Whoa didn’t realize it till this morning but today is our 250th mix!!! Can’t think of a better way to introduce the newest member to the LAMP family with this new mix from Keyspan. We met Keyspan about 9 months ago and he has been working with the team behind the scenes while really honing in on his productions skills. He is an accomplished selector as you will discover in his mix he put together for you all this week. Extremely intelligent and thoughtful, Keyspan has a thorough understanding of how to manipulate soundscapes in way that is smooth while keeping you engaged and grooving hard. In addition to his incredible mxix we are also happy to share his debut release with LAMP today “As Within”. Enjoy the mix along with his new song while you dive into our interview with and get to know Keyspan a little better.
This week we are excited to present the newest member of the LAMP family to you: Keyspan. Enjoy!
Josh Brooks: Thank you for putting together an incredible mix. Tell our audience what you have in store for them this week.
Keyspan: My pleasure and thank you for having me! Definitely an exciting week – as you mentinoed my first mix as part of the LAMP family dropped on Tuesday, and first official single will drop this Friday, also via LAMP. Really happy and grateful to share both.
JB: We could not have been more fortunate to have someone of your talents and abilities join the LAMP family. For our audience who is just getting to know you can you share a little bit about your musical background. What were some inspiring moments that led you to music production?
K: Thanks for the kind words! My dad is a musician so it’s always been a significant part of my life in one way or another. I started producing music using a software called Reason when I was in high school, in the SF bay area during the tail end of the Hyphy movement, which was a vivid time for music there. At the time I was making hip hop beats for friends, influenced by the bay area rap we were listening to: Mac Dre, Andre Nickatina, Too Short, E40, Mistah FAB, The Pack, stuff like that.
After high school I ended up making the decision to go to engineering school in LA (civil engineering, not audio engineering – hah), which put most of the creative stuff on hold. I started listening to electronic music in college though, and took time over the summers to make beats and learn Ableton. The LA “beat scene” was big at that time (or at least it felt that way living in LA), so I was influenced by Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, Tokimonsta, and the other producers that revolved around Low End Theory, which was a weekly event in LA.
After college I worked full-time for a while doing corporate strategy, very much still with a love for music but strictly as a listener and attendee of various music festivals / shows – then a friend who I used to make music with in high school sent me a bunch of old demos we had made, and I realized how much I missed it and had gotten cut off from that creative energy. So for the last few years I’ve been producing as much as I can – currently doing the corporate thing part-time and focusing on music part time, which has been an awesome balance.
JB: On Friday 10/19/18 LAMP will be debuting your first release on the label. We are excited to share it with the world and can’t wait to see the reactions from our audience. Can you give us a little insight into the development of the track?
K: Yeah definitely – super excited for this release. I first sketched out the demo for “As Within” in January 2018. At the time I was reading the books “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle and “Anam Cara” by John O’Donahue, both of which had a big impact on me and inspired the creation of a batch of new music. Over the course of the year I continued to refine the demo, and it finally came into its own late in the summer after workshopping the track with the LAMP staff: yourself [Josh Brooks], Alex [Slater], and Damon [Steele].
A little context about the name of the track – “As Within” is from the Hermetic saying “As within, so without; as above, so below,” which is something that pops up in both of the books I mentioned. To me, this speaks to the concept that that whatever we have inside of ourselves (“as within”) translates directly to our experience of the broader world (“so without”), and that whatever divinity that exists in the universe (“as above”) is made manifest here in our lives on earth (“so below”).
I like this idea, because it suggests that by cultivating and refining our inner experience we can exercise a degree of control over our experience of life as a whole. The song reminds me of that thought: that we create our own reality, and the responsibility for our individual experience always lies internally, in terms of the lens through which we respond to and internalize the things that happen in our respective lives.
JB: Take us into your production mind for a minute. What process do you go through when you get into the studio to make music. Do you usually have something already in mind before you set out to start crafting the song? When you sit down to make a track, what are some initial things you always do before getting started?
K: With “As Within” and in general, I’m much more likely to sit down and start making something and have it develop organically through the production process, rather than having it in my head to begin with. I love the sound design and tech side of production, so I spend some sessions tinkering with creating synth patches and stuff like that, with no intention of producing anything like a song – and then other sessions I’ll sit down with some sounds/patches I’ve created and improvize for a while, with the intent of making a beat. That’s how As Within was created, just from iterating on that process.
