This week sees the Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight presenting Arms and Legs wunderkind, Kristin Velvet, for the 14th edition of our exclusive mix series.
If you know your house and techno, then you’ll be well aware of Berlin imprint, Arms and Legs Records. And, by extension, if you know Arms and Legs Records, you will almost certainly be familiar with the really quite fantastic Kristin Velvet.
The critically acclaimed young producer has been making some rather delightful tidal waves, which originate from the cultural epicentre of Europe that is Berlin. It hasn’t taken them waves long to travel as far as the UK. We first heard Kristin‘s debut, I’m Kristin Velvet EP, back in 2012, and for the past five years she has been producing records that successfully bring together house and techno into a wonderfully mellifluous concoction.
It makes sense that Kristin would be signed to Arms and Legs Records. The Berlin imprint is owned by Daniel Steinberg and Nils Ohrmann, and the overall sound emanating from the Arms and Legs stable is one with more than a retrospective nod towards early house music. Kristin‘s productions fit perfectly into that ethos. You only need to listen to Slip Away from Velvet‘s debut EP to understand what we are talking about. The bumpy bassline, punctuated by the regular old-school synth stabs and disco-esque string elements really hark back to house music’s infancy.
Kristin‘s recent material, in particular her Skylar Awake EP, sees her erring more towards the tech-house side of the electronic sound, with a-side Skylar bringing a really rather wonderful racket to the ears of the listener. The bassline in the track is beyond infectious, buzzing around the listener like a punch-drunk hornet, while the minimal percussion takes a back seat, allowing the other constituents of Skylar to take centre stage.
Awake, on the other hand, features some classic retro-house tropes that place the track well into the early house mold, in particular the vocal, which is somewhat reminiscent of, dare we say it, elements of Latin house. Both tracks are incredibly strong productions from Velvet, and we look forward to what she has in store next, production-wise.
Not only has Kristin been busy in the studio, with her productions for Arms and Legs and her extra-special production for our House for The Homeless compilation, she’s also been working hard behind the decks. She has put together this excellent contribution to our Waveform Mix Series.
Kristin is confirmed to play our House for The Homeless Album Launch on July 15th. This mix is perfect for giving you a taster of what is to come and really illustrates Kristin‘s diverse musical influences, as she flits between genres in her own inimitable fashion. Combining house, techno, broken beat, and all manner of other styles, the mix is an intoxicating cocktail, so hot it is best served over ice.
Anyway, anyone who ends their mix on a Luke Vibert track is getting top marks in our book. We simply can’t wait to see her, and her labelmate Daniel Steinberg, hitting Liverpool in what will be a debut for both artists. In the meantime, you can check out her mix, below. First, though, let’s see what the talented Miss Velvet had to say for herself when she shot the breeze with our Ste Knight.
Waveform: Hi Kristin! Thank you for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to have a natter with us. We’ll start with the basics, tell us how you found yourself entering the world of DJing and music production.
Kristin: Hi Ste! My first experience DJing was around 2005. It was the indie dance new rave era and I had just moved to Tokyo. I didn’t know anyone so I started going to underground parties in Shibuya and Shinjuku by myself and eventually became friends with the party crews. The first time I was invited to DJ was at a party called MEAT in Ni-Chome, it was like a movie… the Tokyo club kids would get so dressed up. It was incredible time. After I left Tokyo I didn’t DJ again till a decade later in Berlin, having spent the ensuing years as a label manger at the majors I was quite happy promoting the musical careers of other artists while keeping my Kristin Velvet project as an anonymous side project. Encouraged by my friends when I moved to Berlin I eventually got back behind the decks and low and behold loved the shit out of it!
Waveform: You are signed to Daniel Steinberg’s Arms and Legs Records. Can you give us a bit of an insight into how that came to fruition?
Kristin: I met Daniel while he was touring in Australia, we had a hilarious time bonding over the cheesiest of 80ies and 90ies pop, not what I expected from an underground Berlin producer! After that fateful meeting, we just kept in contact, helping one another with music, the label and life. I think Daniel is a true genius, he has taught me so much.
Waveform: You’ve just contributed an awesome mix to our Waveform Mix Series. What processes do you go through in selecting tracks for your mixes?
Kristin: Thanks Ste glad you like it! I shortlisted about 30 tunes that I’ve been enjoying and playing, then mixed them live – seeing what fits and feels good… some tracks fell out others that I hadn’t planned jumped in.
Waveform: You recently performed at Sisyphos. How was that?!
Kristin: Wonderful! Open minded crowd, great sound and a nice long 4-hour set on a Sunday afternoon at one of the best clubs on the planet. What more could a DJ ask for?!
Waveform: We were delighted to announce recently that you are a part of our House for the Homeless compilation record. What did you use as inspiration for your track?
Kristin: Thank you for inviting me to be a part of such a wonderful initiative; it’s a big honour! I made ‘Fantasy’ a while back, as with most of my tracks inspiration struck in the early hours of the morning after a big night out dancing.
Waveform: What has Kristin Velvet got lined up for the rest of 2017? Anything you are particularly excited about?
Kristin: I have a lot of exciting projects up in the air at the moment, butterflies are doing cartwheels in my stomach – if even half of the projects come to fruition I’ll be really happy girl.
Waveform: Thanks again for chatting with us, Kristin. We’ll see you on July 15th!
Kristin: Thanks for the chat, cannot wait to see you in Liverpool!
1. Brother Dan & Kyle Park – Sea Level’s Rising
2. Stefano Crabuzza – Turn It Up
3. tIJN – Underwater
4. Martin Landsky – Weird Night
5. Middath – Butterface
6. Daniel Steinberg & Oliver Dollar – Computer Madness
7. A.Pelch – Syntetic Bass
8. Saison – Do You
9. Jose Zaragoza – You Feel
10. St Germain – Rose Rouge (Spiller Rouge Mix)
11. Phill Weeks – She Cant Love You (Instrumental Version)
12. Kristin Velvet – F.O.Beat
13. Chez Moon – Away (J.Paul. Getto Instrumental Version)
14. GAWP – Trunked
15. Luke Vibert – Jack