Kai Whiston:我总在期待一场“愉快的意外”

“Oneohtrix Point Never的音乐影响了我一生”,英国电子音乐制作人Kai Whiston 多次表达此观点!

的确,Kai whiston 音乐中那些天马行空的创意正是他们这批成长于互联网音乐思潮下制作人的特征。他们汲取了如OPN等人的实验美学,把俱乐部之声推向了新的高度。

和他的同乡iglooghost一样,Kai年少成名,未满二十岁便签约了Ninja Tune旗下的Big Dada厂牌,他们不再满足于做简单的功能性舞曲音乐,而不断从其他风格中吸收消化,把繁杂音乐材料有序地转为自己的艺术表达。

准确把握前卫电子和流行音乐的平衡点,也让 Kai Whiston 和 Shygirl、VTSS、Sega Bodega、Coucou Chloe、iglooghost、A.G. Cook 等同道中人碰撞出非凡的音乐作品。随着几张个人专辑的发行与富有创造性的电子教育平台Lux Cache的创立,Kai Whiston 也进一步站在造福行业的角度,为那些同样不愿被束缚的灵魂开辟精神的着陆跑道。

2023年末正值 Kai Whiston 中国巡演期,我们借机找他聊了聊,让听众更深层次地了解这位才华横溢的艺术家。

▎Mixmag China = M

▎Kai Whiston = K

M:2020 年你创立了 Lux Cache,这是一个专注于实验电子制作教学以及音色设计的平 台,召集了一群才华横溢的艺术家,你创立这个平台的初心是什么?

In 2020, you founded Lux Cache, a platform dedicated to experimental electronic music production tutorials and sound design. Gathering a group of talented artists, what was the original intention behind creating this platform, and what is your vision for its future?

The original intention began as a space to offer some of my own sounds and production insights in a mid-COVIDlandscape, but it immediately spiraled into something more interesting.

音乐制作总是存在一个供需不匹配的问题。当我在2010年初研音乐制作时,YouTube上的教程和“Gearslutz.com”(制作插件网站) 充斥着疯狂的诱饵广告、一步到位式的营销和奇怪的模仿方法,平台的运作方式方式显得俗套且不认真,没有针对性可言。另外,我在校园时代学习“Music Technology(音乐技术专业)” 体验也不好。
Music production has a documentation problem. The 2010 YouTube tutorials and ‘Gearslutz.com’ world that I learnt the fundamentals of production are fuelled by deranged clickbait one-stop tricks and weird copycat methods. At its best, the presentation is tacky and unserious. I also had a horrible time studying Music Technology in school

我真的喜欢这种创新的,以DAW为中心的音乐制作方式,但那时并没有体系化的资源,制作前卫的音乐变成了一件缺乏地基的空谈。所以我创建了Lux Cache,现在我们提供的服务直接来自音乐制作领域的那些我最敬佩的艺术家和意见领袖授权。
I was really into this innovative, DAW-centric way of making music, but there just wasn’t coherent resources out there, producing experimentalmusic became this weird gatekept bubble. So I set up Lux Cache, and now we commission stuff from many of my favourite artists and thought leaders in the music production space.

Lux Cache对我来说真的很重要。它几乎就像一个我不断播种和修剪的梦幻花园,我亲手处理其中每一个细节。它给我带来了一种常态,帮助我保持对音乐的热爱,能够与所有互相欣赏的人形成链接。这实际上是我目前生活中意义最重大的角色。

Lux Cache is really close to my heart. Maybe a cringe metaphor but, it’s almost like an illustrious garden that I
continuously plant and prune, I’m hands on with every little detail. It brings me routine and helps me stay in lovewith music, being able to connect and edit with all these talented people. It’s honestly the most rewarding role inmy life at the moment.

设想一下未来,我对能把Lux Cache引入更多院校感到兴奋,打破传统音乐教育的某些固有模式。我们即将发布一个独立的网站和一些其他很棒的倡议。我们将不仅仅坚持我们所知道的,还要不断思考如何在我们这个充满猎奇份子的爱好者社区为新手和专业人士提供更多。这是建立一个社区的过程,让每个人都觉得他们可以实验、成长,并真正推动音乐的打破固有界限。
Looking forward, I’m excited about bringing Lux Cache into more schools and universities, disrupting some of that status quo of how music education is classically taught. We’re also about to release a standalone website and some other sick initiatives. We’re not just sticking to what we know; we’re constantly looking at how we can offer more to both newbies and pros in our weird enthusiast community. It’s about building a community where everyone feels like they can experiment, grow, and really push the boundaries of what daring music can be.

△ 电子音乐教学平台Lux Cache

M:这次中国巡演你与 Ableton 合作,将在每个场地都举办一场关于音乐制作的 workshop, 你对于那些想要投身音乐制作领域的新人有什么建议?

