KELPE shares new track ‘Valerian’. Album ‘The Curved Line’ due Aug 28th via DRUT Recordings

June 18, 2015




After recently announcing news of his upcoming album, British producer Kelpe shares another slice of his intoxicating ambient electronics with new track ‘Valerian’. ‘The Curved Line’ is set for release on Aug 28th via DRUT Recordings.

Speaking about the track, Kelpe, aka Kel McKeown, said “I wanted to combine the type of chord progressions and melodies I’m known for with much faster skippy kind of rhythms that I’m not so known for, so this came out as the fastest track on the LP, running at about 135bpm or something. I used pretty much my whole selection of analog synths on it and ran all the vocal chops through this outboard Waldorf filter, which I used a lot throughout the album to add a bit of overdriven grit to certain elements in the mix. It makes the vocals sound kind of underwater as well.”

Kelpe DJs this weekend in London with the Pride of Gombe team, including Lukid, BNJMN, Samoyed and Mr Beatnick. All day free outdoors event at The Paperworks, followed by an after session at Corsica Studios. Event page with all info here.

A natural son and heir to Generation Warp and the fathers of Krautrock, his pioneering experiments in the early ’00s also positioned him as one of many stylistic precursors to the arrival of LA’s now-sprawling beat scene. Much like scene-savants Prefuse 73 and Dimlite, Kelpe has remained an enormously respected stalwart of the fringes, always dabbling variously in sample-heavy beat-craft, oddball ambient, and – more recently – dancefloor-ready club grub.

Kelpe returns to grace his still-young imprint DRUT RECORDINGS with ‘The Curved Line’. It’s a record transfixed on tonality and texture – Korgs, Moogs and pocket pianos all feature heavily across the album’s rich palette. The exciting sonic bursts of his last effort have evolved confidently and blown out into soaring progressions and flowing structures – all evidence of a tireless producer gunning to out-do himself.

As ever, Kelpe presides over a delicate union of the electronic and the organic. ‘Chirpsichord’ is a neat embodiment of the album’s openers – a loping slice of soft bubbling arpeggios and shifting loops. ‘Calumet‘ runs harder with the same themes – driving loops into a club headspace clapped with big drums and droning synths. The record pauses for breath here and there, shoehorning skittish sound experiments like ‘Red Caps of Waves’ and the delicately exotic ‘Morning Two’. After tosses and surprise turns, the album finishes dramatically on ‘Incantation’ – a thumping beat workout followed by a deep and whirring coda that seems only achievable if you’ve been noodling with sound hardware for over a decade.

Ultimately, ‘The Curved Line’ is Kelpe’s most urgent yet – a mature soundworld full of glowing club experiments, bounding chords and mellow interludes. There’s more analogue synths, skittish surprises and white noise – and the signature warmth still remains in spades. All said and done, it’s definitive Kelpe.

‘The Curved Line’ artwork by Andrew Cook:

‘The Curved Line’ tracklist:

1. Doubles of Everything
2. Chirpsichord
3. Calumet
4. Sick Lickle Thing
5. Red Caps of Waves
6. Valerian
7. Drums For Special Effects
8. Morning Two
9. Canjealous
10. Incantation

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