The much referenced mid-20th century decline of Detroit has never failed to provide the rest of the world with a scintillating yet decadent portrayal of excess and misery, and at times the music featured on The Boat Party feels like Kyle Hall’s reaction to this. Detroit’s young and gifted techno knight has conjured a fuzzy, distorted collage of sounds which closely represent our global state of affairs: a disconcerting and confusing assemblage of wealth and poverty, consumerism and decay – a continuously more blurred prospect.
We’ve been waiting several years for an album from Kyle Hall, and this week he finally saw fit to deliver The Boat Party.
Currently overseeing the successful Wild Oats label, forever collaborating, DJing and on the cusp of releasing a long overdue debut album; perhaps it’s time to stop calling Kyle Hall a wonderkid and give him more credit? Brendan Arnott speaks to him ahead of The Boat Party being released.
Next month will see Kyle MF Hall release his long awaited debut album The Boat Party on his own Wild Oats label.
Let’s go out on a limb and say that Japan and Detroit are siblings. Both have suffered in unique but parallel ways.Detroit’s gutted automotive infrastructure has become an integral part of the city’s identity, but Japan’s slow and consistent downward economic spiral is beginning to similarly define it as a nation. Jobs are scattering to Korea, China, India, rent is so high that unemployed youth resort to living in internet cafes and high school students are greying and having breakdowns because of high pressure exams.
Kyle Hall has unveiled the next release on his Wild Oats imprint – a two track collaboration with Detroit Underground Records chief Kero that looks to the heavily industrialised Zug Island for inspiration.
Wild Oats will release Night/Dusk, a collaborative release between Kyle Hall and Funkineven under the Funkinevil banner later this month.
Kyle Hall today unveiled the next release on his consistently impressive Wild Oats imprint: a three track EP from fellow Motor City native Manuel Gonzales.
When the closing weeks of this year approach and the Juno Plus scribes have a meeting over who deserves what in 2010, it’s highly likely that the name Kyle Hall will feature prominently. Lesser mortals might be filled with envy at the prodigious talent the Detroit native has shown since the onset of a new decade. We prefer to focus on how lucky modern electronic music is to have Kyle Hall.
Not content with killer releases for Third Ear and Hyperdub and sharing space with some absolute legends for Rick Wilhite’s Vibes series, Hall has also graced our ears with outer galactic rerubs of Space Dimension Controller, Jimmy Edgar and Hundred In The Hands. The latest entry in Hall’s Annus Mirabilis is The Sun Goddess EP, the fourth release on Hall’s own Wild Oats imprint which comes on IRN BRU coloured vinyl.
A Side “Solar Funk” is an excellent slice of stuttering futuristic dub boogie, with crunching kicks aplenty sandwiched by warm synth washes and an off kilter organ melody. Flip over for clubbier jack of “Dance With A Sun Goddess” with scattergun hi hats giving the track a crazed feel which is compounded by the oscillating buzz that sweeps beneath throughout. Both tracks display Hall’s typically unique understanding of Detroit techno aesthetics.
You never quite know what you’re going to get from Jimmy Edgar, but chances are it’ll be worth a listen. Edgar is a true musical chameleon, seemingly able to turn his hand to everything from scattergun electropop and wonky electronica to slick Detroit techno, deep house and bumping old skool electrofunk. More often than not, the results of these musical experiments are impressive – even if the attached artistic concepts can come across as a little pretentious.
This five-tracker for Glass Table is classic Edgar. It sees him impressively flitting between various dancefloor styles across 25 indispensable minutes. As ever, the production is deliciously warm, slick and emotive in the best traditions of the Motor City. It’s Edgar through and through.
Lead track “Hush” sets the scene magnificently. Bubbling along at little over 100 BPM, it fuses tightly programmed beats – think smacked-out 80s electro fused with Larry Heard style deep house – with rich pads, off-key chords and jittery vocal samples. Much-checked Detroit newcomer Kyle Hall takes on remix duties, turning in a ‘Detroit Retro Metro’ version that roughs up the beats and adds some wonderful analogue touches. Thankfully, he loses none of the original’s understated appeal, adding some subtle Detroitian strings of his own.
Flipside “BThere” is just as good. All intergalactic atmospherics, bubbly low end wobble, reverb-laden vocal hooks and retro-futurist stabs, it’s the year’s slowest dancefloor burner. It might only be 104 BPM, but it packs some serious late night punch. Then there’s “JNS-2000”, Edgar’s contribution to the evolution of dubstep and future garage. Think Jimmy Edgar meets Joy Orbison, and you’re close. If you like the latter’s sound, you’ll love this – especially since Edgar’s productions feature authentic Motor City machine soul, rather than the Anglicised version peddled by Orbison and co. There’s more steppin’ out action on final cut “Vrandaktor Hell”, an unassuming chunk of contemporary Detroit techno that’s unsurprisingly old skool in outlook. The beats are crunchy, the synths cosmic and the bass pleasingly heavy – just like it was in the good old days.
Review: Matt Anniss
Detroit meet dubstep: dubstep, meet Detroit. Kyle Hall knocks down barriers on this release, bringing his free-flowing, insouciant production style to the UK bass music scene. After dropping a remix of Darkstar’s “Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer” in 2009, Hyperdub boss Kode9 called on Hall’s precocious talents for a solo release on the imprint.
His brief production career has so far encompassed house, techno, jazz and now dubstep, although such parameters are fairly meaningless to a young producer for whom the internet, analogue equipment, high tech kit and software programming are all part of one wonderful, disjointed bundle for making and consuming music.
“Kaychunk” features soft melodic synths floating over the top of a schizophrenic drum pattern, while vocal snippets help give the track some structure. B-side “You Know What I Feel” is very much in the Floating Points school of dubstep, meandering gently along with no obvious destination – but of course the destination hardly matters, because the ride itself is so damn fun.
Make no mistake, Hall is a prodigious talent and with releases slated for labels as diverse and forward-thinking as Carl Craig’s Planet E, Sheffield’s iconic Warp and Instra:mental’s Non Plus, it’s already obvious that the serious players are taking notice.
Review: Aaron Coultate