Kite Base is an electronic duo consisting of bass guitarists Ayse Hassan (Savages) and Kendra Frost. After releasing tracks ‘Dadum’ and ‘Miracle Waves’ online, plus a cover of ‘Something I Can Never Have’ by Nine Inch Nails, the band have generated tens of thousands of listens and gained further support from the likes of KEXP, BBC Radio 6Music, The Guardian, Pitchfork and Stereogum. This October, in support of their local music community, they revealed details of their debut physical release ‘Soothe’, available as a limited edition 7″ vinyl via Flashback Records- a London based independent record store and label. They have a Tempest called Alan, named after Mr. Turing and he is their surrogate third band mate.
We chatted with Kendra Frost and Ayse Hassan about how they’re using the Tempest.
What made you choose the Tempest?
“Kite Base started out as the two of us jamming bass lines over GarageBand on an iPad! We wanted to see if the concept even worked initially and once we realised that we could make two basses sound like something other than mud, we began investigating hardware options for our beats. We were keen to avoid using a laptop on stage, so tested out a variety of things and were about to invest in something when a sound engineer friend of ours asked if we’d tried a Tempest. Which of course ended up blowing everything else out of the water! It’s all his fault. We haven’t spoken to him since!“
How are you using it?
“Alan (our Tempest) is Kite Base’s third band mate. Aside from live and processed vocals and two bass guitars, all of our sounds are generated by Alan. We compose using DAW’s also, but that’s mainly for ease when constructing vocal arrangements and a skeleton for the beats, which are then translated across to and padded out by the Tempest. The Tempest is an imperative part of our sound.“
What’s one of your favorite things about it?
“For such a powerful machine, it’s really compact and lightweight- this is a Godsend when you’re already carting around two 8×10 bass amps! It’s our go-to piece of kit to take away for inspiration and jotting down ideas.”
What does it give you that other instruments might not?
“It’s a box of delights. Due to its physical set up, it entices you to spend time with it over the instant gratification of pressing down a key on a keyboard, so it feels more rewarding in a way. I feel like every time we approach it, it reveals something new; we create a new sound or discover something we didn’t know it could do before. The more time you spend with it, the more you develop your own unique dialogue with it and as there seem to be so many ways to approach working with it, the scope for uncovering new ‘secrets’ is huge.”
Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
“The arpeggiator function that came along with the latest OS update is just lovely to play with. Within this feature, I love sculpting a nice synth sound, hitting record, holding down and alternating a few pads with the sequence running and then live modulating the quantisation so you get some really lovely, random arpeggiating sequences with fluctuating timings- something arbitrary that you definitely wouldn’t have written consciously. It’s that random element that really floats our boat about the Tempest, the blurred line between you controlling it and where Alan is doing it all by himself...“
Kite Base website – http://kiteba.se
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