Posted in Interviews
embrace the weird
In the past year, the Broken Teeth Crew have crafted time and space to create Wile Out!, Austin, Texas' foremost club night at the hollow'd concrete bass bucket known as Plush. Featuring the crew's residential DJ's Brad Hoods and Anna Love, alongside a different special guest each month, the crew opens Downtown Austin to a steamy landscape of southern hip-hop spanning the swirling cosmos of new bass and tropical riddims along the astral plane. This Thursday, we have teamed up with the good folks at Broken Teeth Crew to present Wile Out!'s one year anniversary, which will feature none other than California based duo 5kinAndBone5. These guys have been hot on our radar for quite some time, and we are extremely excited to help bring them down south for their first ever show in Austin. To get you guys acquainted before Thursday, we caught up with Charlie from 5kinAndBone5 for an exclusive interview, and talked with him about everything from the group's work for Sinden's label Grizzly, their unique internet persona, and the different projects they have coming up.
Who makes up 5kinAndBone5 and how did you guys first link up?
I’m 5kin, I’m in San Francisco and my partner is Bone5, he’s in LA. We grew up together in Arlington, Virginia. We used to go to raves, we were eating a lot of ecstasy and listening to drum & bass. Then we realized that we wanted make some of the most futuristic shit ever.
What influenced you guys to relocate out west?
We both moved to Cali to go to art school. We kind of just bounced all over the place after we got sick of the East Coast and San Francisco is where we decided to settle down. From there, Bone5 wanted to be close to the entertainment mecca in LA and since I have a recording space at a dope recording studio called Different Fur here in SF, I had a reason to stick around.
You’re 5kin and he’s Bone5. What’s the significance behind the "5's"? Is that a play off of Deadmau5 or something?
We were originally just Skin and Bones when we first started doing beats for rappers. When we started linking up with YG we wanted to differentiate ourselves though, because we noticed that there were a bunch of other bullshit producers out there named Skin and Bones as well. We wanted to be unique so we added the numbers in there so that when rappers saw our name they knew exactly which producers they were working with. When we did that that was in the context of the rap scene. None of the rappers knew who the fuck Deadmau5 was. We weren’t necessarily dance music producers then, but now that we are it’s just sort of a coincidence that we share the same number in our name with him.
So you started out creating more hip-hop/rap influenced productions, how does that background play into the kind of stuff you're making now?
Sometimes hip-hop informs and influences our productions, while at other times it doesn’t necessarily have an impact at all. I think when we’re making more techno or UK Garage inspired beats it doesn’t necessarily influence our productions, but in the bigger scheme of things it definitely plays a part in our overall sound. I’ve always thought it’d be cool if someone like Lex Luger was able to make beats like Richie Hawtin or vice-versa. Or if Luke Slater was going off and making the most ill gangster rap anthem ever. We want to try and make music like that.
So you guys have worked with YG. What other rappers have you worked with in the past?
We’ve worked with 88-Keys, Mistah FAB, some other bay area and LA underground cats. Now we’re working with LE1F, dude is talented as fuck and we have a tune on his mixtape that’s coming out this week.
Your Tumblr was named Tumblr of the day by Vice Style recently, congrats. How important of a role does Tumblr play in maintaining the 5kinAndBone5 image?
I just use Tumblr as a vehicle to portray our idealized, weird-ass take on internet culture and internet art. At the same time we try not to take it incredibly seriously.
Do you find inspiration from all the weird stuff you find on Tumblr?
Definitely, some of my ongoing obsessions are virtual reality, technology, and artificial intelligence. Also, I’m really drawn to 3D renderings of human beings and all these images that try to portray humans as realistically as possible in a digital form. A lot of those portrayals are pretty busted and look shitty, but there is something beautiful about that it in its own way. All the futuristic Blade Runner/Fifth Element type imagery as well are things that I idealize. In a way these images represent a visual component to our music.
What's the craziest Tumblr page you've found recently?
