Like most people, DJs and producers have specific songs tied to events throughout their lives. In Crate Expectations, we extract a playlist from their memories to tell their story. This week's subject: Jake Stanczak aka Kill The Noise.
THUMP: What's the first song you ever loved?
Kill The Noise: First song that comes to mind has to be the underworld music from Super Mario Brothers one and two on NES. That or Kraid's theme from Metroid. In fact, I think in retrospect those games are probably what got me interested in music for the long haul. They've kinda stuck with me my whole life. That composer Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka was probably my first inspiration. A lot of my sensibility for melody and stuff comes from playing countless hours of Nintendo and many of those games he composed the music for.
What are the first two songs you ever mixed together?
I think my first "Aha!" moment was mixing drum and bass stuff. I didn't have a lot of records to play with (those were vinyl days), so my selection was limited. I remember feeling pretty stoked about playing jungle records meant to be played at 44 RPM at 35 RPM instead: effectively slowing the tempo to breakbeat speed and mixing them together. I remember mixing Souljah's "Fade 2 Black" with T Power's "Mutant Jazz." Such sick records.
What is your worst guilty pleasure song?
Probably any "of the moment" trendy dance thing. The track that every DJ is playing in their set. I am such a cynical piece of shit. You know I always end up at a show and I hear it, and I'm like, "Yeah, I guess this is pretty dope."
What song have you had on repeat in the last month?
I keep listening to two songs actually: Nero, "The Thrill" because it's such a catchy song and the drum track reminds me of Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy." The second is The Weeknd (just in general).
Which track of your own do you love the most?
Probably "Talk To Me." I think it was the most creative I've ever been on one song. I did a lot of unconventional stuff to get a lot of the sounds on this. I used a talk box guitar pedal; I used feedback; I used a lot of weird plugins. I was in an experimental place that actually ended up yielding music I was happy with, which doesn't usually happen.
What track of your own do you hate the most?
Probably most of what I've written. I love every song I've written for what I learned in the process of making it. There are lots of things I hate about many of the songs I've done. I can hear all the things I struggled with that I didn't get quite right. Depending on what state of mind I'm in, there are a lot of songs I've made that I would rather not listen to at all.
What track are you most excited to drop in a set?
Whatever new thing I'm working on at the moment. That's the best feeling, probably why I continue to make music. There is no feeling like playing something new for the first time and getting a great reaction from it. On the other side of the coin, it's crushing to play something you are anxious to play and it gets no reaction. That's what all of this shit is about though, you get that exhilaration from taking the risk.
What's your favourite track that you wish worked in a set?
I'm sure every song out there works live in the right context. The place I really am working towards is building an audience that would let me play songs that have more quiet introspective moments. Not just in the breakdowns, but the entire song. There are a couple songs like that on my new album like "Without A Trace" and "All In My Head." I would like to get to a point where people show up to a show and are just as excited for those moments as the really crazy over the top moments.
What's the last song you want to hear before the lights go on?
Seems like something nostalgic is always the best way to go out. If you were at a pub, you'd wanna hear Journey's "Don't Stop Believing," or something like that. Maybe Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." I think the last song has to be something that reminds you that life is short and not to take yourself too seriously, but a good song is a good song, you know?
Catch Kill The Noise in Toronto on October 2nd. For more information, click here.