Category: 10yearsofKalte


Monsters in Your Head

Monsters in Your Head posterOne of our most favorite shows that we’ve ever played was part of a gallery event curated by our friend David Keyes and the House of Pomegranates, a collection of artists, designers, magicians, alchemists, ne’er do wells, and lovable scoundrels who are among some of the most awesome people we’ve ever met. The event was called Scary/Monster/Beautiful, and it ran from October 7-18, 2009 at Gallery 1313 in Toronto. Bringing together art and fashion and music and writing, it was a truly wonderful and magical event, and we were very flattered to have the opportunity to curate a live performance for one of the evenings.

Inspired by the nature of the event, we decided that we should do something a little more interesting than just standing in front of a crowd and playing our songs, so we decided to present a headphone concert mostly because we really liked the idea of somebody walking into the space and seeing a bunch of people with headphones on listening very intently to a performance that nobody else could hear. It seemed very much in keeping with the solitary elements of Kalte’s music, and there was a sense of humour to the idea that really appealed to us as well.

We billed our evening as “Monsters in Your Head” and invited composer and cellist Nick Storring and L’Ombre to play with us because we really liked their music and we’d never had a chance to play with either of them before. We spent a lot of time trying to source headphones for people to use at the show and figuring out how to make it all work, but in the end it all came together and it was pretty great. As noted above, “Monsters in Your Head” stands as one of the best shows we’ve ever done, and it inspired us to start thinking about new ways that we could present the music that we were doing to new audiences in new spaces.

It would take a little while for those thoughts to fully form, but ultimately they would lead us to start a visual arts companion project to Kalte. We’ll tell you more about that project in a couple of days, but before we get to that we should tell you about our third album, which we’ll do after we share another surprise tomorrow…

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

A Short Video

With all of our recent discussion of live shows, it occurs to us that some of you may be interested to see some live footage of Kalte. Admittedly we don’t have much video of us performing, but here’s a clip from a show that we did In March 2011. In keeping with the glacial musical themes of our work, we chose to wear parkas for this one. Didn’t we look great?

Kalte Live at The Ambient Ping, March 2011

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

Posters

Once we had played our first two shows as Kalte we started doing more shows around Toronto. As stated previously, both of us have always enjoyed playing out so we’re always up for a gig when the opportunity presents itself (in fact we’re playing at Audio Bleed later this month if you’re interested…).

Over the years Deane has designed a number of posters and flyers to promote our events, so we thought we would take this opportunity to share some of our favorites.

Kalte Live @ Supermarket, June 22kalte-poster-08MAR2011-jpglrg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kalte-poster-29OCT2013Kalte, live July 8 at the Supermarket

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to showcasing some of Deane’s awesome work, we’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the awesome artists that we’ve had the opportunity to share a stage with over the years. Playing live is great, but playing live with such talented artists is even better!

Did you make it out to any of these shows? Send us an email at info@kaltemusic.com and let us know what you remember about them!

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

Playing Live

kalte_live_18aug09Following the release of “Glaciations” we were ready to do some shows, and given that they had been the inspiration for our working together in the first place, it seemed only natural that our first gig should be at The AMBiENT PiNG. We got in touch with Scott and Jamie about booking something and they offered us a spot as part of their 10th anniversary in August 2009, along with their own project dreamSTATE, and our friend Wally Jericho.

Having mapped out what we were doing with “Glaciations” we were ready to play the new material but we hadn’t been using the mapping technique during the recording of “The Lanthanide Series”, so we had to go back and figure out how to play everything from that album in a live setting. It was an interesting process, and required us to take apart the album and study each of its component parts individually, which gave us a new appreciation for what we were doing and some ideas about how we could develop and even further improve upon our processes, which would benefit the recording of our third release “Fissures” (more about that one later).

Once we had mapped all of the earlier songs out, we had to come up with a set list of what we wanted to play, and while we had no illusions that we had a beloved back-catalog of hits that we needed to roll out for the fans, we did want to make sure that we touched on highlights from both albums that we thought were relevant in terms of who we are as Kalte, and we also wanted to play some stuff that would sound good live, because you always want to sound good live. We opted to start with “Shallow Approach” because it’s the first song from “The Lanthanide Series”, and it seemed like a nice way to build up a set and create a tone for the performance. From there things started to fall into place nicely and pretty soon we had come up with about 40 minutes covering both albums that was properly mapped and ready for live performance.

