To know Kane West is to dance to Kane West. The producer, one-third of ebulliant crossover pop act Kero Kero Bonito, peddles an ecstatic brand of four-on-the-floor techno laced with the squirming leftfield charm of his PC Music affiliates. Often employing basic music software setups and presets in lieu of the fetishized and highly-prized analog equipment, Kane West is devoted to the sole aim of making people dance. His lyrical content is typically no more than an assemblage of stock DJ tags and shoutouts—reminding us, in no uncertain terms, to "put [our] hands up in the air" and "dance." Faced with the cryptic Kane West and his irresistable output, there's really not much else to do. As the enigmatic figure makes clear in his interview with AdHoc—ahead of his April 13 show at Sunnyvale—Kane West is an effervescent entity who congeals, not in the press release or music journal writeup, but in the club.
AdHoc: So, who is Kane West? Is it the real identity of Kero Kero Bonito member Gus Lobbon? An alter ego? A faceless, anonymous house DJ? A Kanye West tribute band?
Kane West: The best DJ.
How do you envision this figure behind the name Kane West?
The best DJ playing the best records.
What’s the joke behind the name? Do you have any special affinity for Kanye West?
No—it's a coincidence.
Not to belabor this line of inquiry, but what IS your favorite Kanye record?
The "Mr. Fingers" one.
Looks like London bubblegum bass powerhouse PC Music
is not alone in crafting melodic, facetiously infantile kawaii pop for the post-hipster crowd. To the casual eye, Edmonton, Canada's Manicure Records
may look like a blunt copy of PC Music's aesthetic (including the one-track-at-a-time MO and the label's minimal logo), but there's plenty more to the online imprint. Started merely a few months ago and headed by Thomas Michael (a.k.a. Ghibli), the collective's sound is rawer, more visceral, and more playful than that of their UK counterpart. Ponibbi's "HEARTSKIP," one of the standout songs from the label's quickly-growing output, is essentially a sped-up version of MattyB's "You Make My Heart Skip,"
but the treatment gives it a high energy, Euro-trance vibe. The track even caught the attention of PC Music head honcho A.G. Cook, who included it on a mix
he collaborated on for a Berlin party. The song also appears in a recent mix
by artist Simon Whybray
, who will host Ponibbi, Ghibli, lilangelboy, and PC Music's Maxo at one of his upcoming JACK댄스 parties in Edmonton
Listen to "HEARTSKIP" below.
GFOTY is one of those acronyms that takes as many syllables to say as the phrase-- Girlfriend of the Year-- it's supposed to abbreviate. As an aesthetic decision, though, GFOTY makes sense as a moniker for one of the main producers on the London-based and net art-obsessed label, PC Music. The music on the label runs the gambit from sugary pop to the inscrutably odd, but is made coherent as a whole through a shared, unwavering commitment to occupy a liminal space between sincerity and parody. "Don't Wanna / Let's Do it," a new track from GFOTY, tends towards the latter, freakier side of PC Music's catalog. GFOTY sets her heavily processed vocals against a backdrop which alternates between sinister basslines and twinkling arpeggios. As dizzying as the song seems at first glance, the song has a coherent structure to it-- even a pretty killer hook.