Thursday, 28 May 2009
INTERVIEW: TAKE aka Sweatson Klank
Engrained in the beats movement that truly exploded this time last year with the release of Flying Lotus’ ‘Los Angeles’ on Warp Records, LA native, TAKE, has been steadily cranking out high quality musical product over numerous labels since 1999. His 12” for Eat Concrete, ‘The Dirty Decibels of Thomas 2000,’ was the first time his particular strain of low slung beat drawls hit our ear pieces, but his back catalogue is confidently harbouring gems including collaborative work with Lukid and Domu and a slew of incredible remixes.
With a European tour commencing in mid June we persuaded him to stay at his computer long enough to answer us some questions, giving us a peek into his world and clarifying the mystery behind the Sweatson Klank moniker.
Sonic Router: Can you provide those who may not know you with a bit of background info?
TAKE: I was born in Paris, France and moved to Los Angeles when I was 5 years old. Since then I have travelled a ton and lived in various places like New York, Seattle, Portland, Hawaii, and Paris, but Los Angeles has always felt like home base. I've been doing music for about 12 years now. I started dj'ing when I was 18 and from there my interest in production just grew. I got a drum machine and tried to recreate drum beats on my favorite hip hop records. Little did I know that my little Boss drum machine wasn't going to replicate the dusty crunchy drum sounds of my favorite producers.
Soon after that, I got an ASR-10 sampler keyboard and just learned from there. I worked in record stores for years to collect vinyl and learn about all the music that had preceded and influenced hip hop, house, techno, electro and all the early forms of electronic music. I’m really thankful to some of the older cats I worked with who schooled me on the record game and taught me a lot about the past. I try to share that with the youth of today if they are interested. I’m not a secret keeper kind of guy. To me it’s all about sharing the knowledge and interacting together.
My name, TAKE, it doesn’t mean that I take things and don’t give back… Rather, it’s my ‘take’ on things, music coming through my life filter. I have always been involved with music in one way or another; it’s just my biggest passion. As an artist, I try to push myself and the boundaries of the music genres we all seem to be limited by.
Outside of music who are you? What do you do on the daily?
Lately, I've been making great effort to not sit in front of the computer all day and make music. Too many people are forgetting that the world is outside… not inside your computer. The internet is great yes, but go out and have some experiences in the real world… beyond the cyber world… haha. So when I’m not doing music, I’m probably going for a walk in the hills, cooking up some crazy meals for friends, or hitting thrift stores and searching for records and mid century modern furniture.
How did you get into recording music?
After dj'ing for a couple years I just got the itch to make my own shit. So like I said got a drum machine and it all snowballed from there… That was 1995
What’s your production set up like? Do you use software most of the time while producing or do you have a nice stash of synths and all that to play with?
I still work with my trusted ASR-10 sampler because the analogue sound is just great… but I use it sparingly. I use Abelton Live, Digital Performer and have a bunch of analogue synths as well as digital ones. Percussion instruments, rhodes, casios, you name it… the lab is littered with records and toys.
TAKE - Slouched Over
I first got up on you thanks to Eat Concrete and that Thomas 2000 release with that Dimlite remix on. How did you hook up that release and what made you want to work with (or be worked over by) Dimlite?
Dim and I have been talking for a long time. I've always been a fan of his music and think he's just one of the illest producers out there. He actually did the art work for one of my older record on Poobah records. So a remix collaboration seemed inevitable.
Can you give us a rundown on the labels you’ve released on and how you hooked up albums with them?
You know what the best thing might be to just check my myspace page and see the discography…
Usually labels I work with are either run by friends or people approach me and it goes from there. Currently, I’m doing records for All City, Eat Concrete, and Circulations. I’m hoping to get some attention from some bigger labels this year.
2009 is the year for me to step out of the shadows.
Sweatson Klank. Who and why?
Sweatson Klank is just an alias for TAKE... really its only because the name TAKE is impossible to google search... haha. Sweatson Klank is gonna help with that. Theres only one Sweatson and its ME!!!
TAKE/Lukid - Navigators
You’re definitely part of the new beat generation/movement that’s happening across the globe. Some have labelled it ‘wonky’. How do you feel about the genre tag? Does it represent you and your music well?
I don’t even know man, wonky, wobble, whatever... I rather not be categorized to tell you the truth. Once it’s a genre, I think the name just limits the music and keeps it constrained in boundaries.
What would you rather have it called?
I used to call is SLUMP... but you know what, these days in LA we just say BEATS.
I see you’ve been remixed by Fly Lo and I seem to remember you played at the Brainfeeder festival in London. For me it felt like that night was an epiphany of sorts, like proof the music has got a huge audience that WILL pay to see it played all night. What’s your experience of playing live? How do people respond to your music?
Actually, I remixed Lotus too... but yeah
Yeah I mean the Brainfeeder parties are amazing!!! I love playing live, sometimes it can be a bit stressful, but I’m trying to just have fun with it. That is the most important lesson for me... not to take things too seriously and to have fun, try new things, and just rock out!
What releases can we expect from you in the near future?
Split 10" release with Nosaj Thing on ALL CITY
Untitled EP for Eat Concrete
DUBLAB-Future Roots mix CD
7" release for Poobah records
Untitled and as of yet Unsigned Full Length
Flying Lotus - LA EP 3 remix
Exclusive Compilation Tracks:
Beat Dimensions 2/3
Marry Anne Hobbs Compilation
Powershovel Audio Compilation
Circuit Tree Records Compilation
Got any top tips of producers we should be keeping eyes out for?
Well, all my LA compadres are - to me - the ones making noise!
Top 3 current releases?
Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavillion
Ras G - Brother from Another Planet
Dimlite- Prismic Valuta Rising
Got any wisdom you’d like to instill on the whole of the interweb?
Turn off your machine and go for a walk.
June 13th @ Gramaphone in London, UK with Mike Slott and Architeq
June 20th Secret Surprise show , London, UK
June 27th @ Glitch in Augsburg, Germany
July 3rd @Heads High, London, UK with Architeq,
July 4th @Stall 6 Zurich, Switzerland , with J- Sayne,
July 16th @ Paris, France (Venue to be announced) w/ Onra
July 18th, @ Loud Minority, Vienna Austria w/ Loud Minority Soundsystem, Architeq
Info updates coming on www.sweatsonklank.com
TAKE has put together a heavier than heavyweight mix for the Brainfeeder site, available to download now for the amount of trouble it'll take you to click this link:
Whole Earth Rainbow Band- My Lady
Floating Points- KGBeat
Martyn - Feel Me
Kalbata feat. Clapper Preist- Solution
Paul White- Hustle (Bullion rmx)
Mr. Beatnick- Fill me Jesus
Jack Wilkins- Red Clay
Mort Garson- 3500
Horace Silver- Open up your Senses
Ramp Recordings - Maintain (Mike Slott Reewerk)
Profisee x Eprom - What it seems
Griffi - Obsceno
Jack Dejohnette - Picture 4 (SWEATSON KLANK MIX)
Solar Plexus- Lace
Giorgio Gardini - Plagal
Jan Hammer- Earth
Flying Lotus- Galactagon
Starkey- Miracles (Jamie Vex’d Rmx)
Flying Lotus - Riot ( TAKE aka SWEATSON KLANK Rmx )
Fulgeance - Sour Soca ( SWEATSON KLANK Snake Charmer mix)
Paul White- Alien Nature
Little Dragon- After (Floating Points Rmx)
Teebs -My Whole Life
Eddie Kendricks - Intimate Friends
TAKE aka SWEATSON KLANK - Soul Particles