As Christopher Kah’s latest body of work ‘Les Frequences Interdites’ is set to drop, we managed to catch up with the Frenchman and see how 2020 has been for him, and the musical journey he endured to create the album. A nine track album that has already received the seal of approval from none other than Laurent Garnier, a voyage through imaginative and well thought out music beyond the realms of the dance floor. Here is what went down…
Hi Christopher, thanks for chatting to us today. How has this year been for you considering everything that has been going on?
Pretty well, thank you! I spend more time in my studio, I develop new concepts, I work on my machines, mixes… We are at the dawn of a new era, and whether we like it or not, everything is changing. We have to rethink the way this whole business works, because yes! Wether we like it or not, we are in a business. Most techno artists are used to this system; sending demos to big labels, sometimes waiting for months to get an answer, often ending up with nothing …
This mechanism Send to labels -> Releases on the label -> recognition by magazines -> happy promoter -> possible booking.
This is almost the almost sclerosed path where each artist confronts himself! To me, we have to open up to new paths, stop limiting ourselves to the holy recognition of very big structures, labels and promoters, and be able to spread our music out there differently. Electronic music is not just Djing + booking, there are so many other options ! I continue to develop my YouTube channel where I have fun continuing to test instruments, to show that we can make music with very few instruments. I find that the world of electronic music needs to wake up a bit. It’s time to create new trends, new ways of thinking, creating …
Has the current situation affected your creative flow at all? or have you found other avenues to explore thanks to the situation?
The overall atmosphere has of course changed, I feel it, but in terms of my work, it remains almost the same, as I said above. There are of course less bookings for everyone, this situation is not easy for a many artists! We must not forget that in the techno world, there are the big artists, but there are also small and medium artists who try to survive the best they can, and what is happening today shows how fragile and imbalanced this system is! In France, being an artist is very different from our German neighbours for example. No real status here. If you have bookings, and you can aspire to be recognized as “intermittent du spectacle”, but if you don’t fit perfectly into the box, there is just …nothing else.
Your forthcoming album ‘Les Frequences Interdites’ album is extremely cinematic, and a masterpiece. Can you tell us a bit about the background of the album? Where did the ideas originate from?
Thank you! This album matured very recently. It’s been about 10 years since I started creating this album, finding the concepts, just doing what I love! The initial idea was to let my inspirations of the moment speak, to leave the techno dancefloor side for a moment and to make way for a cinematic universe, without any limits or even goals. When I listen to this album even now i could make a movie for each track! When I wanted to make a clip for the track PATERNITY, everything happened very quickly, I found the concept and completed the clip in just a few days, it was the right moment to do this clip!
Already the album received support from Laurent Garnier, how does it feel to have your music supported by someone as vital to the industry as Laurent?
When I started to compose the tracks, I immediately wanted to send the tracks to Laurent, even if the album was not finished yet! We had talked a lot about the freedom I had taken for this album,
he loved it right away, and directly played a track on his show IT IS WHAT IT IS. The way he spoke about it really gave me a boost to continue in this direction. With Laurent it’s quite simple, for me it looks like a UFO in the world of electronic music, it is someone humble, sharing, without any fuss, unlike a lot of people in this environment! 🙂
When he loves, he says so!
What would you say is your favourite track from the album?
I will answer you very quickly! : Mirage!
I remember, when I composed it, I listened to the same sounds for hours! I was happy to have found the heavy side that I wanted, a very warm bass with other hyper repetitive sounds! When I listen to it again, I think directly of the movie Heat, a masterpiece for me, because it perfectly mixed the images and the sound. I think that I was very inspired by this universe to create Mirage!
You recently connected with the iconic Roland brand, how did this come about?
I have been using Roland machines for a few years now, then when I created my Limited Resource concept through my Youtube channel, I of course used their machines to continue to show the potential of these objects! What I loved doing is composing with roland machines a little different from other artists, showing for example that it is possible to create a track just with one or two machines.
Then Roland came closer to me by sharing my videos, my concepts. I’ve been thinking about creating a new live for a while, trying to find the right setup for me. So far, either there was a computer in the middle, which I didn’t want, or there were too many machines. Last December I discovered the MC-707 & MC-101, and worked on it for a few days. Once all its possibilities came to light, I knew that was it!
With this new setup, I am able to express myself the way I’ve always wanted! It’s even better than what I experienced through my live / mix sessions. I like the spontaneous aspect, the freedom in the creativity.
So it was natural that I got closer to Roland. Very soon you will discover other projects with the Roland brand 🙂 …
We find your strong belief about utilising one machine to its maximum, because many people have these crazy studios but its always an uncertainty they know how to use them. How do you think you have benefitted by slowing down and learning each machine?
I hadn’t planned anything at all, everything happened naturally. After having composed years on DAWs, I wanted to approach machines, but in a different way. I find that by reducing the number of machines, it requires more creativity! For me this is the key. When I take a machine in hand, it must be intuitive! I don’t want to get lost in the manuals, spontaneity is the key!
What else are you working on at the moment?
As I told you, I continue to work with Roland on different projects and machines, also with the DanceTelevison channel for the spread of this work! 🙂 I’m also working on a very interesting project with Mathieu Rossier »Des sons animés » concerning the concept of Spatialization sound! I discovered this crazy concept a few months ago when Mathieu contacted me and presented his work to me: Spatialized sound is sound but in 3D through 32 speakers all around us! I was able to do my live ECHO by taking advantage of this system, it was simply incredible! Traveling the sounds of my live was just an incredible experience, it’s even better than a movie theatre. A beautiful video of my live will also be broadcast very soon! We will therefore continue to work together on it!
I also have lots of other tracks just waiting to be released! I’ll take care of that too 🙂
I am also looking to organize some masterclass or trainings. I wish I could develop my LIMITED RESOURCE concept through another place than only on my youtube page!
‘Les Frequences Interdites’ available here
Keep up with Christopher Kah on Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud.