We grill emerging UK producer extraordinaire Kirk Spencer, to talk about the inspiration behind his new EP ‘Kingdom’.
Known for his blistering blends of entrancing synth and imaginative versatility, Kirk Spencer, the 24 year-old Nottingham musician retains all of the intricacies and atmospherics that ensured his previous EP, aptly titled ‘Wonderland’ was a captivating listen.
With follow-up ‘Kingdom’, Spencer coincidently reaches for the darker shades of his musical palette. Subsequent opener ‘Human,’ featuring Solomon Grey, is a glimmering example: with deep, vibrant bass assisting the vocal crescendos that characterise the introductory track. ‘Kingdom’ also marks a reflective output on which Spencer’s amalgamative abilities ensure intelligent chord progressions aren’t climactic without riding first the ethereal ambience and bass-ridden build ups Spencer has at his disposal. We went in to find out more about the enigmatic new talent.
How did you start making music and what inspired it?
Radcliffe on Trent, the village I grew up in, had a few young bands that made a small exciting scene and that made me want to start playing guitar and start my own band “Od Sox” with some friends at school with my younger brother on the drums. From then I got inspired by everything around me growing up in Nottingham.
What kinds of music were you listening too as you were growing up in?
Nottingham is a very diverse city musically, I would say I was listening to everything I could, from punk bands in my village, to “world” music from the college library, to grime and hip hop in the Community Recording Studios. I listened to electronic music in the clubs, heavy metal from college bands, Now40 compilations as a Kid and Indian Classical music from my mum.
Nottingham has a fantastic live music scene – how does the city compare to other big creative hubs like London and Manchester?
From what I’ve seen with my taste in electronic music Nottingham hasn’t been a particularly cultivating place live-music wise, however I’m very much into a small specialist electronic music scene and I think it’s a lot better for bands. It has so much talent and creativity that is overwhelming and the people of Nottingham really support the artists and go crazy which is why I love playing there.
Do you have any specific records or artists that have inspired you the most?
Nottingham artists like Scorzayzee, Late of the Pier, Nick Stez and Metaphi, really inspired me because they demonstrated that it was possible and they made great music.
You’ve collaborated with a hoard of fantastic talent – what have been the highlights?
Musically that’s the hardest question, however over the last 6 months I have been honoured to be working with Jae Ho who is a visual artist from South Korea now living in London, we share the same interests musically and visually. We have been working on the Live Band Show along with the amazing CJ Mirra and Fred Laurie. His visuals for the Live show are so suited to my taste.
Who would you love to work with – if you could choose any other artist, who would be your first choice?
The film maker Gaspor Noe who did Enter the Void and Irreversible. I would love to soundtrack one of his films.
Which track do you wish you had written, by another musician?
Masked Ball (Long Version) – Eyes Wide Shut – Jocelyn Pook
You also remix a lot for other artists – do you prefer making your ow music or reworking other people’s tracks?
It’s a similar process for me creatively because when I remix I never use to much of the original content in the track so it’s like making my own track. I always end up remixing my own tracks which result in the final version.
Who would you love to produce / remix for?
Artists that are completely different to me. Lana Del Ray, Shangaan Electro and Omar Souleyman would be amazing.
Tell us more about the new EP? How does it progress from your previous work?
It’s quite a blur on how it was made but I remember for each track on the EP I had a moment when the music surrounded me and thats when I knew It was nice to me. It is quite a lot darker than my previous music, a lot of the concepts are really personal to me, It’s all inspired by real moments I’ve experienced, it’s more concise, the mixes are a lot better and is closer to my music taste than anything I have done before.
What are your 3 top tracks of the moment?
1. Andy Stott – Numb
2. ASAP MOB – Hella Hoes
3. Alessi Brothers – Seabird
What is the process of making music – how do you begin to create and construct a track?
The process is always different for me. The more new and different the process, the more inspired I find I get. Human was made by messing with an Indonesian gong then adding the drums and bass around the gong sound and then working with Solomon Grey to come up with vocals. Primrose was made in my mates Primrose Hill flat, playing on his landlords Piano. It was a hot, beautiful day and I came up with the chords and it sparked the whole idea of the song and lyrics.
How do you plan on spending the summer?
I’ll be making new music, playing gigs, designing clothing, building up STRANGERZOO and seeing different parts of the world.
Find out more from Kirk Spencer here.