Klue is the moniker under which Sydney-based producer Gabriel Clouston makes music. We first took notice of his immense talent when he released an awesomely funky remix of Sticky Fingers track Caress Your Soul, so we decided to ask him to put together a mixtape of his favourite tunes going around at the moment. He managed to put together an Australian heavy, but very chilled and electronically-based bunch of tracks. Klue was also nice enough to answer a few questions about himself; so check out his musings on juggling a solo career with involvement in Truevibe Nation, as well as some interesting insight into his creative process.
You’ve put together quite a few fantastic remixes over the past year or so. How do you go about deciding on a track to alter with your own creative imprint?
I usually go for the tracks that I really like, but wouldn't play in one of my dj sets in their original form. For me it doesn't really make sense to take a track of a certain style and then remix it into another track of that same style. It's all about taking what ever it is that makes that track special and then reworking other elements to make it work in a totally different listening context.
Give us a short explanation of your creative process for original tracks you release?
I find that I have a lot of my best ideas while I'm walking around the place. I've got a recording app on my phone so if something good pops into my head I'll just beatbox the idea in and then take it to the studio later and build a track around the idea. If you see some dude in the street making strange noises into his phone that's probably me. I swear I'm not crazy.
Tell us about your involvement with True Vibenation?
I’ve been working with old friends Verbaleyes and Native Wit as True Vibenation for almost as long as I can remember. We’re actually just finishing up our second album at the moment so it’s fire on all cylinders at the moment. That also means we’ll be touring again soon. It’s a fun show to play, with the other two as the Mc’s, me on the turntables, and all of us playing horns, it means heaps of running from one part of the stage to the other and switching roles, which keeps things interesting!
What’s it like balancing your involvement with True Vibenation and your solo project as Klue? Is it your intention to continue with both of these projects long-term?
It's definitely a bit of a juggling act, especially during touring and Album time! My calendar sorta looks like one of those cards at someone’s going away party where someone has taken it around for everyone to sign and by the time it gets to you you can’t tell what colour the cardboard was underneath, let alone find space to write anything.
But yeah, I’ll definitely be doing a whole lot more of both projects. As I mentioned there’s a new True Vibenation record on the way, plus there’s a couple of new Klue remixes soon to be released and I think I can safely promise you a Klue EP soon too!
Tell us a bit about the songs you chose, and why you chose them?
So I just realized after writing this list up that it is almost exclusively Australian produce. This isn’t something I did consciously but obviously the Australian production scene is in a pretty good place at the moment! I can’t think of another time I can remember where I could proudly point at so many great producers on our scene. Great to see Australia moving away from being the home of Electro House! We’ll just pretend Melbourne Sound never happened and say that the future is looking bright for the domestic beats scene!
1. Roleo – ‘I Know You Can Hear Me'
This is one of those tracks that I hear and think, "Damn, I wish I wrote that one". There was a funny story with this track. I know Roleo pretty well as we're both part of Big Village Records and the first time I heard this I was in the car listening to FBI and Joyride dropped it on his show. So I sent Joyride a text all like "What the fuck is this track, it's awesome!" and got one back saying "Are you serious? It's Roleo" Clearly I had been a bad label mate and hadn’t listened to the record yet. I told him not to tell anyone!
2. KonKoma - 'Kpanlogo'
I found these guys through their release on Soundway Records, which is one of my favourite labels at the moment for all things Afro and Latin. They’re a London based Afro-funk group with roots in Ghana, with a couple of members from Osibisa (the band that did that track ‘Sunshine Day’ that I bet you’ll recognize if you google it). This tune is all energy with some very frenetic percussion. This track creates sweaty dance floors.
3. Melt Yourself Down - ‘Fix My Life’ (Ribongia Remix)
I’ve been a fan of Ribongia’s music since I saw his live show at Peat’s Ridge Festival about 5 years ago. Over that time he’s produced some dope tracks but I’d say this remix is one of my favourites of his. It’s the first Afro-Juke track I’ve ever come across and I am all about it! The percussion and raw horns of Afrobeat meet the high paced shuffle of Juke to great effect. Killer. The original track by Melt Yourself Down is pretty epic too, some wild vibes in there that could be Balkan or Middle Eastern in origin, with some solid latin-influenced percussion.
4. Dizz1 – ‘Everyday Grind’ featuring Aloe Blacc
Some awesome news recently was that Aussie beat maker Dizz1 got signed to another of my favourite labels, Tru Thoughts. Listen to this track and it’s not hard to hear why! Dizz kills it on the beat and I was stoked to see that he’d got Aloe Blacc on the vocals. Although it may not sound like what you might expect from Aloe. Before he blew up as an awesome soul singer Aloe Blacc was actually known as a dope rapper, and his performance on this one is a return to that style, and he nails it. The whole EP is top notch, definitely check it out when it’s released.
5. Chiefs – Nevermind
Chiefs has a bunch of tracks available from the Die High Records soundcloud, and it’s safe to say all of them are dope! Die High are a Perth based label, they put out the Roleo track above as well, and definitely worth checking out. I love the contrast between the really soft, gentle textures and the smacking drums on this track. I’ve been playing this one out a fair bit lately, and the crowds seem to like it!
6. Oscar Key Sung – All I Could Do (Black Vanilla Remix)
OKS is one talented mofo! His tune All I Could Do is awesome in my opinion. The dude has a great voice and serious production chops, and he manages to pull it all off live onstage solo. I’ve caught Black Vanilla live a couple of times and they are pretty much owning Sydney at the moment. Their remix here is tight. Their tune ‘Call Your Husband’ is great too, on a Toro Y Moi meets Juke and Footwork sorta tip. Some real gentle, smooth vibes, with thumping drums and sub bass.
7. Ben Pearce – What I Might Do (Kilter Remix)
It’s no secret that Kilter is shredding it at the moment. One of my favourites of his is this remix of the tune that went massive for Ben Pearce a while back. When I first heard this the awesome voice on it sounded really familiar so I looked it up. Turns out Ben Pearce isn’t the singer as I had once assumed! The vocal is actually sampled from a song by Anthony Hamilton, who is a seriously decent soul/R&B singer (in the good sense, not the Chris Brown sense) from the states. Check him out for sure. What Kilter has done with this tune totally completes the brilliance. Full marks!
8. Illumes – ‘The Deepest Horns’
This is the title track of Illumes’ debut EP on Frequency Lab. Great melody, super tight percussion, and some really nice textures. Go there!
9. Papertoy – ‘The Love’
So with the over representation of Die High Records in this list I’d understand if you accused me of being paid off by them, but this is just another track that I couldn’t leave out. Papertoy is a young and very talented producer out of Sydney. If you’re a Triple J listener you will no doubt have heard his production work on the Thundamentals tune ‘Noodle Soup’.
10. Meare – Want You In My World
Sydney dude Meare has put out some wicked tunes in the last year or so. This one is one of my favourites. Dope bit of Purple styled bass music with some awesome melodies.
11. Eastern Bloc – ‘Keep Pushin’
This is a name you might not have heard before but if he keeps making tunes like this I’d like to think Eastern Bloc will become one you hear on the regular. Super deep, spacious production, nice melodies and some great vocal sampling and slicing on this track. Definitely not for the club, but throw your headphones on and see where it takes you.