As Makeness, British songwriter and producer Kyle Molleson, makes - in his own words - grungy dance music.
With a sound that’s equal parts lively and dark he delivers exactly that - and more - with his first full-length album ‘Loud Patterns’. This is a sound that developed over time, as he says “When I started Makeness, I didn’t really know what it was. Gradually, it’s gotten heavier, I got more into grungy techno”.
Talking about his debut album as Makeness Molleson says, “The music I make is full-on and loud, so the name, 'Loud Patterns', just fit. I usually name ideas things like 'new heavy l8 nyt tech jam 61' but that one was ‘loud patterns’ from the start”.
Delving deeper into the inspiration behind the title of the album he adds, “It was fireworks night and Forest Hill sounded like a war zone outside my bedroom. 'Loud Patterns' came to mind while I was listening back to the recording and it’s stuck with me. The album - which for the first time makes Molleson’s vocals the central compositional feature - seems a piece filled with dissonance, yet harmony. With a sound that’s full-on and maximalist, yet intricate and beautiful, it is in every way an album of contradictions.
Exploring a range of sounds from off-kilter thrums to haunting synths, the album takes us on a journey- that is familiar, but adventurous. As Molleson puts it: “There is a definite thread throughout it but I wanted to challenge myself at each turn when making the record.”
Telling the story of a sheltered soul who is exposed to inner-city life for the first time, feeling and learning to absorb the shocks to his system, the claustrophobic, yet loose and expansive record takes listeners on a journey. However, It’s not just the listeners, who are on a journey, For Molleson, who records a lot of his music - in isolation - at his father’s stone-barn studio, in hilly ridge location south of Edinburgh, the solitude explored within the album, is almost biographical.
“It's been a voyage of discovery on a personal level, seeing what I was capable of doing musically and in a sense documents a wistful notion of being highly expressive but equally melancholic and introverted”, says Molleson.
Influenced by the likes of Bjork, Arthur Russell - whom he wishes he could have conversation about music making with - and a big fan Kelly Lee Owens and D’angelo - both of whom he’d love to make music with, Makeness is also heading out on tour with New Zealand psychedelic rock band Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
“Really excited about this tour! Will be playing lots of new music from the album this time’’, he says when asked about his expectations. He adds that in addition to playing again in Canada and USA, he’s also looking forward to seeing new places, and hopes that audiences connect with his music. He says, “It’s an amazing opportunity to share some of the music that has been rattling around inside. I hope it connects with some of the folk at the shows!’’
Moving onto memorable moments in his career and future ambitions, he mentions playing at Howlin' Fling festival, at Isle of Eigg, as a highlight. He also mentions playing at Corona Theatre in Montreal last year and Rye Wax in Peckham, both of which he recalls as favourite venues. He adds that though he hasn’t played there, that he is a big fan of Brudenell Social Club in Leeds.
For the future - besides touring - all he wants, he says, is to share his music. After flirting with pop forms on two instrumental EPs, his debut album ‘Loud Patterns’ with more focus on vocals, is still representative of Molleson’s brand of off-kilter dance music. But with the dark electronic sound, trembling melodies and strobe-lit intensity, it also proves to be a personal story of growth and change told through music.
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Makeness' debut album is out now. Catch the producer at London's Corsica Studios tonight (April 12th).
Words: Malvika Padin
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