Kyle Geiger: Sometimes you have to close a door before another one can open
Sometimes you have to close a door before another one can open.
I worked on an album recently. I knew it was time to do a full-length. I got in the studio, and completed the album. Then, I just said, it's not time. I haven't scrapped the album, but I've gutted it. As I understand it, the paint crew at the Golden Gate Bridge starts at one side of the bridge, and by the time they get to the other side of the bridge, the corrosive sea salt and the ocean have taken its toll on the paint job where you started it at the beginning. The musical process is like that. You get so emotionally attached to a project. I got to the end of it and I said, these are good tracks, but this isn't really an album. I had to be willing to walk away from it. It didn't feel cohesive. All of the tracks were individually good, but it wasn't cohesive. There are three or four segments of the album. In electronic music, your only point of cohesion is the music.
If you look at bands, they have lyrics and music, so maybe the music isn't super cohesive but the lyrics are a story that's being told. With instrumental music, like techno, it has to be musically cohesive. That's a challenge. For me, for it to be an album, it has to be diverse. The challenge is making an album that's cohesive enough to make sense as an album, diverse enough, yet true to my identity as an artist. Ultimately, when the day is done, I'm making techno music.
I've played First Avenue several times, and I've also played a few festivals outside of Minneapolis. I have played Communion when it was at Solera, and Communion when it was at Crave. For me, how the music is being presented effects the way that you play. There used to be a venue in Minneapolis, which had really cool parties in a dark basement. What you would play there is really different than what you'd play outside on a patio when everyone's enjoying their Sunday evening. The mentality that people who are going to a basement at 1 am on a Saturday saying let's go for it is way different than 8 pm on a Sunday, and that comes out in the music.
The DJ sets the bookends, the parameters. You kind of let the crowd give you the body language as to where on the bookshelf you go. The crowd defines where you take it. The environment also affects things. When Prince was playing the Super bowl halftime show, and it started to pour in the middle of his set...it was like, how much cooler is Purple Rain when its raining? Context matters.
Music moves so fast now that it's easy to become more attracted to music just because it's new, versus being best for the occasion. It's good to always push boundaries, and you do that by introducing new material, but you can't always do that. I'm always playing a combination of old and new music. On the patio I'll play a little less heavy, a little more techno with a nice house accent.
Kyle Geiger performs this Sunday 6/1 at Communion with Centrific,Mike Moilanen & Jevne, Ryan C, and Ian Lehman in the blue room. 3-10 PM, 21+, $10 till 4pm, $15 after 4pm, $20 after 6pm at 400 Sound Bar
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