August 10, 2018

Artist Radar: 'Corruptorator', Kiro

SierraOskar reviews the latest throbbing techno-payload from Kiro and chats to him about techno, the Novation Peak and some other interesting tidbits...

By: SierraOskar

As LV reported earlier in the Summer, the artist known as Foxhunt is putting that alias on hold in favour of Kiro. As Foxhunt described in LV Episode 3, the Kiro alias has enabled him to explore more experimental sounds over the last few years and he has chosen now to bring this work to the fore. Exciting times for us all …

Coming three months after the brooding FUTURE // PAST EP, Corruptorator is a work of relentless discipline. Kiro teases us all the way from the intro’s bubbling tonal percussion, through dynamic, twisting arpeggios, to a pulsating finale. Techno in a pure, mechanical sense, everything just works: rhythmic elements drop in and out precisely when they should and yet, nothing ever feels predictable. Listening to this track — a job made easy by the crystal clear, blistering production — you can hear the time spent crafting the arrangement and sound design. By the time the track has built up and spent its head of steam, you won’t notice seven minutes have passed but you will be tempted to rewind and do it all again…

I was interested to hear more from Kiro about how he approached the track, and his plans for the rest of 2018 with this alias and I was fortunate to grab a few choice words from him last week…

SierraOskar: Thanks for talking to me and congrats on Corruptorator! It sounds very accomplished and is enormous fun. Firstly, for those that aren’t familiar with Kiro, can you go into what initially motivated the creation of the Kiro alias?

Kiro: Kiro has always been my place to experiment with new styles and genres. Kiro is where I put out my first few complextro tracks, and now it’s a place for me to release basically whatever I feel fits.

SO: As Foxhunt, you display an ear for epic, catchy melodies. Do you find more ‘atonal’ work like Corruptorator and FUTURE // PAST harder to produce? Why or why not?

K: I think that both have their challenges, to be honest. Melodic stuff takes a while to think of something that can really convey a feeling or a theme, whereas with “atonal” work you have to fill the gaps in the frequency spectrum with more minimal sounds, and keep the listeners interested with more rhythmic sounds.

SO: You’ve said before that Kiro was an outlet for experimentation and previous Kiro releases are different to this new work. When did you decide to start exploring techno in more depth and what/ who inspired you in that direction?

K: I’ve been messing around with techno for a while now, so it’s nothing really new for me. I don’t plan on going entirely techno with Kiro either. In terms of inspiration, as a genre, it’s just always been in the background for me. I’ve got friends who produce it as a main genre, and there are prominent names in the industry who’ve been pushing it recently, so I thought why not give it a shot?

SO: The sound design in Corruptorator is excellent, particularly the bubbling percussive elements at the start. How did you approach sound design for the track?

K: It’s my first track where all the synth sounds are from my outboard gear. The main robotic arp in the track came from me messing around for about half an hour on my Novation Peak, and I put the diode ladder filter (a feature popularised by the TB-303) in my Bass Station to good use to create the acid-esque bass that underlies the arp. Most of the sound design just came from experimentation on my gear.

SO: I’ve noticed you’ve become something of a Novation Peak Evangelist … What has made this synth a game changer for you and what are some of the limitations? Are you planning any other hardware purchases, or is it that versatile you don’t need to?

K: The Peak is probably the best synth you can get for the money right now. It has the adaptability of wavetable synthesis, as well as its [numerically controlled] New Oxford Oscillators but with an analogue signal flow such as VCAs, VCO LFOs, a VCF and some analogue effects. You can basically make it sound as harsh or warm as you want it to be. In terms of versatility, it can basically do everything I want, but this for sure isn’t the end of my hardware purchases. You don’t just buy a piece of music kit for the feature-set, you buy it for its own inherent sound as well.

SO: When you put Foxhunt on-ice, you expressed frustration with how you see the industry playing out today. Is the plan to not push Kiro and just enjoy the process?

K: Kinda sorta. I’m going to re-network with this alias. I got involved with a bunch of toxic communities that my Foxhunt alias is very much entwined with, plus with Kiro I’m not going to compromise any of my tracks to guarantee a release. I’ve had labels deny Foxhunt tracks for being too long or other similar claims, this way I can just do what I want to do, without the industry getting in the way.

SO: That said, what are your plans for Kiro in 2018? More tracks? Live performance?

K: Absolutely more tracks! I have an absolutely massive (and I mean massive at 9 and a half minutes) track coming out via CyberPixl records this Friday [NB: he means the laid-back but epic Grand Central], and I guess this’ll be the place I first publicly announce that I am working on a Kiro Album/LP. Have 3 tracks done for it already. In terms of live stuff, who knows? Maybe in the future. Hopefully at least!

So there you have it - lots to look forward to in 2018 from Kiro! Even as we’ve been prepping this for publication, Kiro has unleashed monster-track Grand Central … guess we’ll be back soon for more on that one!

You can check out our LV artist pages for Foxhunt and Kiro to find their social links and related LV articles!