Stephanie Elias, - on 26/6/12
On the heels of the release of her Kabuki Drop EP, Kate Simko caught up with Pulse before heading to Europe for the summer season. Simko explains how the Chicago scene influences her overall sound, the exciting elements of her visual show, her move to London and what’s in store for her in the upcoming year. Full of refreshing ideas and advice for up-and-coming DJs, we’re anticipating big things from Kate Simko this summer.
In comparing your DJ Mixes to your live shows, you seem to be a bit of a chameleon-It’s deep but tech-y and does move around a fair bit-always keeping things exciting - how would you describe your sound? Growing up in chicago, I heard Dj's mixing house with techno, with electro, with tech house, disco, etc. The genre boxes weren't as defined. My style sort of evolved from that Chicago influence I guess. I play a diverse selection of music- anything that's good.
Who are your biggest non-electronic musical influences? John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane
Your sound is very unique but doesn't fall into the classic definition of Chicago House. How has Chicago influenced your development as an artist? Funny I answered that other question before seeing this. Chicago has always kept me on my toes. It's more about real skills and less about trends.
We're told you are moving to London – is it difficult to leave Chicago? Yes and no. I'm going to miss the city and people a lot, but I do feel like its time for a change. I have a great group of friends in London, which makes it much easier. I'm really excited to be based in Europe, play shows on the weekend, the sleep in my own bed on Sunday night!
As a member of the fairer sex in electronic music, do you feel compelled to approach things differently to set yourself apart from other female artists? No. I don't compare myself to the other women dj's and producers. There's so few of us, and we all have a unique style really. I want each and every one of them to succeed- we're on the same team.
Do you have any advice for girls aspiring to come up as DJs/producers? Don't be shy, and believe in yourself. If you want to get into playing records or producing, just go for it. Start buying vinyl and gear, and pour your free time into it. The rest happens naturally.
Aside from being an EP, how does your Kabuki Drop EP differ from last years full-length Lights Out album? Well Lights Out was pretty old material by the time it was released. Kabuki Drop, and Go On Then, reflect more what I'm into as a DJ right now- a melodic more jackin sound.
What does Kabuki Drop mean or stand for? Is there meaning behind this peculiar title? A friend suggested I add a kabuki drop to my AV live set and I thought the name sounded cool. It's when you drop a curtain on stage.
Did you have any specific influence or emotion behind the production of these new tracks? One influence of Kabuki Drop was working with the Eventide Harmonizer. It's the delay and FX unit that Laurie Anderson uses live in her sets. I made the wobbly sounding wind sounds and effects for the song with it, and it inspired the track's direction. Go On Then was a refined take on the new material in my live set. I wanted to have a deep melodic bass line, sort of a really subtle dub influence. Then Jem Cooke came back with those magical vocals and that was it.
When did you decide to work with Jeffrey Weeter on the visual component of your live show? Are you still using the show he put together for you when you play? We're winding up our second year of the audio-visual live set now. I think we'll go back to the drawing board and push things in a new direction to keep it fresh.
Is there any specific DJ you would most like to collaborate with? What about play B2B with? Laura Jones has the most similar style to me of any DJ I know.. We played b2b in Italy recently and it was awesome! I hope we get booked together again soon. We are making an EP together too.
Are there any tracks you have been rinsing lately? Hmm yes. Everything Huxley for sure.
What's been your favorite party you've played this year? Room 1 of Fabric live AV set, and Rex Club live would he my two favorites this year.
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