Interview: K.E.E.N.E.

K.E.E.N.E. are Panama born brothers who since moving to the German capital of Berlin, have really taken their own Cacao Records imprint to a new level of quality, releasing music from the likes of Till Von Sein and Doctor Dru.

The next release on the label will come from the duo themselves, titled Don’t Say, and will also feature an excellent remix from David Mayer.

Preparing for the release which comes out later this week, K.E.E.N.E. told us all about their studio routines, the remix from David, and their work in their home country for Late Night Music. Find the full interview below.

Good day K.E.E.N.E.! Are you enjoying the Berlin heatwave going on at the moment?

Yes, Finally! This is very close to our weather in Panama. The only thing is that here people get into a really nice mood and the vibe turns beautiful.

Your three track Don’t Say EP is dropping pretty soon, what’s the inspiration behind this track?

Last year was one of the busiest years for us in terms of gigs. The main idea was to try to make something that could fit our sound in most of the gigs. Especially those intimate ones, when you’re closer to the crowd. It came after experimenting with different rhythms and synths.

And it also features a remix from David Mayer. Why David? And what was your reaction to his final edit?

We’re super happy that David joined us with this beautiful remix. Not only ours, but the unanimous reaction is also that the remix is amazing. We believe a lot of people will be playing it this summer.

And why David? Well, we admire and respect his sound a lot so we felt it would be a great collaboration. We have worked together already for a remix he did for us released in Connected Frontline a few years ago.

Tell us about your production process as a duo, do you both go in the studio at the same time, or begin projects alone and then share them?

At this point, it is very complicated to talk about a single and definitive process. We’re coming back to Berlin after a very long period of living and working mostly in Latin America. There most of the work was done separately. Now that we’re back in Berlin we’re working with different studios and engineers to finalize the projects and ideas we’ve written in the last 8 months; but also because we don’t have our own studio at the moment.

A normal simplified version would be: One starts with an idea, next we do a session to choose things and improve it. From there Kevin will do the editing and post production of the track until we get a final version. Then we will work with engineers to help us get it to the next level in terms of mixdown specially.

Your label, Cacao Records, has put out tunes from some big names in the past, including Till Von Sein, Doctor Dru and Tigerskin. Who might we see on the label in the coming months?

It is crazy, but we’re almost 3 years now at Cacao Records, and for a young label like us it has been huge to be supported by such great names with incredible music.

We’re super excited about the new records that are in the pipeline. A summer bomb from the Monnet & Tarantini duo, remixed by Joyce Muniz and us separately. An EP from Raphael Hofman and a few other surprises as part of our third anniversary as a label.

We saw online that you also manage a club promotion in your hometown of Panama, Late Night Music, tell us about that?

Well It’s a bit different than that. We manage a club called Silo that sometimes hosts Late Night Music parties as well hahaha. Late Night Music is a beautiful project that started as a very humble local talent night in Panama City, and after 8 years became a record label and event production company. Throughout all these years, we’ve made festivals, boat parties, club nights with events every week for years, plus releasing some records and podcasts occasionally.

Today it’s a brand that is very well recognized not only because of the artists and venues we’ve booked, but also because we’ve always tried a different approach implementing all our experiences traveling and partying around the globe. The club Silo is a partnership and venture we started a while ago with the Selina Hostel group, and is a follow up of the idea of bringing all the good things and experiences we find in our way to Panama. So far we’ve booked people like Nick Curly, Hyenah, Black Loops, Lee Burridge or Djulz, and everyone has left pretty impressed about the energy of the crowd, but also how the team have managed to deliver such a top class underground venue.

Thanks a bunch for taking some time to chat, let’s close things out with the gig you’re looking forward to most this summer?

It has been a pleasure. Your promo platform and newsletter are great. Got a fan of your work here hehe. About the gigs, it’s too hard to choose one. We have several at Watergate lined up as part of our residence.

A kind of a big tour in our region again, going through Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras, plus a Cacao/Perplex Showcase at Katerblau with a lot of friends that are already looking super promising. Let’s see what opinion we have afterwards and if we can actually pick one on top of the rest.

K.E.E.N.E. – Don’t Say EP will arrive June 21st on Cacao Records.