Interview with Kiwa

Surreal Audio Recordings band

Author: Sequential-X
Date: Nov 5, 2002
Views: 2081


November, 2002 - Text: Sequential-X

Kiwa are Matti and Make from Finland and have released a very diverse and interesting album through well-known experimental trance label Surreal Audio. The album is a complete journey through sounds and textures with melodies being in the background letting the rhythm sections to take over. In my opinion, a very fresh approach on the psychedelic sound and how that could sound in the future. Futuristic and blippy, a great sonic trip that should have a bit more chilled moments in between dancefloor tracks, just to keep the balance right in order to reach classic status, still though it is a great album and full of great musical moments with top production and great programming.


1. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hello everybody! We're Kiwa from Finland, Matti and Make.


2. Tell us a few words about your musical background.

Make: My only formal musical education was taking piano lessons at the age of six. Later on I did vocals and some drummin on a couple of punk bands. After that in 1995 I got interested in Goa and other electronic music. You could say I'm a self-trained musician.

Matti: I started playing piano at the age of three and continued it until the age of sixteen. After that I got my first synth and stayed on that path. My mother was born next to the birthplace of the great Finnish composer, Sibelius. This might have had an effect on my musical evolvement .


3. How long it took you to complete "Dreamtime Enhancer" ?

Make: The oldest tracks were made at the beginning of 2001 and the album was ready at the beginning of this year. Because of delays in mastering and other problems, the actual release got postponed until this autumn. I'm not saying we worked on this album constantly for the whole year. Due to our other music projects, studies etc. it just took a while to get things together.


4. What was the main reason behind the change of musical direction from the more "normal" dark psy-trance of the past to the funkier futuristic sound of "Dreamtime Enhancer" ?

Make: I guess the main reason was to create something a little more positive. I do think there's a lot of good dark psy music out there but I would find it very boring even trying to create a type of sound or feeling that I've heard 5000 times already just so my music could sell a lot of copies. Well, even so I guess you have to compromise once in a while.

Matti: One reason or influence was Kris Kylven. He's been a good friend for some years now and I think around the time we met him we were going through a turning point in our music. He was the one person who gave us ideas how you should always try to create something different instead of sticking to the basic formulas.


5. What was your aim with "Dreamtime Enhancer", in other words what was the purpose for doing this album ?

Make: To make a good album. What better purpose could there be? :) ...
We had a chance to express ourselves without any label pressure and make something we really dig (thx to Jere from Surreal Audio for that), so the album turned out as a mix of lot of things we were into at the moment. For me a good trance album has always been the kind that grabs your attention while listening at home but doesn't fail to rock the dancefloor if you want to bring the sound to a party and this was the idea of it all. The other main objective was to create a story from more electronic and colder music to an organic sound closer to nature and mixing it together.


6. Do you find the reaction to "Dreamtime Enhancer" from the global psy-trance scene satisfying and supportive ?

Make: So far the response turned out the way we expected. I never thought it would be the big seller of the year and this kind of album always divides opinions strongly. For the people who like more minimal full-on trance and who find it hard to accept that psy-trance could have other styles melted to it, it's obvious that for them this album doesn't hit the spot. Then again we've had so much positive feedback from a lot of people who think it's good the scene gets something different for a change. Can't say I'm complaining.


7. We would like to know what is your favorite piece of equipment ?

Make: A tough one. Hmmm... Nord Lead (big surprise) or Genelec speakers, if you count that as a piece of equipment...

Matti: JP-8080 or JP-8000.


8. What are your main musical influences in the psy-trance scene and outside of it ?

Make: I usually get my influence from everything else than psy-trance. Things like drum&bass, house, industrial and good old funk and jazz in it's many forms. I don't know if it shows a lot in our music but the all-time punk band favourites for me have been groups like Dead Kennedys, Black Flag and Crass.

Matti: I don't even own a lot of records myself so the music I like and get influenced by just comes around me wherever I am and what people play to me. Basically all good music, funky, jazzy, dubbish and whatever.


9. How do you see your sound progressing, what shall we expect from Kiwa in the near and not so near future ?

Make: I'm not saying anything for sure yet but probably something not so diverse. The good thing about "Dreamtime Enhancer" in my opinion was that it doesn't tie us to anything specific.


10. Have you ever visited Greece and if so what are your impressions from our sunny country ?

Make: Yes, when I was seven. Can't remember too much of it but I can say it was warm and the people seemed very pleasant. Actually my first experience in a night club was in Greece so you get the points for that.

Matti: Same for me, when I was a kid. Lots of sun, swimming, bright colors and smiling faces. And lots of pretty girls of course.


11. Please close this interview with a wish or any other statement you find appropriate.

Make: Take it easy, everyone... we're all in it together ... oh yes, and Surreal Audio rules!

Matti: ...


"Dreamtime Enhancer" CD tracklisting:

01. Cricket in the ear
02. Trans - electronic
03. Rally spirit
04. Digital hangover
05. Neutralize
06. Dramatic display of insanity
07. Alpha sector
08. Kiwa runner
09. Deceptive antiseptic
10. Divider
11. Nasty drop
12. Lahti skyline

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