Kate Simko

Kate Simko: Soul & Heart
Chicago's Kate Simko is digging deep with her diverse style, full of soul & heart.

Even if she looks at her debut as an art project, 'Lights Out' reaches more then a debut state and shows the ultimate talent of Kate Simko, one of the forefront producers around these days.

It seems We are going to hear her more on Hello? Repeat and other labels including Turkish ones and she will continue visiting İstanbul hopefully on a regular basis. Residency? Why Not!

How are you, what are you doing these days?
Hello, I’m great, thanks. Right now I’m flying back from playing Picnik Electronik in Montreal.  It was an amazing gig. There were 5000 people of all ages in a park by the river. Still buzzing from it.

How did the touring go and how are the first impressions for the debut?
The album tour went really well. It was fun and fresh to perform my new A/V live set. I think the debut album has been received well.

But I looked at this project as an art project, so whatever happens, happens. I just am happy if came out on a good label and is out there for people to check out.

How was your gig in İstanbul it was your second time here, would you like to come again?
I love İstanbul. It is one of my favorite cities, and I really connect with the Turkish people. You guys have some of the best food too. Yes, would love to come back.

Was there a very specific night or party which for you is now unforgettable?
There are lots of unforgettable nights, but one that stands out is an outdoor party between Chicago and Detroit around 1996. Jeff Mills and Claude Young finished things up as the sun came up. Those guys were tearing it up back then.

Is there a favorite track for you in the LP, or a track with a special story?
One song that has a special story is “Flight Into BA.” This song is about taking a flight into Buenos Aires, alone at night. It’s a melancholic song that was inspired by the tango music of Buenos Aires.

When I played the album for a close friend, he suggested adding some vocals on this track, so I took the idea and San Francisco-based Kevin Knapp created some smooth vocal additions. I guess it’s natural that BA influenced me because I was writing the songs while living there. I’ve always loved that city, which is why I chose it!

I know that you wrote the album mostly while residing in Buenos Aires. How long did take to decide that the debut was ready to go?
I made the first half of the album in Chicago, then worked in Buenos Aires, then finished the finals back in Chicago. Basically I started a bunch of songs, then went back and saw how the ideas could fit together to form a bigger story. Once this was done, there was a lot of micro-editing (too much, probably!) then it was finished.

Why Hello? Repeat but not Spectral Sound or any other label?
The album was originally intended for Spectral Sound –they asked me to make an album for the label- however, by the time it was completed; the label was going down a different path. Spectral was heading on a more digital-only route, so it just wasn’t going to work logistically.

I went with Hello? Repeat because. ’Lights Out’ doesn’t really fit into one box, and Hello? Repeat is an open-minded label that allows that freedom. Also, they are vinyl lovers and the release will be out a double-pack vinyl as well as CD. 

Which labels will you be releasing on in the future?
I plan to continue to release with past labels like Ghostly, Spectral Sound, and Hello? Repeat, but also have just released on Supplement Facts, and have upcoming music on Tevo Howard Recordings and Leftroom. 

Other than dance music, are you dealing with various pieces like the track 'Monochrome'. I think it is very nice…
I’d like to make more ambient music, but for now I’m being drawn to making new songs that are more melodic and songlike. ’Music From The Atom Smashers’ is an ambient film sound track in this vein. Hope to do more of this sooner than later.

Did you have the chance to go on a vacation? Would you like to spend time in the east or south coast of Turkey?
I was on vacation in Rio De Janeiro in February, which was great. Would love to check out the south coast of Turkey!

Did you started working on new material?
Yes, it’s been great to be back in the studio. Also, I’m adding live keyboards to my live set and taking that to another level now too. 

Will there be any remixes from the debut?
No remixes from the album, besides the Daze Maxim and Tevo Howard remix from the 12” Mind On You on Hello? Repeat. But, I have upcoming remixes for the Turkish label Vesvese and Laura Jones’ track “Love In Me” on Leftroom. Thanks for the interview. Hope to see you soon in Turkey.

Interview: Christopher Çolak
31 August 2011


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