Commercial Suicide boss and production badman Tom Klute celebrates 20 years in the game this year and with a new EP out on Metalheadz we thought it was high time for a chat! Read on for his thoughts on analogue synths, track titles and the best of the ‘headz back catalogue.
DNB Dojo: Hi Tom! How are you today?
Klute: I’m really good thanks. Wonderful.
DD: It’s been about 10 years since your last release on Metalheadz. What brought you back to the label for this EP?
K: It’s one of the few labels that has maintained its integrity in releasing off-key music. They still take chances and haven’t got caught up in the tangled web of the commercial dream.
DD: Let’s talk about Westernized. I love the bassline on this one! Is that analogue gear at work?
K: Well thank you. Actually the loud distorted bassline was analogue. One of the most useful pieces of equipment I bought in the last few years was the Studio Electronics SE1X mono synth. It’s amazing for bass. It has a rare quality of being useable. So much gear is bogged down with features a lot of the time it ends up looking good on paper but ends up not being particularly usable, but the SE1 is fantastic and gets used pretty much every track.
DD: Arboretum meanwhile goes in completely the opposite direction, with a really peaceful, serene tone. Was there a specific place or experience that inspired the track?
K: Arboretum was actually gear driven at the beginning. Another piece of kit I love is the Teenage Engineering OP1 which is just superb at sketching out random ideas and that’s where this tune started. But it’s a dreamy tune, it reminds me of walks in the arboretum of my park when I was growing up as a kid. That’s where I forged my relationship with music, taking long walks in the dreamy parkland with headphones on.
DD: Your track titles often seem to imply a hidden meaning to your work, such as Just What You’re Feeling. Is that intentional? Or am I reading into something that isn’t there?
K: Oh definitely, I do love a good track title, it’s just very hard to keep up with them. I think in this case it was a message to myself when I came to save the Cubase file the first time and it stuck. They’re often a bit subconscious and months later it dawns on me the bigger meaning, which is a nice surprise.
DD: 2015 marks 20 years of Klute which you celebrated first with the You Won’t Like It EP and now with Savage Circle, can we expect more from you this year?
K: There will be more but I’ve learnt not to blab on about things in advance.
DD: What else is on the agenda, at Commercial Suicide or elsewhere in the Klute-sphere?
K: Commercial Suicide keeps rattling away rather healthily. I’ve been pumping out the releases this year with an EP just out by Digital and Response. Coming up next is an LP by Quadrant, Kid Hops & Iris from Seattle and following that will be a solo EP from Response. Its all good stuff and they’re all great people.
DD: Last but not least, give us your five favourite ‘headz tunes from the archives.
K: Ooooh, good question!
1. Photek – Consciousness
2. Doc Scott – VIP Drumz
3. Source Direct – Stone Killer
4. Optical – To Shape The Future
5. Klute – Splendor
6. Jay Magik – Your Sound
7. Grooverider – The Warning
Klute’s rather delicious Savage Circle EP is out right now so check out the clips below and hit up the Metalheadz store to grab a copy on vinyl or digital now.