Kilter Interview - Classy Electro

If you are even remotely aware of the Australian electronic scene, you’ve definitely heard of Sydney producer, Kilter. Since the release of his Through The Distortion LP, Kilter has been tinkering away writing new music and working with a series of trending acts in the scene. We caught up with Kilter ahead of his performance at Newcastle’s Up Down Festival to chat about his career progression, writing new music, and performing.

Futuremag Music: How’s life, what’s new?

Kilter: Life has been good. I’ve had a pretty cruisy year so far. I’ve played my first show of the year and I sneaked some new material into it which was cool. I’ve been working the kinks out live which is nice, so by the time Up Down Festival rolls around the new ones should be sounding great!

Futuremag Music: How has your approach to music changed since you launched the Kilter project?

Kilter: I feel if you ask that to any artist, they’ll say that their earlier work is almost unlistenable to them, hahaha. I feel I’ve definitely progressed in the production side of things and I’ve refined what the Kilter sound is. I’ve totally hit my stride with my 2017 album, and since then I’ve elaborated on the ideas I explored on that record. I’m sitting on a huge amount of music, so that’s really exciting. It’s definitely been a continual journey.

Kilter by Maclay Heriot

Kilter by Maclay Heriot

Futuremag Music: Talking about the developing production process. How does that compare between your original releases and working as a co-producer for other artists?

Kilter: For my originals, my process has changed from using samples to forming original loops. Before I reached the point where I am now, the easy way to start a song off was from a sample. I guess that’s sort of how you work with other people too. I recently worked on a song for CLYPSO, and previously I’ve worked on things with Nicole Millar. In those circumstances, I wasn’t in the initial writing sessions, so I was given a vocal and maybe a bit of production. That was sort of like a throwback to the sampling days where I had bits to work with. It’s crazy how fast the process is when you have a jumping off point. I really enjoy doing production for other people.

Futuremag Music: How do you translate your studio recordings into a live setting?

Kilter: This is why I mentioned it was nice to test out tracks live. My live show is quite extensive, I have a heap of synths, and almost a full drum kit on stage, so I constantly have that in mind while making music. Basically when a song is nearing completion and start performing it, I take out parts I want to play live and leave the rest of the song to play on track. After practicing the live track you realise some parts might not work live so you amend it. The arrangements of tracks will alter depending on if it’s for recordings or live shows. It’s very much trial and error. I’ve been performing as Kilter for five years now, so I’ve learnt what works live and what doesn’t.

Futuremag Music: Are we going to hear any of that unreleased music at Up Down Festival?

Kilter: Ahh it will be very close; the next single is at mixing and mastering now. If the track isn’t out, it will be very soon after. A bit of a teaser at Up Down for sure.

Futuremag Music: What’s your favourite part of performing? 

Kilter: There aren’t many fun parts for preparing to perform, but when it comes to the actual performance, I really love playing festivals. There’s something really nice playing out in the sun if I have an early set or if it’s at night all the lights going. I remember when I was down in the crowd how awesome it was to see artists perform, I guess it’s the same feeling but reversed. 

Futuremag Music: What kind of vibe are you bringing to Up Down Festival?

Kilter: I’m going to be bringing a lot of already released material, but I’ll also be throwing some new stuff in there. It’s going to be a dance vibe, high energy, and a lot of live elements to watch. It’s been over a year since I put any new tunes out, so it’ll be exciting for fans to hear the new releases. I want to show people what I’ve been working on.

Futuremag Music: To wrap it up, if “Kilter” was a cocktail, what would be in it to best describe yourself and your music?

Kilter: Ooooo, I reckon it would be a nice spiced rum and pineapple juice, and maybe a bit of grapes too. It’s classy electro with a bit of flair!

See Kilter at Up Down