We’re incredibly excited to present an exclusive FACT mix from Kyle Hall.
Hall is one talented kid – a true prodigy. TheDetroit native’s productions are so richly musical, so thoughtful andmature, that it seems madness to think that he was born 1991 – he’s only 18 years old. His work began when he was as young as 11 – local legend DJ RayboneJones taught him how to spin records, and schooled him in the historyof music. After a friend suggested he go check out the Vibes recordstore in Detroit’s Oak Park, Hall was taken under the wing of its ownerRick Wilhite (Three Chairs), who gave him a wider understanding ofunderground deep house. In 2005 Hall attended a class on using themusic-producing software Reaktor 5, taught by another Detroit houselegend, Mike Huckaby. He gave Huckaby a mix CD he’d made, and Huckabywent nuts for it – he helped him get some radio and club shows, and sethim on the path to wider recognition.
When he was 16, Hall went to go see his favourite techno DJ, Omar-S,play out. Having danced for hours upon hours, he sat down to take abreather, at which point Omar approached him and said, “What up nig?you’re Kyle, right?”; they’ve been friends ever since, with Omar actingas a kind of patron – indeed, his most recent mixtape is comprisedsolely of Kyle Hall productions.
So what of those productions? The influence of Detroit’s deep houseforerunners – Moodymann, Rick Wade and Theo Parrish, not to mentionRick Wilhite, Omar-S and Mike Huckaby – is all over ’em, but Hall isn’tconstrained by a 4×4 beat – he’s just as likely to work with a slouchyhip-hop rhythm a la J Dilla. Like Dilla, Hall’s music connects with agrander, longer tradition of American soul music, all gut-wrenchingmelodies rendered in strings, heavy bass and jazzy keys.
The mix which he’s recorded for FACT will be music to the ears of those who are already down with Kyle, and the perfect introduction for those who don’t. A breakneck house mix featuring Hall’s own productions and material recorded for his Wild Oats labels alongside tracks from the likes of Kai Alce and Substance, it’s simply hot, hot, hot. Download and enjoy, and read the in-depth interview with Kyle below.
(One click direct download – up for three weeks / Alternate sendspace link)
1. Ratio – Centralized (Substance Rework) [Central]
2. Stephen Brown – Sustain [Affected Music]
3. Duplex – Vivid Array [Frantic Flowers]
4. Mr.V – Circle Track [Sole Channel]
5. Brown Study – Cereal Numbing [Unknown]
6. Murr – Watching You [Public Transit]
7. Omar-S – Strider’s World [FXHE]
8. Filsonik – LuvHolik [Unknown]
9. Mike Clark – Natalie Lacosta [White Label]
10. Omar-S – Oasis #11 [FXHE]
11. Ibex – Bok Choy [Planet E]
12. DJ Rhythm – Rhythms Groove [Unknown]
13. Kai Alce – M-7 [Mahogani Music]
14. 3chairs – Misty City [Three Chairs]
15. Lazy Fat People – Pixel Girl [PlanetE]
16. The Rurals – Sorry [Peng]
17. Kyle Hall – I <3 Dr. Girlfriend [Wild Oats]
18. Andres – A3 Untitled (from Andres II) [White label]
You seem to be pretty aware of other young producers/musicians in Detroit. Are there any that you’re particularly digging right now?
“There’s quite a few young cats doing music here in Detroit. The Quran is the first guy that comes to mind: he’s a really creative producer, I would liken his style to mine, but with his own twist. He’s only 15 people! We are both into a lot of the same stuff, so musically our ear is in a similar place.”
“Gary Plant (aged 18) is another good friend of mine who is also a part of BSMNT City Anymle Kontrol. He’s a young genius. We’ve collaborated on a few projects together. My boy Tre Terrell is an up and coming MC; I’ve been working with him on some hip-hop joints – he’s only 15 too. His flow is really ridiculous.
“The Band Benny Stoofy – now known as Lord Scrummage – are a group of young musicians that really throw down. They’re just releasing a new CD called From The Future, and I believe they’re on a US tour right now. They do some really soulful groovy rock fusion experimental jazz funk alternative off the wall shit. They’re also releasing a 7″ which another young Detroit cat by the name of Erno the Inferno is doing a remix on.
