YouTube Sessions: Kid Smpl

Seattle based producer Joey Butler (aka Kid Smpl) is a Red Bull Music Academy alumni who makes music that sounds like the mid-point between Burial’s rain-swept urban vignettes and codeine-drenched strains of U.S. Hip-Hop – using melody in everything he does, but only in the most distorted and treated ways imaginable. As a committed student of Dance music’s history, his work over the past few years displays a deep understanding of sound system culture; intelligently incorporating skewed elements of Jungle, Garage and Dubstep – placing classic sounds in a fresh new context.

On ‘Response/Ascend’, Butlers latest release for Symbols and companion piece to the ‘Precinct’ EP released back in February, he continues to tread new ground, moving away from the aforementioned Hardcore Continuum framework. Throughout the 6 track EP we see him play with everything from the chromatic vibe of modern Dancehall through to big room Trance and visceral Noise – all finished off with a thick coat of alt-R&B varnish.

For this week’s YouTube Sessions Butler delves deep into the worlds of Thunderdome raves, Gabber and lifts the lid on a certain Burial sample. Enjoy.

Think about half of my picks involve high-speed dance tracks so I’m gonna start things off with a couple of videos on a different tip. This video in particular is a fictional field recording called “Programming at Home”. There’s a bit of a subculture on YouTube surrounding this kinda stuff (sci-fi field recordings) and it’s definitely worth exploring.

When a burial sample shows up at the end of an Aaliyah interview.

So this is an old documentary on gabber that I came across a couple of years ago. It led me down a bit of rabbit hole to discover all the different variations of hardcore techno, which I missed out on because of my age. I love the stripped down nature of the tracks and it’s crazy to me that a genre this intense had such a big following.

That documentary led me to a treasure trove of videos from the old Thunderdome raves. It’s difficult to pick which one to share but this one seems to drop you in the thick of it.

My friend DJAO put me on to these tanging videos. For those unfamiliar, tanging is a high speed variant of bmore/philly club music geared towards a specific style of dance (of the same name).

“This is 12 hours of the ambient droning sound heard in Blade Runner while in Deckard’s domicile.”

This is a midi piano rendition of “Passion” by Utada Hikaru from the Kingdom Hearts II soundtrack . You can find a ton of these midi piano videos online. Thought this one was particularly nice. Works well when played over the Blade Runner ambience video too.

‘Response​/​Ascend’ is out now and available to purchase from Bandcamp.

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