Q&A: Keys N’ Krates

LOOKOUT was blessed with the chance to pick the collective brains of Jr. Flo, Matisse, and Tune, better known as live-remixers Keys N' Krates, on their frantic live shows and plans for upcoming releases. Read More ↓

Music is transforming and adapting at a breakneck pace. How do you manage to keep up/focus with the constant evolution of music technology pushing music to new places?

Flo: We are always looking for old and new toys to progress our sound, but I wouldn't say we chase technology for the sake of chasing technology.

You guys have been in the studio with DJ Grandtheft recording your new LP. What can we expect from the upcoming album?

Matisse:  Well, it's really not an album we're working on, but rather a series of releases.  There will be a bunch of singles and eventually and EP, but we're not strong believers in the album format right now.

The development of an online Mixtape culture seems to be a catalyst in eliminating the need for a major record label’s budget. You guys released your Re-Mixing 101 Mixtape a couple months ago; What kind of reaction and response did the drop get? any plans for additional mixtapes dropping before or after the new LP is released?

Tune:  The response from the mixtape was awsome and I believe that was because it sort of gave people a chance to take home what they see us do live on stage.  A lot of critics, media, tastemakers had really great stuff to say about it and we were happy with the amount of downloads it got.  We definitely plan to keep doing those live off the floor mixes to supplement our studio produced music.

Playing with a live band leaves room for more human interaction than just having a DJ playing whole songs from a laptop or turntables. What are some of the difficulties you encounter in the process of navigating the fine line between a sample based approach and a live band feel? When you play a live show, do you leave room for improvisation?

Flo:  I think we are flirting between going for that big sound, that makes people perplexed that we're pulling that it off live, and keeping a live feel to our stuff.  It's definitely a delicate dance.  We balance using a lot of electronic with live drums, synth sounds with organic sounds, and more live grooves with more programmed sounding grooves (which we still do live).  We're trying to get the best of both worlds.

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