Here’s what we know so far…
Killer Hertz are a trio. They’re based in Brighton. They have previous and don’t wish to reveal who they are.
Not, they tell us, for any marketing or hype mystery. But simply because they want the full focus to be on the music with none of the standard online noise, preconceptions and hyperbole around it.
Here are a few more critical facts about them…
They came through on Viper over 18 months ago with All Out then followed it up with the massive Prometheus / Cryogenics EP last November. Earlier this year they dropped the immense and theatrical peak time hurter Levitation on the Quadrant EP courtesy of Friction’s Elevate imprint and they’ve just followed it up with the beastly drama-damager Gorilla. Meanwhile in the future there’s even talk of an album and a live show.
Big moves for an act so new. We called them up to try and find out more. Names have been changed to protect the innocent…
You wish to remain anonymous…
Mr K: We just think who we are isn’t important!
Is this due to contractual obligations?
Mr K: Not really. It’s just a new and fresh project. It’s not like this big thing where we’re massive names – because we’re not – and we’re eventually gonna come out and say who we are. We literally just want the music to do the talking. If I had my way it would be white labels with no text on every release or Spinal Tap’s Black LP.
What can we know about your backgrounds?
Mr H: We’ve known each other for years and worked on various things together and at least two of us come from a highly musical background and had a lot of theoretical schooling. We started making tunes as a three of us fairly recently and it became apparent that it had a life and momentum of its own and we needed to make something of it.
The first track of yours we heard as All Out… That classic horn sample!
Mr Z: We got fined for that! The original artist spotted it and called us out so we paid clearance on that. It’s a wicked sample.
Mr K: That whole balance of dancefloor and jump-up and classic sample use on that track was something that really worked and seemed to go down incredibly well. The VIP was heavily played on the radio too.
Mr H: It wasn’t the first tune we made, too… It was just the first release. Prometheus was the first tune we made.
Yes – on Viper. That’s why it was surprising to hear you’d signed with Elevate…
Mr Z: Yeah, Viper are smashing it and were amazing to start this project with. We’re solid with them. But with Elevate, it’s a new label and there’s an exciting air of freshness.
Mr K: Plus Friction lives in the same city as us. We’re round the corner from him so we’ve got that much more regular dialogue.
There’s a proper sense of drama in some of your tracks. Like a classical sound with really strong arpeggios. Is that your classic backgrounds coming through?
Mr K: A few people have said that those elements are samples but I can tell you these guys play it live. Most producers, including myself, use an arpeggiator but with these guys it’s really being played. So yes it is their classical background and general mad skills coming through. All of the music is thought out, constructed and written before the production begins. It’s amazing to work with them in this way.
Mr H: We’re songwriters as well as producers so that comes naturally. So it’s been exciting to really apply what we know in this type of drum & bass. We’ve already got a large body of work down towards an album and a lot of it really focuses on that type of combination of approaches and go in with the level of detail on the production and composition that we’ve been enjoying.
Mr Z: It’s not just classical influences as well. We’ve been working with a good friend of ours who’s a guitarist and one track we’re sitting on has this mad Rage Against The Machine style intro to it. But that’s just one example of how we’re pushing the sound and ourselves. We’ve got this really interesting background and all play real instruments.
Mr K: Yeah I come a drumming background so I write the beats in my head like they write the keys, chords and melodies in their heads. In this way the tune is written in our heads before we’ve started it.
Mr K: Quite an intense balance, too. There’s a lot going on in every production. We were going over a track the other day and reduced it down to 240 channels of sound. I was like ‘this is fucked!’ But if you deleted any one of them it would have taken something away from the song. Mixing down a 240 channel record is a head fuck, let me tell you. And the thing is that no one will ever believe us it had that many when they hear it.
Mr H: It’s all the subtle elements that all come together. You get a lot of it in pop music production but you’d never actually notice it. It’s that extra 10%
We need to talk about Gorilla!
Mr K: Gorilla we wrote a while back but finished the mixdown recently. We went a bit overboard recording a lot of live instruments and adding a stupid amount of layering of drums and synths. It was a nightmare to mix.
Tell us about the MC
Mr H: Chris Girl Problem is from our hometown Brighton. For our debut single on Elevate, we wanted to use a lesser known vocalist. It seemed too easy to work with a tried and tested vocalist. We don’t like the easy route so instead, we got on a vibe with Chris and ended up with a unique vocal that we are really happy with.
So you mentioned a potential album earlier… Too soon to divulge any more information on it?
Mr K: Well we’re working on it and would love to release it this year but if every track is 240 channels then it’s probably not going to happen. Plus we don’t know what Elevate want to do – it’s that early in the pipeline we haven’t had a proper planning meeting about it. It’s very early days.
Mr H: We’re writing it anyway, but there does need to be the right sense timing. We’re dropping from the sky out of nowhere – no one knows us or who we are and we’ve been really lucky to have the opportunities we’ve had so far so we need to make sure people want an album.
So with the whole anonymity vibe in mind how are DJ shows going to work? Masks? Screens? Bags on your heads?
Mr Z: We’re playing with ideas on that one but again it’s really early days. We’ve turned down bookings because we’re not ready to implement it yet. It could be masks but they’ve been done a lot and can be a bit cheesy. I mean DJ gigs are amazing and they pay the bills and everything but we’re live musicians so when the time is right we want to take this live.
Mr K: That’s where we want to go. And I think that can only be done when there’s an album ready.
In the meantime, what’s next?
Mr H: We have two more singles finished and two remixes done, all ready for 2018 releases. And plenty of tunes that we are currently finishing too. Early 2018 all is going to be revealed!