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Terminal V Podcast 038 || Keith Carnal

 

Dutch artist Keith Carnal is most definitely a name that you will hear crop up in conversation again and again. His uncompromisingly driving way of putting together music is a skill that Keith formed from an early point in his career. This has helped him formulate a unique twist on the upper BPM part of the genre but this is never at the expense of atmosphere and the subtle musical nuances that propel his productions.

Certainly, this can be easily when checking Keith’s own label SEC NDº where he is full charge of all aspects of the music output. This is where Keith is at peace, where he has full command of all elements and this is never truer than when he is at the controls of our latest podcast edition. Building tension naturally through track selection he works his way through a breakneck volley of tracks that threaten to break the sound barrier but back off just in time…

 

Thanks for joining us Keith, where are you currently in the world and what takes you there?

I’m currently in Hilversum, which is like 30 minutes from Amsterdam. I moved here early in the Pandemic, which was a good move, seeing nothing happened in Amsterdam anyway.

How has your touring travels been so far, this year? Where has been the highlight so far?

They’ve been good! Things have picked up nicely since everything started to open up again. Highlights were both in Warsaw, being Undercity Festival and a gig in Praja Centre! Both great vibes and good fun all night!

When researching this interview, I noticed that you posed quite a relevant question regarding music release format. Do you find that the timing of vinyl / digital music is important?

Well, that’s what I was trying to find out 😉 Ideally, I would prefer to release vinyl 2 or 3 weeks ahead of the digital release. Seeing as vinyl is more memorable and you want to motivate people to buy the vinyl ahead of the digital version. This schedule was easy a few years ago. You’d plan a release within the next two months. But times have changed, and it takes up to 7 months now to get the vinyl released. Seeing I do only my own releases on my label at the moment, I don’t have the output to schedule so far ahead anymore.

What was the overall verdict as it invariably threw up a whole lot of other points regarding vinyl including length of time to actually wait on vinyl releases being pressed?

Yeah, it brought up some discussion for sure. But I decided to do the next release as digital first and vinyl later. All the vinyl heads in the “poll” obviously insisted on doing the vinyl before the digital release, but many also said they didn’t care and just wanted the music. It was Shifted who also said that people should acknowledge that releasing vinyl is challenging nowadays, and people should take that into account. And I agree with that! So, let’s see how this goes. Also, I believe the better the EP, the lesser it matters when you release the vinyl.

If you release music on vinyl labels do you think it is important to either play the actual record in your sets or at least collect vinyl?

I do collect the vinyl, and I play it at home. In my case, I never play the vinyl live because I find digital much easier and fail-proof 😉 As for the people, up to them! I do love it when people play my vinyl in their sets though!

As a label head that releases on vinyl would the delays to vinyl pressing perhaps make you lean towards going fully digital?

No, I thought of that as well, but vinyl doesn’t only give you a physical release (which is more fun to have), but it also states that the music released is worth a lot of money to release. So, it kinda separates the wheat from the chaff.

This conversation also shows that you are quite connected to the people that follow your social media, how important is this element of connectivity to you?

Yeah, it’s very important. I mean, we’re all music lovers, and we all enjoy the same style of music. In the end, my followers listen and buy my music, so their input is highly appreciated!

The sixth release on your own Second Degree imprint is due to drop shortly. Please tell us about SEC006 and what went into making each of the tracks?

As I always try to do on every EP, it is something fresh. I can make the melodic stuff with heavy beats over and over, but that doesn’t do much for me creatively. So, in this one, I made one track based on a vocal and a groove, and it’s the first time I have done something like that. Also, there’s more emotional techno in there and some more acid-based deeper stuff. It kinda has everything, like most EP’s I release. That’s why a wide variety of artists supports my EP’s (even though it’s different songs from that EP).

Do you find you produce quite different music for your own label than you do for other labels?

Not per se, but like I said: I tend to try new stuff. The benefit (or downside if it turns out shitty haha) is that no label manager or R&A manager is telling me it’s not what they’re looking for. Most labels want similar stuff from what I made before, and for me, that part is kinda hard to deliver on. My own label gives me that freedom, which is great. I must say that at ARTS I basically had the freedom to do my own thing, and sometimes it’s good that someone gives you a little feedback.

Is there a concerted effort to put out a different style on your own label or this just a coincidence?

Not a deliberate effort, but certainly I go more outside my former comfort zone.

What else has been cooking in the studio lately?

There’s something coming up on Bpitch, and I’m making more tracks for the future as well! So, I can get that vinyl/digital train in order someday. But first, I’m eager to find out how it’ll turn out with SEC006.

Finally, you have produced our next podcast edition. Tell us how you made the mix and what went into choosing the tracks?

I obviously wanted to put in some of the upcoming releases, and I’m also moving into the groovy and faster side of techno. So, I chose a lot of full energy tracks and mixed fast. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did!

 

Interview by Stu Todd