Today sees the release of the debut EP by Berlin-based electronic artist, Kat Koan. Lustfire draws on a myriad of influences from new wave, post punk, techno and pop, with recent single ‘At Your Service’ exploring the relationship between humans and AI sex robots.
“We’ve recently seen the launch of robots designed to provide humans with companionship and intimacy, using self-learning algorithms to engage their partner’s brain and emotions,” explains Koan. “How will that affect human relationships? Will we end up having unrealistic expectations of human partners? Will we be able to develop feelings towards humanoid robots?”
Koan came to music fairly late in life, after a somewhat life changing experience. A burnout triggered an inability to sleep and after seeing a hypnotherapist for help, it unleashed an urge to create music and visuals that she never knew existed inside of her. Together with producer Alex Lavery she is now making songs that combine sound influences from Berlin and London. The aim is to evoke strong mental images, songs that make you feel something, unconstrained by what’s expected of certain genres.
As for her playlist: “Some songs are so expressive I wish I could create paintings that reflect the mood visually.”
1. Anne Clark – ‘Our Darkness’
“I have the utmost respect for Anne Clarke. She has managed to be current for more than 30 years. Musically, lyrically and visually compelling, she’s the queen of cool.”
2. Chrysta Bell & David Lynch and Dean Hurley – ‘Beat The Beat’
“This is the song that made me want to start making music. I watched Chrysta Bell perform ‘Beat The Beat’ and it instantly transported me into a world I didn’t want to leave anymore. I can’t quite believe that I had the pleasure and honour of the master of moody sounds, Dean Hurley mixing my album… still pinching myself to be honest.”
3. Ennio Morricone – ‘The Ecstasy Of Gold’
“This track from the film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is one of the most beautiful songs of all times in my humble opinion. The vocal is so emotional, it’s tough to keep it together.”
4. Björk – ‘Nattura (feat. Thom Yorke)’
“Björk sounds great on this track, which is driven by dark tribal percussion, venting her frustrations through overwhelming polyrhythms that certainly do their part to evoke emotions. Thom Yorke’s windy ambient backing vocals add an extra layer of eeriness. I’m in awe of Bjork’s visualisations too, her live shows are out of this world.”
5. Anna Calvi – ‘Hunter’
“The level of raw sexuality in her vocals is out of this world, effortlessly morphing from intimate, up close to big and operatic – from gentle purring to prowling lioness. I absolutely love the way her breathe is being used as a rhythm is this song, it doesn’t get much more sensual than that in my books.”
6. Andrea Belfi – ‘Strata’
“A fellow choice Berliner – percussionist and composer Andrea Belfi has become renowned for his hypnotising drumming, ensnaring electronic patterns and playful experiments with Gnawa rhythms, love the way the pacey drums ramp up the tension toward explosive high points, it transports me into another world. He’s about to go on tour with Thom Yorke.”
7. Fever Ray – ‘Part VII: IDK About You’
“Swedish artist Karin Elisabeth Dreijer Andersson is one of the most interesting vocalists I have come across. Her performances get under my skin big time. Love the eerily claustrophobic sonic landscape and lashings of pitch-shifted vocal effects in combination with direct and outward looking lyrics. It’s been amazing to witness her transformation, to see her grow and morph over the years into the person she really wants to be. She hasn’t let perceptions, age or motherhood hold her back from fulfilling her creative urges, exploring her sexuality and expressing herself in a unique way, which is a huge inspiration for me.”
8. Chromatics – ‘Shadow’
“Don’t ask me why, but I can cry to this one. Happy tears, sad tears, feeling sorry for myself tears, in love with a cute little kitten tears… No holding back.”
9. St. Vincent – ‘Los Ageless’
“I’m a huge St. Vincent fan, and it was hard to pick one particular track. She is an expert at weaving unsettling lyrics into songs that, at first blush, seem upbeat and cheerful. This track ruminates LA’s ugly side – the one that tries so hard to be beautiful.”
10. Portishead – ‘Roads’
“One of my all-time favourite songs. The opposite of comfort food… An absolute masterpiece that encompasses all I look for in a song – aura, raw emotion, thoughtful lyrics and vulnerability.”
Kat Koan’s Lustfire EP is out now. Listen to it HERE.
You can listen to all Ask the DJ playlists on the FMS Magazine Spotify CHANNEL.
Find Kat Koan’s playlist below and HERE.