There is a very interesting Tumblr that aggregates all these photos of girls that have pet rats. It’s called ratgrrrlz. That shit is hilarious to me. Sometimes it’s borderline creepy, because there are these images of rats licking girls mouths. But it’s definitely clownin'. Some other tumblrs that I fuck with hard are top8friends, ohkwhatever, hissbitch, sassydad, k8steve, weirdluck, str8boicore, and a buncha other ill artists.
How exactly did you link up with Sinden and the Grizzly label?
We were working on the YG track and Sinden was eager to get some rap releases on his label Grizzly. We linked up on Facebook. He heard the track and loved it. That is what really opened up the door for us to the electronic scene. From there we did a Brenmar remix for Grizzly and that’s how we linked up with DJ Haus and Unknown to the Unknown Records. He heard our Brenmar remix and really liked it and wanted to get involved with us. So now we have a few releases with UTTU as well with more to come in the future.
I feel like the visual aesthetic for Unknown to the Unknown really matches your online aesthetic as well.
DJ Haus has a very keen eye and a sharp sensibility. He hand picks all of the artwork and sounds coming out of that label and somehow it just makes sense. He doesn’t necessarily have a fierce genre allegiance. He’s all over the place, which is refreshing to me. He is definitely taking risks and it’s working. A lot of label heads take time with there releases to make sure that the label aesthetic remains consistent, but DJ Haus isn’t afraid to spearhead projects. He thinks and acts very quickly, he doesn’t hesitate. That’s why UTTU’s output is so prolific, yet the label’s aesthetic remains at a high level.
Your releases with UTTU so far have a clear Grime/UK Garage vibe to them, but unlike most American producers who try to fuck with those genres, your productions seem to really capture the essence of the UK sound. At times it sounds more rooted in the UK than it does in the US. Where does that come from?
That’s the biggest compliment ever. I appreciate you saying that. It comes from a long history of raving back in the late 90s. I was really motivated by Drum and Bass back then. Then when UK Garage started mutating into really dark Dubstep back in the early 00’s there was a really freaky period where you could hear these dark tones coming out of the UK. I was obsessed with that shit. It really touched my soul to some degree. There is definitely an element of me longing to recreate that dark, underground, pirate sound. I’m really motivated by that even to this day.
Can you tell us about the club night that you’ve been running down in SF. What is that all about?
Yeah, I do a club night with Vin Sol who is the man. It’s a monthly night called Relax, Relate, Release. It’s for tasteful dance music. We play house, techno, a little italodisco, real disco, plus a healthy injection of anything that’s four-to-the-floor.
Talk to us about your relationship with Vin Sol. I see you guys doing remixes together quite often...
We definitely vibe off of each other. That fool has one foot in the future and one foot in the past. He helps me to think in different ways. Like we just did a beat using only old school drum machines and synthesizers. It’s not just the gear though. He’s turned me on to the old school Detroit and Techno vibes and that shit is just lethal. I fuck with that. Vin Sol is the motherfucking dude. In fact, he’s cooking me tacos right now as we’re talking. He’s El Salvadorian, but boy can this motherfucker make some mean Mexican food.
You have a show this Thursday in Austin, TX for the Broken Teeth Crew’s 1 year anniversary gig. Have you ever been to Austin before?
No, I haven’t. This is my first time. Never been to SXSW. They reached out to me to play this show and I said, “leehdooit.”
Can you run through what you guys have cooking for 5kinAndBone5 in the near future?
A bunch of things together with Vin Sol. One of the tracks is a minimal techno joint coming out as a Grizzly/Scion AV release. I have a collaboration with Sinden that is a little grimier and should see a release on UTTU. And this kid from San Francisco, Deebs. I’ve been talking and meeting with him and we should have something together in the future.
How about the “Penis Power” tune that you uploaded onto YouTube? Will we be seeing that anytime soon?
Yeah, that is a beast right there. Did that with Robert Jeffrey, a talented SF DJ/Producer. It is a new direction I am exploring with house vibes. Excited to see where it lands. A few labels have already asked about it.
Any dream collaborations?
Justin Bieber, Tiesto, Seal, and Selena Gomez.
Thanks for the interview homey, see you in Texas.
My pleasure. Can’t wait to set things off in Austin on Thursday.