Kloves: Profiles in Canadian Electronic Music
I talked to Calgary techno producer/DJ Kloves about her inspirations, her creative process and her plans for the future.
Kloves has always had music in her life. Her grandfather was a drummer and her father played guitar. This background was combined with a burgeoning interest in electronic beats that started when she was in high school. Kloves says, “I got a MacBook for one of my birthdays and started dabbling in GarageBand. At the time, I really focused on guitar so I combined the two. My first project was more of an electroacoustic project which I’m not proud of any more, but at the time it was pretty sweet.”
She continues, “I progressed into more advanced software and learned how to operate and fool around with Ableton Live. I transitioned from the electro-pop-acoustic sound to house music to techno. As my tastes matured, I really started to like deeper and darker sounds with a more minor feel.”
The arc of Kloves’ career has been upwards ever since. She started playing shows, moved into the production side of things and started to work towards getting released on local labels and then on bigger labels. Her goal is to continue that upwards trajectory into the future.
Techno music has a strong appeal to her because of it’s darker, heavier and more mature sound. Kloves says, “I’ve discovered the dark techno tunes that play well in Europe really attract me. I like anything hypnotic and dark techno is hypnotic. It’s all about frequencies and tones and metal clanging and echoes. Anything like that just speaks to me.”
Kloves spends much of her time listening to a variety of DJ mixes to gain inspiration. She says, “It just makes me want to recreate something in my own way or add my own flair to it. As far as the technicalities go, it usually starts with a synth line or a chord. I build it around that and add a bass line. I can finish most songs within a day. I have a rule that if I can’t finish a track on the same day, I’ll sleep on it and if it’s not going in the direction I want, I’ll scrap the whole thing and move on. If I can finish the track in a day and then fine tune it over the next couple of days, I’m happy.”
As time has gone by, she’s become less driven to play live shows. Kloves points out, “I started producing before I figured out how to play electronic music live. I came to a point where I just wanted to get lost in the music too and focus on one main thing and not what I’m going to press next or trying to get it all to synch up properly.”
Right now, Kloves is at a crossroads in her career. She says, “I’m trying to find the balance between paying the bills and doing what I love which is making music. It’s a very hard balance to find. There comes a time where you have to take the jump and just go for it. I’m at the point right now where I have to make that decision. It’s stressful, but I definitely want to go the music route in my life.”
After having lived in Vancouver B.C. for a year, she’s returned to Calgary and has been impressed by the electronic music scene in Alberta. Kloves explains, “The electronic music scene in Alberta has grown immensely. We’ve had the Alberta Electronic Music Conference, new collectives starting up and a bunch of labels that have come up, including my label. There’s been a lot of support for the scene here.”
In the future, Kloves wants to be able to dedicate herself to her craft. She says, “I want to be able to release music, make music and tour and be able to live comfortably without having to work another job to pay my phone bill or something stupid like that. I just want the freedom to do that and to be able to spend all day working on music.”
She adds, “I want to start a school. I hope to open the door to more female producers that are up and coming and give them a more comfortable, welcoming environment. That’s not to say that the schools now don’t provide that, just that having a lot of men involved is a little intimidating.”
When it comes to recharging her creative batteries, Kloves is a firm believer in taking breaks from working. She says, “Take your time, take the breaks that you need to take and don’t sit in front of the computer screen for eight hours a day. I think going out into the mountains, listening to your favourite artists for inspiration and collaborating with other people really gets your juices flowing again.”
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© 2018 Karl Magi