At Kosmonaut, only a few indoor-outdoor weekends remain, signaled by the colder, crisper air that blew last Saturday Night. Inside, the warmth of fellow dancers defrosted those fresh off the line. Music blared and both cigarette smoke and its machine-fabricated copy clouded the air, setting the perfect scene for a night out in Berlin.
Around 3 AM, Kill Frenzy and I headed outside to escape the smoke and sounds to the quieter front yard, happily resting on some lawn chairs. After coincidentally catching his sets all over North America this summer – from New York to British Columbia, I finally got the chance to ask him about his crazy summer touring across the world, including a tour in Australia with fellow Dirtybird producer Will Clarke:
KF: So first I went to Australia, and I played there for two weeks, and I had some amazing shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and others. There was this really crazy Sunday party – we got there at one in the afternoon, and we hadn’t slept yet from the night before because we played. I just wanted to sleep, really. But I had to start playing, and there was this good vibe going – I was thinking everyone was gonna be tired, because it’s Sunday afternoon you know, they’d been going for like a day already. So I start playing heavier, and heavier go into techno, and they’re all losing their minds, and then I dropped “Gorilla”, and they go insane, really bananas.
So what’s your favorite festival to play?
KF: Piknic-electronik. I played one on the tour, and in Montreal, which was really, really great. The vibe there was amazing. And then I played it in Barcelona as well. They do it everywhere.
Do you ever have time to walk around and see other people play?
KF: If I have time, I go and check out some people I want to see, or DJs I know, I really like to check out other people. Like yesterday, with Catz ’n Dogz release party. It was really amazing. I was really inspired. I was trying to Shazam every song they played, but nothing came up because they play only unreleased shit.
We were also in a dark, abandoned brewery.
KF: Yeah! The internet was shit, so I couldn’t find anything!
Are you the kind of person who can write on the road or do you have to sit in a studio?
KF: It all depends on if I have an idea. If something springs to mind, I can write anywhere I think. But if nothing springs to mind then I can only do it at home. Otherwise it’s hard… it’s annoying. There’s no fun in it. Sitting on the plane or in the hotel room making music. It’s stressful.
Do you have time now to sit down?
KF: Yeah, I just got home and I’m trying to get into the mood, making music, coming up with a bunch of ideas, seeing what works and what doesn’t, you know?
Where’s home for you now?
KF: Berlin. BER-LIN. Everyone, I live in Berlin. They always think I live in America.
KF: Yeah, yeah, but I’m from Belgium.
Maybe they think that because of Dirtybird?
KF: Yeah, also because Ghetto House, it’s very, very American sounding, and my vocals sound very American. I did it to myself.
Well how did you first get involved with Dirtybird?
KF: Through Booty Clap. I sent them the demo, and yeah, that’s how it started. Then they booked me, and yeah, I got more and more close with them, and put out more music with them.
Would you rather play in North America for the rest of your life, or Europe?
KF: Europe. I think. I mean.. yeah. I mean America’s getting way better though. Every time I go I feel there’s more cool, underground stuff going on. The only thing in Europe it’s just that the clubs are a bit cooler
Yeah, there’s no question.
KF: The people in America, a lot of times they’re enthusiastic about it, so it all weighs each other out I think.
What’s the worst show you’ve ever played?
KF: Ooh, I think it was somewhere in Norway – in Bergen.
I fucking hated that fucking party. It sucked. First of all, only like a couple of people showed up. The promoter was kind of weird, and the party was shit. But then I met some Dutch guys, and they were really nice, and I went on their Navy Ship, and we were hanging out on the Dutch Navy ship after
but anyway, the day after, the morning after really, I had to go straight to the airport. And the guy who I was staying with, because I didn’t have a hotel – this was like a couple of years ago – he got so fucked up that I could not even have a conversation with him. I left the door open, and he’s like it’s all fine. Just use your credit card and I’ll pay you back for it once you get there. But I was like – I don’t know if my credit card works, so I took the cab, went to the airport and – uh oh, credit card doesn’t work. I can’t pay this guy, so I’m like fuck, we have to go back. So we drive all the way back to the guys house, now he’s asleep, and he just doesn’t wake up. I knock on the door, nothing. I call him, nothing. I see him through the window, and I’m like there he is, that son of a bitch.
