- Josh Wheatley
Breaking Down the Garage Door with Kitson
Last summer I went over to Pula, Croatia to go to Outlook festival. It was a great experience and it almost doesn’t feel real given the context of this year. The lineup was very impressive, but I remember one set over the rest. We stumbled into the Subdub arena and were abruptly met with a quiet stage, presenting three men. There were no instruments, no decks, nothing but themselves. They went on to beatbox Drum and Bass whilst everyone tried to figure out how they’d pulled a David Blaine and swallowed a Bose speaker. They hadn’t. It was a similar feeling to a life-drawing that looks like it’s a screenshot of a travel instagram. It makes you question how you categorise talent and whether it should be put in a box at all. It’s natural to compartmentalise things, it makes the world easier to understand. In the same sense, there’s an inclination for an artist’s worth to be taken from their background or how well-versed their musical theory is. I’d argue there’s something just as, or more, impressive about someone who’s journey is unconventional.
Kitson’s had countless tracks featured on Rinse FM and they handed him a feature last Boxing Day. His music has been played on Reprezent and even Radio 1 by Flava D and he’s achieved this without any traditional music lessons. Believe it or not, Deadmau5 is partly responsible for his progression. A fascination with the bass on a YouTube clip of the track ‘Professional Griefers’, led Kitson into a maiden voyage into production in 2011. After seven years of learning the ropes and gauging how long it took to build tracks he was content with, he moved to Leeds in 2018. Here, he made the switch to producing on Ableton and The Phat Controlla introduced him to producing UKG, a genre he’d listened to, but not worked with. Kitson still resides somewhere on the Garage spectrum, whilst experimenting with Bassline, Drill and Rap.
This experimentation is on-brand. He’s taught himself to read a keyboard and enough theory to work out scales, but he is not limited by following a precisely taught method. It’s a lot harder to put out monotonous work if you don’t have pre-existing motions to go through. Kitson’s creative process is sparked by an idea and followed through with genuine intrigue. “It’s just a huge blur. Especially when I need to make a remix, it just happens so quickly”. But it’s one thing to have a moment of divine intervention, it is another to transform it into something original. Anyone can have the same thought as you, but not everyone is willing to develop it as far. Kitson takes these initial pieces, duplicates them, and evolves them twenty times over. A genuine curiosity about your art form is going to out-weigh the sheet of paper someone’s music grade was printed on.
Kitson has released tracks with Kiwi Rekords this year, who’ve just won ‘Best Label’ at DJ Mag’s Best of British Awards 2020. He’s one of the producers that’ve been handpicked by the label’s founder, Conducta, to be involved in their Christmas Day remix package.
Follow the label @kiwirekords.
“Check out my music on @kitsonlds and if you rate it please vote for me as best UKG artist on @basshiveuk ’s end of year awards (Also in my bio). Cheers!” - Kitson