Keys n Krates are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. They recently wrapped up their first BBC Radio 1 mini mix, dropped their super hot Lucid Dreams EP and remixed the likes of everything from Kanye West to Zedd. Call them a triple threat because Adam Tune, David Matisse, and Jr. Flo are looking like they are about to destroy your speaker systems in 2013. Adam Tune masters the drums, David Matisse works his magic on the synth machine and Jr. Flo has the golden touch on the turntables. Together, they've seamlessly found a medium between hip-hop, electronica, and jam. To put it simply, Keys N Krates seamlessly master raw samples and twist them with live instrumentation, creating a truly unique sound that is a rare find in the current state of electronic music. I fortunately had a chance to interview the threesome, who share everything from how they linked up to their biggest vices. Be sure to check out their entire repertoire and the interview below.
Earmilk: Hello gentleman thank you for taking some time for the Earmilk readers, let’s start with how Keys N Krates came about? How and when did you guys link up?
Keys n Krates: We met through a mutual friend named Abby who introduced us all knowing we wanted to all try something new with live instruments, Djing, and live sampling.
EM: Do you prefer to work together rather than pursuing a solo careers?
Tune: I think the three of us make a good team and really love what we are doing collectively right now. Great chemistry.
EM: Tell me a little bit about your live show and your “live re-mixing”
Flo: Our live show is what really gave birth to this whole thing. At first we just really wanted to do something new and cool that was live, so we started with doing these live remix/covers of rap tunes and jamming on those. We always wanted to be a modern party band so we very early on wanted to draw on pop culture references to get people into it right away. However, we eventually started making our own beats and music that was more bass driven so we had to figure a way out how to play that live and keep with our mantra of doing everything 100 percent live with no backing tracks. So we replaced our live kick with a trigger kick that plays a lot of 808s and punchy kicks and that was kind of the game changer for us, in having a bigger more bass driven sound, and also having our own original beats incorporated into our show. So now when you come to see us it's a lot of our own music but mashed up with familiar samples and references. It's a party.
EM: What are some new sounds that you’ve been experimenting with?
Flo: Just trying to find a lot of cool weird samples and sounds that other people don't use. We take samples from anywhere whether it be youtube, or old records, or sample packs and just try and freak the shit out of it so it's not recognizable anymore. The hook on "Treat Me Right" is a great example of that.
EM: You are on the rise and have such a fresh futuristic sound. Which artists do you think are pushing the enveloping and coming up with a unique sound like yourselves?
Tune: We really love cats like Baauer, Grandtheft, Cashmere Cat, Hudson Mohawke, Ryan Hemsworth, Thugli, Salva, and Diplo.. So many. So many amazing people pushing the envelope right now.
Flo: Also shout that dude "Branchez" .. his Rihanna remix is beautiful.
EM: Have you ever jammed with a guitarist or thought about adding one to your group?
Tune: We kinda hate guitarists (laughs). They play too much and have no sensibility more often than not.
EM: Do you have a wish list of artists you would you love to collaborate with?
Flo: Not a huge one. Stoked we could remix our homie Grandtheft's "hear this".. That was an honour cause he's so talented and a good friend. Would also love to make a tune with Salva. His new ep is faaqin outta here!
EM: How you used Bassnectar’s “Ugly” and Diplo’s “Express Yourself” is brilliant and unconventional. How do you find inspiration and direction for your songs?
Matisse: That is actually a live mashup of two different bootleg remixes we did. We bootlegged Bassnectar's "ugly" as well Usher and Diplo's "climax" last spring, and they both killed it online for us (despite Universal taking down "Climax" lol). We somehow stumbled on mashing them up together into one live jam for our show and it worked out really well cause the live take on the whole thing references our remixes, but really has it's own vibe and energy to it all together. You have to come to our shows to experience it and we are really proud of that.
EM: The Lucid Dreams EP in my opinion is so fresh and awesome and differs from your body of work, what was the inspiration behind it?
Tune: We really wanted to make little collection of sexy, dreamy, vibey, atmospheric, and poppy beats that was intended more for home listening than the club, but still bass driven.
Flo: We wanted to make something for the ladies (laughs). We actually contemplated calling it "wet dreams" but decided against it.
EM: If you were curating your own festival, whom would you choose as the headliner?
Tune: Maybe M83 cause they're music and show is so huge and epic.
Flo: Maybe Araabmuzik cause he's just insane.
Matisse: Maybe Major Lazer cause that's one of the craziest parties I've ever seen.
EM: I’ve heard you guys enjoy pranks on the road. What is the best pranking story you have?
Matisse: We aren't actually that big on pranks, probably cause we spend so much time together that if we were constantly pranking, it would mean living in constant fear. Tune once urinated on Flo's DJ bag in New York, but that was more of an incident than a prank.
EM: If you had all the money in the world and were able to pull off the ultimate prank, what would you do?
Flo: Oh man, I don't even know if I could exercise that kind of cruelty.
EM: If you weren’t pursuing music, what would we find you doing?
Matisse: I'm sure we'd all be doing something to do with music.
Flo: I was going to be a therapist for real. I might be Frasier Crane.
Tune: I quit my job at IBM to sleep get in a van with these two idiots.
EM: Biggest vice?
Tune: Eating fast food in bed.
Matisse: Girls I do adore.
EM: Favorite track to play out?
Matisse: We love opening our show with our new single "Treat Me Right". Goes off!
EM: Best advice you’ve ever received?
Flo: "Just because you can it doesn't mean you should."
EM: Celebrity crush?
Tune: Sandra Bullock
Matisse: Sandra Bullock
Flo: Ashley Banks when she was dating Urkel.
EM: Favorite meal?
Flo: Butter chicken from Banjara in Toronto.
Tune: Ghandi's roti in bed.
Matisse: Fettucini Alfredo at any diner.
EM: Lastly what can we expect from you in the upcoming months?
Matisse: More music and shows! An EP called "SOLOW" with Dim Mak and a free single with Annie Mac for her "free mondays". Also keep checking out tour dates to see when we hit your town.