Interview: Kevin Arnemann
Taped Artifact label boss Kevin Arnemann is ending 2016 on a climax with the launch of his brand new live set.
The twenty-four-year-old DJ has been spinning records since 2008, including the Awakenings Festival mainstage in 2013 at barely 21 years old. After eight years on the decks, he felt it was time to take his studio on the road with him to play his own music live on stage. His first two shows were on December 31st at club Paradigm, Groningen and January 1st Loveland Live, Amsterdam.
We caught up with Kevin to discuss more about his history and a deeper look into his New Years events.
“As long as I can remember I listened to all kinds of music.”
When was your first exposure to electronic music?
As long as I can remember I listened to all kinds of music. During my early teenage years I started to discover electronic music, also because my parents played CD’s at home from the likes of John Digweed, Joris Voorn and Chris Liebing. During that time they visited events such as Awakenings. In 2006 they took me with them to Awakenings Festival. I was 14 back then and they asked special permission to from Rocco to allow me to come. That was my first proper encounter with electronic music and techno in particular.
Your label, Taped Artifact, has received a lot of positive feedback since launching in 2015. Was setting up a label something you always planned?
Taped Artifact came into existence very organically. Around 2013 / 2014 I was having these talks with my label partner Daan. We noticed dub techno as a genre had become pretty ‘safe’ over the last couple of years and we wanted to make it more creative again. We didn’t really rush into setting up the label, we just started collecting ideas, music and visual art and went on from there. In January 2017 the label will turn 2 years old already and it’s great to see what we’ve accomplished over this period of time and all the support we’ve received from our peers and inspirators.
When did you decide to make the switch to playing Live from DJing? Was it a natural progression?
I haven’t replaced DJing with playing live. DJing is still the thing I do most. However, over the last year I’ve spent lots of time in the studio making all sorts of music. At one point I went through all the projects and exported files and started to put them together into one session file and started to play around with it. That’s where the idea came from to start a new live set. So yes, it was a pretty natural process that I didn’t plan beforehand. Besides that I got more confident about the music I produce. After all those years of making music I’m starting to find my musical identity as a producer.
How close is your live set up to what you have in the studio?
It’s a light version of my studio for the time being. I first want to get familiar with the whole dynamic of playing live. Most of the tracks I’ve never played out before, so it’s pretty exciting to see how the people will react to it. After I get more self-assured when playing live I will add more equipment to the live set.
What equipment (software/hardware) can you expect from your live debut?
Ableton is the centerpiece, just like in my studio. I simply love it. Also because my music relies heavily on resampling and effects processing i can’t go without Ableton on stage. Next to that, an essential piece in my live set is the Elektron Analog Rytm. It’s an extremely powerful machine that is also really great to use in a live environment. It enables me to keep things organic on stage and it leaves a little room for errors, experimentation and and unexpected moments which I like. I’m also using a couple of controllers, fx gear and a TR-606.
You’re playing at Loveland Live on New Years Day. It’s a pretty unique event, with only live acts playing from start to finish. Are there any acts that you’re particularly looking forward to seeing?
It sure is, it’s great to see initiatives like this. It really stands out amongst the regular line-ups you see. It’s really exciting to share the bill with three acts that have been really inspiring to me: Octave One, Sebastian Mullaert and Surgeon. Especially Octave One is time after time a treat to hear and see.
Who are some live acts that inspire you?
It’s cool to see more hardware based live acts nowadays. Acts like Karenn, Voices from the Lake, Octave One and Voiski are big influences to me.
Amsterdam nightlife is in rude health at the moment. Do you have favourite spots you like to play out at?
RADION is definitely one of my favorite places at this moment. I’ve been around since the opening 2 years ago and loved it ever since, both as a guest and as a dj. The sound system is outstanding, and the line-ups are often spot on. The crowd knows how to create a really special vibe that makes me feel at ease to play more daring tracks than usual.
What are your expectations and hopes for 2017?
To hear and share lots of great music. I’m also looking forward to the forthcoming releases on my Taped Artifact imprint and the other exciting projects we are currently working on.