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A Conversation With: Klimeks

Hi again Wave/Chill/Soundcloud heads! I’ve been pretty silent on the blog recently, ever since my conversation with young talent KALEYN dropped, due to boring real-life things like working and moving flat, but I’m delighted to finally be able to upload this interview with none other than Wavemob frontman Klimeks!

Fans of the scene will know it’s been a pretty crazy time for the Wavemob boys recently; with  merchandise dropping over the past months (have a gander at that here), Wavemob as a brand seems to be taking off like never before. The guys have been steadily building on the strong foundations they laid as a collective back in Feburary with their debut release, Wave 001, and with the launch of the new merchandise, crew members and fans worldwide can now display physical tokens of their loyalty to the Wave sound. Further to this, some of the Wavemob boys have been dropping hints that the much anticipated Wave 002 is on the horizon, which is really exciting. With all the hype surrounding the Wave scene right now, it seems like the perfect time for me to upload my chat with the daddy of Wavemob and general pioneer of Wave itself, Klimeks! Thanks to Klimeks’ vision, the movement now has a solidified UK-based home, and the Wavemob family (who I have given much attention to with this blog) can be seen as a fundamentally important element in pushing the sound and assuring it gets the attention and exposure it deserves. 

As I’m sure you’re all aware, the mob is home to two of the most talented Wave DJs around – Kareful and Skit - who have both recently been given slots and shown support by Fabric, one of the single most important and iconic organisations in London electronic music history (cop tickets for Fabric Live on 20th May, where Kareful is playing Room 2, here). This is undoubtedly a nod to the potential for Wave to grow into a club phenomenon. I have no doubt that without the formation of Wavemob and the base it has given these creative minds to promote the new and exciting genre, it would not be getting the attention it is now, so it’s only fair to say a huge well done to Klimeks for believing in the sound from the start and giving it somewhere to grow and develop. I’d also like to point out that Klimeks, a producer from Peterborough, was one of the very first Wave guys who I listened to, and one of the guys who got me so deeply hooked to the scene. Without the emotional depth Klimeks achieves in his work, I may have never been moved to write this blog, and so on a more sentimental level I’d like to thank Klimeks for producing such beautiful tunes. I'm  certain that if you follow this scene in any way, you'll already be very familiar with the incredible sound of Klimeks, but if this whets your appetite for a little bit more, head over to his Soundcloud page; here!

It’s clear to see why I’ve been so excited to share this interview with you guys! Just quickly, if you’re looking for some liquid vibes to chill out to on these long summer evenings, I’d highly recommend some of the stuff that’s been showcased on Radar Radio recently. The Liquid Ritual show, run by Kareful and LTHL, consistently promotes a lot of the best the Wave scene has to offer. You can find a link to their Soundcloud page here. A mix that I would particularly recommend hitting up for some laid-back vibes is one that features Aesthetic Kid and Skit, and can be found here. Really good work on this stuff guys, and a great promotion of the sound! As ever, stay tuned in to Plastician’s weekly Rinse FM slot, which never fails to showcase stuff from the creative Soundcloud scene.

Back to the business in hand, a transcription of my interview with the incredible Klimeks can be found below. I hope you enjoy reading it, peace out and happy listening people!

How long have you been making music for, and when did you start producing electronic music?

I’ve been making music for over 10 years now. I started properly focusing on more electronic stuff and crafting my sound around 6 years ago though.

Oh really, what sort of stuff were you making before you started on your current sound?

I've always been making electronic stuff in some form but dabbled in grime and hip hop growing up.

I see, and do you think you’ve bought your past musical experiences to your current sound?

Definitely in some shape or form, not consciously, but in a more natural kind of way. I was always trying to make this kind of music, it was always in my head, and when I finally did everything clicked! 

I think it's important to dabble and study different genres and styles, because you can go back to your own music and apply things you've learnt. I know some people just listen to Soundcloud for inspiration these days, but my main inspiration actually comes from music outside of Soundcloud; if you take inspiration purely from Soundcloud, you risk sounding like everyone else who's coming up, so it's important to go outside of it as well, at least for me. When I made my project 89' I was listening to Joy Division and post rock type stuff. The concept behind 89' was that I had gone back in time and I was making my first ever project; I challenged myself that way.

Nice man, that sounds like a really cool way to approach a project. Okay, when was it that you first started making ‘Wave’?

I would say I started making stuff that would be considered wave around 2011-2012.

Where did the genre come from do you think? Trap? Hip-hop?

I would say it’s a fusion of a lot of different genres and takes influence from Hip-hop, Ambient, Drum & Bass, RnB, Trap, Witch House… I could go on. I think it’s actually one of the most diverse sounds out there since it takes influence from so many different genres. A lot of us grew up listening to, and also currently listen to, loads of different genres of music, so our tastes and influences are very broad which makes the music interesting.

And did you come up with the name ‘Wave’? I notice you’ve hash tagged ‘Wave’ on Soundcloud on tunes like Tokyo Train and your remix of Born in the Cold which were uploaded over 2 years ago.

In terms of this type of music, yes, at the time I was just making music that I never had a name for. I hadn’t heard of anyone else doing what I was doing but I wanted to differentiate it anyway because it wasn’t Trap and it wasn’t Hip-hop, it was sounding very different to me. I really wasn’t intending for it to become something like a genre, I saw it more as a descriptive word to separate the sound and vibe of something that had no name.