“Dial 81 is doing some stuff. My boy Fowl is a young MC (age 17) – he’s doing some serious things, really talented young brother, look out for him. Seth Troxler is the shit! He’s really representing and knocking heads all over the land.”
Tell us about Wild Oats – what are your hopes for the label?
“My hopes and intentions for the label is for it to be remembered and noted for being an outlet for the music from Kyle Hall’s Mind. That is the aim and purpose. I want the music that I conceive to be felt and heard.”
“The first music made me think dance music was really cool was ‘TheBomb’ by the Bucketheads. I didn’t know what the hell thelady in the song was saying but that shit was ill.”
What was the first music that really made you think “Wow, this is the shit!”
“The first music made me think dance music was really cool was ‘The Bomb’ by the Bucket Heads (Kenny Dope). I didn’t know what the hell the lady in the song was saying but that shit was ill. That was a record introduced to me by Raybone.”
So tell us about your relationship with DJ Raybone Jones…
“Raybone was the guy that taught me about house music and how to play it. I talk to him a lot still. He’s a lot of the DJs here in Detroit’s barber. So usually when I go to get a haircut we talk about music and stuff that he’s working on. But Raybone really Introduced me to a lot of the really soulful deep house music so I thank him for that.”
You learned how to use [music production software] Reaktor from Mike Huckaby, right? Can you tell us a bit about that?
“Yeah he taught me Reaktor. Reaktor is a dope program it gives a lot of options to mould sound. lt’s still a software I must dig deeper into: there are a lot of possibilities with that program. Mike showed me how to build synths and keyboards in Reaktor – it’s crazy because Reaktor is kind of what made me want to go to college for electronic engineering. Except I want to be able to build and design that gear both physically and virtually.”
What’s going on in Detroit at the moment? Are there any particular clubs or parties that we should know about?
“There are few things going on. Me and my boy Robert David do a clubnight every second Thursday of the month at a spot called TV Bar. We just started two months ago so we’re trying to get it to grow. DEMF of course, there were a lot of events that went on that weekend. Festival weekend is the busiest time for electronic music in Detroit. June 6th the Martinez Brothers are playing here, I’m looking forward to that: it’s cool to see someone else my age playing house music on a serious level. Tour Detroit is a loft tour that goes on from April to September and various guest DJs are featured through this entire tour. Check out the promo video on youtube. The video actually features ‘Tomorrow Is The Day’ off my second release, The Water Is Fine EP, on Moods & Grooves.”
Your most recent Wild Oats release was a collaborative affair. Do you prefer wor
ng with other people to working on your own?
“It’s a lot of fun doing music with friends but I can’t say I prefer collaborating over working alone. Working alone you can get real intimate with the music; when there’s other people around you can’t really do that…I mean unless your working with a fine-ass chick, that’s different, then you can have a threesome. Just kidding! You can’t do that, you’ll never get any music done that way…Too much distraction…I tried it [laughs].”
“The most important thing I learned from Omar-S is put out whateveryou want to be heard and forget about what everyone else is doing.”
How did you first hook up with Omar-S? What have you learned from him?
“I first met Alex [Smith, AKA Omar-S] at the 3 Chairs DEMF afterparty in 2006. He had heard from a mutual friend, Marcellus Pittman, that I made music. The next day he called me and said he wanted to hear some of my tracks. So then I went over his house and played him some stuff, and he really liked what he heard. So then he proposed I do a 12″ for [his label] FXHE. I was pretty excited because I was already a big fan of his music and to know he dug my stuff made me really happy, to say the least…Let’s just say Alex has a pretty particular taste when it comes to music, he definitely doesn’t like everything [laughs]. I’ve really learned so much from him. He’s always been there when I had a question about managing the business aspects of a record label. His wife also been a big help as far as legal stuff goes and information about distribution. But the most important thing I learned from Alex is put out whatever you want to be heard and forget about what every oneelse is doing.”
What music’s inspiring you at the moment?
“Sterling Toles, he’s a very talented artist from Detroit who has really inspired the music I do a lot. When you hear his music it’s like nothing you ever heard. It is purely and absolutely his. He’s a humble genius and definitely needs to get some recognition. His projects that he’s given me to listen to have definitely had a hand in shaping my sound. Look him up when get a chance.
