While they stay in touch from different parts of the world, Kidnap Kid and Lane 8 share common ideals. First and foremost, they possess a mutual affinity for stirring music that often has a house edge, but which delves far further in terms of mood – look no further than their respective oeuvres and you’ll soon agree. It might come as no surprise, then, that they’re both signed to the same label – the ever-expanding Anjunadeep. Beyond that, creating a special atmosphere is at the heart of their music and their DJ sets. UK talent Kidnap Kid, aka Matt Relton, can always be relied upon to evoke an array of emotions in his fans during his events. Meanwhile US-born musician and DJ Lane 8 – real name Daniel Goldstein – has gone so far as to encourage a phone-less environment at his shows through his This Never Happened concept, allowing people to really absorb each unique occasion.
Now, the friends and creative collaborators have reunited across borders to bring us ‘Aba’, the glimmering house number that has already been making waves since its official release on Friday 3rd March. The track opens with a gentle shower of synth, faintly reminiscent of The Who’s ‘Baba O’Reilly’ and similarly evocative of its subtle feel-good factor, which especially comes through in the extended mix. Distant choral vocals fade in and out, which are soon joined by a refined piano and bass combination and, eventually, the backbone of the track: the beat. When the components are all pieced together, we’re left with ‘Aba’, a smooth yet spine-tingling sound that could make you smile as much as it could make you cry.
The track represents something of a turning point for both artists, who both began working in music at a relatively young age. Now, as they look forward in their careers, we asked them to look back on how they first came into contact with one another and what they’ve learnt so far.
Can you tell us about when you first got in touch with one another?
Kidnap Kid: I actually don’t remember! Scrolling back through our twitter messages the first correspondence I see is Dan sending over a now deleted Soundcloud link in January 2014. Not sure what that was….
Lane 8: I’d been a big fan of Matt’s music basically since he started Kidnap Kid and had some really weird, quirky releases on a UK label called Squelch & Clap. I believe we first got in touch around 2013 just sending music back and forth for each other’s DJ sets, but in early 2014 I spent a few days in London for gigs and we finally met in person to try and make some music together.
Has it been difficult working together from different sides of the world?
Kidnap Kid: We started the collaboration at my studio when Dan was in London to play a show. It was definitely helpful being able to get in the same room to start the idea. From then on we sent various versions back and forth sporadically (over 18 months!) and it came together slowly but fairly painlessly. I think that sharing a meticulous nature and similar musical vision helped us finish the track without too much push and pull.
Lane 8: It has certainly been slow, considering the fact that we started Aba in 2014 and it’s just now getting released! I think with collaborations, it’s always time consuming, particularly with our travel schedules, but I’m really glad we stuck with it. There were several times when I didn’t think we’d ever finish the track.
How has your musical style altered over the years?
Kidnap Kid: I see my style as having developed a melancholic edge over the last few years. One that I hope has brought an extra dimension to the music and compliments the otherwise playful feel.
Lane 8: I think my style has changed a ton over the last 5 years, Lane 8 started as a kind of disco influenced electronica project, then I got swept up in the whole “deep house” thing, and now I’m on a more clubby, progressive tip. I think it’s simply the case that when a certain sound gets quite popular, I tend to get sick of hearing it everywhere and then I switch my style up.
What have you learnt from the other?
Kidnap Kid: The most important lesson I’ve learnt from Dan is just to get on with it. He has an impressive work rate whilst maintaining high quality output. I often get bogged down in the detail or disillusioned with my own ideas and end up not releasing half the music I start. His ability to plough forward more methodically is one I’ve been trying to emulate.
Lane 8: I think what Matt really excels at is little details, sometimes my productions are quite sparse and blunt, so I think it’s nice to pick up some of his techniques for adding little bells and whistles that really make the track interesting on multiple listens.
“I’m not exactly sure what I’m moving towards though. I guess that’s the nature of change.” – Kidnap Kid
What has been the biggest learning curve for you in your career?
Kidnap Kid: I think developing patience has been the biggest challenge for me. One that I still struggle with. I wake up everyday with a thousand ideas and become frustrated that I can’t realise them all at once. Worthwhile art takes time to craft though, so I’m learning to plow through the motions and enjoy the process.
Lane 8: For me, and I think for a lot of upcoming DJs, the biggest learning curve is transitioning from some guy who makes some cool tracks in his room, to actually becoming a performer who can entertain an audience of hundreds of people. Some people feel at ease on stage; I had to learn and develop it. Ultimately putting on shows is how we make a living so it’s extremely important to be good at it.
Do you see this as a transitory stage in your life?
Kidnap Kid: I do. Excellent question. I’m not exactly sure what I’m moving towards though. I guess that’s the nature of change. For the past two years I’ve had a strong but vague feeling that I haven’t quite found my medium. I’ve fantasised that the change may come in the form of a longer term collaborator; one that compliments my strengths and weaknesses and helps me realise my full potential. This could all be nonsense of course! We’ll see…
Lane 8: I probably won’t still be DJ’ing when I’m 70, but I’d love to continue in music for as long as the people will have me!
What’s next for you?
Kidnap Kid: I’m working on a longer project. Although I recognise their merit, I’ve begun to find the short length of EPs creatively stifling. I find myself playing it safe as I worry that anything too experimental may not connect, meaning I will have wasted a an opportunity. I’m hoping that compiling a full length LP will better display the breadth of my skill set and interests and allow me spread my wings more freely.
Lane 8: After returning to Anjunadeep for the release of Aba, I’m looking forward to my upcoming Spring mixtape, which is a lot of fun to put together – and I’m also hatching a plan for the next This Never Happened releases and shows!