute: Yeah, for me itís aÖ I donít know the word to describe itÖ For me itís something that gets into my head, something transcendental. Yeah, itís a mental tune to me.

bcpk: Letí turn to music accessibility on the Internet: you claim that people often have the tunes prematurely when they are not expected to have what they have or can download a mix and consequently they are not very interested in going to parties, because theyíve already heard the tunesÖ How do you adress these issues? I rarely notice mixes by you on the Web, the recent one was a showcase for some radioÖ

Klute: Yeah, I did one for Pyro radioÖ Yeah, I think the music is a valuable thing. You know, good music is valuable. And I think itís very easy to get a hold of this music and therefore not appreciate its value. I donít knowÖ Iíve grown up appreciating the hunt to find music. Like thereís a good record and the shop hasnít got it and I go to another oneÖ

bcpk: But letís take for example Ukraine where we have practically no record shops etc. Where are we expected to get music? I think if it wouldnít be for the Internet we wouldnít know what d&b really isÖ

Klute: Well, thatís certainly true, but I think probably that average people in Ukraine maybe appreciate the difficulty of getting things a little bit more, letís say than an average English person or American, which are used to having everything they want right now. And if they donít, whatís the f**ken problem? And for me the point is the institutionalised greed that the Internet promotes. You know, ďhow come I canít have this right now?Ē

bcpk: What about Internet-labels that are releasing either free music or Strictly Digital who put out releases only in mp3?

Klute: Itís up to them. I guess itís the way of the future.

bcpk: What do you think will be the balance between digital and vinyl media?

Klute: Iím not a big ďitís gotta be vinylĒ kind of person.

bcpk: Guys in ďIn HospitalĒ video stress that itís not good to play of CDs when you can afford not to, when you can cut your setÖ

Klute: I donít agree with that.

bcpk: Like the point is in the content, not in the media? The same point like in making music: whatever you use hardware or software, the point is what you do and not how?

Klute: Yeah. The argument is that itís, by example, like if you are a big name DJ and you show up playing CDs, then kids will copy what you do. And I think thatís really a kind of patronizing viewpoint, very condescending way to look at things.
You know, if I see Jeff Mills DJing with CDs it doesnít mean ďoh, Iím gonna play CDsĒ. Itís a matter of convenience: I play a lot of music that isnít released and I donít really want to cut those on plates because some people think that if I play of plates I gonna promote vinyl, but they arenít records anyway. I think it has an effect on whether the record sells or not. That brings the challenge Ė if itís good, people want it.

bcpk: Last time I heard you playing in Leeds in November 2003 you were using Final Scratch. Arenít you using it now?

Klute: Yes, I donít. Itís not stable enough. CDs are more stable I think.

bcpk: What about software versus hardware issue? You were known as a hardware addict, did that change as for now or not?

Klute: Yeah, kind ofÖ Iíve got G5 and Iím using Cubase SX. And I think it sounds pretty good. It doesnít matter what you use. I guess the downside of software is that it democratizes the process of making music, so you have a lot of not so great music that sounds pretty good. And I think that causes the depression in the scene.

bcpk: How much time do you spend in the studio? Whatís the balance between work in the studio, touring and, say, free time?

Klute: I donít know.

bcpk: So are you touring a lot?

Klute: Oh, it depends.

bcpk: What about this year?

Klute: Not as much as the last year, because I had an album out. So last year was very busy. You know, usually itís about a year that youíve already done an album, you get around the world.

bcpk: What was the most exotic place where youíve played?

Klute: New Zealand. The party was basically in the mountains, a two-hour ride from the city. It was nice. I guess some people were getting there by helicopters smile.gif.

bcpk: When you are not at the gig, when you are not in the studio, what music do you listen to for your own pleasure? What percentage of it is d&b?

