Kelpe picks 10 records that have shaped, improved and formed him

Foto: © Annette Rotz (Kit Records)
Everyone knows his instrumentals. Sometimes even without realising it. Kelpe has not only just released his tenth album, but has also produced extensively for film and TV. He revealed his top 10 albums of all time to us.

20 years are enough. Kelpe has just released his tenth album. The British producer will no longer be making music. Small postscript: at least not as Kelpe, »because nobody knows how to pronounce the name anymore«, Kel McKeowan tells HHV. Which is a shame, because he has produced a lot of beautiful instrumentals as Kelpe since 2004. With synthesizers, guitars and drums, he exploits the full range of sonic possibilities. No wonder that the slim-fit journalists like to use the similarly beautiful word »organic« when talking about Kelpe’s music. From »Sea Inside Body« to »LP10«, perfect soundtracks for that »do I really want to buy this?« look in the fitting rooms of Weekday outlets.

If you want to know more about Kelpe, follow him to the north of England. He grew up in Loughborough, which is somewhere between Birmingham and Manchester. He listened to punk, and would have loved to have joined the Beastie Boys if the Atlantic hadn’t objected. The alternative programme was an Amiga computer, as prehistoric then as it is now. »I was into Altern8 and the very early stuff by The Prodigy, so I wanted to recreate that on it. I was really quite a nerd«—who discovered the Boards of Canada albums at uni, soaked up the Warp catalogue and ended up at D.C. Recordings. »A friend told me to send in my demos. Which I duly did. And they released a couple of records,« says Kelpe.

More styles than Sarah Jessica Parker

That’s how it was. Kel released several albums on D.C. Recordings and in 2013 he started his own label, Drut. But he has been paying his rent by working for film and television for more than 20 years—like when the BBC makes a documentary about luxury sheds. Or when Will Smith travels the world for Disney. The fact that a Kelpe truck occasionally goes gangster hunting in an episode of CSI: Miami is pretty cool, Horatio! And if you hear how Nokia tried to market their, er, smartphones a few years ago, Kelpe’s music can’t be the reason why they’re only selling phones for grannies these days.

But even Kelpe can’t watch TV forever: Despite the end of Kelpe, new music will continue to be made, but »under different pseudonyms, because I’ve already brought together a lot of different—perhaps too many different—styles as Kelpe,« says the producer. Eight jungle-influenced IDM tracks will soon be released under the name DJ Beta. And let’s not forget the ambient soundtrack component, which is all out serious and very personal under his own name: Kel McKeown. It’s a name that we can all pronounce right, or no?

Do Make Say Think
& Yet & Yet
Constellation • 2002 • from 23.99€

Kelpe: I’m a big fan of this type of music that you might call »post rock« and i think this has to be my favourite album in that field. Amazing evolving tracks combining guitars and horns with such good percussion from two drummers.

Dots & Loops
Duophonic UHF Disks • 1997 • from 34.99€

Kelpe: I feel like this band were so ahead of their time and blended organic and electronic sounds so well. This is my favourite album by them.

Sebastian Hinz
Speakerboxxx / The Love Below
Columbia • 2003 • from 42.99€

Kelpe: Especially disc two (The Love Below) as that was the stuff I got really obsessed with. The album really takes you on a journey and has amazing production and musicality with a varied mix of styles and some humour in there too.

House Arrest • 2019 • from 26.99€

Kelpe: Another super varied album with a really unique pallet of sounds. So inventive, and the live shows and audio visual work that accompanied this show were amazing.

Beastie Boys
Ill Communication
Capitol • 1994 • from 33.99€

Kelpe: Was a tough choice between this and »Check Your Head« as I have pretty much the same fondness for both of them (and think they were made at the same time). Defined my teenage years - skating, beats, guitars, hair bleach.

Luke Vibert
Big Soup
Mo' Wax • 1997 • from 59.99€

Kelpe: This for me is kind of the definitive »trip hop« album, as it is genuinely trippy, compared to a lot of the more generic sounding stuff. Fantastic crate digging and unique use of samples. This one influenced my music quite a bit, weirdly probably the most on my new album as I rediscovered it while I was making »LP10«.

Palace Music
Viva Last Blues
Domino • 2012 • from 16.99€

Kelpe: I just love the work of Will Oldham around this period and this is my favourite. Great production from Steve Albini too.

Bing & Ruth
No Home Of The Mind
4AD • 2017 • from 11.47€

Kelpe: Included this as it might be the album I’ve listened to the most (relatively recently anyway). I almost always go to sleep listening to music and there was a period lasting a year or two where I was listening to it pretty much every night at bedtime. It also makes me think I am on a long haul flight at night as have used it as a sleep aid in that situation too.

Karen Dalton
It's So Hard To Tell Who's Going To Love You The Best
Light In The Attic • 1969 • from 34.99€

Kelpe: Can’t get enough of her voice. Quite a downbeat album but I’ve enjoyed this so much over the years no matter what mood I might be in.

The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground
Polydor • 1969 • from 28.99€

Kelpe: This could be the perfect album? Even though it’s very stripped back and on the surface the songs sound quite simple, it’s utterly intoxicating and never gets old.

Sebastian Hinz Redaktion