Of course, mapping and choosing a set list, while still an integral part of the live process, is not the only thing you need to get ready for a gig. You also need to rehearse and practice and make sure that you know what to do. You have to identify any cues and you have to know where there are any sweet spots to stay in and any rough spots to be careful with. And even though our mapping technique allowed us to recreate our music live, we also had to work in space to be spontaneous and improvise as well, because when you’re feeling in the groove you really want to be able to keep groovin’, right?

Ultimately you have to know pretty much everything about your set to get the job done, and that takes a lot of planning out. One decision we made early on was to play a continuous set with no breaks rather than individual songs, as it would create a more consistent mood and it would also save us from any potential disasters as we loaded different songs. Even in those early days we were thinking ahead! We also had to figure out what to wear, and we cannot express how very important wardrobe is when you’re playing live. For the record, at our first show we both went with black jeans, white shirts and black ties. We looked great.

kalte_live_21aug09To make things even more interesting while we prepared for our first show, we were also offered a gig with the Akin Collective for three days after our spot at The AMBiENT PiNG. Neither of us are the kind of person to turn away an opportunity to play a show, so we said “Of course we’ll do it!” and we set about preparing for a second show while we were getting ready for our first. And you might think that would be easy, we could just play the same set and everything would be fine, right? Not quite. We decided that it would be more fun to come up with a completely new and different set for the second show. And it was fun, but it was also a bit of a scramble too. In the end we were able to get everything done in time for both sets, but we did have to make fast decisions about wardrobe for the second show. We opted for hoodies and sneakers, and we looked great at that show too.

You’ll be happy to know that both shows were well received and came off with no technical issues. We played some music, people enjoyed it, and we had fun doing it, which is pretty much the goal for any live show. They were both great experiences that pushed us a little bit further ahead in terms of what we were doing with Kalte, and they inspired us to do more shows in the future.

Which we did…

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

Make your own Kalte Remix!

kalte-10yearsofkalte-remix-package-vol1Are you a musician, producer or ambient artist? Would you like to remix, re-envision or re-create some of our material?

We thought we’d share a few of our raw samples that we have created over the past 10 years for you to download and have fun with.

 

Download link (30Mb):

http://www.kaltemusic.com/kalte_remix_packs/Kalte_The-Lanthanide-Series_Remix-Package.zip

If you do end up producing some music using our samples — perhaps by writing a new piece or incorporating them into your own material — please post them and let us know because we’d love to hear what you come up with!

And don’t forget to tag them with #10yearsofKalte!

 

Glaciations

GlaciationscoverHaving honed and developed a new work flow for recording that presupposed live performances, we found that Kalte 2 came together really quickly for us in comparison to “The Lanthanide Series”. Songs came together faster and we found that the Kalte ideals were becoming more evident, more fully realized. Even the Naming Ritual proved simpler, with a decision about the album’s name made pretty much the day we finished rough mixes. The new songs all had a strong feeling of Arctic cold and the slow growth of glaciers, so it only seemed natural to name it “Glaciations” in keeping with idea of “Glacial” music that we had worked towards while we were recording “The Lanthanide Series”.

Once we had a title and some names for songs, we were ready to send “Glaciations” out to see if anybody was interested to release it, and our first choice to send it to was Nathan Larson’s Dark Winter net label. Rik had met Nathan a few years earlier when he made the trip to Toronto to perform as part of a label showcase at The AMBiENT PiNG (see what we mean about them building an artistic community?) and he was really impressed by the artists that Nathan had pulled together. Nathan’s own project Samsa, ANGELswing, and Pholde were all really great projects who’s work resonated with Rik thanks to their shared dark and atmospheric aesthetic.

In the intervening time between meeting Nathan and “Glaciations” being recorded, Dark Winter had moved away from being a physical CD label and had set itself up as an online net label, so when we were looking to release “Glaciations” it seemed like a natural fit for Kalte, and we were pleased to find that Nathan thought so too.

“Glaciations” was released by Dark Winter on March 31, 2009, and once again we were very flattered to receive positive reviews from a handful of sites. On the Disquiet site, Marc Weidenbaum said “The result is a murky electronica, whose impact is strong even if — or, more to the point, because — the sounds themselves are mysteriously muffled.” Kirill Platonkin wrote on the Agniworld site that “every track has its history and sense background, and listening to the whole album reminds me of solving a riddle with making juxtapositions, uniting various elements into one conceptual system. For me, this investigation was a true pleasure.” Seeing people write things like this about our work has always meant so much to us, and we truly appreciate everybody’s efforts to help spread the word about Kalte.

