Exclusive interview featuring Keith Carnal.

For the Thirteenth installment of our interview series, we introduce Keith Carnal.

Last month, Keith returned to Ellen Allien‘s legendary label BPitch with a very interesting and raw techno EP titled ‘Ape Shit Crazy‘.  The EP bringed out a rousing three-track excursion into the visceral side of techno. Stocked with deadly drum arrangements, thumping kicks and imposing basslines, Keith’s armoury is well equipped to cause maximum impact on the dance floor.

We chatted with him around this release and a few more aspects of his career.

Does there exist someone more real to answer a Q&A interview than Keith Carnal, I don’t think so! Read the full interview below.

Hello Keith, for us it’s a pleasure having you in our interview series, thank you. First of all, how are you and where in the world are you taking this interview?

Hey guys, thanks for having me. I’m doing well, great that things are open again and the party scene is alive again! Couldn’t be happier to see that happening. I’m currently on the plane to Wroclaw in Poland, playing there tonight! Really excited, because I heard good stuff about the party.

What led you to start your career in the electronic music scene, how did you get involved and in what year?

I think it was in 2006 when a friend of mine had a drive-in show. He therefore had a lot of gear and I was able to play music there any time I wanted. I immediately got hooked with DJ’ing. After that I started playing a few parties at some student parties. I was playing house and electro back then, techno wasn’t really hip at that time in that city (Groningen). Anyway, I enhanced my DJ skills as much as I could, so it was great!

Who did you listen to growing up and do they influence your productions at all today?

I grew up with a wide variety of music. My parents are from the 50s, so their music is mostly from the 60s, 70s and 80s. So Michael Jackson, the Doors, Toto, Rolling Stones, etc. was on a lot. And the music was literally playing 24/7 at our home. I personally went through many phases in my music education. Started with that music, I then went into rock/metal, then trance, then gabber, then techno, then hiphop, then electro. So I was all over the place, but it gave me a broad scope on music. Not sure which bit has contributed to my productions, I guess it all helped to shape me who I am today as an artist.

Do you remember what was your first release ever, in what label, and how do you achieve it?

It was on Peak Hour Music. A label from a guy in New York. He contacted me through this similar website as Soundcloud, where you could upload your tracks on, to get feedback. I thought that was gonna be my big breakthrough in the US. I was a little naiev back then. It turned out to be useless. But hey, it educated me in what not to do.

Congratulations for your recent EP ‘‘Ape Shit Crazy’’ released on Bpitch, can you tell us about the production processes and inspiration behind each track of the EP?

Thanks! The title track was a result of a night of acid with 3 friends. One friend is English and we agreed to make a track where he put some lyrics on. So he wrote some lyrics after a that one night, basically summarizing all we experienced in our trip! We did one take in the studio, I produced the track around the vocals and voila!

How does it feel to land once again on BPitch, do you remember how your relationship with Bpitch started?

I believe Ellen played a lot of my tracks at a certain point and she asked me for a remix. After that remix I said: I believe it’s time we did an EP, and she concurred. The rest is history.

Is there a favorite track or do any of the tracks on the ‘‘Ape Shit Crazy EP’’ hold a particular special feeling for you?

Well the title track def is a reminder of a great night, so that definitely holds a special feeling for me.

Where do you find inspiration for the creative process of creating a track from scratch?

It all depends. Sometimes I get it from parties, sometimes from sets I listen to when driving or walking, sometimes it’s from scratch. Not a one strategy thing. Sometimes there’s no inspiration and only shit comes out.

Can you tell us three pieces of advice you would tell the young producers who are getting started into the electronic music World?

Yeah have patience. It takes a while before you’re at a certain level. So don’t release too soon (like I did) and wait a little before releasing. If cool labels (even the smaller ones) are not interested in your music or tell you “we’re all full for the year”, it’s because the music isn’t good enough yet.

Are there any other releases planned to come out this year that you can tell us a little about?

Next release is on my own SEC NDº label. Probably gonna hit in September, depending on the vinyl schedule though.. vinyl is a bitch at the moment.

What do you like/enjoy the most, producing music or DJing?

Both equally. When you make a track and it’s magic you get an amazing feeling. When you play a track in a club and it’s magic, it’s that feeling all over. So it all depends on the moment and the setting.

How do you prepare your DJ sets when djing? Do you take a lot of music on your usb/computer and improvise on the go, or you’re more a DJ that goes with your tracks previously picked in a playlist?

Yeah I have a lot on my USB stick and I prepare as if I’m playing vinyl. So I just make a folder of tracks I wanna play and order the first 2/3 tracks. After that I’ll just see where it goes. I have a folder with “cool tracks” that I often play and are timeless. Just wing it, depending on the night. 

In your experience, can you name three things that have changed or evolved in the electronic music scene from when you started with your career until now?

First thing is definitely social media. No social media nowadays and you’re not gonna be able to make it to the big league. Sadly, because it should be about the music, rather than looking cool.

Secondly the production rate. When I started, one release per year was more than enough. Now, if you wanna stay in the picture, you should have 3/4 releases per year.

Thirdly, the vibes at parties. People used to really come for the music. Now often people come to either be cool or get fucked up. Especially at the bigger raves. All good to me, but it’s def different from 2 decades ago.

Thanks for your time, to close the interview and for curiosity, what music do you listen to besides electronic music? ¿Can you recommend some artists to follow?

I listen to oldskool hip hop a lot and reggae. Also like older music like the Doors, still. And about the artists, everyone coming from Portugal at the moment. The young producers, but also the early established ones, bring out pure quality.

– Keith Carnal

Posted in

Leave a comment