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MSTRKRFT - Death from Down Under 2007

Author: Carlisle Rogers
Monday, 6 August 2007
MSTRKRFT are coming back to Australia, this time gracing the stage forParklife. 3D's Carlisle Rogers caught up with Al-P, one half of the duo.

Knee-deep into their second full length, MSTRKRFT, or Al-P and Jesse F. Keeler, are heading to Oz in September to fuck up some kids’ heads. A cottage remix industry unto themselves, these guys have remixed everyone and everything, from Annie to Wolfmother and even Acid Jacks.

Al-P – resident studio nerd and the man behind the sound of both MSTRKRFT’s debut LP The Looks and everything Death from Above 1979 ever released – says they are still busy on the remix ring, working on a new one for Modular UK artist New Young Pony Club. He laments some of his past remixing experiences, though.

“It has always seemed to us that we are given the shittiest song that they don’t know what to do with – they just need it to be fixed,” he says. “We are always like, ‘I wish this song was good…I wonder what we could do if this was actually a good song, instead of a crippled song.’”

Currently working on the second LP, Al-P says that despite constant sidetracks for remix projects and raising babies (Keeler is celebrating with his family before heading to Japan), it is due for completion this October.

“I can be in the studio for 18 hours a day, I don’t care, just fucking around with tracks. There is a lot of stuff on it that’s almost progressive rock, but the instrumentation is obviously more electro, more dance, more club music.

“But if you think of progressive rock songs – shit like that – there are some big ravers, big club tracks. We are shooting for ten songs on the record. We might just pare it down a little bit so that it is just the best of the best. We aren’t making a rock sound again, not arrangement or instrumentation-wise, but if you were to just listen to the music, you could find parallels in progressive rock.”

Al-P says that when the guys play live these days, they try to get at least 20 per cent of their own music in the set, though the rest all has the MSTRKRFT touch in one form or another.

“A lot of the tracks we do play are edits that we do or little re-edits or remixes,” he says. “If you look at our music pool, every track has been edited for our own purposes somehow. We DJ with Serato.

“Moving forward from now, we might be incorporating some other stuff in the DJ booth like little samples and clips running off the CDJs. We get bored sometimes back there.”

But the band’s next big plan is to get into just producing other artists from scratch.

“We had a little bit of that and got sidetracked into being artists ourselves,” he admits. “I think we can bring a lot to the table if we’re working with an artist who has their own material. We can really guide it and help them put something together. That’s where I come from, from an engineering background. I’m used to working on all kinds of stuff.”

WHAT: Play Parklife
WHEN: Sunday 30 September