TiD&B Interview: KlutePosted by Lady V on Thursday, January 5th, 2012
Commercial Suicide’s much respected rich back catalogue of tracks spanning over the past decade is testament to label-head Klute’s undeniably genuine passion and understanding of drum and bass. Reaffirming this is the imprint’s latest offering, a various artists LP simply entitled ‘Commercial Suicide Compilation’, which was released last month. Curated by Klute, it boasts a strong selection of cuts from friends and previous contributors to the label’s acclaimed musical history, with stand out tunes from Break, Dub Phizix and S.P.Y.
We caught up with Klute to talk all things about the album, Commercial Suicide, and also find out more about his own forthcoming productions…
TiD&B: Celebrating 10 years of Commercial Suicide – were you waiting for a momentous anniversary to release the label’s first compilation, or did it all happen to coincide?
Klute: Yes and no is the answer. I think it ended up being a coincidence really. I had a few different ideas of what to do this year (2011)…I half realised it was 10 years, but it wasn’t the sole reason to do the compilation.
TiD&B: It’s a nice touch that you’re looking forwards with delivering fresh tunes, rather than a ‘best of’ – was that a deliberate choice?
Klute: In the end, yes it was. I do believe there’s a strong legacy with Commercial Suicide and while it would have been great to mark 10 years with a collection of highlights of the past, I decided it would be more fun for me to concentrate on the here and now and what is the future. It’s nice to reminisce but it soon becomes bittersweet. I’m happy I didn’t dwell on the past. I released a compilation I am extremely proud of and I’m very grateful to all the artists who came through for me. It’s been an honour.
TiD&B: What was your thought process in selecting tracks for the album? Would you say each track is a perfect representation of the Commercial Suicide vibe, or does it mark how the label’s sound has developed and where it’s at now?
Klute: I’m not sure anyone can ever say where Commercial Suicide is “at”. I do like bits of everything, after all, variety is the spice of life. I suppose I do like the techier side of things but I like my melodies too! So yes, I would say I picked Commercial Suicide vibe tunes. Ultimately, I just picked tunes I liked and turned down tunes I didn’t. There is not one tune that’s a ‘filler’ on there.
TiD&B: Is there a specific track that stands out for you?
Klute: That’s a bit unfair isn’t it! They all stand out in one way or another and they’ve all been faves of mine at one point or another. I mean that, genuinely. I suppose at the moment Seba’s ‘It Aint the Weather’ sticks out in my head as well as the Break tune as they really stand apart from their respective sounds. Clearly the best tune of them all is mine, but you all knew that anyway.
TiD&B: It’s rare for a specialist label to survive long enough to reach the 10 year mark, particularly with a consistent quality output - yet Commercial Suicide is one of the few to have continued to be successful, why do you think this is?
Klute: It’s most likely because I’m a sad bastard with nothing better to do. To be honest, I don’t really know. I like all kinds of music, so maybe that gives me a perspective on things. Also, I play in a band so that gives me a bit of a release whenever it might be needed. Ultimately though, I’ve always viewed this in the long term – music is to be loved and cherished rather than be a flash in the pan and flavour of the month, in that respect I try to sign music that I like and hope stands the test of time. That’s a hard thing to achieve in something so fickle as dance music. Most of the time the music serves as a function, a DJ tool rather than a song that tugs at your heart. Obviously everything can’t be ‘the best song ever’ but I do like to think long and hard about what I release.
TiD&B: So is it just you that’s behind the label, or do you have a team working with you?
Klute: It’s solely me. Obviously my friends bring things to my attention but it all comes down to whether I like it or not.
TiD&B: What have been some of your personal highlights over the past 10 years whilst running the label?
Klute: I suppose really the first release in 2001, and the first album I released…I really didn’t believe I could do that, and now this compilation. The first single wasn’t so difficult, but the albums…….that’s hard work.
Suicide001 Klute ‘Tranceformat’
TiD&B: Does drum and bass still excite you as it did when you dropped Suicide001?
Klute: Oh yes it does, definitely. The only thing that saddens me is the decline in the amount of people who buy records. I’m still genuinely most excited by releasing vinyl and CDs – digital helps to keep things afloat, but the passion is in the tangible product.
TiD&B: You’ve mentioned in recent interviews that there’ll be more of your own productions coming through this year, can you give us a hint as to what to expect?
Klute: I’ve got a couple of Klute related singles in production at the moment. One is an Ulterior Motive remix of the classic ‘We R The Ones’, with a Klute remix of Nymfo on the flip and following that will be a collabs 12″ with Silent Witness & Prolix.
TiD&B: Ideally, and of course this is looking very much into the future, what would you hope the next 10 years bring for Commercial Suicide?
Klute: There’s a Suicide brand of Vodka in the works and I’m negotiating to buy a race horse with a view to start racing towards 2013.