KSO Nasty

Step­per Man, 2017

Future Music - - THE TRACK -

Icon­o­clas­tic bass mu­sic maven Kissy Sell Out has forged a unique path through the dance scene over his eleven-year ca­reer, high­lights of which in­clude remix­ing the likes of Calvin Har­ris, Mark Ron­son and The Hu­man League, host­ing a Ra­dio 1 show, and even boot­leg­ging R.E.M.’s Nightswim­ming in a Bal­ti­more club style. Most re­cently, he’s launched a new bassline-in­flu­enced la­bel, Step­per Man, which fea­tures re­leases from a se­lec­tion of up­com­ing artists as well as Kissy un­der his orig­i­nal and new KSO monikers. Fu­ture Mu­sic hooked up with the mus­cu­lar man him­self in his Shored­itch stu­dio to find out more about his cur­rent di­rec­tion, and the jump-up D&B-in­flu­enced track

Nasty in par­tic­u­lar.

What was the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind KSO - Nasty?

“I’ve been re­leas­ing tracks as Kissy Sell Out, but also un­der the name KSO. When I do KSO tracks, they’re usu­ally a bit more ex­per­i­men­tal, so there’ll be a new idea I’m just toy­ing with. I’m just re­ally ex­cited about this one be­cause I think I kind of nailed it. It’s quite a nice feel­ing mak­ing a bassline banger like this! I like the idea of tak­ing the ’90s funky drum ’n’ bass style Aphrodite and Mickey Finn were fa­mous for – they used hip-hop con­ven­tions, a nice pi­ano loop and stuff like that, and then put some D&B bits in dou­bling the speed. I’m do­ing that but with UK bassline per­cus­sion and I think that’s quite cool idea, it’s quite fun! I’m quite ex­cited about it. What’s funny is that as soon as I fin­ished this tune I did an­other sin­gle as Kissy Sell Out with one of the artists on my la­bel called Sirmo. The track is called Bad­man

VIP and it’s kind of sim­i­lar. I was re­ally happy with the style and the vibe on this one.”

You’ve got an un­ortho­dox ap­proach to pro­duc­tion, start­ing with a project full of sounds and loops that gets you go­ing.

“You know there’s noth­ing more in­tim­i­dat­ing than a blank can­vas, like you open up your ses­sion file and you could do any­thing. The thing I love about dance mu­sic is the rules! I guess that’s why

“The thing I love about dance mu­sic is the rules! I guess that’s why I never went into play­ing acous­tic gui­tar or some­thing. If you’re go­ing to write a love song or some­thing, there are a lot of ques­tions: What BPM is it go­ing to be? Are you go­ing to use a vi­olin or what?”

I never went into play­ing acous­tic gui­tar or some­thing. If you’re go­ing to write a love song or some­thing there are a lot of ques­tions: what BPM is it go­ing to be, are you go­ing to use a vi­olin or what? I like us­ing the con­straints of dance mu­sic, you can ac­tu­ally have a lot more vi­brant cre­ativ­ity; you know what speed it’s go­ing to be, you know it’s in­tended to be played a night­club, you know it’s in­tended to be played loud in some­one’s car, you know it’s go­ing to be played when some­one is get­ting ready for a party or some­thing. So now now you’ve got that fo­cus you can just use some old ideas. It means I can work re­ally, re­ally quickly. I up­date it all time as well, so I have to make sure that I back ev­ery­thing up!”

Where did this ap­proach come from?

“I orig­i­nally in­vented it that for when I was do­ing my Ra­dio 1 show, I have those ‘Kissy Klub’ ver­sions which are remixes, but made es­pe­cially for the show. I dis­cov­ered a quick way of work­ing was to have it was to save a tem­plate. When I started do­ing this I also had things like Bal­ti­more beats and fa­mous break loops and stuff to pop over the top of things. What’s quite nice is that over the years my tem­plate has be­come mostly full of my own beats. So it’s less about sam­pling and mix­ing and match­ing, It’s more about my style, and the speed at which I can do these things, which is why I

think it’s re­ally help­ful. It’s quite in­vig­o­rat­ing to be able to ba­si­cally make a tune or remix within ten min­utes. You just get the idea down – and you know dance mu­sic is all about ideas – so you want to sort of grab onto that thing and get it down as quickly as pos­si­ble!”

How do you get that char­ac­ter­is­tic garage swing?

“The rea­son speed-garagey per­cus­sion has that kind of swing is be­cause it’s be­cause it’s slightly out of time. Go­ing back to this idea of get­ting the ideas down as quickly as pos­si­ble, you’ve got a choice: a lot of pro­duc­ers would sit there and play with the tim­ing over and over again, spend­ing half an hour try­ing to get that right. What’s hap­pened is I’ve spent half an hour fig­ur­ing out that off-time rhythm pre­vi­ously, and then I’ve in­cluded it in the tem­plate file. I’ll cut the sam­ple on the grid so I can use that off-time sam­ple, or re­place it with an­other one very quickly. You want to keep that idea go­ing be­fore you get bored or some­thing, so it’s re­ally im­por­tant to just pro­duce pretty quickly. You want to cap­ture that magic!”

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