Interview mit Kiat und Ash (Singapore)

Singapore bekommt mit Kiat & Ash eine kleine rote Flagge auf der internationalen Drum and Bass Landkarte. Seit einigen Jahren werkelten sie vor sich hin, dann kamen die richtigen Anstöße von den richtigen Leuten wie Digital und Amit – jetzt stehen sie kurz vor Veröffentlichungen auf Rufige und Vampire Records.

Kiat ist am 20.09. zu Gast in der Distillery bei
Do Something Illegal.

Booga: What are your favourite non-drum’n’bass tunes? Which genre do you also like?

Kiat & Ash: Nautilus by Bob James, PLanet ROck by Afrika Bambattaa, Paul Revere by Beastie Boys, Revival by Martine Garault – We’re into hip-hop, soul and funk!

Adam F used to sample Bob James in a very sexy way. Do you like „Circles“ from him?

Of course, there’s so much goin on in that Nautilus track!

I like the whole EP and every tune seems perfect for another mood…

Most definitely.

So you listening to joyful funk and soul music but you produce a definitive more sinister style of music, how come?

There’s always a dark side to a light side. Yin and Yang.

So who is Ying and who is Yang in your producing duo?

We each have both…and so do you.

Introduce your partnership in producing drum and bass: who is doing what?

There are no definite roles. We just go with the flow of the track while we write. At the very most we swap seats on the keyboard. Whoever has an idea will jump on the computer to materialise it then we sit back and discuss.

Do you prefer analog or digital environment while producing music?

We much prefer analog! But even with a digital environment while writing, we try to make our sounds as analog as possible

How do you achieve this?

Firstly, we sample quite abit from vinyl. The only other thing we can do is to run the music through the desk while mixing it down and record it in analog form on CD. This is all we do at home before sending it out for mastering. We’re not even sure if it’s the right way to do things! We’re just following Amit’s orders. We’re we pretty clueless, hahaha.

How are you related to Amit?

We had him over for a gig a few years back. Ash was warming up for him before his set and he was really into our music and decided that he wanted to help us. He thought we had the ideas but it lacked the finishing. Since then, we’ve been good friends and he comes here quite often for a vacation and have lots of CURRY.

That sounds good to have a mentor like him.

He’s been really great – THANKS AMIT!

What was the initial thing that brought you to drum’n’bass?

This might sound like an extremely boring answer but it was the beats and the basslines. We’ve always liked breaks and basslines regardless of the genre of music.

One of the first kind of breabeat and bass influenced artists was for me „Meat Beat Manifest“ – do you know them?

Never heard of them.

But you should. In 1992 they released an album called „satyricon“. I would dare to say you are the official successor to them soundwise. That means: lots of interesting samples, breaks and incredible bass.

Thanks! We’re flattered… We hope they were good! For us, the first kind of exposure was stuff on early XL recordings..SL2, etc. Back then, Singapore was very far behind musically

That brings me to the next question: tell us middle european guys how the scene in singapore is today and how it evolved the last years?

It used to be really good when the music was entering the mainstream for that period of time but now it’s as bleak as the war in Iraq. It’s a really small scene, on a succesfull night, we have an average of 250 people. Of course when Goldie or Bukem is in town, it’s about 500-600 (which is like phenomenal). At bigger parties, it’s usually house/hip hop music. For radio, only stuff like LK and Circles and most brazilian D&B gets played. Producer wise, they are a couple but we’re not really sure who they are.

So you are connected to other producers over the world quite better?

Definitely… thanks to AIM and now Myspace of course.

So how come the other paid attention to your tunes? Who was the first who got tunes from you?

Digital, Concord Dawn, Alley Cat. They were pretty encouraging even though the music was shit lol.

You were first signed for Rufige?

Goldie was the first person that showed interest in signing our music after sending him some tunes on AIM. We met him when he came to play in Singapore and the rest was history. Furthermore, the stuff we were writing seemd to fit the label sound.

You mentioned Amit and Digital and the influences are quite recognisable but i would say you add a special clearness and sharpness to your tunes.

Thanks… it’s interesting to hear other peoples take on our music . It’s hard to be objective when dealing with our own stuff … espescially after hundreds of listens! How would you describe our sound… curious to know.

I would say I did that already with the comparison to Meat Beat Manifesto… it’s not easy to tell. A dubby sound with lots of high end things happening and an intriguing vibe – a very dark but compelling one.


I mean I like „Last lullaby“ and „Diablo“ a lot!

Thanks for the compliment… personally, we think Lullaby is probably the best tune we’ve written to date. We had no idea how we came up with it!

The interesting thing about last lullaby is that one can belong to the half tempo with the emphasis on the 1 OR the 3. I really enjoy to switch in mind to two different beats.


Please tell us what tunes comes out next time and on which labels.

I just signed „Paradise lost“ and „Madagascar“ to Vampire (Phil Source Direct). On the Rufige EP is „Last Lullaby“, „Diablo“, „5-pointer“ and „Hybrid“.

And what about „Wildstyle“?

It’s unsigned .. only Storm, Alley Cat and you have it, keep it tight 😉

Kiat, tell me a bit about your summer 07 mix. I think it is a remarkable mix with excellent tunes in it. Almost everybody seems to big it up.

Thanks! Well… I know this person called Booga from East germany and he asked me for a mix. So i thought I’d do a quick mix at home and send it to him!


Was quite surprised by the response. Didn’t expect it.

The forum has a quite big audience…

Yeah I realised that, lol.

Thank you guys for the quick interview, we see you soon in Germany!

Thanks for the interview! And your support! Take care!

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