I think I discovered Kelpe through Laurent Garnier as most of those innovative and extraordinary artists I have been listening to for these last few years I am back to Music as an Active listener (and DJ). Kelpe has never left my all time playlist since then. It can take you where you need when you are waking up, with calm rhythm, serenity and peace as a peaceful walk in the forest listening to the wind flowing through the trees. Then, he can also give you that energy you need during the day with more tense electronic beats (I am thinking about the track Lapse I like to listen while working). No matter what you like to listen to, I highly recommend you to spend at least a day listening to his productions, I guarantee your journey will be full of emotions and your ears will thank you.
A big thanks to Kelpe for trusting Radio LBM. You can discover his productions each Tuesday at 9PM HKT (UTC+8) during whole month of June!
Kelpe is the recording alias of London-based electronic artist and producer Kel McKeown.
Growing up in the university town of Loughborough, England, McKeown first began experimenting with music as a teenager, using a Commodore Amiga home computer and a sampler to make rudimentary rave beats in the early '90s. Though he played in a few teenage bands, music drifted to the wayside for a time and he didn't actively begin his career until after university when a friend convinced him to submit a demo to London-based label DC Recordings. Inspired by electronica acts like Prefuse 73, Boards of Canada, and artists on the Warp label, he was eventually signed to DC, who released his first 12" EP People Are Trying to Sleep in 2003.
He quickly followed up with his debut album, Sea Inside Body, in 2004 which received rave reviews from prominent publications like Wire. Continuing to evolve his fractured mix of found sounds, samples, and woozy electronics, he released a second LP, Ex-Aquarium, in 2008 and a third called Cambio Wechsel in 2009 for DC, in addition to several more EPs. Around this time he also began remixing tracks for a variety of other artists like British instrumental band Red Snapper and French electronic pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey. In 2010, he left DC, releasing the Margins EP on the Black Acre label and the Chocolate Money EP on Fremdtunes, both of which received airplay from influential BBC DJ's.
He also began touring more, doing both solo sets and working with longtime collaborator and drummer Chris Walmsley (Psapp, Broadcast), playing throughout Europe, the U.K., and the U.S. In 2013, he founded his own label DRUT and released his fourth album, The Golden Eagle. Several Kelpe albums and EPs followed on the DRUT label including the latest release ‘Kyverdale Road’ from 2021. DRUT Recordings also released music by Chesslo Junior, 100names, and most recently Kit Parker in 2022.
Track Focus: "Whirlwound"
Concept: Each month, we ask the artist to pick one of his favorite track and to tell us more about it.
Kelpe: I’d like to pick out the track ‘Whirlwound’ which is from my second album in 2008 - Ex-Aquarium.
This was the first time I started to use live instruments more, and is a good first example of the direction I would start to move into over the following years. I remember going into a studio and playing with the drums and recording them and a Korg MS20 that was also in the studio, it was a very exciting time!
Then later I thought it would really work with some acoustic guitar so on a second recording day later I got a friend over to play the parts.
I’m still really happy with how that track sounds 14 or 15 years later.