We’ve got a special treat for you tomorrow, and then on October 12th we’ll tell you about our first ever show…

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

New Music and New Methods

mapsHaving found an audience and received some positive feedback from people about “The Lanthanide Series”, we decided to immediately start working on a new album, which was given the very clever working title of “Kalte 2″. We were both really excited by what we had done with our first release and it seemed like a good idea to maintain that excitement by getting back to work, not only to make some more music but also to develop our processes even further.

Around this time we also started talking about the idea of doing some live shows as Kalte, which added a new element of excitement to what we were doing, along with some new challenges and technical obstacles that we’d have to overcome. Figuring things out in a closed environment without anybody else around is totally fun, but playing in front of other people is a completely different experience that requires a very different mindset. For the most part in the studio you can easily focus on minutiae and detail and you usually have time to get everything exactly the way that you want it, but in a live setting you’re forced to think about the broader strokes of what you’re doing, and you have to exist in the moment to respond to any concerns or issues that may arise. Live performance can be like tightrope walking at times, but it’s a lot of fun to do and we were both really eager to find a way to play out as Kalte.

Among other considerations, one of the challenges we needed to figure out was how to map our what we would be doing live. During the recording of “The Lanthanide Sessions” we used index cards as a system to map out how sounds mingled and meshed with each other and where different actions would occur. The index cards would be laid on a white board and moved around to correspond to changes in the music. It worked well for us when we were in the studio, but playing live didn’t really allow us the opportunity to spread out in the same way. We needed to come up with a way to track the same information in a much more compact and concise way, which led us to develop a progressive mapping system, as seen in the photo at the top of this post. It may not seem like much from a visual standpoint, but in terms of the way that we worked it was a hugely significant leap in our development that allowed us to focus more steadily on what we were doing and easily recreate situations and events. We wouldn’t be amiss in saying that the progressive mapping system was a turning point for us not only in a live setting, but also within the studio.

So armed with our new mapping system, we started work on Kalte 2. In keeping with how we did “The Lanthanide Series” we came together with a stack of new sounds to use, and we started to group them in patterns that we thought worked best with each other, making sure to document the process in our maps. And when grouping was done we started to mix and tweak and process everything into the shape that we wanted it to be, and after a couple of months we had a new set of songs that we could recreate in a live setting when we were ready to do so.

All we had to do was come up with some names, release the new music, and book some gigs…

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

ampersand-etcOnce we released “The Lanthanide Series”, we were pleased to find that people were listening to it and liking it. We will always be grateful for that early support, and if you were one of those early supporters we think you’re pretty awesome!

agniworld-logoWe were also very flattered to receive some positive reviews and radio play for “The Lanthanide Series”, and we’d like to especially thank those reviewers and DJs for helping us spread the word about what we were doing as Kalte.

disquiet-logoOur very first review appeared in Disquiet shortly after the release of the album, noting “[t]he pieces each have an admirably through-composed feeling” which we took to be quite thoughtful. “The Lanthanide Series” also received mentions in Ambient Music Blog, Inq, Ampersand Etcetera, Foem, and Agniworld, and was selected as one of 2008′s highlights on the Classical-Drone website. Our track “Shallow Approach” was also featured on the 29th edition of “A Duck in a Tree”, the weekly radio program from :zoviet*france: which was a very pleasant surprise for us.

Finding an audience for Kalte was pretty amazing, so riding on that positivity we decided to record a new album. Join us tomorrow and we’ll tell you a little bit about that process…

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

Net Labels

Stasisfield LogoOnce “The Lanthanide Series” was finished, we had to figure out what to do with it. Our initial thought had been that we could release it ourselves, but it seemed more interesting to release it through a net label as we liked the idea of Kalte being part of a group of other like-minded artists. We had already been promoting our individual work for a number of years so we could easily do the same for Kalte, but in keeping with the idea of the AMBiENT PiNG and how they had established a community that inspired our own collaboration, we thought that putting out our first release on a net label would help us connect with even more artists that we could interact with and help us extend our existing community of shared support.

We started reviewing different sites to find a good match for what we were doing with “The Lanthanide Series”, focusing primarily on the idea of musical fit and a community based approach, and we found some really amazing music that was being made. Admittedly we were late coming to the net label party, which rose in popularity hand in hand with the mp3 boom, but in 2008 there was still a very vital culture of labels and artists putting out some truly awesome material. In particular Test Tube, Webbed Hand, and Kikapu were all releasing high quality work that we admired and were inspired by, and we made some really great musical discoveries on each of them.

