Australian producer Kinesthetics swung by to give us some insight on his earliest influences, recent releases, and plenty more!
While artists in the realms of bass, house, and indie dance might be some of the biggest names to come out of Australia over the years, there are others Down Under who are championing the sounds of trance and progressive. One of those artists is Kinesthetics, who hails from the city of Cairns in the Northern province of the country and has explored his passion for electronic music for over a decade. Influenced by legends ranging from Daft Punk and Infected Mushroom to Armin van Buuren and Above & Beyond, he began crafting his own trance and progressive tunes for the world to hear.
Kinesthetics has released a number of tunes over the years that further showcased his ever-growing abilities in the studio. From early tunes like “Peninsula” and “Basejump” to his concept album Sound of Motion: Planetside, he continues to explore and enhance his discography with each new soundscape. More recently, he dropped “Sleep Won’t Come” on Alter Ego Recordings and also worked with Dreamy and Daniel Kandi on “1UP!” as well.
Looking to dive deeper into the mind of this trance producer, we caught up with Kinesthetics to chat about his earliest influences, what drove him to begin creating music, his recent releases, and plenty more. So check out his exclusive guest mix on SoundCloud below and read on for the full conversation!
Stream EDMID Guest Mix 293 || Kinesthetics on SoundCloud:
Hey Kinesthetics, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today. Let’s start off by diving into your roots in the dance music scene! Who were some of your earliest influences in the realm of electronic music?
Thanks so much for the opportunity to chat mate! My earliest influence in electronic music has got to be Daft Punk. I remember hearing ‘One More Time’ as a kid and being blown away by their sound, especially Romanthony’s amazing processed vocals. Between my younger brother and I hunted down every album they had and put them on repeat. Once I hit high school I got introduced to Infected Mushroom and psychedelic trance, and while chasing their music stumbled upon Armin van Buuren and then Above & Beyond, and then later Tiësto.
What pushed you to go from being a fan to someone who is actually producing and playing trance?
I was interested in writing music from an early age and started out with violin lessons before getting a guitar. I loved playing both but felt they weren’t quite my thing. Around 2004 I got shown a very old copy of FL Studio and by 2007 I had my own copy. This was around the same time I discovered Armin and A&B and so straight away I tried making what they made. I got hooked on FL and started making tracks to share with mates. The feedback I got back then pushed me to keep going, which I think was crucial in hindsight as any encouragement is beneficial, even though they sounded pretty terrible by today’s standards!
The other aspect to producing was DJing. Where I live we often have ‘doofs’, or bush raves, where a heap of people get together with big speakers and decks and hammer psytrance and bits and pieces of other genres all night. I loved going to these nights and was fascinated by the DJs and what they did. To make music was one thing but to play it out on a nice setup was another, and I ended up getting my own gear to play on.
You’ve previously dropped tunes like “Basejump” and “Peninsula” that are absolutely fantastic, and this year you re-emerged with “Drive,” “Delta-v,” and more recently, “Sleep Won’t Come.” What’s your creative process like when producing tunes like these? Has that shifted over the years?
Thanks for the kind words! Most of the time I am starting with a melody, be it a riff, a chord progression, or maybe an atmospheric sound or sample I’ve made. Other times I might have an 8-bar loop of drums and a bassline, which coincidentally is actually how ‘Drive’, ‘Delta-v’, and ‘Sleep Won’t Come’ all started! ‘Peninsula’ was melodic elements first. Inspiration comes from many places, from music to art, to nature and being out in the country, and video games and movies.
I don’t think much has changed from the earliest days to now in terms of creativity, but definitely in workflow and productivity. It’s common to get stuck on an 8-bar loop for example, so I try to have a goal or task in mind when I open up a project. Consistency and doing something every day have also helped me bust writer’s block on many occasions, which my past self sorely needed! But in terms of creativity, the spark is still there and hasn’t really changed much.
Another one of your recent releases was “1UP!” which saw you team up with Dreamy and Daniel Kandi. What’s the story behind this tune? How did you come together with these artists?
Dreamy is one of the most inspiring people I know. We met way back in 2010 when I worked under the alias ‘Aiera’, and we did several tracks together while keeping in touch. I got the opportunity to meet him in person in 2016, and aside from catching up and laying down another collab, we busted out an old games console and played retro games together. That became the inspiration for ‘1UP!’: old video games and playing with good mates. He sent over ‘1UP!’ with most of the track already done, and I reworked the bassline and pluck and some of the drums.
I think Jack had already known at that point that he wanted it on a future album and so we sat on it for a few years until now. Daniel loved the track, and aside from doing an incredible job of mixing and mastering it, he added the vocals and basically took it to the next level with edits and tweaks here and there. I am privileged to have worked with both of them on it, and to be included on what has become one of my favourite albums is still surreal today!
Aside from your originals, you’ve also put your spin on a number of tracks including a fantastic take on Mat Zo and Olan’s “Problems.” What’s your mindset when twisting a tune from another artist? Do you approach it differently than an original?
Mat Zo is a big inspiration of mine, and Olan has a great voice, so when I saw the remix competition I jumped at the opportunity. Remixes get approached a little differently because the core ideas and concepts are already there, so I can get straight to work on the track layout and working out what I want to add. It tends to vary a bit from remix to remix but most of the time I strip away most of the stems and MIDI and just keep the main riff and any interesting bits. I find this helps cement my own sound and leave just enough to recognize it as a remix without it sounding too similar to the original. Often, stuff I work on for a remix ends up in its own track too, so I can generate more ideas thanks to them.
The pandemic has really affected everyone in the world, but DJs have been hit extra hard during this time. What has your experience been like over the past two years in Australia?
I’m easing back into the music scene after a hiatus, so I haven’t been DJing when the pandemic hit. I do have mates who DJ and host events and the lockdowns used to contain the spread have been quite impactful and costly, which is terribly sad to see. Here in Cairns, we have been incredibly fortunate because we had only a few cases compared to cities like Sydney and Melbourne, so we actually opened back up fairly quickly each outbreak. Aside from some restrictions and uncertainties, life mostly returned to normal here, which can feel utterly surreal given how difficult the situation is in other parts of the country and the world.
Just for fun, put yourself in the shoes of a promoter who is curating the perfect lineup to celebrate getting back to the dancefloor. Of course, you’d be playing, but who else would you want to join you for the night?
Oh wow, good question! There are so many talents out there who’d do an amazing job, but I’m gonna go for a slightly different answer here: I’d pick some of the lads I grew up with who used to DJ the doofs and other raves and produce their own music. We’ve all grown so far apart from each other, and just getting together one more time and knowing what an amazing set they’d each perform would make for such a memorable night. Good vibes, great DJs, top mates!
Finally, what goals do you hope to achieve in the rest of 2021 and beyond? Are there any releases we should be keeping an ear out for?
My main focus for the rest of 2021 and the next couple of years is to keep building on what I’ve got going. I have two remixes that will see the year out and from there a bunch more tracks in the later stages of production for next year. For now, I will keep working hard to improve music production and networking to find great new opportunities.
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