More relevant than ever… sadly.

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Footage dragged kicking and screaming out of the archives, as used during live shows 2007-2012, originally assembled by Butch Auntie, then topped, tailed and tidied in January 2017 by yer man Eric.

Alternate link if blocked: https://vimeo.com/200491182

It was ten years ago today…

Monday, September 15th, 2014

…that a small number of you received this email:

hip hopera email invite

(Click image for larger)

Download links here if you need them, now available in Flac too if you want an upgrade!

Well, apart from that email, and a post on the old “Get Your Bootleg On” forum (RIP), which gathered like-minded audio-slicing miscreants, that was it, as far as publicity goes.

In the next 12 months it gathered nigh-on a million downloads and a crapton of on- and off-line recommendations, collapsing my own website in a couple of days (I remember sitting there with my flatmates (hey Dillon & Kev!) watching the bandwidth charges accelerate by the minute before fiscal reality got the better of my ego and I pulled the plug), then being mirrored and promoted by such fine folks as Andy “Waxy” Baio and Jason “Boogah” Cosper (vintage interview on that link from two weeks after release).

And then a whole bunch more folks. And more. And so on until I found myself sat at a front table at the 2005 Webby Awards receiving the award for “Artist Of The Year”. Great fun, (hey, I got to shout “motherfucker” in front of Al Gore *teenage giggle*) but boy, did I feel out of place. With the benefit of hindsight, maybe the Webbys organisers expected the old-school media to be shocked that someone like myself was being publicly honoured for illegally slicing, dicing and re-purposing existing culture?… might generate a bit of shock publicity? but nah… nobody seemed that bothered, thank zod. We’d already moved on. As we do.

Eric Kleptone at The Webby Awards 2005

(Gorgeous, huh? Click for larger. Text of shirt: “Your failed business model is not my problem” – Truer today than ever.)

So… 10 years ago. Seems like centuries. How fast we move… Back then? No Facebook. No Twitter. No YouTube. Some blogs. Some forums. That was about it. Life moves pretty fast, huh?

Downloading a whole album for free? How quaint? Was still quite a novelty then. With the deepest of ironies, as this anniversary rolls around, a free album by one of the biggest bands of all-time has been distributed to allegedly five billion people. A lot of whom don’t seem too happy about it.

But… plus ├ža change. Free music is everywhere now, and you can’t move for it. Everywhere you go people are desperately trying to ram it down your throat. So much so that even the hugest bands have to do it to get heard. You can’t move for the stuff. Awful.

Well, Boo hoo you.

Because today, here, right now, as far as music goes, things are awesome.

Yes, despite the daily hoo-hah of the “new” music industry, of iTunes, Spotify and Pandora, of mega-corps taking advantage of their huge content distribution systems (that you have all signed up for) and automatically generated playlists (that may well favour heavy advertisers, haha), today there is a humongous global musical underground at your fingertips that ten years ago had no chance whatsoever of reaching you. And you probably will really love some of it. It may well even change your life.

The power of a simple tune is greater than ever. But now, more than ever it needs to be discovered. In the same way as folks spent infinite amounts of time digging through piles of dusty records to rescue and repurpose the drum breaks and riffs that now underpin some of your favourite tunes, you, as a listener, have to dig the crates!

This is (still) a really good thing.

Same as it ever was.

So, please, please, dull down the adverts pummelling you from all sides, the clickbait loud-hailers bombarding you from above, push all that stuff into the bin where it belongs, fire up your inquisitive natures, and keep them well stoked. Dig deep, deeper, deepest and often, and you WILL be rewarded. Not just with fine sounds, but with new friends, amazing performances, wonderful communities and an unshakeable knowledge that just by your very participation (and occasional purchase or show attendance, hemhem), you are sustaining and developing a cultural eco-system. One of millions.

(And if you’re think “ahh, I can’t be bothered to do that, clicking through links (ugh), following blogs (zzz), Hey oldster, I don’t have to look for stuff any more, that’s so 20th century”, then fine – enjoy the nutritionless crap you get served up.)

Because it’s true.

And it grows.

“Increment by Increment”.

That’s what we’re rather good at, as a species, on the whole.

We create.

And share.

And grow.

So from me, thank you for downloading, listening, coming to our shows, dancing like a loon, saying hi!, buying me a beer, putting up with me on verbal overdrive, but most of all for being my friends. Even if you’ve never met me, you now know what I’m like, which is an amazing thing.

You’ve blown my mind sky high, restored and energised my faith in music as a culturally-changing force, and I love you for it.

So here’s to the next ten years. I hope this, too, feels like ancient history when I read it back then.

(PS And before you comment, Yes there will be more Kleptones. We’re taking a breather, but it’s evolving. We’re not done yet. Life is a long song, yes?)

xoxoxo

Eric K

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s that man again…

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Okaydoke, I’m coming back from a forced couple-of-months hiatus, mainly due to having to find somewhere new to live and make a Kleptones base, which took rather longer than expected – Space, as you may well imagine, is at a premium in this overcrowded city, which has led to some very over-the-top rents (32% rise in three years apparently) and some rather minuscule dwellings – Being rather a tall chap with a bit of baggage, living hand-to-mouth, it’s not the most ideal of situations. Sorted now though, thank f–k, and it was just in time for us to kick off the new venue for Kleptonite on 10th November!

kleptonite banner
kleptonite bannerkleptonite bannerkleptonite banner
(Pics appropriated from Instamatic and DJ Payroll, sure they won’t mind!)