“My mom Penny Wells, she has been working on a new album so hearing voice has inspired to want to do more tracks with vocalist. Also I really just appreciate the musical quality of her sound, really smooth vibes. Her stuff is definitely one not to sleep on.
“Theo Parrish is always doing some unexpected stuff – I love his music, he’s a big inspiration. Omar always makes me look at music differently I find his approach to dance music really Inspiring.
“Kaidie Tathum’s album In Search Of Hope is retarded inspiration! Dam Funk – I like his seatwork and drum patterns. Mr. V, I like his beats. Guillomino, a dude from Spain I’m really feeln his style. Seth Troxler: that dude’s music is other worldly! Carl Craig, I like how big his stuff sounds.
“Glenn Underground’s musicality in regards to his older stuff. Hanna AKA Warren Harris – I really like his basslines and sequencing, especially on the CD Portrait of Warren. DJ Spinna does a lot stuff that really gets me into a groove. Karizma does some stuff with programming I like; he has an interesting rawness to his tracks.
“And Scott Grooves is getting me with these last releases – oh my god that dude is ill! Patrice Rushen’s music is unbelievable, everything she does is out cold! Ghetto tech has been inspiring to me lately – I like the nastiness of it [laughs].”
Tell us a bit about your approach to production and the equipment you use…
“I use a few piece of analogue gear like mixers, mics, cassette decks and the Simmons SDS8 electronic drums, but for the most part I use stuff that’s digital. I just started using the MPC 1000 as a MIDI brain for all my other keyboards and racks as sound modules. Along with Reason 4. Prior to that I was using mostly Reason and Acid 6 with a Roland MC 303, Emu Planet Orbit, and an 8-second sampler in my DJ mixer. I use Acid for my recording and mixing. I use a lot of Casio CTK and Concertmate keyboard sounds and dirty them up with some EQ and effects. Sometimes I arrange my stuff in Acid or other times I play everything live and hit the play button on the other machines and record. That’s how I did the stuff on WO-0002.”
Just out of interest, have you ever heard of Gang Gang Dance? They’re huge fans of yours…
“Yeah I listened to their stuff, they seem really cool. I spoke to them on myspace briefly.”
Are you doing any remix work?
“Yep. I’m working on a remix for Hyperdub of a track called ‘Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer’ by Darkstar. I listen to dubstep occasionally. I like drum n bass and some 4X4 garage. Kode 9 does some cool stuff – I like his philosophy on rhythm and about offbeats. I wouldn’t call my self a fan of the British invasion though [laughs].”
“A lot of good ideas get lost when they’re taking too long to get said.”
Looking at the videos on your myspace page, and listening to your records, it seems a lot of your music is born out of jamming, improvising, actually playing the keys…
“To me improv is the most natural way to make music. A lot of good ideas get lost when they’re taking too long to get said. When programming sometimes ideas aren’t articulated as fully because they’re being layered one at a time – and so sometimes fluidity is lost. But for me, depending on the track, there is still a lot of programming done. Most of my tracks I mix both loose live playing and intricate programming, especially when it comes to rhythms.”
Tell us about [Detroit record store run by Rick Wilhite] Vibes..
“When the store was open – it closed a year ago – it was always a cool place to find real dope domestic and international dance music. I learned a lot about who was who and what was what from the different DJs that would frequent the store. I learned a lot about what people here were into and different regional styles of house music. Hanging out at the store gave me a diverse ear in terms of dance music. Also I would listen to Rick tell me about the old days, the 3 Chairs, and Detroit dance music history. Another cool thing was that I could play a lot of my tracks up there. It was kind of like a testing ground for me – actually if it wasn’t for me playing some tracks for Marcellus at the store that particular day, Omar might not of ever heard my stuff.”
What’s next? Any upcoming releases you can tell us about?
“Aside from the Darkstar remix, I’m working on getting the third Wild Oats pressed up. I plan on doing some more collaborations with The Quran and Gary Plant. I’m working on some hip-hop project with that young guy I mentioned earlier, Tre Terrell. I’m trying to get together a mixtape for him to be released soon. Another Wild Oats mix CD will be due out soon….Probably sometime this month.”