Klute: Absolutely all not d&b for pleasure: anything from punk-rock to reggae, soundtrack music, hip-hop, classic rock, everythingÖ

bcpk: As far as Iím concerned you havenít been known for much collaboration with other producers. Do you prefer to work alone or can we expect more collabs? I remember you and Marcus, you and CalibreÖ

Klute: Yeah, Iíve done a fair bit of collaborations. Me and Marcus, me and CalibreÖ I did something with Invaderz which never came outÖ John Tejada, Ecco Ė quite a lot. It depends. But I do prefer to work by myself.

bcpk: Whatís the process of musicmaking in your case? Is it planned like you have idea in mind that it has to like this, this and that and then you just sit down and put it into life? Or itís about the process of experimenting and the track evolves as youíre doing it?

Klute: Yes, the latter one.

bcpk: I wonder whether some people can imagine the whole track in their head and then just ďbang!Ē and itís readyÖ

Klute: I think some people are like that, but for me it just evolves as Iím doing it.

bcpk: Do you make for a living only by making music, nothing else?

Klute: Yeah, nothing else: just making music, running a label and DJing.

bcpk: Are you OK with that?

Klute: Oh, yeah.

bcpk: No complaints? smile.gif

Klute: Definitely not to complain, because like anything when you do it so much sometimes it becomes very tiring, but now itís great.

bcpk: Can you say that you were influenced by other genres, some particular producers or itís just all about doing a different thing?

Klute: I am, but in a very obscure kinda way. Iíve obviously been affected by the music Iíve grown up with, but I canít say exactly what it is.

bcpk: Is that something like indirect influence?

Klute: Iím just not aware of it, itís something subconsciuous. I guess a lot of punk-rock, a lot of melodic music that just tricks in Ė it obviously comes from somewhere, because itís the reason I do what I do. But itís not just that I sat down and understood it. Maybe thatís something I will do when I become older Ė recognize thatÖ

bcpk: There is the case of bringing guitars into d&b. Whatís your opinion on that?

Klute: Well, whatever. There is definitely some cool stuff that has been done. I really like that Concord Dawnís track ďRaining BloodĒ that is basically a Slayer cover and I like that. And like a learning curve I sampled quite a lot of guitars. Yeah, itís fun.

bcpk: What are you devoted to in life except music?

Klute: Nah, nothing smile.gif Ö Skateboarding and cats Ė those are my hobbies.

bcpk: Youíve mentioned the forthcoming SKC album; what else can we expect from Commercial Suicide in the nearest future?

Klute: Itís gonna be a single from Break and a single from the guy called Insight, a new producer from England whoís got stuff coming out soon. He signed stuff to Digital Soundboy and I canít remember what elseÖ Yeah, those two and there are a couple more in the pipeline.

bcpk: You are receiving loads of demos. What names can we want out for in whom you see potential?

Klute: Thereís a guy from Leeds called Mista. Heís kind of a little bit crazy, but heís definitely got something good. Developing that, the guy Insight is very good.

bcpk: Whatís the most important moment of your work?

Klute: I canít answer that, but I guess my favourite feeling is when Iím almost done with the track. The process when you are putting the cream on the top of the cake.

bcpk: Whatís your opinion on the current state of d&b? Is it progressing, evolving or digressing with that variety of subgenres when everyone claims his music to be another original genre?

Klute: Oh, I think itís in the terrible state of complacency at the moment. Itís dreadfully dull, normal and everyone is convinced they are doing something different, but they are really not. And thatís why you get the situation where people are looking for an easy way out like ďDubstep is the answer for my prayers. This is great! I was looking for something new to get into itĒ. Or, you know, people go on that Amit is so different, but itís notÖ Itís just the guy doing his own thing.

bcpk: Do you consider drumfunk stuff to be very different? Do you like it?

Klute: Not particularly, because itís not something new. Itís just another kind of music. It is very difficult to sound new; it takes a lot of imagination to do that. And Iím not sitting here saying: ďOh, Iím doing somethingĒ, because Iím clearly not, although I do make a lot of different styles of music, but I didnít come up with some kind of special formula that is changing d&b. I just think itís very dull at the moment and I think it shows. People are getting bored of it, especially people thatíve been around for few years. There are definitely a lot of new kids very excited and very happy with whatís happening and get insulted when people suggest that there are any problems. You know, Iíve been around for a while and know a lot of people whoíve been as well, and we can see that thereís a lack of morale in those circles.

bcpk: Does it lack musicality and soul?

