SYDNEY producer Kilter, aka Ned East, has fallen in love with distortion.
Yet the love affair is a million miles away sonically from ‘90s-style distortion produced on guitar pedals. Instead East has been investigating the electronic distortion or destruction of sounds on his debut album.
Through The Distortion, released last week, covers a variety styles like house, hip-hop and calypso, but produced in a manner unique to the Northern Beaches local.
“The more that I worked and the closer I got to finishing, my production style had developed a fair bit and drastically changed since my last EP [Shades],” East said.
“A lot of that had come from being more willing to rip apart sounds and distort or destroy them. That was the concept behind the record, creating music through distortion and mess.”
Australian electronic dance music has never been more in vogue internationally. Thanks to Flume’s massive success with his second record Skin, that won a Grammy in February for best dance/electronic album, attention has focused on Sydney’s bedrooms to undercover the next club superstar.
“It’s cool because it’s a lot of right place right time,” East said. “There’s something about the scene here that developed around Flume, RÜFÜS and Alice in Wonderland. I guess it’s given legitimacy to what everyone’s doing.
“Because of the initial Flume success everyone was looking over here, like what’s next from Australia and what’s everyone doing over here.”
And Kilter could be Australia’s next international EDM star. Last week US giant Billboard premiered Kilter’s track Treasure, featuring South African rapper Espacio Dios.
Dios is one of a host of vocal talents used by East on Through The Distortion. Others include Lanks (Count On Me), Yates (Without A Trace) and Woodes (Waste Time).
Each of the collaborations were written by East with the individual vocalists specifically in mind, rather than searching for a voice for a pre-existing track.
“If I’m preparing a session, I will listen to the music that the singer makes because I feel it’s a collaborative work, so you have to meet halfway,” he said.
“The people I chose to work with were people I thought could take my style to an interesting place it otherwise would not have gotten to.”
However, East admitted working directly in the studio with various vocalists created greater anxiety during the writing process.
“Before this I was used to writing a heap of bedroom beats and sending off options to singers,” he said. “This time around I got in the room with them. Even if it was stressful and hard at a point, it always ended up being a great result.”
Catch Kilter at the Cambridge Hotel on June 25.