Monday, 22 November 2010

INTERVIEW: Kaiser & Rory Power, Live From The Hive

Having been invited and involved in Hivemind FM since May of this year it’s easy for me to string together a few sentences on why the combined vision of its creators, Kaiser and Rory Power, is so very relevant to what we do here at Sonic Router. Giving people a platform to represent themselves sonically has become a vital thing to offer in this overtly digital age and, admittedly for us, it’s become way more of a focus for us since we joined the family of shows on the station.

Since then though, the station’s roster has expanded and its dominance on our social network feeds has become irreversible. With new shows from labels like Donky Pitch, Well Rounded, Robox Neotech and so many more the station is now less of a secret and with this interview should be set to become less of a mystery. Sonic Router sat down with the duo behind the hive to discuss the project after the launch of their spanking new web interface and in celebration they put together a mix spanning over 90 minutes and just as many micro genres…

SR: So, I’m super familiar with the concept of the Hive but for all those who might not be, what’s the thinking behind the station/site? Obviously the name suggests people with the same vision feeding off each other for a greater good...

Kaiser: I think that Hivemind has always represented something that transcends any kind of genre divisions or departmentalization in music - it's that feeling you get when you go to other parts of the country, or even other parts of the world and you meet people who seem to be on the same page, despite having different influences and backgrounds. I guess the internet is kind of responsible for this - the record-store-centric musical phenomenons of yesteryear have disappeared to some extent, and we now seem to be in a massive melting pot of sound, where you're not just influenced by the other producers & DJs in your postcode, but people from all over the planet. I like to think that the Hive represents this new approach to thinking about music, and that we're documenting this wild variety in some small way. Ultimately, we see Hivemind as more than just a radio station, but a culture or a collective way of thinking, at least in the future anyway.

What made you want to start it?

K: Haha, like most good ideas, alcohol was certainly a factor. We were sitting around Rory's kitchen table at like four in the morning after a night out, listening to some past mixes (Rory used to have a Murderbot-esque habit of making a mix for every single musical theme that seemed to exist) and we thought to ourselves "we should really put these somewhere online for people to listen to". It then evolved from that into the idea of an internet radio station, with other DJ's who we knew played amazing music getting involved. We were obviously aware of people who were already dominant in the field of web-radio, but felt that none of the big names really represented the story we wanted to tell. All of the other stations seemed to just let anyone have a show, and whilst I’m all for promoting grassroots DJs and giving them their opportunity, we didn't feel like there was anywhere where the 'heads' or the guys who had spent years documenting and understanding music (both its history and its production) were gathered.

Everyone who's on the station today has been invited personally by us, because we're aware of how good they are at what they do. We're really happy to have everyone who's on board at the moment, because they all represent everything we intended the Hive to be.

Can you give us more of an idea what shows are on the station?

Rory Power: Being Bristol based is great for us cause it’s definitely the most forward thinking musical hub outside of London. When we started we searched out the best Bristol selectors and crews which makes up the core of our content, people like notorious rave smashers Shit the Bed, Agro and Bashout regularly represent their sounds and on the deeper end of thing’s UFO, Pollen, Work, I Feel Space & Falling Up cover our love of all things house, disco & funky.

Since then we’ve built on this backbone with talent from further afield including Lowriders (NL), Kanji Kinetic & Z-Kat (UK/CZ), Donky Pitch & Slugabed (UK), Slit Jockey (US), Steakhouse & Pollinate records (UK,) Well Rounded (UK), Robox Neotech (DE), and of course yourselves… Plus there’s’ a few more Bristol crew’s in the shape of Tape Echo, Always Everything and Koan Sound. There are loads more besides these and plenty more to be added in the near future so keep ‘em peeled for schedule developments.

That ties in nicely with the next question… what kind of developments are in store for the project?

K: The first thing that we've got going on is the site re-launch. We're aware that up until now, the site's always appeared to be a bit of an empty shell. Due to our limited resources, we've always been reliant on the assistance of others in helping us shape our vision into something that people enjoy interacting with (we're useless at web design!). Fortunately, we found our savior in the form of Kane aka Neka, who's part of the Tape Echo project. Thanks to him, the site has a lot more scope for content, with a new blog feature, featured artist interviews with podcasts, recordings from live events and a much better timetabling system. We've got lots more exciting plans for the site in the future though, as this is essentially only version 1.5 of the Hive. With some of the things we have planned for the future, we hope to see the Hive grow and become a tool for the underground music community to interact with a massive variety of content.

