Excitosis represents the clash of contingencies; an unconventionally melodic, interpretive guise of free will. A seamless collaboration of hip-hop and relaxed bass showcasing how Zero Tep and K The Infinite manage to master the magic behind music that matters.
Zero Tep (Left) & K the Infinite (Right)
Interview curated by the Phuture Collective team.
phuture : Welcome Zero Tep & K The Infinite. It’s so great to have you on board phuture collective for issue eight | RECOVERY. Give the world a rundown of who you are, where you are from, and what you had for breakfast!
Zero Tep : My name is Kaelin. I’m a producer, musician, songwriter, and severe music addict. I grew up in Wisconsin, but I’ve been living in Portland, OR since fall. Today, I had a cheeseburger for breakfast. My body feels terrible now, but it was perfect while it lasted.
K The Infinite : I’m a Singer, Rapper, Producer and part time Shinobi, from London. My styles heavily based on raw emotion, melody and lyricism. ahh My breakfast was quite bad today. Chocolate Eclairs and Orange Juice lol
phuture : Do your tastes and styles complement one another when you are collaborating? If so please go into detail!
Zero Tep : Definitely! K is an incredible vocalist and producer. It’s rare to find someone whose prolific output is as frankly personal and varied as his. We’ve connected on some hard beats for sure, but the more composed material usually ends up being my favorite. I’m always impressed that he can handle heavy material with so much grace, but then turn right around and bring the Kaos!
K The Infinite : I’d definitely say so. Grime music is my bread and butter so Tep making that hard hitting Electronic music made a natural connection. Plus we both got the slower more heartfelt singing side to add and blend
phuture : How does our theme of ‘RECOVERY’ resonate with you as an artist? How about aside from being an artist (if there even is such thing)?
Zero Tep : My mind never stops running, and I get fascinated by emotions, especially the negative ones, and having quiet periods to breathe a little helps me see their importance rather than just drown in them. The music helps with that as well. I made “Excitosis” in late-2015 after a long relationship ended; the lyrics at the time were more emotional and confused. I remember listening to K’s music shortly after and I realized he had a deep grasp on the philosophy he was spitting. After talking for a while, I asked if he could do a verse on the beginning of the track. A lot of the ideas in the rewritten lyrics subsequently came from our talks: fear of commitment, self-loathing, loneliness, and bigger ideas like how one’s actions detail one’s life. It’s incredible when music becomes a form of therapy, but that happens quite often for me.
K The Infinite : Recovery from any setback in life is so important. Having music and expression as a means to heal mental ills is important.
phuture : Speaking of art, which role does it play in our society? What role could it portray?
Zero Tep : Art is a tool for ideas that might not be able to be expressed in any other way. It is also a tool for overcoming roadblocks. A change in perception or a momentary lapse in ego might be all we need to see a problem differently.
K The Infinite : Art gives people a voice. It gives society a mirror to look at itself, however beautiful or ugly it may be.
phuture : ZT – You are the most diverse artist we’ve had the opportunity to work with. We don’t say this lightly but we haven’t encountered someone who has such a wide array of creative avenues as you. To give the readers a taste of your diversity – you’ve got your punk project “Psychic Sex”, your powerviolence project “Contact Sports” & your industrial-techno/idm/glitch outlet “The Agromaniac”.
Would you mind giving us a rundown of when you decide the time is right to work as a specific alias? Do your emotions or your environment play the larger role in differing as such?
Zero Tep : I’ve always listened to a lot of music, and pushed further and further out into the abstract and avant-garde as I’ve gotten older. I started in rock music around 2006, then got into electronic music about five years ago. I’ve had probably a dozen monikers/groups by now.
Projects arise when I start recording new material that seems to address new topics or sit in different dimensions. There’s never a conscious decision to make a particular genre, though some sounds lend themselves better to certain ideas. Sometimes when I compile records, pieces I thought would end up with one project go to another, but it all depends on what I’m trying to say.
Zero Tep has largely been energetic, escapist dance music. Psychic Sex investigates inner conflict, semi-autobiographical dilemmas, and fantasies of questionable nature (for example, my song “Miss Christine” tells a story of a journalist who runs off and forms a band with a psychedelic rock goddess who’s a complete loose cannon). The Agromaniac is a persona that usually only awakes during sleep-deprived, middle-of-the-night studio sessions; lots of fog and apocalyptic paranoia. Contact Sports is defunct now, but playing super fast (alternating with super slow) music in a basement with your friends is incredibly fun. Go start a band with your friends!!
There are a couple other wacky characters with releases out there on the internet, but they’re too shy to be mentioned here :p
phuture : You make a lot of ‘Naruto’ references in your songs! How long have you been watching it and how has it affected your art?
K The Infinite : I’ve been watching Naruto since 2006/7 when it was on Jetix. (Damn over a decade lol) I feel like I can relate a lot of what the characters go through to my own life so I like to draw the comparisons. I think with punchlines everybody is so used to them being about Basketball or Football or Movies but I’m mostly interested in Manga/Anime so its only right to put some respeck on it
phuture : What goals do you have for 2017?
Zero Tep : I’ve got at least three records coming out this year! The new Zero Tep album is already out, some Psychic Sex material will probably be wrapped up in an EP soon, and there’s some other stuff I can’t speak for yet. Collaborations, singles, experiments… Besides that, I’m just getting tuned into west coast living, and playing shows in your neighborhood (tell your promoters you wanna see me!)
K The Infinite : Release my project Her(‘s) & I(‘s) and drop some fire visuals for the singles. Also perform in the US & Europe that would be cold !
phuture : Name three artists under 1,500 followers who deserve more recognition.
Zero Tep : Microphyst; sick IDM of the highest caliber: https://soundcloud.com/microphyst
Darren Keen; one bad mother, gave up his rock band to make footwork: https://soundcloud.com/darrenkeen
little-scale: hardware wizard/electronic genius, dope tech blog and even doper music: https://soundcloud.com/little-scale
K The Infinite :
Lex Amor, criminally smooth https://soundcloud.com/lexamor/lex-amor-pink-prod-lex-amor
Kwame, music genius https://soundcloud.com/emawk
Kai Rabai, Super dope singer and producer https://soundcloud.com/kairabai/searchfreestyle-2015