Down with the raw sound.
The name Kyle Hall first appeared on a record sleeve in 2007, when he was just 17. He came under the tutelage of Detroit luminaries like Rick Wilhite, Mike Huckaby and Omar-S in the early stages of his education, and released his first 12-inch through the latter's FXHE label. House music has formed the basis of Hall's sound these past six years. His style is loose and mainly improvised on hardware. Hall has been working with others a lot lately: he's recently teamed up with Funkineven, Kero and MGUN, and, as he says below, is keen to continue this trend.
Last week Hall reached perhaps the biggest milestone of his career so far with the release of The Boat Party, his debut album, which came out on his own label, Wild Oats. Its raw drum machine workouts and bit-crushed synth lines are pure Kyle Hall, but the album covers a lot of ground across its eight tracks—"Finnapop," a bumping ghetto house track is particularly assured.
Hall has titled his mix for us "Be Kind Rewind," as he recorded the set onto tape for some "nice harmonic distortion." New music from Funkineven, MGUN and Hall himself all makes the cut, with Hall's now signature grit and warmth tying the whole thing together.
What have you been up to recently?
My album is just now coming out so recently I have been touring, DJing in Europe to promote it. Also working on more music, collaborating with people and buying more records and gear.
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded at home in Detroit with two turntables, two CDJS, a DJ mixer, and a Boss RV5 reverb pedal all recorded to cassette tape for some nice harmonic distortion haha.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
The idea behind the mix was to share with people the sounds I'm into right now and some exclusive new music from myself and my friends who are like-minded. I recorded the mix to cassette because I felt like a lot of the music on the mix embodied the feelings of a time period when tape was the main format people used to listen. Plus I just think the sound of tape saturating is really nice. So I named the mix "Be Kind Rewind."
I put some fun little sound bites in the beginning, middle and end, if you catch them, just to add to the story. All and all, I think it turned out to be a really interesting, fun, raw listening experience and it gives some insight to my musical perspective at the moment.
Tell us about the album title and cover art.
My new album is called The Boat Party. The artwork and title combined are about living in a world of consumption and constantly discarded luxuries. This is something that has been constantly recurring and worsening in recent years as we grow technologically. Our whole being today is based on buying things and doing it quickly. In doing this we have created a lot of problems and waste that is making it harder for us to live on this planet.
The title also pokes fun at recent European dance music boat party culture, and a lot of this new notion of prestige that EDM has been getting in popular culture everywhere around the world, especially in the States. Massive stadium events, festivals and tours have been popping up everywhere and changing the way we view music in general. This album is my sort of commentary on the state of things today and my emotional response interpreted into sound. You can order the vinyl direct from the Wild Oats website.
Would it be fair to say that you've been increasingly exploring a rawer, more lo-fi approach to production of late?
Yes that would be fair to say. But I feel like that's the sound I've always been attracted to from the beginning. Maybe in some ways it's been more prevalent lately. But I'm always down with the raw sound!
What are you up to next?
Getting more music out and having fun sharing it with people. More collaborations, more vinyl, more interesting people and places.