We caught up with Kaveh from Pleasurekraft ahead of his gig at Egg London this weekend and went deep…
Hi Kaveh, good to chat man, for those who don’t know, can you tell us about the origins of Pleasurekraft
I met Kalle virtually back in 2007 on Myspace when people actually used Myspace and we started off sending WAV files back and forth. Pete Tong played the very first track we did together. We’d never had support on that scale back then so we decided to work together more often ☺ Today we’re still producing together as Pleasurekraft however our roles have somewhat changed as Kalle is involved with another side project which he is focused on more.
You started off producing tech house but your sound has evolved. How would you describe what you’re making today?
I’m not sure if it’s because tech house is so stagnant as a genre now – or my taste has just changed – the truth is it’s probably a combination of the two. While its great that technology has become so affordable and democratized the music production model – it also has diluted the music industry into an ocean of mediocrity that you really have to wade through carefully to find the gems. Any Joe Schmoe these days can cut up a few loops put them together and call themselves a producer – but it takes a lot more than that. While this is not unique to the tech house genre – I think tech house lends itself easier to this kind of manipulation.
The music that really excites me now is much harder, darker, less groove oriented, and what in my opinion sounds like a soundtrack to the Cosmos. When people think Pleasurekraft, I want them to think Cosmic techno. Big room techno that’s dark with a hook that’s quite melodic and beautiful. To me that is the definition of the Cosmos, where there’s incredible violence and destruction that gives birth to immense beauty. Those kind of polar opposites inspire me.
I read that you see music visually. Does that mean you have to take control of the creative process when it comes to producing visuals for your performance and music videos?
I went to university for film, so yes, I do art direction for everything. I also edit a lot of the Pleasurekraft videos as well. I have an incredible graphic designer who is just as important in making sure what I envision in my head can be materialized in tangible form – so that helps immensely.
Which one of your tracks tell a story best and what’s it about?
I’m a big astronomy nut – and I think when the final touches on our record Rigel were done – that was a piece of music that to this day I don’t know if we will ever creatively surpass. It is our musical attempt to encapsulate all the power and beauty of the cosmos into an eight and a half minute piece of techno music.
We heard Carl Cox has been hammering your remake of Tarantula
Yeah I think when you have a record that takes off and becomes a huge hit – it’s difficult to sometimes shed that sound and continue to evolve. Most people know hits from the artists they like and since we haven’t been making tech house for a couple years now – I thought it was appropriate to take the track that put us on the map – and update it to fit the sound that we have been making for the last couple years – and hence our ‘7 Year Itch’ rework of the original “Tarantula” which I’m quite proud of if I may say so 🙂 It’s gonna be out on May 5th on our label kraftek. Pre-order here.
What’s your DJ setup look like and do you ever play live?
I play hybrid DJ set mixed with live elements, using Traktor with a Maschine controller and Pioneer mixer to play 4 decks, loop tracks, mix melodies in the same key… I create live edits on the fly or sometimes create new completely new music, using various elements of different tracks. Its not that uncommon as there’s other DJs doing the same thing.
You’re playing Egg on Saturday which is always known for its forward thinking line ups. What makes Egg special for you?
Yeah I think they’ve not only done a lovely job on curating their shows – but also the renovation they did prior to my last set there was perfect. The placement of the booth, the sound, all help create a vibe in the main room that many clubs can’t re-create. Really looking forward to being back this Saturday!
Which DJs or live acts do your really admire or make time to see?
If we are sticking to electronic music – I would say probably Kink because he’s incredibly talented and really energetic when he performs. I think motion creates emotion. It’s great to see his energy and him really enjoying what he’s doing and that’s infectious and it really makes you want to dance.
What’s happening with Kraftek and are there any new signings you’re exited about?
I’m keeping kraftek MAINLY for our own records moving forward, with releases from fellow producers peppered here and there throughout the release schedule. In addition to a lot of new pleasurekraft material I’m trying to focus on just a core of young artists that I care about and who I believe in – those being Weska from Toronto, and Dutchman SAMA. I think once you’ve reached a certain point in this industry there’s a responsibility to send the proverbial elevator back down for the next generation of producers. I’m just doing my part.
How does Kraftek differ from other labels?
In today’s world, there’s a constant demand for new content and we’re never going to be one of those labels who’re releasing something every two weeks. Right now we’re releasing once a month and even that to me is too much and will get slowed down next year as each release needs to be given a chance to breathe. Dance music is one of the most disposable genres of music, to the point where if people are playing your records 3 months later – it’s a miracle. I have zero interest in making a record or releasing records on kraftek that chart really high but no dj plays in 3 months. I want to release records that people will still throw in their sets a year, 2 years, 5 years from now and it still inspires.
What else do you have in the pipeline?
We have a track coming up on the next Drumcode A-Sides compilation, along with a host of new material on Kraftek. I’m also working on an album which will be pretty club oriented but with a couple more personal records in there as well. I don’t foresee that seeing the light of day before early 2018.