‘a really special comeback’ | Interview with Electric Kif

The Miami -based quartet returns with their new album Dreamlike due for release this August. Today we feature their song Dreamlike – part of the album and a wonderful collaboration with pianist Aaron Parks. What comes to mind when hearing this song? A deep connection between a warm sounded groove, a cinematic main theme and an extremely unconventional, atonal in parts, keyboard solo. Electric Kif is one of the most compelling new bands around.

We had an interview with Armando (Drums) and Digo (Bass). Read it below.

Describe your sound in three words please!

A: Organized Reckless Abandon
D: Controlled Experimental Rock

Talk to us about the idea behind your forthcoming album Dreamlike. We already know that you have collaborated with Aaron Parks! What else should we expect from this work?

A: “Dreamlike” was born after the 4 of us started spending most days with each other making music during the pandemic. I say making music, but it was really just hanging out and exploring a bunch of analog gear and throwing ideas out there.
D: Its the best sounding record we’ve made so far. We spent a lot of time on this album creating sounds that we’ve never heard before, and took the downtime we had in the pandemic to make it sound exactly like we wanted it to sound.

You had some live performances scheduled for last year, which were disrupted due to the pandemic. Are you planning to hold them now? Do you feel that the interaction between audience-artists might be different after so much time of social isolation and doing the digital experience?

A: We did have some great shows lined up that got cancelled; a tour, a Miami show with Aaron Parks, and more. We do plan to be back on tour soon this year in support of the record, and hopefully we can spark up that Aaron Parks Miami show again. As for the audience-artist interaction, I do think it might be a bit different. I think we’ve already felt a renewed energy and appreciation for live music that might have been reignited by everyone being shut in for so long.

D: We are ready to go back on the road and play the shows we had scheduled and look at new places too. The live experience between artist and the audience is essential, we need them just as much, if not more, than they need us. Between how much we missed playing live for a crowd, how much the crowd misses live music, and the new music we are debuting, it’s a perfect recipe for a really special comeback.

You mostly focus on instrumental music. Is the absence of vocals an extra challenge when it comes to promotion?

A: I guess it is an extra challenge, but there really are so many people who love good music no matter what style it is, and instrumental fans also seem to be some of the most enthusiastic. In the end we make this music because we enjoy the process and let it happen organically. Also, who is to say we wont make some music with vocals in the future!
D: There’s a place for everything in music. Instrumental music has been here since day 1 and its here to stay, Because of the popularity of bands like Snarky Puppy, Lettuce, and Khruangbin to name a few , the audience has grown a greater appreciation for it.

You have been making music for a lot of years! How would you say your sound has evolved until now?

A: It’s evolved a ton since the original Kif trio for sure. After some changes through the years, the core eventually became the quartet it is now. With each album we’ve continued to learn and understand what the Kif sound is, but we never allow it to be put in a box, allowing us to create freely. This has led to each album sounding quite different each time.
D: Our sound has definitely matured over the years. Kif’s chemistry gets stronger and stronger with each album, and we keep developing better control of our sound. Individually as musicians, Armando, Eric, Jason and I keep growing and learning new tricks that we all bring back to the Kif to make new music. That’s what makes the Kif so special.

You have described your creative process as a very democratic one, where everyone’s ideas are being considered and discussed. This is very interesting. Tell us the benefits and challenges of this approach. What has it taught you so far?

A: This approach is definitely a chaotic one that can go off the rails quick! … That being said, we enjoy the frenetic pace of it, and like I said before we are hanging out first and foremost so if it goes off the rails, we just enjoy it the process. Through the chaos some really unique ideas come out as well.
D: I think our democratic working process works because everyone’s voice and ideas are heard and from that we base our decisions as an equal creative entity. The backlash of that is that a lot of good ideas are left behind because they don’t fit the vibe of the song or the record’s concept even though they are great ideas. But then those ideas can lead us to an entirely new song or concept and keeps us moving forward and growing as a band.

What is your favourite album from the previous year?

A: Pom Poko – Cheater
Mark Guiliana – BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC!
Aaron Parks – Little Big II: Dreams of a Mechanical Man
Tigran Hamasyan – The Call Within
Surprise Chef – All News is Good News
D: All News is Good News by Surprise Chef
Welcome to The Hills by Yussef Dayes

Have you thought what would you be doing if not making music?

A: That’s tough. My guess is I’d gravitate to another creative outlet or art form. Outside that? Who knows.
D: If I wasn’t making music I would be doing something creative still like working in Film Production or Photography. I love all of that.

Thanks Electric Kif!

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