The techno producer is devoted to the sole aim of making people dance.
To know Kane West is to dance to Kane West. The producer, one-third of ebulliant crossover pop act Kero Kero Bonito, peddles an ecstatic brand of four-on-the-floor techno laced with the squirming leftfield charm of his PC Music affiliates. Often employing basic music software setups and presets in lieu of the fetishized and highly-prized analog equipment, Kane West is devoted to the sole aim of making people dance. His lyrical content is typically no more than an assemblage of stock DJ tags and shoutouts—reminding us, in no uncertain terms, to “put [our] hands up in the air” and “dance.” Faced with the cryptic Kane West and his irresistable output, there’s really not much else to do. As the enigmatic figure makes clear in his interview with AdHoc—ahead of his April 13 show at Sunnyvale—Kane West is an effervescent entity who congeals, not in the press release or music journal writeup, but in the club.
AdHoc: So, who is Kane West? Is it the real identity of Kero Kero Bonito member Gus Lobbon? An alter ego? A faceless, anonymous house DJ? A Kanye West tribute band?
Kane West: The best DJ.
How do you envision this figure behind the name Kane West?
The best DJ playing the best records.
What’s the joke behind the name? Do you have any special affinity for Kanye West?
No—it’s a coincidence.
Not to belabor this line of inquiry, but what IS your favorite Kanye record?
The “Mr. Fingers” one.
Seeing as you want to be “the biggest DJ ever,” do you foresee any copyright issues with your alias?
Ask my lawyers.
In an interview with thump, you mentioned that “If a track like “Power of Social Media” came out on Phantasy Sound, no one would be nearly as confused” as they are when they hear your music coming out of the PC Music camp. How did western beats end up on that label, and why do you think it made sense for PC Music?
A.G. [Cook, head of PC Music] offered the biggest advance.
Speaking of which, how would you describe your current relationship with them?
Your social media pages are as cryptic as ever, so it’s a little hard to figure out what direction you’re heading in these days. Where are you trying to take Kane West?
Tomorrowland mainstage; Friday, 10 p.m.
You seem to gravitate to a pretty classic house sound (overlaid, of course, with brutalized vocal samples and even flute melodies). What room is there to operate within the rather rigid stylistic framework of house and techno?
As much as your heart desires.
Do you feel like this sound is anachronistic these days?
House will never die.
What kind of social function does this techno accomplish now, especially alongside in the context of the burgeoning experimental club scene nurtured by PAN, Ghe20g0th1k, and Staycore?
It makes the people dance as one.
Was there any record—techno, house, funk, or otherwise—that convinced you to start making music?
Kraftwerk[‘s] Trans-Europe Express.
It sounds like the textures and instrumentation you use as Kane West (not to mention Kero Kero Bonito) draws from a geographically and temporally wide range of influences. What kind of music informs your sonic background?
All dance music history.
You’ve described PC Music as an “art school.” What is the dynamic in the so-called collective?
Sorry but i signed a non-disclosure agreement.
Would you say that the essence of Kane West—or, to stay in the lexicon of the art school—the primary study of Kane West, congeals on record or live?
In the club, 1000 hands in the air.
Make sure to experience Kane West’s first materialization in New York this Thursday at Sunnyvale.