JM#170 – Kent Horne

Kent Horne returns to the Jaeger mix for a third time with his usual flair for the eccentric and the exotic. The Oslo stalwart DJ travels the expansive breadth of his record collection once again for a mix that moves into the most obscure corners of his record bag. Irreverent melodies and abstract soundscsapes forged in unusual rhythms follow Kent through this mix as he jumps from one track into the next, the whole mix coming together like the plot-line of some lucid dream. From the haunting strings lifted from Hitchcock’s Psycho to the tabla rhythms and didgeridoo drones that come at the peak of the mix, the session is marked by a sense is suspense and intrigue.

The mix unfolds like some worldly post-modernist detective novel, as distant elements come together in an abstract musical collage that only Kent Horne seems to understand. Even though he thrives in the obscure in this mix, he sets the perfect tone as he moves into beat arrangements as the mix progresses. Building his set from the primordial ooze of the first track and eventually fading it out in the heady polyrhythmic percussive onslaught that concludes the set while at the same time, setting the tone for the night ahead where Ivaylo and later Domingo took it into the early hours of Monday morning. It’s always an eclectic adventure with Kent Horne at the Jaeger Mix and this is no different.

Welcome back to the Jæger mix. I don’t want to say third time’s a charm, since every Jaeger Mix you do for us is something unique. What do you have in store for us this time?

Thanks, I always look forward to these opportunities to present something different than one might hear in a the typical dj-set. The urge for a danceable approach is also very much present this time around – maybe it’s the hectic pre-Christmas time of the year making me need to shake loose a little bit in addition to the more atmospheric, spiritual opening part.

As your third appearance, you must be quite used to concept. What’s the secret to doing the Jaeger mix right from your experience?

The secret to every good dj-set I think is proper planning. For a short hour set I try to focus on only one or few ideas in advance, ideas I then seek to develop and purify spontaneously during the live play. Since the set is opening the night it is natural for me to let some open and eclectic sounds set a tone, to seek a groove from what I hear and what the room seems to respond to, before forming the foundation for the rest of the night. Hence, in the second part of the set I have the house music taking over the mix after me in the back of the mind.

As a mix that’s recorded in front of an audience, how do you find a balance between playing to the people and the sake of the recorded mix?

Inspired improvisation is just as important as the preparations and pre-thoughts on what you think you will be doing. So letting the present vibe in the room influence the choices organically is crucial to any good dj-set, I think.

How would this mix differ from a Kent Horne club mix?

It starts up with music that is quite open and can lead to anywhere, it kind of ask a lot of questions or give a lot of suggested routes one chooses to take. In a late night club mix I would probably do the opposite; have a more direct approach at first, make a more discoid, groovy foundation that people respond to on the floor, then seem to trust – to the point where I can go wherever.

What were some personal highlights for you on this Jaeger Mix?

Personally, I was happy to discover some unexpected connections between apparently unconnected sounds. I want the listening to be as subjective as possible, without my personal dictations involved too much, so don’t want to be too specific. 

You’ve always displayed a broad scope in your selections, and your Jaeger mixes have been kaleidoscopic adventures through your  record collection. What do you look for in music as a DJ?

I’m very often on the lookout for the unexpected connections we just talked about, how something from one track can be given new meaning when connected to something different. Same time, I’m also always very much trying to give it all a common language, a common groove or atmosphere so it resonates and makes sense to the listener and dancer.

How have your tastes evolved?

It’s been broadened and more specific at the same time.

Broadened in the Socratic sense; the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know – I’m constantly being surprised by new worlds of music I haven’t discovered and are yet to explore. This inspires me to dig further.

“More specific” in the way that I am after all also understanding how I want to use the components in music more and more. I learn my own taste better and better and how to take advantage and manipulate the sounds to make music sound the way I like it, That gives me a lot of pleasure and drive to continue marinating myself in music in different ways – through DJing, pure listening or producing.

How would you usually define a Kent Horne set today?  

It always depends on the occasion, the vibe in the room, my own mood, my curiosity towards finding these new, unexpected connections I just talked about, etc…etc…, but I think I always present a certain groove that can be translated to the body language you’ll find on the dedicated dance floors. Tentacles moving in avant garde ways, haha…

I get very addicted myself when I’m lucky to have found something groove-worthy to sail on to further into the night, so I am not easy to stop when the brutal lights turns on around closing time. You have to drag me out of the booth.

Thanks for answering our questions again Kent. What else is happening in the world of Kent Horne we should cover here before we get stuck into the mix?

Thanks to you too, Ivaylo, for inviting me, it’s always a real pleasure. Over the past two years Pål Strangefruit I have developed a thing I’d love to develop further, a club night or kind of an open-minded musical forum we call SJAKT, where we delve into the more eccentric, psychedelic and experimental spiral of recent electronic dance music. We serve beats for freaks, sounds it seems people like to dance to, as much as just listening to – I love this duality I feel we have created and am excited to see what musical landscapes this concept can lead us to in the future.