Matthew Kyle (M.K.) loves whiskey, cats and disco – just our kind of guy. The New York-based DJ turned producer only started dabbling in music-making eight months ago and he’s already all the buzz, with two releases on Berlin’s vinyl-only disco edit imprint, Dikso under his former monikers NoRequests and byDesign. Although still a ripe talent, Kyle has already carved out a trademark style that straddles between head-bobbing boogie, nusoul and downbeat disco. In anticipation of his Dec. 4 debut at halcyon the shop for Slow Disco Saturdays, we caught up with this slow disco front man and chatted about disco (what else?), life in the limelight and why he’s all about pitched down grooves. Interview and tracklist after the jump.
How would you explain the difference between the classic disco sound and the new style coming out to someone who grew up with the birth of this genre?
Less cheese, more filling…I think a lot of music is based off another style or genre, especially with the advent of sampling. All dance music has its roots in classic disco and soul, what you're hearing nowadays is a more modern interpretation of that vibe.
Who is on your radar these days in terms of producers and labels?
Far too many to list but I'll do my best: The Revenge first and foremost and all his side projects with Craig Smith (6th Borough Project), Ali Herron (as OOFT), and Burnt Island Casuals. Mark E can do no wrong. Eddie C is simply amazing. Cole Medina. LTJ X-Perience. The Dikso Label I was on briefly is putting on good stuff. I'll always love the Super Value Edit Series. My friends Soho808, JKriv (as Deep and Disco), and Lou Teti are all making good music right now. I'm involved with a digital-only label out of England called Audio Parallax and there will be a lot of great releases and artists on that roster.
What is your opinion of this whole edit-craze and where do you see the trend going? What makes a good edit in your opinion?
Like any style of music you have to wade through some mud to find the gems. The software makes it so easy than anybody can do an edit. It is certainly how I got started. I don't think its ever going to go away. There is just an over-abundance of source material to choose from and forgotten records that deserve a second listen. There are a few different styles of edits. For me what makes a good one is something that adds to the original, works it over and shines a new light on it. Not just a basic extension with an intro, that's kind of lazy in my opinion. But to each their own.
Your DJing style, as reflected in this mix, is slower than most disco music– not your typical dance floor disco. What is your goal, as a DJ?
Yeah, I'd say so. It’s one of the reasons I get pigeonholed as a warm-up DJ, which is fine by me actually. I don't have a specific goal as a DJ. I play what I want, no more no less. I definitely keep things pretty slow and mellow, but it is still very dance-floor friendly. I think the more people who hear this type of music being played out at clubs the more it will catch on. But everyone is used to hearing "floor-fillers" and whatnot. To me it’s more about creating a mood and a groove over the course of the night. I love playing 4 and 5 hour sets because it gives me the freedom to spread out and play a lot of different songs, those songs just happen to fall within the 90-110bpm range.
That still blows me away. Its beyond humbling to say the least. My record as "NoRequests" was a huge hit and has been played pretty heavily worldwide. The "byDesign" record was pretty big too. It was never my intention to get released. I just started making music as a hobby and as a natural reaction to DJing. I make music for me and when people are into it its even more rewarding.
I understand you are no longer using your moniker NoRequests. What about your byDesign project, can you tell me more about that? Who is this elusive partner in crime?
We've worked together professionally at a design studio for the past 4 years and we discovered we each had an immense passion for similar music. He was a DJ here in NYC in the 70's and 80's, one of the reasons he wants to remain "elusive." He has been there and done that. Like me, he's doing it for the music. He is not just a good friend, but a mentor as well. He actually got me into Ableton so I owe a lot to his help and guidance. Plus, as byDesign, we make some pretty kick-ass tracks if I do say so myself.
Favorite disco or soul record you couldn’t live without?
Damn, that is a tough question. Marvin Gaye and Barry White will always be at the top of my list. The Chi-Lites and Harold Melvin & The Blue-Notes too. I definitely prefer the soul over the disco. Like I said earlier - less cheese, more filling.