Sheffield producer Kidnap has been through various phases, various iterations.
Continually probing, constantly searching for something new, the beat maker has just completed work on his latest EP.
'Ursa Minor' takes its names from the fabled constellation, something he refers to as "the outcome of a recommitment to the process of evolution. One which for a time was laid down. It is an ode to distant orbits and a call for adulation. A nudging reminder to revere our lives lived as they are, hanging amongst the stars."
Out now, Clash caught up with Kidnap to discuss a few of the sounds powering his latest evolution.
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Calibre – 'Let Me Hold You'
The early days of my fixation with electronic music were focused squarely on jungle and drum 'n' bass.
Calibre epitomises what I loved about that era of music. Brooding and melancholic but also full of energy and beautifully produced. I ingested some information about chords progressions from this time that I still haven't shaken off.
Spending your formative years taking cues from acts like Calibre will really tighten up your production too. Although it's a quite a distance from the music I make now, I still hear a common thread between the two.
Venetian Snares – 'Koonut Kaliffee'
Growing up as a drummer, I had an attraction to anything rhythmically complex. Couple that with a teenage eye for excess and you get breakcore. I loved the music but also the DIY punk aesthetic. I remember listening to this at school and feeling edgy and misunderstood.
I once overdid the Acid at a Venetian Snares gig in Manchester 2009 and spent most of the show pinned to the back wall trying to dodge the laser-beams shooting from his eyes. He's a scary man even when you're sober. It quite a memorable evening.
Jacques Greene – 'The Look'
Around the age of 20 I became more interested in melody and for the first time the concept euphoria didn't seem entirely lame. The music that Jacques Greene, Pearson Sound and Joy Orbison were releasing around that time helped ease me through the transition.
This was the first time I had found looped vocals and pad filled breakdowns to be an appealing prospect. I spent a good while trying to imitate them before landing on my own sound in a slightly different place. Through this process of imitation, I realised that I felt uneasy working with an entirely electronic palette and began to incorporate more live instrumentation.
This was the first time I had found a sound that felt like my own.
David August – 'Epikur'
I still remember where I was the first time I heard this track. It was buried deep in a mix prerelease and I spent a solid month trying to work out its origin. Epikur was an important moment for me, as it broadened the scope what I felt was achievable within electronic music. It touched on a feeling I hadn't found elsewhere.
In some ways, it set me off along a path outside of the electronic sphere, looking for fresh sentiments to club round the head and drag home.
John Martyn – 'Small Hours'
This path was a winding one it turns out and I now find I take most influence from other worlds entirely. Classical, ambient and wandering guitar music have been the focus of my attention for the past few years.
It has become an important personal mission to bring fresh blood into the gene pool, for the health of herd if not for my own curiosity. We all thrive when the scene is diverse and I feel a need to bear my share of the burden.
John Martyn has been a key figure in this phase of the journey and his song 'Small Hours' an emblem of the ongoing search.
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'Ursa Minor' is out now on Birds That Fly – order LINK.
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