I see. Right, I wanna find out a bit more about Wavemob since it’s been such an important collective in the progression of the sound. I know you’re the original head behind it; when did you form the mob, and where did it come from?

I first formed it to release my music when I first started putting out projects around 2013, after I figured out the direction I wanted my music to go in. Soundcloud took an interest to the music I was uploading, and it started spreading and inspiring other producers and I was just noticing people doing similar stuff and as I started paying attention to what was going I started connecting with other producers and making friends with them, and as time went on my idea for Wavemob started to evolve; I started to see that it could be a home, a collective and a label for everyone making this stuff, to come together and push this sound.

That’s amazing dude! The mob definitely seems to be one of the main homes of the UK sound at the moment which is really great, well done on that. Do you think your original idea of ‘Wave’ has changed with the formation of the mob and the sound’s recent progression?

I feel like the vision is the same but some people don't understand it, I've seen producers make straight up trap and hashtag it wave. Wave is deep and has emotion behind it.

And what future plans are there for the mob? Can we expect another mix tape?

Most definitely, we have about 6 projects in the works right now, including Wave 002, as well as lots of solo projects. Our plans are just to continue doing what we love doing and push this music and help each other. We also have merch’, which I'm sure you've seen, which I’ve been working on as well, which I’m very excited about!

Yeah the merch is looking really cool man! Nice to hear! Okay, so who did the artwork for the Wavemob mixtape? I like the look you’ve gone for. What were the ideas behind this?

Thanks! I actually designed the artwork, I try to do most of the art myself to fit the vision I have. Just recently I’ve been in talks with some other designers who’ve reached out. I didn’t really have much of an idea for the Wave 001 art except to make something that fits the music, although I do think it has a 1980s digital, 3D kind of style; it’s other-worldly and kind of cosmic which is cool. It kind of reminds me of a hologram.

Yeah man I can definitely see that, and it really fits the sound. Right so, obviously the internet is the sound’s original home as it has developed so much over Soundcloud and has such a strong community on there, but there are some strains of the sound that feel very London at the moment. Do you think we will start to see the movement take more roots in London?

I’m not too sure really. It makes sense to do shows in big cities where everyone can come and meet and experience this music live and not just online, so I guess in that way London is very appropriate.

Do you see the movement becoming properly club based?

That’s an interesting question. Not all the music is particularly club-friendly, so it depends if people can still get into it in a club environment. There’s a club aspect to some of the music, but there’s also a more chilled, casual, personal-listening element to a lot of it. I would never have imagined the music being played in a club a few years ago, or even on the radio, and it’s been quite surprising watching the progression up to this point, so I guess it could go anywhere from here.

You’ve mentioned before you’ve been focusing more on the producing side of the music rather than mixing, is that something you plan to work on?

Definitely, I’ll be DJiing and playing out soon!

You got any idea when/where those gigs would be?

You will have to see!

Can we expect to hear you playing out Wave?

Of course, i'll be reppin’ to the fullest!

Cool! Okay, what are your favourite of your own tracks?

Nightglide, Odyssey, Tokyo Train are probably my three favourites. I don't really remember how I made them because I was just so in to making them I kind of lost track of time. They're always the ones I like, when you get so into it and channel all your energy. I love it.

That's really cool! Okay what’s your favourite Wave track by somebody else?

Hm, I gotta say Skit & Kareful – Luminoscity

That is a crazy tune! And who’s been your favourite wave producer to work with?

I haven’t worked with too many yet, but I would say Skit again. I’m working on some collabs at the moment too, with different producers, so watch out for those.

Yeah man Skit is really great, really love his sound! Alright, what equipment do you use to produce?

I use a Mac with a midi keyboard, drum pads and controller, soundcard and a mic for recording vocals and random bits and bobs.

And where do you usually source your samples from, like vocals etc?

I try not to sample as much these days, sometimes I will sing stuff myself, but you wouldn't really be able to tell. I'm trying to work with more singers at the mo, sampling seems so restrictive these days with Soundcloud becoming more corporate. It really hurts the creative freedom, I shouldn't have to think about these things at all.

And how do you go about producing tunes? How long do they usually take?

Normally I’ll work around a melody and some textures, something to inspire me and build upon. In terms of how long it takes, sometimes it’ll happen quite quickly if I’m locked in and vibing. I always try to vibe out while I’m creating then after I’ll spend a lot more time mixing everything so it sounds better, adding and taking away parts and seeing what works well together and making sure everything’s sounding how I want it to.

Your music has a very emotional, deep sound to me, as does a lot of Wave. Is that something intentional?

I’m definitely trying to convey something on a deeper level. I would say all my music is built off a feeling or emotion of some sort. I can’t expect someone to connect with it if I personally don’t, you know?

Yeah man, I definitely feel that from your music. Alright so, is there anybody on the scene right now that you’re loving the sound of, that you can recommend our readers check out?

Um yeah, the entire Wavemob roster! Also, check out Noah B!

Cool! And when can we expect something new from you?

I’m working on my next project currently.

Any ideas when you’ll be dropping it?

I've not set a date yet, but as soon as it's finished, so keep an eye out!

Alright man, will do! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me. Is there anything  else you’d like to add?

Thanks for the interview, shout out the universe!

Follow me on Soundcloud and Twitter, to keep up with the latest on Wave and other underground sounds.

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