So i knock on the window, like boom boom, and he’s not waking up. I’m still standing outside and the cab driver’s like “You have to give me something, give me your phone”. And I’m like “No fucking way”, so I’m like “here’s my headphones, they’re really expensive, but just wait here, I’ll get you your money”. So I keep screaming outside, and then the neighbor upstairs says I can get in from the basement, so I go in through the basement and I get in, and I’m like “Dude, what the fuck”, and he’s still not waking up, I’m standing right next to him, and he’s not up. At that point I already missed my flight, right, so I’m like dude you have to book me a new flight. So I slap him on his face, and he’s still not waking up. And then I grab a glass of water, splash it all over his face and finally he’s like “ughhhh” that’s all he does. After like twenty minutes he finally gets up, and I’m like “dude you need to book me a new flight”, and he’s like “yeaaah, yeah”, and just walks over to his bed and wants to lay down again. I’m screaming at him, and he finally wakes up more and books me a new flight. He booked me just in time, otherwise I would have been stuck there for like two days.
Was the cab driver out there the whole time?
KF: No, the neighbor paid him. That was kind of crazy. There’s some other parties probably that have been even more shit. Ooooh! The first party I ever did!
KF: Ha, yeah. The first official DJ party I ever did, I get to the gig. It wasn’t the worst party by the way, something worse just happened. It’s my first gig ever, and I play like ghetto house, really fast shit. So I look up on the internet in these forums, how to pitch up the Technics Turntables to make them go faster, because they only go up to +8. So to pitch them up, you screw the whole thing open, and you twist screws to make it go faster, it’s like a quarter turn, or whatever – I looked it all up. So I do this shit and I’m like nervous and trembling, because it’s my first time.
And you fucked with the equipment.
KF: And I fucked with the equipment from the club!
So I started playing, and the pitch of both the Technics are fucked. I cannot beat-match anything, they just go at one tempo on one side, and when I move the pitch the turntables just stops.
So I’m playing there for like ten minutes with one turntable until they finally knew. I was like, oh god. That was a really, really bad start to the whole DJ thing.
It’s gotten a little better since then.
KF: It couldn’t have gone any worse. I thought at least “this is the worst that can happen, really”.
At least you got it out of the way.
KF: Yeah, it was still funny.
Any not so known artists who deserve recognition?
KF: I mean there’s a million.
Any jump to mind?
KF: I really like Vin Sol. He’s like Matrixxman’s buddy.
Oh, does he make acid stuff too?
KF: Yeah, kind of. It’s more ghetto-ish. It’s really cool, he puts out on Clone Records.
What’s your next project?
KF: I would love to do some stuff on Ultramajic, but I don’t know. It happens when it happens. I’m working on some new tracks with Chambray!
We headed back inside pushing our way through the happily dancing crowd where Kill Frenzy went unrecognized – all the people unaware they were all there for him.
Kill Frenzy soon took control of the decks in the main room, holding the attention of the previously fidgeting crowd for the full two hours he played. Dropping tracks like Claude Von Stroke’s “Dood”, and his own “All Night Long”, “Alarms”, his collaboration with Justin Jay, “Lava”, and sampled sprinklings of “No Panties”, Kill Frenzy tactfully switched from lighter tech-house to heavier booty sounds, culminating in a climax of energy with his own live edit of “Gorilla”. Like any night out in Berlin, the night soon turned to day, and I exited to a newly bright outside world. I happily welcomed in the fresh morning air, which was like gold after inhaling my dance floor- neighbor’s smoke all night, which was all OK because I had good music, and good company.