For this China tour, you are collaborating with Ableton and will be hosting a music production workshop at each venue. What advice do you have for newcomers who aspire to enter the field of music production?

It feels odd to speak from a position of authority, I still feel very much like a student of music production, albeit one that’s had the privilege to consider it from many angles. That being said, one thing I’ve been considering recently is the immersion of music thinking combined with inviting surprise into one’s life.

I think similar to improvisation, when that eureka moment strikes and a ‘happy accident’ occurs, you can almost recreate that environment with other facets of the creative process. Having a sort of passive immersion of music and music thought, while staying open to the bizarre and uncomfortable of life, often leads to the ideas I’m most proud of — in a place between analysis and instinct.

M:你的音乐中除了抽象、扭曲的声音设计之外,还有大量原声乐器的使用,这两类音乐 元素在你音乐中是否代表着不同的情感表达?

In your music, apart from abstract and distorted sound designs, there is also a significant use of acoustic instruments (even orchestral elements). Do these two categories of musical elements represent different emotional expressions in your music?

K:有一段很棒的彼埃尔·舍费尔(Pierre Schaeffer)的话,他将所有的声学“音乐家”看作采样器,认为“乐器”的创造只不过是从有机材料中采样声音,无论是小提琴共鸣箱的木头还是钢琴弦的钢铁。

There’s a great Pierre Schaeffer bit where he speaks of all acoustic ‘musicians’ as samplers, that creation of
‘instruments’ are merely samplers of sound from organic materials, be it the wood of a violin body or the steel of a piano string.

This is post-rationalising, but I think I approach my music in a similar fashion. I suppose I don’t hold very sharp distinctions between synthetic and acoustic, on some occasions my most ‘organic’ sound design has been entirely synthetic, and vice versa.

I think there’s a great tactility in detailed sound design. I like to make the most out of what we’re now capable of hearing on headphones, which are standardised now at a remarkably high-quality. It all gets outputted by the DAW, of course. My primary concern is that final .wav, regardless of how the hotdog is made


Some people describe your music as maximalism, while others consider it as eclectic. How do you
perceive these descriptions? In your view, does your music production approach lean more towards one
side than the other?


I don’t hate those descriptions! Funnily, I think they’re pretty telling of my broader experience in everyday life:
often overwhelmed and grasping out omnidirectionally.

I used to think my production approach was a reaction to the music around me or a larger cultural epoch, but I’m beginning to think now it’s just my most authentic form of self-expression. I think if I were to draw a sea-side caricature of myself, it would look like a weird, gawky car crash with a moustache. My taste in writing and visual art and movies and everything sort of has that same attraction to the raw, loud, weird and painfully real. It’s how I make sense of everything, as well as what excites me.

M:从实验性的音色设计到解构 bass 音乐,从 90s Rave 内核到流行乐和摇滚乐,你作品中有如此多的音乐元素,我们挺好奇哪些艺术家在你音乐审美的塑造中起到了关键作用?

From experimental sound design to deconstructed bass music, from 90s Rave to elements of Pop and
Rock, your work incorporates a diverse range of musical elements. We’re curious to know which artists
have played a crucial role in shaping your musical aesthetic?


Bowie is one I always bring up, less sonically but more in the established bravery he cemented in shifting gears
with each project. Film directors always come to mind too in that respect, whether it’s Kubrick or Hitchcock or Glazer. That sort of relentless pursuit of challenge and subversion from work to work feels more respected in that world.

我从内心深处还是Nirvana和ECW的忠实粉丝,所以我觉得那种怪异的、粗糙的边缘从某种程度上也在我的音乐中有所体现。至于电子音乐领域的艺术家,OPN(Oneohtrix Point Never) 可能对我影响最大,A. G. Cook紧随其后,我很幸运能够与他合作很多次哈哈。
I was, and still am, a big Nirvana and ECW kid at heart, so I think that weird grungy edge works its way in there in some form. As far as artists in ‘my world’, my Oneohtrix Point Never has probably impacted me the most, A. G. Cook as a close second who I’m lucky to have worked with a lot.

△ 对Kai Whiston影响最大的两位电子音乐人:OPN 和 A.G. Cook

M:你来自英国,2018年至今已推出了三张个人全长专辑,作为你多年来的老粉一定不会把你视为一名单纯的UK Bass艺人。那么你认为bass music近5年到底发生了何种质变?我们很想听听你作为创作者视角下的感受

As an artist from UK, you have released four full-length solo albums since 2018. Longtime fans wouldn’t simply categorize you as a typical UK Bass artist. From your perspective, what significant transformations do you think have occurred in bass music over the past five years? We’re eager to hear
your insights as a creator.

