Exclusive Mix & Interview
February 19th, 2020
Cassettes For Kids
Label: Slothboogie / Moment Cinetique / Feedasoul / Bon Appetit Records
Cassettes For Kids, welcome. Introduce yourself to our audience. Anything special you would like them to know?
Hey! I’m Zak aka Cassettes For Kids. I’m from Melbourne and I make Dance music. I don’t really have anything special to make note of apart from the fact that I hate fruit and am afraid of submerging my head in water. Now you know my weaknesses...
Take us through your life in music.
Music was always in my house. Everyone of my siblings played music in their rooms and my parents loved music as well.
I used to listen to Metallica in my brothers room and Bon Jovi in my sisters room. I’d spend afternoons with a tennis racket with a piece of string tied to it to make a makeshift ‘guitar’ and play along to videotapes we had in the house of music videos and performances.
I picked up guitar when I was 10, played pretty rigorously amongst Blues, Rock, Metal and Psych. I got into a band when I was 19 - played Alt Rock and Psych Rock with them for three years until we broke up and then I invested all my music time into the CFK project. That was around 2015 and I’ve been chipping away at it ever since.
"I picked up guitar when I was 10, played pretty rigorously amongst Blues, Rock, Metal and Psych. I got into a band when I was 19..."
Tell us about your production process. What software / hardware do you use that helps you reach your preferred sound?
I have Monday’s and Tuesday's off to make tunes, so I generally spend Monday just fooling around, finding samples, playing with ideas - then Tuesday is the real polish up and make something of what I did on Monday. It doesn’t always work out, but having a day to play and a day to tighten everything and finish things makes it so much more relaxed. Before I’d only have one real day to work on things and if I didn’t finish anything, I’d have to wait an entire week before I could properly launch into the studio.
In terms of my setup - I’m running Ableton 8 (lol) with an MPC1000, Mackie CR1604 VLZ, Roland TR8, Acidlab Bassline 2, Moog Sub Phatty, Vermona DRM1 mkiii, Alesis 3630 Compressor, Roland RE20, Ulbrick 12AXE, APC40, a Microkorg and a Nektar QX49 keyboard.
I’m after a Novation Peak at the moment to add a Poly synth to the setup as I just sold my Minilogue, and Roland Ju 06 to fund the Moog and Vermona...It’s a never ending process.
All these do is just allow me to jam and fiddle in my studio. I can make music just as well with a laptop, it’s just not as fun and the sound quality is always missing something. With the gear I have now, everything is warm and easy to sculpt the sound.
We would like to know more about the future of electronic music production. Are you noticing changes within software and hardware that you would like to talk about?
There seems to be a bit of a tug of war with people trying to go without a laptop. I think it’s fine, but it’s not going to change your life going without a laptop and you don’t get any brownie points. I tried it and found my music was just missing that 10% of polish, so now I have a hybrid which I think is where the magic lies.
I think the obsession with analog is going out of vogue as well. With digital synths being released that show just how limiting analog synthesis can be. The new Korg Wavestate and ASM Hydrasynth are testament to that shift in the market and their sounds are insane.
Lets talk traveling. Where have you been and where do you want to go? Both visiting and playing.
I’ve been over to South America and Japan once and Europe three times, and played over in Europe a couple of times as well.
I’d really like to play over in South Africa. Watching some videos of Black Loops playing over there a while ago had me begging to go somewhere away from the typical European circuit.
In terms of general travel, Im heading over to Sri Lanka real soon with my girlfriend, but I’d love to go to Japan again and check everything out. I went once by myself but it was a terrible mistake since a lot of the fun things to do are better with someone.
"I can make music just as well with a laptop, it’s just not as fun and the sound quality is always missing something. With the gear I have now, everything is warm and easy to sculpt the sound. "
Can we expect any upcoming releases in the next few months? Tell us about what you have going on?
Yeah, a bunch actually! I included a few in the mix, but I have a remix coming out for Marc Brauner on Bellissima records which will be a tape release, a remix for fellow Aussie James Pepper out on Gallery Records next month and a couple of singles out on Inhale/Exhale later in the year :)
There are a couple of edits that I think are coming out later this year that I’ve been rinsing for a while in my mixes, but still waiting on that one. Very excited for them to finally see the light of day though!
Tell us something about you that the audience at your performance might not ever know.
That I’ve been having mild panic attacks before I get up on stage. I get super super nervous before I play which is a shame since people like to come and say hi before I play and I must just come off like a total dickwad. Apologies to anyone who has felt a little disenfranchised when they’ve spoken to me before a gig...
Cassettes For Kids, in a few sentences. Tell us about this mix you made for us. Where did you get your inspiration. Is there anything special you want the audience to know?
I got inspired by myself obviously!!! Nah, these are all just unreleased tunes that I tried my darnedest to put together in a nice coherent fashion. I’m planning a live set for later this year and I’d like to think this would be a fair indication of how things could sound in a live format :)
I’ve been working hard to create a varied sound that would hold up against my DJ sets since they chop and change throughout genres and energy levels. I tried to limit things to unreleased material which was hard, but I think it’s a nice snapshot of where I’m taking things, so if you don’t like the mix, I suggest unfollowing me on your chosen social media platform to save yourself the disappointment