Kevin Knapp is a force to be reckoned with, a musical heavyweight known for his…
Hey Ost & Kjex, thanks for your time to do this interview.
Electronic Groove: How did you guys first meet, why did you start making music? Are you similar or different? Do you have different musical backgrounds or similar?
Ost & Kjex: We met through skateboarding when we were about 15 years old. We’ve been playing together ever since. I’d say we are both similar and different. As we have been playing together for over 25 years we share much of the same musical background. During those important teenage years we went through punk, hard core, death metal, industrial, indie, goth, wave you name it. Ending up discovering electronic music simultaneously. On a personal level we are quite opposite, but I guess that’s half the fun.
EG: Who does what in the studio; do you both have your own set of skills that you bring? Do you work certain bits of gear or one on bass, one on keys, etc?
Ost & Kjex: We started out in our teen years with me on bass and Kjex on guitars, but that’s a long time ago. Now a classic Ost & Kjex composition would be Kjex on production and me on vocals, but we also mix things up a lot. Bouncing ideas back and forth between us.
EG: What is it that makes your relationship work so well in the studio?
We like similar things in terms of production and it’s easy for us to communicate through music. We share a lot of the same preferences and tastes.
EG: What’s it like spending so much time together – do you ever fall out? Do you have pet hates about one another?
Ost & Kjex: Sure we fall out from time to time but we’ve proven to be more solid than the Beatles, so something must be right, gonna bite The Rolling Stones in their tails quite soon.
Don’t know about the pet hates. We have a kind of brotherly relationship with everything that involves.
EG: Tell us about your new album “Freedom Wig” for Diynamic Music – what inspired and influenced the EP?
Ost & Kjex: The eternal hunt for fame and glory and the search for a dance floor fix. We were hoping to get some tracky, yet artistic remixes that takes the music into territories we have not be able to. Luckily we got all these wonderful and diverse artists to do the work. Think the EP turned out really well as it’s got everything from the fucked up and funky version that Johannes Brecht did and the moody and artistic mixes of Christian Löffler and Rampa. Topping it of with Solomun’s dance floor bomb. Sweet!
EG: You have a long relationship with the label – what’s it been like working with them? What sort of guy is Solomun?
Ost & Kjex: Working with Diynamic has been truly fantastic. When we got together with Solomun in 2006 and he did the collaboration tune «Federgewicht», no one could foresee the growth of the label. They have stuck by us since. As people they are just normal nice people. Solomun is a standup guy without any fuzz. They all stepped in to help us make the last album happened in a very supportive way. We are quite touched by the whole thing really!
EG: Do you still use food as a source of sound for your music? Why did you do that?
Ost & Kjex: No, but maybe it’s time to bring it back! Why? Is a long story, but live sampling was quite something back then. We were very inspired by Matmos who had just released their «A chance to cut is a chance to cure» album, sampling noises of plastic surgery, Herbert’s live sampling and records. Jamie Lidell also did some fantastic live-sampling based, improvised sets around that time. Einstürzende Neubauten is also an important band for us up thru the years. Check the album «Tabula Rasa» for instance.
EG: What else is in your studio – hardware or software? Any other weird toys and tools that you cant live without?
Ost & Kjex: A bit of both hardware and software is needed for their different qualities. We think the software can be useful as is very precise and you need the hardware for the warmth and punch. We’ve been lending an old EFx box from a friend called MXR that will be hard to part with. It livens up any flat sound.
EG: What else you got coming up/are you looking forward to?
Ost & Kjex: Making some new tunes really. Figuring out where to go next!
EG: You always seem to have a smile on your face and humor in your music – is that important? Is dance music too serious?
Ost & Kjex: For us it’s been very important. When we started out, the name Ost & Kjex was a reaction to what we perceived to be quite an aloof esthetics in some of the dance scene. For us it was a way to redraw the rules and open up for bit of happiness. There’s nothing wrong with things being serious, but seriousness can also lead to something quite mannish and unsexy. A straight boy club with few women behind the decks or on the floor. I like music that has room for all the emotions that life offers; happy, sad, horny, dark, whatever.
EG: Thanks for your time guys!