Kanot, Vidock & Abstrack Records meet to unveil their work. Their openness to a wide range of sounds has made them a beloved favorite. We had a chance to talk to them, so enjoy your reading and check out their latest releases.
Tell us a little bit about your background, when and how did you get interested in electronic music?
KANOT: Kanot is a pretty new constellation, but we have been collaborating on a lot of different stuff previously, and each us us has a history of instrumental, electronic and psychedelic music (Fontän, Tross, Uran Gbg, Ultra Satan) throughout the last 15 years.
VIDOCK: I started to care about electronic music twelve years ago; I was 16 at this moment. With a close friend to my brother, I discovered the universe of synthesizers and drum machines. At the beginning, I tinked with an old guitar amplifiers and some old machines.
Then come the age to make parties. We’ve created an association, Abstrack, nine years ago and started to organize some events where we played live set and shared the stage with some other dj. Passion with free open minded parties and musics talking to body and soul was born and have never left us.
Who are the main inspirations behind your music?
KANOT : To name one of many inspiring examples: the playful, rhythmic and mysterious feel of ‘My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts’ by Brian Eno and Davie Byrne.
Can you tell us a little bit about the idea behind and production of the Hit & Run EP on Abstrak Records?
KANOT: We got inspired by funk legend Rick James and his basslines with emphasis on beat three. We also invited Jesper’s niece and a rap artist we found at a karaoke bar to do some vocal overdubbing.
Do you perform or program? or both? Do you have any tips to share on how to lay a track down?
KANOT: Both of us come from a background of performing, live and in the studio. Jesper works with anything that has strings, from fretless bass to Bhutanese dranyen. Anton handles all drums and percussion. We also experiment with programming or different combinations such as midi drum pads or Jespers signature sound: the Casio DG-1 digital guitar. Hmm, our best tip is to cultivate a split personality that can act both as a carefree performer and a meticulous producer.
How do you see your labels sound? What are you trying to push with the label?
ABSTRACK RECORDS: How to qualify what we could name the sound of Abstrack is a real question within the team. The label aims to be an expression of music that dancers can hear in our parties.
It is a way for us to keep alive the ephemerality of our events.
Abstrack’s parties used to be most of the time long and open minded moments where we love to browse various aesthetics in order to go along with dancers through travels talking as much to bodiy, soul and heart.
These space-time parties aim to be modern ritual places that can permit emotional liberation and recharging energy in contact with others.
So our label is a reflection of that, after 4 releases, it seems impossible to really identify our sound beyond maybe that we are more downtempo lovers and we like taking time but not all the time
It has been a hard year for everyone, how have you been keeping things going in 2020?
KANOT: The worst part for us is all the canceled live shows. When it comes to the creative side things are pretty good actually. Since Jesper lives in Gothenburg and Anton in Stockholm (originally also from Gothenburg), we are used to working together from a distance. Most of our music is done in our two separate studios where we both do composing and recording, sending the progressing project back and forth between the two coasts.
ABSTRACK RECORDS: Abstrack has always been a polymorphic association. We organize some special events since 2011. In 2016, we started Radio DY10 which is, today, an independent association running by awesome people, friends of us.
We launched our label in 2018 and we try to let emerge our collective part with artists from the crew.
Since the first lockdown in France, we decided to focus our work around artistic production and develop original creations. First feedbacks are really good . We are financially supported by few institutions and cultural places thanks to them we can survive today.
Can you share with us some talent we might not know? Some local or new artists that are inspiring you?
KANOT: Maybe take a listen to Stiletti Ana from Finland. And keep an eye out for Ultra Satan, another Gothenburg based project which we both are a part of. It’s some sort of subversive world music with its head in the clouds :)
ABSTRACK RECORDS: Of course, we would encourage you to listen to all Kanot’s music. All their productions are really big.
But you could also have a look at the Vidock’s group The Balek Band (Art director at the label) They are 4 musicians and blend electronic and organic instruments (synths, drum machine, guitar, bass, percussions). They have already done two EP and they are working on an album coming soon on Abstrack Records which promises to be high quality one.
Otherwise, we love French from the team Worst Records like Strange Wedding or Slowglide, discreet artist released also on Antinote. Friends from 404, that have recently been released on LaVibe. And Strapontin who released a really good EP on Hard Fist certainly a label to follow too.
All these artists are a bit darker and club that what we use to release but their universes are complex and inspired. That all we love.
Could you recommend a set that you are especially proud of, and tell us why that was a good one for you? (that we can listen to on your Soundcloud or on YouTube)
KANOT : Check out our guest-mix for Rinse France.
ABSTRACK RECORDS: Not so easy because we forget so much time to record our sets. There is this set that Bloody L, who also work at the label, recorded from an event where we invited Autarkic. The end of night was almost demonic.
The other one from Vidock on our Rinse France mensual show
What can you tell us about the scene of your city? What would you improve?
KANOT: Gothenburg probably has the most interesting and vivid music scene in Sweden when it comes to left field psychedelica & krautrock inspired music, it’s often very original and authentic. Sometimes however it feels like you are performing for the same enthusiastic crowd every night. Stockholm has a somewhat wider scene, but there is a saddening tendency that more and more venues and clubs have to close as a result of easily disturbed and bourgeois neighbors.
ABSTRACK RECORDS: The scene in our city is really important for us! It’s been 10 years since we are involved in through our parties and concerts Our dj resident played everywhere in Nantes, clubs and bars. Nantes is a small village and we are really lucky to have an awesome public that evoluate in a goodwill landscape.
Some nights never end here!
There is a beautiful spectrum in styles here (from rock to ambient music), and most of the organizers know and help each other. The majority of them are really passionate about music and it’s all their life. Even politically, there is a beautiful involvement, a lot of organizers created an association to defend clubs, bars and parties. And it’s bearing fruits!
An opportunity to big up activists from Nantes like Androgyne, Input Selector, Voiceless, Paco Tyson, Sweat Lodge and so many more !
What big things do you have coming up?
KANOT: We have been invited to do a corona safe dj-set at the royal palace this coming easter.
ABSTRACK RECORDS: With the parent company Abstrack, we are preparing a meditative music festival with lots of concerts in a few places in Nantes.
About Abstrack Records the agenda is already quite full and lots of beautiful things are coming soon including albums and formats that we didn’t explore yet. We’ll let you know!