Kiat beams in from Singapore… via Leipzig and along with discussing the new release, sweeps us up with accounts of various involvements, influences and, natch, the gates of hell.
Hey Kiat how are things with you right now? What you up to?
Hello! I’m good, thanks for asking.
Currently still recovering from my travels to Germany and Australia and catching up on my emails/music/design projects in order to keep the work coming in.
Tell us about you: where are you actually based?
I’m actually based in Singapore… born and raised here.
Over the last – let’s say decade – how have you evolved as an artist and what things have shaped you?
So much has happened over the last decade that has influenced me as we are all shaped by our daily experiences big and small. But a few things that stuck out and kept me inspired were the relationships that I have grown with my local creative scene from across the disciplines. It has shown that we can push things forward onto a larger platform if we work together for a greater purpose beyond ourselves.
I’ve also been a lot more open to other musical and art viewpoints such as theatre and contemporary dance as well. Much thanks to my wife actually who is a great ‘cultural selector’ as I call it: she really contributes to my mental input.
In addition, I’ve been envisioning projects that go beyond the realm of just club music such as designing music for fashion film or commercials to slightly more adventurous expressions of my music in non-traditional spaces such as site specific installations. As time moved on, I did feel a lot more comfortable within my own headspace to create music or art freely and which resonated with me on a deeper and more personal level.
I find that in the recent year, I’ve been digging deep into my own childhood interests to see if I can add it to my work in a hopefully interesting and modern way.
Credit also has to be given to everyone who has crossed paths in my life… to my peers, my crew and especially to Digital, Storm and Goldie who have been nothing short of encouraging since day one.
Albums that have have a huge part in my life are… in no particular order
Leftfield – Leftism
All Beastie Boys
RUN DMC – Tougher Then Leather
Orb – The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld
Jungle Brothers – Straight Out The Jungle
Goldie – Timeless
Kerri Chandler – Kaoz Theory
Art Of Noise – Who’s Afraid Of The Art Of Noise
Wild Style (Original Soundtrack)
Sun Ra – Cosmos
Onto this ep, it’s a wonderful place to be immersed in… can you take us into ‘Brooklyn’?
Thanks for the nice words! Well, I’ve always created music to serve as bookmarks in my life.. this helps me look back and remember certain moments that I was going thru both good and bad. Sound has always triggered deep emotions in me and I always try to express it somehow. With this tune, it started life in Brooklyn last year after a tour and it reflected the bittersweetness of how I was feeling after all that travel with the crew and the moments we experienced together.
The journey of the tune also reflects the warmness of the neighbourhood we were staying in but progresses into the subtle moodiness of the city where sunlight doesn’t fall in some places…and then back again to a comfortable space.
There’s a lot of variety here… what influenced the vibe of ‘Slider’?
When I sat down to do this tune, it was the time of the 7th Month festival otherwise known as the Hungry Ghosts Festival which is a period where the Chinese believe the gates of hell are open and the spirits roam freely.
Due to their nature of being trapped between the living and spiritual realms, they are unable to eat or drink, which results in them being perennially hungry.
This inspired the vibe of slider where the sound of prayer bells guide the spirits as they slide through the different dimensions from the other world and into ours to enable them to feed and replenish.
Take us into the Kabuki linkup?
I’ve been a fan of his work since the early 2000’s and I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know he resided in Frankfurt until my recent remix that he had done on Brooklyn was sent over from Robert over at Defrostatica.
Long story short, we caught up in Frankfurt recently and it was a good time spent together as I felt we had a lot of common viewpoints in music and building culture. Just super surprised we didn’t link up earlier as we have more then a few common friends!
In general I feel a strong visual aesthetic abounds here… are visuals important to you?
I cannot emphasis how important the visual aspect is to me.
Sight takes up about 83% of our sensorial input which is pretty significant. Although music only involves the sense of hearing, I do try my best to start of with a spatial scene in my head which I try to bring out using music… to almost try to paint a sonic landscape with the audio palette.
Even as a teenager, the whole experience of consuming music did start quite a bit by the interpretation of the cover before I picked it up for a listen. For me, one cannot exist without the other. In a performance space, the music and the visuals should ideally work together to create a larger experience for the audience.
Tell us about live nights you’re involved in?
I’ve co-founded a night called Syndicate which began about six years ago as a night where audio-visual presentations was the format we wanted to explore. The music itself was very open and it was a platform that encouraged experimentation which focused on the the learnings from the process rather then the outcome.
It was quite common that artists from diff musical/creative backgrounds would collaborate to create something new.
Any tune in your head right now?
The tune in my head right now is Erik Satie’s Première Gymnopédie performed by Alexandre Tharaud. Besides this, Mark Pritchard’s latest album Under The Sun, Digital’s Synthesis LP and the new Goldie album are pretty much the ones for me this year!