We are very pleased to announce that the inaugural Neuronaut Podcast, or NeuroCast as we like to call it, will be hosted by none other than the mighty Kano from Sinuous Records. This London based independent label are arguably one of the finest producers of Drum & Bass in the known world and with a roster of talent that includes the likes of Maztek, Displaced Paranormals and Future Signal they are poised to continue serving your techy rolling beats up on a hot turntable right up until the next apocalypse.
Without further ado it is our great pleasure to welcome Kano and Sinuous Records as we get locked down to NeuroCast: 001. Why not read the following interview with Kano whilst bathing in these ferocious beats. Enjoy!
How and when did the young Kano first become aware of Drum & Bass?
Originally, I was a semi-professional skateboarder and travelled round the country entering competitions. A group of Londoners used to travel down to a skate park in St Albans with a stereo playing old skool rave music. It was then that I was exposed to early acid house and rave which formed the basis of drum & bass. I got a copy of their cassette and listened to it…I’ve been hooked ever since.
Sinuous Records is a mainstay label of the techy side of drum & bass, could you please give us a little insight into the history of this pioneering label?
I started the label up in 2002 over 10 years ago after I was inspired by artists like Stakka and Skynet, Conflict and Renegade Hardware. I’ve always played this style of music as a DJ, but I managed to create a contact with Air Tight Studios: the home of Audio Blueprint, and artists like Raiden, Lynx and Friction before any of these guys were discovered. This gave me the inspiration to put a label together and supply these guys an outlet for their music.
What have you got cooking for Sinuous in 2013?
We have a digital release from some new, exciting artists coming in March. We also have a vinyl 12″ from minor rain. Additionally, I’m doing some collaborations in the studio and releasing a new e.p. at a later stage this year. What’s more, we’ve got a new range of t-shirts coming out which have picked up a lot of interest because of the previous designs’ success. Three designs will be up for grabs in late march.
Do you prefer to spend time in the studio or behind the decks on tour?
I enjoy touring immensely because you obviously get to travel the world and experience new cultures. There’s also nothing better than meeting the people who support your sound as this gives you the inspiration to work harder. However, the studio gives me an outlet for my creative impulse which I find satisfying as I know I’m getting something at the end of it.
Your music is like the film-score to the movie in my head- could you please explain a little of your thought process when crafting a new tune?
I just let it flow really. We usually have a general idea of what we’re going for (e.g. dance floor track, something minimal) but it requires listening to a wide range of sounds in order to know exactly what we want. I kind of treat a tune as a blank canvas using the different sounds and textures as colours.
With many D&B acts now taking to the stage in a live format, do you see this as something that you would like to develop for your own events?
No, because the Sinuous sound is inherently futuristic and computerised so it’d be difficult to translate outside of a live p.a.
Do you feel that finding cutting edge visual techniques to further push the music is an important focus of building a strong label? Can labels afford to rely solely on music alone?
Well, getting your music heard on any format and any media platform is ideal because as an artist you want as many people to hear as possible. I think any multimedia platform has to be secondary to the music or compliment it in some way. When you’re an independent label it’s hard to explore every media avenue because ultimately you need a team of specialists and financing. Ideally, I’d love do it all but time constraints and money means these thing will have to wait!
Sinuous artwork has a strong minimalist design that fits the music perfectly, do you have a love for art and if so which visual artists/blogs/sites do you check out?
Clearly, I do! I feel it’s important for the listener to be visually stimulated as well as drawn to the music. I feel they’re hand-in-hand and each release should have its own unique flavour. There are a few artists/graphic designers I follow for many years including:
From your perspective, how do you see the underground British bass music industry in five years time?
It’s hard to tell because it’s so unpredictable at the moment. In my opinion, there are only two options: booming or flat on its face! But I see vinyl being phased out and replaced by a specialist market where they’re more treated as limited editions like dub plates. Maybe subscriptions to labels with a fee, stuff like that.
As a label that needs to sell units to stay in existence, how do you feel about the war on piracy and in your eyes how do you think it could be resolved?
Piracy isn’t going anywhere. It’s been here for years, and with how the internet is it’s impossible to stop without infringing on people’s civil liberties. Even artists give away their music now because they know it’s going to be pirated! It obviously takes money away from the artists but I knew what I was getting into when I started the label.
Have you ever experienced anything paranormal or unexplainable, if so please explain?
Not really, I’ve had a few shivers down the spine but mostly that’s me darking myself out!
I believe there is a force that guides me through life and this has been further highlighted during my experiments with DMT. Do you have any alternative beliefs that help shape your decision-making?
You could say I like my ‘green tea’ which helps me in the studio and shape the concepts of my label. I’ve been underground for many years so my views are obviously going to be alternative compared to other lifestyles.
If Apple launched their iTimeTravel pod, which time period in history would you choose to visit first?
I love old skool hip hop and would love to go back to that time in America when it was just blowing up. People like Grandmaster Flash and Herbie Handcock have an influence on all the music I listen to.
I can’t help but like The Osmonds Crazy Horses- have you any guilty pleasures?
I don’t get much time away from electronic music but I’d love to catch up with more bands and be more knowledgeable. However, I do like to watch stuff like Jools Holland and sometimes I listen to the top 40 just to see what’s current. Got to say I love a bit of Abba. When I’ve got a beer in my hand I’ll listen to anything and appreciate it for what it is.
Life is a continual learning curve, so what is the most important lesson that you have learned so far?
Keep business and pleasure separately. But there’s no reason you can’t have both in an equal partnership.
Once again a massive thank you to Kano & all at Sinuous Records. Please let us know what you think to the mix and/or the interview in the comments below!