Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Kleptones

The Kleptones

The Kleptones are actually a single person, with a history of releasing concept based Mashup albums, such as 2004's "A Night At The Hip Hopera" and "24 Hours" (2006). He goes by the name Eric Kleptone, which sounds an awful lot like the name of the project, which is named after something other than Eric (read on for the full story), so I'm thinking there's probably not a large extended family of Kleptones out there... Too bad, as I'm sure they'd be a talented lot.

I forget how I got a copy of A Night At the Hip Hopera, but as you can imagine, I was a fast fan. It mixes the mashup concept with other sampling techniques, which is what I personally love to hear. A mashup/cut-up extravaganza as spun on the wheels of steel... now that would be something I'd like to hear more of.

More recently, The Kleptones have released a new mashup concept album called "24 Hours" which takes the listener through an entire day, using nothing but samples to tell the story. There's a new album in the works, as well, so keep your ear to the ground, and check out his past projects, in the meantime, HERE.

He's also a live DJ, and has made a name for himself as such, putting on fantastic performances combining lap top destruction, dancers, live video mixing and music. The 2007 release, "Live'r Than You'll Ever Be," attempts to document one such performance. Check it out HERE.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with The Kleptones...

*Name: The Kleptones

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: No.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Yes!

*Members: It varies – has been as many as six, and as little as one, depending on the situation. I’m the only constant member though, and usually the only musical one. We have been embellished with video and live performance art from time to time, when budgets allow. At the moment, Eric Kleptone – I’m just finishing up a new album so the band members are all in my head, getting drunk and arguing long and loud with each other about basslines and delay tempos.

*Founding Members: Eric Kleptone!

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: I wouldn’t, but if I had to, “Digital Deconstructions”.

*Another genre descriptor: Not really. Call it what you want! “Mashups” is a dirty word now, as it’s slipped out of vogue, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a tag, there have been ones before, there’ll be other ones sometime.

*Is there a story behind your name? Not the descriptor, but the name “The Kleptones” - We stole it, unintentionally I hasten to add, from a photo of what we thought was a piece of stencil graffiti – it was actually the logo of a label from a few years back. Vicki Bennett from People Like Us was one of the people involved in the label, and got in contact – she gave her blessing to our appropriation of their appropriation, which was very kind! The “Earman” graphic that accompanies the text was actually originally sourced from an old RCA stereo test record sleeve also, so it’s another multi-layered appropriation. I love the concept of sampling the sampled, visually or aurally – taking a break from a 90’s hardcore or hip-hop record rather than the original 70’s funk 45 – you get a layer of digital grit that wasn’t originally there, on top of the surface noise of the original vinyl, and the hiss on the master tape etc...

*Location: Brighton, UK

*Original Location: Somewhere else in the UK!

*What is your creative/artistic background: A lifetime of playing in bands, being a sound and lighting engineer, and being a DJ and Producer in my own right. Eventually got tired of listening to everyone else and thought I could do better. Also a lifetime of collecting music and odd sounds came in handy too.

*History: The Kleptones have existed now for six or seven years. What I created prior to that isn’t important to anyone that wasn’t there at the time. With The Kleptones there is always an ear towards creating something that will stand the test of time a little more than just soundtracking the moment, up till now anyway. It seems to be working though, as people are still discovering older things we’ve done, listening to them with fresh ears and mailing us to say good things.

*Born: (no answer – see above)

*Motivations: The need to communicate. The need for an individual, personal method of expression. The need for a soapbox on which to stand. The need to differentiate myself from all others. The need to create. The need to work. Motivated by stupidity, ignorance and the “chew it up – spit it out” attitude that is prevalent in modern attitudes to art and culture.

*Philosophy: I don’t think it’s fully formed yet. We’re still on the path to enlightenment – when we get to the end, we’ll know why we took this route.

*How would you like to be remembered: A national holiday.

*Web address:


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