ClashMusic DJ Mix Podcast - Kingbastard

And new album chat
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Returning for another episode of our DJ Mix series is Kingbastard, aka Chris Weeks, ahead of the release of his 'Lost Property' album on March 1st.

Favouring a vinyl only selection, he offers a cross section of his current listening habits from Rustie to Pink Floyd via Bjork. We spoke to Kingbastard about his new album and the mix he put together for Clash...

The album's inspired by your discovery of a remote, abandoned house. Did that moment create an immediate creative spark or did you return to it when in studio looking for inspiration?

It was an immediate spark. As soon as I discovered it I knew I wanted to use it as inspiration for an album. I instantly envisaged the concept as being a natural progression from its predecessor ‘Beautiful Isolation’. Thankfully I always carry around a sketchbook, field-recorder & camera whenever I’m out walking, so I immediately started making notes, recordings and taking pictures to capture my initial thoughts, feelings & excitement. I revisited the property numerous times after the first encounter to reinvigorate my imagination, take some video footage, which can be seen (to some extent) in my Music Video 'Glim' and to listen to the album ‘in situ’.

The whole album is given over to the house, its surroundings and the act of discovery and exploration, did you feel that it needed an album's worth of audio to properly evoke the place/moment or did the album format and your established working methods dictate the final product?

I feel it needed an album’s worth of audio to evoke my own experience. I could’ve made it into a double-album with the amount of material that came out, but I chose to keep it more concise. Lost Property focuses primarily on one location, compared to the numerous locations that made up Beautiful Isolation; therefore I found it was necessary to keep it punchier, with a number of shorter, self-contained pieces, each subtly blending into the next. In this way it fully represented the nature of my own exploration & discovery within the confined area of the property. However, I do think my own ways of working influenced the format the record would eventually take. I approached writing it in a different way to previous works. I wrote the tracks, from 1-16, in ‘chronological’ order, starting with first impressions of the property and ending with the journey away from it. I like to impose constraints like this upon myself when making records, as it forces me to change my approach, think in different ways, & be more creative. These established working method certainly dictated the final product.

The packaging of the album is a real treat (the booklet contains photos of and even the longitude/latitude of the house), I imagine that accompanying visual exploration of the house is an important part of the overall 'Lost Property' concept?

Most definitely, the Music takes centre-stage, but the artwork is designed to enhance the whole experience and give an extra level of depth to my ideas. I wanted the music & artwork to reflect my imagination, to allow people to hear and visualise my thoughts, feelings & creative process for themselves. The combination of the two art forms is very much a key element of the overall concept. For me the artwork is the snapshot of a moment in time, a captured memory. The music elaborates upon these memories, uniting the real & imagined, bringing the imagery to life and telling a tale.

The lo-fi blues ditty 'Take Me Home' catches you off guard initially as you listen to the album but makes perfect sense once you regain your footing as a listener. What was it about the discovery that inspired it?

Take Me Home was influenced by an emotive experience whilst exploring the property. I recall it was borne out of my own state of mind. The initial excitement of finding the property was waning. It was a cold, wet & windy autumn day. My hands were frozen, my boots & feet were soaked, and I was in a remote area that I didn’t know. I was alone; and to top it all off my camera battery had just died on me. When writing the album I recalled this moment of frustration, wanting to get out of there and return to my home comforts. It seemed only natural that the song should take the format it does, essentially a lamenting blues song lyrically, in a back-country style, to represent the pastoral nature of my immediate surroundings. Whilst this track structurally stands out from the others, I believe it has a certain timbre, which brings with it a sense of cohesion and continuity with regard to the sound of the album as a whole.

Onto today's DJ mix, it's a vinyl only affair. Are you someone who values the artifact of a vinyl record or is it a sound quality thing?

It’s a combination of the two. I love the unique sound quality of vinyl and believe the overall concept of the album as a format is best represented by a beautifully designed piece of vinyl, which shows off the artwork to its full extent. That, along with the physical act of putting on a record is the complete package. Not having the option to instantly skip tracks and shuffle things around means you sit-back and concentrate more on what you’re listening to, and fully appreciate the experience. There is most definitely something about the sound of vinyl that is comforting; it has a certain quality that speaks to me. As you may have noticed, in a lot of my records there is a lo-fi element, a vinyl crackle & hiss. It’s my attempt to capture that underlying warmth and natural ‘imperfection’ that comes with the sound of vinyl, something which is often lost in the more clinical representation that comes via means of digitally reproduced music. Regrettably the costs & process of manufacturing my own music on vinyl is a little beyond my means at this moment in time, but it’s something I will endeavor to rectify for future releases.

What was the inspiration for the track list of the mix?

It’s one of eclecticism that reflects my own tastes. A select few tracks from my vinyl collection, something a little different that you wouldn’t usually hear mixed together. Essentially it’s some of my favourite music of the moment and of years past, which has in someway influenced my own style.

What are your plans regarding the release of 'Lost Property' and beyond?

Lost Property is being released via Herb Recordings on March 1st 2012 in digital format across all the usual digital outlets, iTunes, Bleep etc… It will also be available digitally & on Limited Edition CD from my own site kingbastardmusic.com, which is the only place where the download comes complete with all the artwork and bonus items, including a hidden track and music video. Beyond that I have an alternative/pop album under my Myheadisaballoon alias coming out this year on White Label Music, called Pop Goes the People! & I’m currently enjoying writing new material on the acoustic guitar, possibly with an EP of simple, folk-tinged songs in mind. I also want to start work on a new Kingbastard record ASAP, but have yet to figure out the direction I would like to take.

Foregoing a 'tour', might a performance at the house that inspired it all be a possibility?

I would love to do that, it’s a great idea; unfortunately it’s something I don’t ever see happening, other than in my head. I wouldn’t really know where to start with reproducing the record in a live format, let alone the logistics of performing it live at the house. Tis a great idea though, one to ponder…

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Kingbastard recently made the MP3 of 'Glim' available for free download. Grab it HERE.

Listen to the mix above, download it for later enjoyment below, or grab on iTunes HERE.

DOWNLOAD THE KINGBASTARD DJ MIX HERE
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Kingbastard - Eclectic Vinyl DJ Mix Tracklist

01: BBC SOUND EFFECTS – BLACKBIRDS & SPARROWS ( excerpt )
02: LAUREL & HARDY – “FRESH FISH” ( excerpt )
03: DIRECTORSOUND – SOMEWHEN BY THE SEA
04: THE ADVISORY CIRCLE – AS THE CROW FLIES
05: BJORK – COSMOGONY
06: SERGE GAINSBOURG – AH! MELODY
07: THE FLAMING LIPS – THE MORNING OF THE MAGICIANS
08: SPACE DIMENSION CONTROLLER – PULSOVIAN INVASION
09: APHEX TWIN – FORMULA ( excerpt )
10: RUSTIE – FLASH BACK ( excerpt )
11: MODESELEKTOR – EVIL TWIN (feat. OTTO VON SCHIRACH)
12: SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO – ASPIC ( excerpt )
13: BIBIO – ARTISTS’ VALLEY
14: KINGBASTARD – DANLAN SPEAKS
15: DELS – SHAPESHIFT
16: A TRIBE CALLED QUEST – JAM
17: BYETONE – OPAL
18: THE ADVISORY CIRCLE – THE PATCHWORK EXPLAINS ( excerpt )
19: BRIAN ENO – POUR IT OUT
20: PINK FLOYD - ECLIPSE

Check out the previous episodes of our Dj Mix Series on iTunes HERE or individually on ClashMusic.com HERE

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