As I mentioned before, The Britannia in Hackney (map) seemed to be an ideal venue, and so it proved, with valiant back up from the Butch Auntie visual massive, and Instamatic producing a storming and very well received debut AV set, it all went rather well. Not the hugest of sound-systems, but good enough for now – If the crowd grows, we’ll be able to afford a better PA! And we’re going to continue, second Saturday of each month – The next one will be on Saturday 8th December (special guest to be announced soon!), so if you’re in the vicinity, come down, and if you think you’d like to play a set, especially if you’re video-centric, get in touch!

pretty vacant logo
While we’re on the gig front, after many attempts, I’m going to be DJing at Pretty Vacant in Dusseldorf on Saturday 1st December. Those of you will remember the last time I attempted this I ended up snowed in, so we’ll be pulling out some major weather spells to ensure it doesn’t happen this time!



Finally, now all the home-moving shizzle is out of my bizzle, we can get back onto the regularly-posting-tunes-and-mixes train, so here’s a couple of classic 70s rockers given a rather dubby makeover. Hope you like, and see you soon!

(Soundcloud links below – open the post in a new window if they don’t show up in your blog reader!)

Just a little bit louder now…

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

So… back to modern times, sort of. Here’s a tune I debuted at Bootie SF the other week, which screamed Bootie as soon as I put it together, and worked a treat I must say. So much so, that I’ve passed the download over to them as an exclusive, so if you want a copy, you’ll have to head over to the Bootie site. It’s worth it though, there’s a fine clutch of tracks there to be had for free!

What’s more, I’ll be playing at the next Bootie London alongside New York’s finest DJ Lobsterdust, and local heroes Instamatic and Payroll in support. Like last time, it’s at Electrowerkz, running later this time till 4am, so if you’re about, you really should come down! Full details at the Bootie London site!

More plans are afot for future London and elsewhere shows, and we’re starting to investigate Kickstarter ideas to see how we can make more shows happen – if you want us in your area, wherever that may be, and/or you think you can help us with some ground level wisdom from your own town or city, please drop me an email, it would be amazing to make it happen, and it’s a lot easier than you might think!

I Just Wanna Dream…

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Decided to have a crack at the new Major Lazer single, even though I think the original takes some beating… Tried a few styles but this knocked everything else out of the water by a country mile.

So here you go… hope you enjoy!

Love in the cities…

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

bootieA couple of things to announce and a couple of new tunes for you! We’re going off on a little September sojourn… First stop will be Bootie SF on Saturday 8th September, with hosts A+D in town, Smash-Up Derby live, and the finest mashup crowd on the planet!

bootieFollowing that it’s up to XOXO in Portland on Thursday 13th September (you need to be registered with XOXO to get into the Portland show, and it’s completely sold-out, but we’ll be around all weekend, so keep watching the Twitter feed, PDX-ers, you never know what might happen!)

And a couple of new tracks! Up top, “Love In The City” takes some Putney boys off to meet a Canadian Godfather uptown, or possibly round a campfire, and down below “Short And Round” gets rather silly and offensive indeed…

Hope to see you soon!

A Whiter Westway?

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Just a quickie – A lot of people, myself included, have commented on the similarities between Blur’s “Under The Westway” and Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”, but until I tinkered, I hadn’t realised *exactly* how close they were – same tempo, same key (C major, I think)… although Blur cut the last bar of each verse three measures short to achieve a rolling, overlapping effect.

Didn’t need to do more than a minute for you to get the idea…

I do like “Westway” a lot, and, well, “Whiter Shade” was heavily influenced by Bach, so as usual, round and round the riffs we go…

New Reunited Remix…

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Well, the sun came out here today in London for an hour, so to celebrate this momentous occasion, I felt inspired to do another “Reunited” remix, this time sending young Michael off to the Caribbean…

Reunited, and it feels so good…

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Not sure this is what Peaches & Herb had in mind – A couple of quick musical amusements for you that I just couldn’t resist, reuniting cover versions with their original vocals. Possibly the start of an off-and-on series, if I can find any more that sound good…

First up, a bunch of 80s new wavers get pulled into the Afrobeat revival:

And secondly, imagining how a certain soul legend might have sounded if he’d decamped to Jamaica instead of Belgium:

Hope you enjoy! – If you know of any other covers you think may be worthy of the treatment, feel free to let me know…

I’m probably the last person on the planet to advocate Valentine’s Day…

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

…but when you’re in the midst of demoing new things and a pairing like this comes along on 14th Feb (about three hours ago to be precise)… well, you’ve got to do it, haven’t you?

Yes, it’s very silly.

No, the next album won’t sound anything like this.

I hope.

Happy chocolates and flowers day!


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