Monday: Knight Rider (re-)program the future of music

Photo: Andy Phillips

“Slime bubble toms and gurgling tadpole vocals are ready to seduce you into the murk. Wear scuba gear.” That’s influential Brit blog 20JazzFunkGreats cautioning/enticing you while praising L.A.’s Knight Rider.

Well if Knight Rider’s music—a rad hybrid of Big Black drum machine provocation and breathy, almost OMD-like slickness—sounds murky, it’s because these two (Kevin, left, and Mike, right) have been fully submerged in the freshest, stinkiest new music Los Angeles has offered up these past several years.

Mike and Kevin are at nearly every great show. They like fucked up shit. So of course I said yes when they asked to program a Monday Night all by themselves. Now the duo explain why—and where—it’s all going.

Photos: Sean Carnage

The Los Angeles duo Knight Rider curate Monday Night at Pehrspace this week, and if you love malfunctioning-computerized noise disco, you should not miss it…

How old are you? Where do you live?
Michael Lewis: I’m 23 and I live in Culver City.
Kevin Skyler: I’m 32 and I live in Los Angeles

Why Knight Rider?
KS: I think we wanted a futuristic sounding name and we both used to watch [the TV program]. This was before Knight Rider got resurrected as a new show.
ML: It’s gangsta.

How would you describe your musical aesthetic?
ML: Our taste in music. The small bits and pieces of what we like—[what we’ve] collected through the years of listening to music and seeing live bands
KS: We kind of instinctively decide on “Knight Rider sound.” It’s a nebulous process.

When and how did you form the group?
ML: 2005. We both wanted to start a music project to play live.
KS: I met Mike at The Smell in winter ’05. We were both hanging out alone and we talked about bands we liked. I invited him to come o’er and jam. I was initially doing ‘synth punk stuff with keyboard presets and distorted guitar and he wasn’t too into the presets so I brought out the sequencer and showed him a couple of beats and he thought it was good. So it started to revolve around beats Mike liked or that we would work on together.

What do you do in Knight Rider?
ML: Sing, play keyboard, come up with stuff on the sequencer with Kevin.
KS: I play guitar, bass, sequence and mix recordings.

When you play live, what do you think about? What emotions are you feeling?
The sound we are generating. Why people look so depressed. I feel awkward.
KS: When I play live I just concentrate on post office sending letters Linux k levels things like a dream blank out.

Tell me about your newest music?
KS: Our newest stuff is retro-futurist mantras.
ML: It’s like angsty ’80s music depressing shit.

Why did you choose the bands you did for the Knight Rider-curated Monday Night at Pehrspace?
Wet Mango is a member or friend of Baseck , a project mike introduced me to. She uses video game sounds and we both grew up with old console video games and like that stuff
ML: I chose Baths because I saw him play at a New Year’s party and it was really good.
I like the Wonder Wheelies Myspace recordings so thought, “why not?”

Where is music going in the future?
Not sure.
KS: I like how a lot of alternative music has been moving in the direction of texturalism, where it’s often very familiar sounding, melody-wise, but feels new and immersive. So I think it will keep going in that direction for a while. Glad “radcore” is “resting.”

Hear/download Knight Rider’s “Advanced Talking” feat. Jillian Leigh

Don’t miss this Monday…

Sean Carnage presents

Knight Rider
Wonder Wheel
Wet Mango

Starts 9:30pm / $5 / all-ages

Pehrspace—325 Glendale Blvd., in Historic Filipinotown

See you there?

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