We've also recently started doing nights in Bristol with some of our favourite promoters. The whole premise around the events is 'Hivemind Presents' - whereby we team up with our favourite promoters, and help put on more than just a party, but a snapshot of what's going on in music at a particular point in time. We recently hosted the Chicago Juke Tour in conjunction with our friends from Brock Out. DJ Spinn, Chrissy Murderbot and Girl Unit all absolutely killed it! We also did some mad carnival lazer bass thing with Pacheko, Deville & Hanuman which was probably one of my favourite nights I’ve ever been to in Bristol. We're hoping to expand the whole 'Hivemind Presents' thing to other cities around the UK and all over the world, hooking up with our favourite promoters and helping to show off a wide range of talent from all over.

As people, what have you got coming up worth plugging?

K: Personally, I’ve just put out my debut EP on Slit Jockey records called 'The Art of War' on a kind of synthy-future bass vibe. I got snapped up by Starkey pretty early on in my producing career, and the material on it is all from kind of around that time where I was experimenting a lot and trying to find my own thing. I'm really happy to have it finally out and I've had some nice comments from people about how it flows nicely from start to finish. Otherwise, I've got some nice offers from people and a few different EP's and side projects I’m working on, including a collab with me & Kanji Kinetic. By the looks of things, 2011 should hopefully be pretty exciting.

Can you give us a little bit of an introduction to the mix…

R: The Hivemind principle of shared thought is a presence throughout this mix. Me and Will approach things from totally different angles but we’ve managed to bring together all our influences to represent what we see as the collective vision for Hivemind: a willingness to dig through classics whilst staying ruthlessly on point. There’s a bit of everything we love in there; classic RnB, hip hop from the LA school of beats, synth-laden electronica, NY x UK house & garage, Berlin dub techno, Drexciyan electro, Chi-town juke and its Detroit based booty bass cousin. London is heavily repped with some grime and funky – all with a cheeky nod to the dancefloor and mixed together at a fairly breakneck speed. 62 tracks in 99 minutes ain’t bad!


DOWNLOAD: Kaiser & Rory Power – Hivemind FM x Sonic Router Mix


1. letherette - eye to eye
2. take - neon beams
3. maxmillion dunbar - pretty please
4. oriol - flux
5. tropics - give it up
6. om unit - the corridor
7. american men - tenzin zopa (machinedrum remix)
8. dj rashad - gettin some head
9. kelis & andre 3000 - millionaire
10. pariah - c-beams
11. arpanet - grossvater paradoxon
12. jimmy edgar - one twenty detail
13. space dimension controller - journey to the centre of the unknown sphere
14. 808 state - flow coma (afx remix)
15. kidkut - ilove04
16. karizma - darqness
17. roof light - palm
18. falty dl - odyssey
19. cosmin trg - tower block
20. dva feat fatima - just vybe (soulepower mix)
21. oriol - lw
22. omar s - plesetsk cosmodrome
23. funkineven - heart pound
24. roska & untold - long range
25. aardvarck - cult copy 3 (dub)
26. bok bok & cubic zirconia - reclash (give it to me)
27. green velvet - answering machine
28. lone - once in a while
29. steve poindexter - work that motherfucker (paul johnson remix)
30. ramadanman - mir
31. subeena - wishful talk (ghosts on tape remix)
32. boddika - boddika's house
33. morgan geist - airpour
34. girl unit - wut
35. ti - yeah ya know (instrumental)
36. mosca - square one (bok bok remix)
37. scratcha dva - 32da4
38. terror danjah - power grid
39. royal-t - hot ones (remix)
40. plasticman - cha
41. lv - boomslang
42. seiji - straylight
43. crst - may not be real
44. wax - 10001 a
45. basic channel - phylyps trak ii
46. george morel - let's groove
47. hardrive - deep inside
48. jus ed - marco's love
49. africa hitech - how does it make you feel
50. kingthing - bump
51. boddika - syn chron
52. jameson - urban hero
53. dj funk - booty perk-u-later
54. drexciya - digital tsunami
55. mr de - time space scrilla
56. remote - the swarm
57. redinho - pitter patter
58. dj spinn & dj rashad - daydreamin (juktronik)
59. 2am/fm - landing dock two
60. rustie - dragonfly
61. model 500 - ofi


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