K:UK Bass这个术语挺有趣的,我大概70%确定我知道它是什么意思。我觉得如果你在英国生活的话,这个术语会更加令你困惑。在我的脑海中,“英国低音音乐”的人们基本上就是2005年伦敦的那群男人。我甚至觉得他们自己都不这么称呼自己。

That term is a funny one. I’m like, 70% sure I know what it means. I think it’s even more confusing when you live
in the UK. In my head the ‘UK bass music’ people are like, basically men from 2005 in London. I don’t even think
they call themselves that.

有趣的是,在“后Boiler Room”、“后Fred again..” 的地下音乐现在也变成了主流的一道景观,你可以重新看到艺术家也会“对着摄像头眨眼”。这也没什么问题,我猜我并没有在一个以“gunfingers”(此处指喜欢做手势的台风) 为潮流的环境中长大,也不想假装这样。
It’s funny seeing the weird ‘wink-to-the-camera’ revival in the ‘post-Boiler Room’, ‘post-Fred again..’ underground gone mainstream landscape right now. It’s fine I guess. I didn’t really grow up in an environment where ‘gunfingers’ were a thing, and don’t really want to pretend I did.

但是话说回来,我认为UK Bass这个术语在英国以外的地方可能确实让人感到困扰,人们可能会解释为受英国影响的舞曲音乐或仅仅是来自英国的舞曲音乐。据我所知,随着这种奇怪的TikTok Techno时代的到来,现在有一些对舞曲音乐和重低音音乐的新颖看法,虽然我并不觉得自己是其中的一员,但我希望它能发展成为广泛而开放的方向。
But yeah I think it’s a term that trips people up outside of the UK, which people interpret to be UK-influence dance music or just dance music from the UK. From what I can tell there’s a few new interesting takes of dance music and bass-heavy music now in the wake of this weird TikTok techno zeitgeist, I don’t feel really like a participant in any of that but I hope it progresses into broad and open directions.

△ 专辑 Quiet As Kept, F.O.G. 系列封面


It’s been four years since your last performance in China. Perhaps you could reminisce about your previous China tour experiences. Are there any particularly memorable moments that stand out to you? Additionally, what new expectations do you have for this upcoming tour?

My first China experience didn’t really feel like it counted! I remember the show was great but for some reason or another I didn’t really experience any of Shanghai. I remember myself and Iglooghost walking around a vacant industrial zone and not being able to find food for like an entire day. I truly don’t know what happened, it was the end of a heavy tour and we were just generally mindless at that age. Not really sure what to expect, but super excited to hear what’s on the lineups and discover some new artists. I know that I’ll eat some great food and shake my ass on the Great Wall, respectfully.

△ Kai Whiston @长城 2023


Finally, we would like to initiate questions from the perspective of ‘the relationship between media and
musicians.’ We hope that our enjoyable conversation today can provide some meaningful insights for the future of China’s electronic music industry:

How do you perceive the current level of media attention towards electronic musicians? Do you think there is any imbalance?

K:我在这方面有点两面性,通过策划Lux Cache并在我的艺术项目中与媒体进行合作。很高兴看到音乐媒体在解决显著的包容性问题方面已经取得了很大进展。但在这方面我们仍然有一些工作要做,比如你一生中所知晓的那些最无聊的东西,在如今的媒体上依然大量充斥和蔓延着,我感到非常不可思议。我觉得音乐出版物破产了,但我认识的大多数从事音乐行业PR岗的人都过得很好。在我看来,虽然依赖广告和夜店场景是一个根本性的现金流问题,但这也反过来破坏了很多出版物(优质内容及出色的创作者)。
I sort of play both sides of this, through curating Lux Cache and doing my own work with press in my artist project. It’s great to see that music media has stepped up a lot in addressing the gaping inclusivity problems. There’s still some work to do in that respect. There’s also still an immensity of coverage on the most boring fucking shit you have ever seen in your life. It’s extraordinary to me. I find it amusing that music publications are going bankrupt yet most people I know who work in music PR are doing just fine. Seems like relying on advertising and club nights is a fundamental cash flow problem to me, which also in turn destroys a lot of what gets published.


In your opinion, what can the media do to more effectively promote quality music and outstanding artists?

Look beyond the inbox!

最后, Mixmag 想要向各位乐迷、读者和同行从业者们说:


正如我们上一篇 《2023中国主流舞曲乐迷都在听什么?》 文中所述,Mixmag 在鼓励大家为主流艺人投票时,也不应忽视了那些更显默默无闻的主办方和一直在客观条件不利的局面下依旧持续向场景输出活动的场地。


本次 Kai Whiston 中国巡演由promoter新军High Cry筹划开展,他们也在今年将BABii首次带进国内演出并大受好评,大家可以持续保持关注!

△ Kai Whiston 2023 China Tour