Hazy psych-melodics from Brighton's Inwards, modulating between crisp beats, complex synth-textures, tender analogue grooves and far-dreamt vocal tones, Kristian Shelley fuses live and installed with a deft modular-digital synthesis, creating fluid electronics.
What or who inspired you to start making music?
In the beginning of making music, I guess it was Slayer and Pantera, old school metal basically. And then it kinda moved onto jazz-metal, like Meshuggah and crazy stuff, and then I started listening to more psychedelic music like Zappa, prog rock, and played in bands for years doing stuff like that… So there was that band phase, and then I basically quit all the bands, lost interest in music.
Then I found Apex Twin. And it totally blew my mind, and then Squarepusher and all of his buddies' music, and got well into all that and started going to raves and festivals. It was this one particular festival in Cornwall called Bangface in 2012. I went there and saw all of the music I love so much, and I met Aphex Twin and Luke Vibert, hung out with them and stayed in Luke Vibert’s caravan ‘cos I had nowhere, I didn’t take a tent! I met those guys and then when I got home, felt well inspired.
Can you say a little about an artist or two that have influenced your music, but in an implicit random or surprising way, that might not be immediately obvious through listening to your music?
When I was at Uni in Brighton, we had this dude come in, his name was Dr Gilbert Gabriel, a film music composer guy who did some lectures with us and he wanted to listen to our music. So I showed him a bit of stuff that I was making at the time, and it was really ambient, and he was like, this is amazing, I really love it, it really reminds me of Brian Eno. I did’t even know who Brian Eno was, I didn’t listen to ambient music or anything in that sphere of music. And then I basically listened to a load of Brian Eno and thought, yeah that’s weird it does sound a bit like Brian Eno, not as silky or well-made I guess, or well thought about, but there were definite elements…
It was a whole new door of music had been opened, a different type of music, his Thursday Afternoon has been a big influence, it’s almost like he didn’t make it, he just kinda set it up and let it happen and left it recording for an hour. And I found this band called Stars of the Lid, and that stuff’s great, that’s influenced me… but I never really set out to make music like that, I don’t wake up and get out of bed and go ‘right, I’m gonna make, like an ambient song’, it just kinda happens when it happens, I don’t know if those guys do it like that.
I guess stuff that’s influenced me, in a non-direct way has been Meshuggah. When I was in a metal band I wanted to make music like Meshuggah, I wanted it to be that interesting and complicated. But then when I started making electronic music, I wanted it to sound like the same sort of category as Warp records and stuff like that, then the Meshuggah influence starts creeping in, and that’s what makes it cool because your like, ‘oh yeah, I listened to Meshuggah for like 3 years and nothing else, and that’s actually had an impact on what I make now. Whether I think about it or not, that’s what’s going on. It’s not like I grew up listening to electronic music at all, the music that I set out to make when I first started was very, very different to now.
Can you name a couple of albums that you’ve particularly enjoyed recently?
Stars of the Lid 'The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid' is a good one.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre, 'Bravery, Repetition and Noise' that’s great.
Aphex Twin - 'Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008' so good.
Also stuff by Luke Abbot, Sun Sparks x Polymers, United Organics and Hypnotized.
Can you give us a clue as to what else you’re working on at the moment?
I kinda got this idea for this new album which ties in with the live stuff as well. So I guess, working on the new album or EP, don’t really know yet, it’s got a certain theme to it which is a bit of a secret… I’m trying to make stuff now, ‘cos the set-up I use for making stuff in the studio, is different to the set-up I use live, so I’m trying to bind them both together so it’s makes it easier to play stuff live.
Can you name a record label that's been catching your attention?
Well, basically there’s this new thing that kinda came out of Rephlex, the guy who ran it, Grant [Wilson-Claridge] started this new thing, it’s almost like a cult. It is a label, but it’s not, it’s like an event, check it out, it’s called www.colundi.net
Basically, there’s this guy called Aleksi Perälä who’s made all this music, him and Grant figured out a new musical scale called the Colundi Sequence. It’s more than a label, and it’s more than just music in a way.
Basically, I’ve been listening to a lot of that...
Euphony in Electronics
Euphony in Electronics 1.1
Kin;Aesthetic / Various:
Second First Impression (Remixed)