Klute: Whatever, thereís definitely some stuff that does, but itís not like everythingís on fire.

bcpk: What about stuff released on Offshore, ASCís stuff? Do you consider it to be different or dull?

Klute: They donít do anything for me personallyÖ Itís different like Clipz is different, and Clipz is different than ASC. You know, what makes one thing better than the other? To me they are about as inventive as each other. Itís one guy doing one thing and the other doing something else. Neither of them is better than the other. One of them obviously sells the hell of a lot more copies than the other and in the current climate, in the consumer society thatís recognized as better.

bcpk: Iíve read that ASC, Polar, Pieter K complain about not selling enough copies and that hampers their musicmaking. Like thatís the problem with marginal d&b or how you call it. I guess Pieter K just quit production because of thatÖ

Klute: Yeah, heís busy with other kinds of music. But I guess the question there is ďwhy do we make music?Ē And some people will say that artists are needy people that are doing it because they demand attention or appreciation. And this is something that I was constantly questioning myself: why am I doing this? Am I doing this for me or am I doing this because I want approvalÖ

bcpk: And did you find the answer?

Klute: No, I havenít. Itís somewhere in between the two. We all go through the periods of knowing and appreciating what we do and it creates that kind of block and it becomes difficult to make music. I think that everyone will admit that itís exciting when loads of people say: ďYeah, we like your new track!Ē It propels you to make more music because yeah, youíre excited.
But itís interesting what happened with Polar, the fact that he stopped making music eventually because he didnít like where d&b was going and he felt like he was underappreciated.
You canít force people to buy music; you canít make them buy your music. And itís never gonna be down to the fact that ďoh, there are too many online mixes; itís all over because people do more CD-DJingÖĒ Who knows whatís gonna happen? Itís not just one thing, itís just a space of what is happening and whether it makes any senseÖ

bcpk: Any final shouts, concluding remarks, some point you want to make or whatever?

Klute: You know, something I really miss is the time when there were no Internet d&b-forums, it made the whole thing a lot more mysterious and so much more exciting. The process of finding new music was slower. Therefore youíd have more time to appreciate the music instead of, say, getting 5 new mixes the other day and another week 5 more - all the information. And now even before reading a magazine or hearing some gossip you can easily find those unbelievable newsÖ Itís not necessarily a bad thing but it just changed everything and we have to adapt that, but it certainly had accelerated everything. I think this is probably why everything to this ground has just stunned the whole process of music in all the genres. That fact that thereís so much of it available all the time really quickly has thrown everyone into like ďOh my God!Ē You know, I have so much music, thousands and thousands of records, CDs and loads of download stuff to check outÖ Well, it is way too much to know what you have, what you like and what to do with it. And itís difficult.

bcpk: So where do you draw the line between the stuff you gotta check and what is not worth checking at all?

Klute: You canít, itís all by chance. Even with getting demos Iíll get a demo and flick it on and go ďNahÖĒ and then 5 months later hear that track in a different mindset and go ďThis is great!Ē Itís difficult, itís just the way too muchÖ But then it has to be really good for it to beat that competition. Yeah, weíll see what ultimate effect all this will have. Weíll see what the results areÖ
Itís interesting. I read a lot of Brian Eno has to say about music and culture and stuff like that. And his viewpoint about 5 years ago was that the music is going to cease to be an artform anymore and that itíll basically just gonna be a commodity. I thought that was a little bit negative viewpoint but to some degree he is right. Look at the pop music: music here is the secondary factor, whatís there is the name, the image, the brand, the packageÖ Itís like the bottle of Coke, itís a little bit of sugar water in there, but you know, the way the bottle looks, the red and white logo Ė thatís what you are buying.
But itís not also healthy to say itís all wrong or bad, itís just something we got to adapt toÖ Just go and get the job if you donít like it smile.gif.

bcpk: Thanks, was a pleasure to talk to you.

Klute: Thank you.



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