As far as initial things I would typically do before getting started working on something – one kind of odd thing that I have an infatuation with is morning routine. My most focused time in the day is usually the morning, and at a given time I tend to have a bunch of things I am experimenting with as part of that routine, before diving into my work. Over the past couple years I’ve experiemented with a variety of weird diets, differnent types of fasting, styles of meditation, types of exercise/stretching/yoga, writing/journaling, reading, timing for sleep cycles – lots of different combinations of stuff like that. Obviously kinda crazy – but when I have a really good morning, I tend to have a good day as well, so it’s fun.
JB: Are there any other releases on the horizon or pieces of music you are working on that you are excited to get out there next?
K: Yep, absolutely – there will be more releases coming. I’ve currently got a number of tracks that are maybe 80% done which I’d love to get out there in one form or another. The last couple months DJing has been taking up a lot of music-related time, so I’m working on a balance there with studio time.
JB: You have also been running your own night “Dissolve” in Downtown LA at a really cool spot that had a good run of events. LAMP did a take over with Fabisch, and you regularly have some talented local guest DJ’s. Know you’re currently on hiatus due to managerial changes at the venue, but are there any plans to move the night somewhere else?
K: Thanks, yeah we had a super fun summer with Dissolve, nothing like a good dance party! Had some really incredible nights there with talented acts like Fabish, Damon Steele, Yosi Sela, Syntax, and Freddy Spacer. It’s been a learning experience and both humbling and gratifying building something from the ground up. Like you mentioned, Dissolve is on hiatus due to changes at the venue – but with any luck we will be back in action in the near future. We’ll keep everyone updated via the event Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dissolvenights/
JB: As an artist it is important to surround yourself with other likeminded individuals. Who are a couple of your mentors and what is the best piece of advice you have been given by another artist?
K: Agreed, I feel super grateful for the mentors and role models in my life! Other than the LAMP team from whom I’ve learned a ton over the past few months – my dad and my good friend Walker Ashby (Toy Light) are the two that come to mind first. Walker started pursuing music in earnest a few years earlier than I did, and from the very start his commitment to his vision has made an impression on me. I think the lesson I continue to learn from Walker is that at the end of the day, it’s the qualities that are unique and different about each of us as an artist that are interesting – while it’s not always easy to be different and really embrace the weirdness that makes us “us,” that’s what we really need to do in order to be true to ourselves and create to our true potential, to break new ground. That’s something that’s made an impression on me that I like to keep in mind.
JB: What is your current studio setup like? If money were no object how would you build our your dream studio?
K: Current production setup is super stripped down – just Ableton, a Push 2, a few favorite plugins, a handheld field recorder, and a basic interface/monitors/headphones. I have some rackmount gear and other control surfaces but have been really focused on the minimal setup. All else being equal, of course I’d love to build an arsenal of mean analog gear and intend to do so at some point… but I think there is also value and beauty in restricting the tools that we use to create, beacuse it helps keep the focus on the art and process. Or at least that’s what I tell myself!
JB: What is your favorite thing to listen to when you want to get away from all the house and tech stuff?
K: I love ambient/downtempo stuff – the artist Yppah is a favorite. Some others would be Brian Eno, Bill Evans, Claude Debussy, Gaussian Curve, as well as the more reflective stuff from producers like Jon Hopkins and Aphex Twin.
JB: Is there anything else coming up in your world that we should know or you want to tell us about that we should be keeping an eye/ ear out for?
K: Stay tuned for more production releases on the horizon, and the next iteration of Dissolve! Anyone interested in any of that can keep an eye on my IG for updates: https://www.instagram.com/keyspan_/
JB: Thank you so much Keyspan and welcome to the family! Looking forward to the release of your track on Friday in addition to all of the great music that is to come in your career.
K: Thank you so much… cue prayer hands emoji : )
La Fleur – Reflections
Denis Sulta – Nein Fortiate
Hauswerks, Huxley – Make It Right
Cristoph – Rapture
Scuba – Hardbody
Recondite – Valvate
Anthony Naples – OTT
Paul Woolford – Forevermore
Dosem – Linked
Mind Against – Cloud Nine
Loco & Jam – A Pinch Of Spice
DJ Dozia – Pop Culture (KiNK Mix)
Jackie Mayden – Raver Crystals (Kastis Torrau Remix)
Skee Mask – Session Add