Q&A With Keys N Krates Keyboardist David Matisse

Keys N Krates formed in 2008, bringing live instrumental performances to the world of electronic music. Utilizing drums (), keyborad, and a turntable they have cultivated a unqie and fun sound that has stood the test of time. The trio will be headed to Chicago November 30th to perform at Bottom Lounge. In anticipation of the show, keyboardist David Matisse was able to answer a few of our questions before they hit the stage at the end of this month. 

Q. What/who influenced you to create music the way that you do – choosing the combination of drums, keyboards/synthesizer, and turntables?

A. There really wasn’t anyone influence. It was really natural the way we came together. Flo was a club DJ out in the city and I was a keyboard guy and artist doing gigs as well. Tune and I had already been playing together in other bands when we first started.  So it was all pretty organic. We started off just taking hip-hop samples of Dr. Dre and Tribe Called Quest and other iconic hip-hop acts. We would practice anywhere we could find room. Trying to figure out how to play along with the samples and then flipping them into something original that only we could play. We are huge fans of hip-hop so we wanted to make music rooted in that.

Q. You released your first debut full-length album, Cura, earlier this year. What is the meaning behind the album? Is this the start to the beginning of a new sound of Keys N Krates?

A. We were at a point where creatively we felt we had achieved everything we wanted to say at that point with the music we had made. We had done a lot with the sounds we were known for and weren’t interested in repeating the same sound again.  

We really took our time exploring new textures and ideas of where we wanted to take ourselves moving forward.  It’s still firmly rooted in Hip-hop but we sample ourselves a lot more now when we’re just jamming and we’re exploring more analog sounds.

Cura means curiosity for us and we wanted to get back to that idea of being childlike in the energy of discovering new sounds and experiences

Q. You guys were here not too long ago in March at Concord Music Hall as part of the Cura World Tour, and now you will be back next month (November 30th to be exact), as the second stop on the “Closer we Get” tour presented by Silver Wrapper Productions at Bottom Lounge. What do you have planned this time around for Chicago fans?

A. We’ve been doing a lot of big stages over the years which is a lot of fun.  But there’s a certain intimacy you lose with the fans at that point. For this tour, we wanted to explore how it felt again when we used to play with the fans really close by you. In those small clubs or basement bars.  There’s an energy there that is really exciting and intense for both the fans and for us.

Q. What is the best part of making music for each of you?

A. There’s no one direct answer to that for any of us. Ultimately the process of collaborating together and having your ideas explored, collaborated on, and then released to the world to experience is so cool that we just keep wanting to do it over and over again.

Q. If you had all the money & recording resources in the world to record an album with one legendary artist, who would it be & why?

A. We’d record Gospel choirs and children’s choirs as well as huge string sections.

Tickets are still available for Keys N Krates 11/30 performance at Bottom Lounge HERE.

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