THE brothers of WOLF KASH…
have already had their new single, Slow Burn, endorsed by BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens. One-half of the duo, Harry, is only fourteen and shows an immense amount of talent and maturity. I have been speaking to the twosome to see how that brotherly bond contributes to their exceptional music. They discuss where that WOLF KASH name emanates and whether Crouch End, where the brothers reside, is one of the busier musical corners of London. With the duo’s E.P. out in the ether, I ask what other songs can be found on Slow Burn and the sort of inspirations that went into it. Harry talks about what it is like being a teenager and getting attention so soon whilst Jordan discusses WOLF KASH’s and some rare songwriting inspiration in Germany.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello there! We are doing well. Super-excited to introduce our debut E.P. to the world!
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
We are WOLF KASH! It is myself Jordan and my younger brother Harry. We also have the help of middle brother Max on vocals and creative direction. We are predominantly producers but Harry plays guitar and drums – and I am normally fiddling with buttons and hardware synth parameters.
WOLF KASH is your duo name. What is the origin of that particular name?
The name WOLF KASH was thought up by myself and Max years ago. The name (initially) was created for a clothing brand we were starting up. That project fizzled out pretty quickly: it wasn’t meant to be. WOLF KASH resurfaced again late-2016 as a name for our band as we liked the way it sounded so much!
Crouch End is where you are based. What is the scene like there and how does it differ to other parts of London?
To be honest, there is not a music scene in Crouch End. It is a small part of North London. The music scene in London is extremely forward-thinking, however, and I think our music is being picked up on nicely by a good collection of London-based taste-makers.
Slow Burn is a track that received attention from BBC Radio 1 and was recorded through analog. What was the decision behind that and is that a methodology you’ll be employing for future recordings?
Yes. We were very excited when Radio 1 picked up on it. It originally went through BBC Introducing and made its way to Huw Stephens’ team. Every track is different, but, with Slow Burn, it was just begging to be more ‘analog’. Running it through tape really gave it some life: however, that honestly doesn’t work for every track. Some music wants to be a little more digital.
That song is the title track from your new E.P. What can you reveal about songs and ideas expressed on Slow Burn?
The other tracks on the E.P. are very different to Slow Burn.
Slow Burn speaks for itself but the vocal in it is used just for musical purposes – as it is cut in a way that does not make any sense.
The other three tracks, however, we recorded our own vocals and they do all have their own message. Although repetitive and sparse, the vocal plays a key part in all of the tracks. We treat the vocal parts like a chorus but the verses are purely musical. This is a formula that just came together and it worked for us. Personally, I like to create my own image when I listen to music. I very rarely put myself in the position of the singer. I think that comes across when we write music as the music takes you on a journey that you want to go on. We create the feeling and vibe but the listener can create the vision.
One of your songs, Wasted Under Berlin Gate, has a drunken inspiration involving too much Glühwein. Can you go into a bit more details about how that song came together and why it is so special?
Wasted’ was based around a field-recording I took whilst I was in Berlin. I was visiting the city with my girlfriend just before Christmas 2016 – doing the whole tourist thing. If you’ve never been to Berlin around Christmas, let me tell you… It is Christmas market over-kill. I mean, there are Christmas markets EVERYWHERE. They all sell Glühwein which is basically just mulled wine. It is fairly easy to get carried away and drink too much of that stuff (well it is for me).
I was face-numb-drunk at the Brandenburg Gate and I heard this amazing street-performer playing a hang drum. I love the sound that comes from those things – it’s truly magical. I recorded some on my iPhone and thought no more of it.
I opened that file by accident in the studio months later and we started building a track around it. Pretty weird to think that the bloke playing that has no idea he’s on our E.P. now (didn’t get his name; let’s call him Mr. Magical Hang Drum Player). Thank you, Mr. Magical Hang Drum Player… wherever you may be!
You are brothers so can imagine you must have grown up in a musical household. What kind of music did you hear as children?
You know what, we didn’t. Our dad has always had excellent rhythm and would always be tapping and singing, but he is no musician. I think Harry got involved in music because I have been producing for such a long time. Max has just always had an awesome voice.
Saying that there is quite an age gap between you. Harry, you are still a teenager. Is it quite nerve-wracking coming into music so young or does it feel quite natural?
It has been cool so far. It was weird telling my music teacher that my song was being played on Radio 1.
My friends have all bought the E.P. and have been supporting; so that’s nice. Just taking it one step at a time. I love making music with Jordan and creating new ideas. We are just trying to be ourselves and create whatever comes naturally.
You must be pretty close to go into music together. What is the bond like between you? Are there any ever sibling squabbles?
I think, due to the gap being so large between me and Harry, we tend not to argue at all. He is literally me ten years ago – but he is way, way ahead of his time. I wouldn’t be able to work on a music project with any old fourteen-year-old. Big up the H-Dog. Talented guy.
After your E.P. is released, what other plans have you got for this year?
We have LOTS. This E.P. is literally just a taster of what’s to come. We are already well into our second E.P. that has some amazing collaborations with some cool artists. That is looking more like an album at this point with eight tracks already confirmed. But I think it will go into double-figures, for sure. We will be working on a music video for one of the lead tracks for that. We have also been asked to remix one of Monster Florence’s tracks. They are a band out of Essex that are making movements at the moment. Check them out! Something huge is also happening in April (on 8th and 9th). We can’t talk about it. It’s a secret. Just check out our socials on that weekend.
It is almost the festival season. You guys playing at any or will get a chance to attend any at all?
We are still a very new band. We are concentrating on producing music in the studio.
Performing live is something that is coming closer and closer and we have had to turn down offers already. We are not ready for that, though. As we are producers, we need to work out a way to bring our sounds to an audience live in an interesting way.
If you each had to select three albums that have meant most to you which would they be and why?
We all listen to a lot of music and our tastes differ here and there but, without going all deep and telling you that, The Eminem Show helped me get out of depression when I was young and confused, blah blah blah.
Here are some recent albums that we are feeling:
A Tribe Called quest – We Got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
Jamie xx – In Colour
Sampha – Process
Who are the new artists you recommend we check out?
Off the top of my head…
What advice would you offer songwriters coming through right now?
Sounds so damn cliché, but be yourself. I was producing House music for years before I started this project under the alias Dirty Mango. I am not cutting that off completely but I really felt suffocated in that scene and needed to give it a break. It wasn’t allowing me to be different and try new things. All the labels I sent music to expected a certain sound. It was only when me and Harry got in the studio and made whatever we wanted, with no rule, that good things started to happen.
If you’re true to yourself, things just start going right. People really respond well to it.
Not everyone will like your music: Maybe (not even) 96% of people but you will have a loyal fan-base. Even if it is small!
Finally, and for being good sports, you can each name any song you like (not one of yours as I’ll do that) and I’ll play it here.
Rye Shabby – Kate Moss (Produced by Muckaniks)
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