But the gold standard for net labels in our estimation was Stasisfield. Curated by John Kannenberg, Stasisfield seemed to share a number of ideals with us, not only in terms of sound and community but also from an aesthetic standpoint. The Stasisfield website and releases were presented with a clean design with crisp lines and vivid graphics, and there was a dry sense of humour that ran throughout the site that we really appreciated. We sent a zip file of our tracks to John and we were quite flattered to hear that not only did he enjoy our work, but he was also interested in releasing it on his net label. John also volunteered to make a cover for the album, and when we saw the finished product we were thrilled with what he came up with, not only because it looked awesome but also because it so perfectly captured the sound of what we were doing.

“The Lanthanide Series” was released on Stasisfield on October 1, 2008, and we couldn’t be happier to have been part of such an incredible community of artists. Regrettably, Stasisfield is no longer putting out music and the releases have all been taken down, but we’re proud to be Stasisfield alumni and we’ll always be grateful to John for his early support. We’ve kept in touch with him over the years, and we strongly recommend that you check out his current project, The Museum of Portable Sound, a fascinating curated collection that celebrates the culture of sound, and where we are happy to see that John’s sense of humour is still very evident…

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

The Naming Ritual

kalte_logoOnce we had recorded some music, it seemed like a good idea to come up with a name for what we were doing, along with some song titles. That might seem like a really easy undertaking on the surface, but any musician will tell you that coming up with song titles is hard, and coming up with a band name is exponentially harder.

Band names need to encapsulate an ideal, a sound, an image, a style, all in one, two, or three words. And not only does it have to capture all of those things, it also has to be memorable, unique, catchy, and instantly recognizable. And perhaps most importantly, it really should be something that you’re okay with being identified with, because whatever name you choose is going to stick with you for as long as your band does. And that’s important to remember when everybody has had a couple of drinks and you’re all laughing at some pun that seems really clever at the time, but isn’t really that clever at all.

Having spent so much time talking about our sound and coming up with a vocabulary for what we wanted to do, we were able to narrow down our choices for names for our project pretty quickly, and there wasn’t a pun or a regrettable choice in the bunch. Glacial was a strong contender for a little while, but it didn’t quite work. Pika was entertained for about an hour, but it seemed like too much of an in-joke to really appeal for very long. Cold was a front runner for a while, that one seemed very sharp and applicable to many of the ideas we had been working with, but there was still something lacking. And then hidden amid some production notes we had been trading back and forth about the songs we were working on, one of us suggested Kalte which is the German word for Cold, and immediately we knew that’s what we wanted to be called. From that day on we stopped talking about what we were doing as “the project” or “our new project”, and we started talking about Kalte, and that felt pretty good.

Ten years on we’re happy to report that we still feel pretty good about being called Kalte.

Choosing song titles was a little more straightforward. Taking a cue from how we had each developed a series of sounds independently while we were recording the album, we decided to do the same thing for song titles, promising to mail each other ten possible names inspired by the vocabulary we had been using (heretofore known as the Kalte Vocabulary). And it worked. We each listened to the tracks we had been working on at the time and came up with titles that were in keeping with what we wanted to do and what we had been influenced by at the time, ultimately resulting in a cohesive through line that connected all of the tracks.

We’ll spare you having to read a list of all of the song titles that we came up with, mostly because we ended up using all of the best choices, but we wanted to share the following list of names that we put together for the album title;

1) Taiga

2) Lagomorpha

3) Inertial cavitation

4) This cat is important to me…

5) Lanthanide Series Volume One

Thinking about it now, we should probably take note of “This cat is important to me…”, that sounds like a really great name for the new album that we’re currently working on.

Anyway, you probably know by now that we ended up choosing “The Lanthanide Series” as the name of our first album. For those of you who are interested, the name is taken from a group of 15 chemical elements known as the Rare Earth Elements, and this idea of chemistry and elements and a series within the Periodic Table really seemed in keeping with the kind of things that we had been talking about while we were planning the project that would eventually become Kalte. It was a title that seemed to touch on a variety of reference points for us, and because of that we knew that it was the perfect name for our debut album.

So we had a name, we had music with some great song titles, and we had a great album title. All we needed to do was figure out what to do with all of it.

Come back tomorrow to see what we did…

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

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