Interview: KUSP

Releases for a number of highly respected techno imprints, including Planet Rhythm, We Are The Brave, and Tronic, have given KUSP a concrete foundation to become a leading name in the genre.

The next step in their sonic journey finds the British duo debut on Radio Slave’s seminal Rekids imprint, which comes in the form of their brand new 4-track Folding EP.

We caught up with the pair to chat about the new release, how they feel about Radio Slave and Roman Flugel remixing their music, what else we might expect to hear from from them soon, and how they handle working as a duo. Get the full discussion below.

You recently released your new Folding EP on Rekids, you must be quite excited about debuting on the main label after your appearance on their RSPX imprint back in 2020?

Luke: 100%. The unexpected success of our ‘Freedom of Fear EP’ earlier in the year was insane. So its nice to build on this by showing a more diverse side to ourselves and stepping outside of our comfort zone with a big vocal track like “Folding”. It’s mind blowing to be joining a whole host of incredible artists on the label.

And talk us through the original track on this one, what’s the inspiration behind the track?

Jack: The idea for the record came about after I took some time out on a weekend trip to Glasgow with my dad back in 2019. We spent most of the journey listening to artists like Massive Attack and hearing some breakbeat records whilst record shopping in the city centre (my dad is a bit of a vinyl junkie). When I got home, I met up with Luke and we brought the idea to life. It originally had an old Aretha Franklin sample before Pablo:Rita came onboard and graced it with their incredibly emotive vocals.

It also includes an ‘After Dark’ remix from yourselves, how does that differ from the original?

Luke: After writing the original version it almost felt like an album track to us. It’s kind of weird remixing your own record but we felt a more dancefloor friendly cut would suit our DJ sets much better. It seems to have paid off as it’s always got an insane reaction whenever we’ve played the ‘After Dark’ remix.

Roman Flugel and Rekids’ boss Radio Slave also feature in the form of remixes, it must be quite the feeling to have those kinds of names edit your own music?

Luke: For sure! We’ve been buying and playing records from Matt and Roman for well over a decade so for us it is an absolute honour to have two inspirational legends remix our music. We still have to pinch ourselves at times!

In the past you have also released music on Tronic, Kneaded Pains, We Are The Brave, and Planet Rhythm, what advice would you give to any aspiring producers that want to sign music to these sorts of labels?

Jack: Be patient and just try to enjoy the process of writing music. Everyone nowadays craves instant success but you just have to learn from your failures and try to play the ‘long game’ so to speak. Everyone’s journey in music is different but if you are persistent and committed, the more you give to this industry, the more it will eventually reward you.

And which other imprints might we expect to see KUSP on soon?

Luke: You’ll see us on remix duties for Rekids before the end of the year and hopefully a return to RSPX in 2022. We are sitting on tonnes of music at the moment, Matt (Radio Slave) has a job on his hands getting through all of our demos!

You’re of course a duo, what’s one thing you like about having a “partner-in-crime”, so to speak?

Jack: We were life long best friends before we started this project as ‘KUSP’, so it’s easy for us to work out one another’s strengths and weaknesses to both bring something different to the table. As an artist you tend to have to wear a lot of hats so it’s beneficial to be able to split the tasks and lighten the load.

And can you tell us one hilarious thing you know about each other?

Jack: We shared a bottle of gin after a gig in North Wales a few years back, I ended up finding Luke aimlessly roaming around the corridors of a travel lodge in his underwear during the early hours of a Sunday morning.

Luke: During a heavy, marathon night out a good few years back in Liverpool with a group of mates, we were headed to the second after party of the evening/morning. Whilst getting out of a taxi, Jack, somehow managed to open the door of the cab directly into on coming traffic. The passenger door to the taxi just completely disappeared in front of our eyes as a car going past completely took it out!

Thanks a lot for answering our questions, is there anything else you’d like to mention before we wrap things up?

We would just like to say a massive thanks to Radio Slave for believing in us and our music! This year has been a bit of a difficult one for us but with this release it feels like we’re ending it on a high. Keep a look out for more to come in 2022.

KUSP – Folding EP is out now on Rekids.