Untangling The Kite String Tangle
The Kite String Tangle. A mouthful isn’t it? Well, Danny Harley the artist and producer behind the experimental solo venture puts on more than a mouthful of a show. On Friday night we headed to Oxford Street’s ever so classy music hub Spectrum above the Exchange Hotel to check out Harley’s sold out tour.
Local band Thief kicked off the show with some synth keyboard tunes, heavy slapping bass and popping drums. It didn’t take long for a crowd to swamp the initially sparse floor where the odd lonesome groupie could be seen swaying and mouthing tunes, eyes sparkling. The room was a big mix from bucket hats, tight North Shore mini dresses and tight man tops to a few black rimmed glasses, items from Nanna’s wardrobe and a couple of new age “Hipsters”. Nevertheless, an awesome crowd who were further prepped by Canberra band SAFIA. Hitting out up-beat electronic sounds mashed in with some ambient Blues, the boys got everyone psyched finishing with their latest single “Listen To Soul, Listen To Blues”.
The Kite String Tangle opened with what sounded like a synth glockenspiel layered with heavy electronic tones and a sweet, almost angelic voice - a fantastic way start to a show. The light show was surprisingly good and a reoccurring face of a girl projected in the background mixed in with nature shots was used as emotive stimulus. Harley’s set was an amalgamation of ambient, electronic and indie pop, which he fused together so well. I mean with a background in composition and production you can understand why the kid’s music is so tight and hits all the right places. One of those being a cover of NZ’s Lorde’s ‘Tennis Court’ where Harley had people fill in “the most important part which [he] forgot to put in”, the Yeah. The show went out with his positive, uplifting and feel good single “Given The Chance”, which people danced, laughed, smiled and sung along to.
Before the show, the BYO team had a word with Danny Harley to untangle The Kite String Tangle. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
BYO - It’s been over a year now since the venture of The Kite String Tangle launched. Did you anticipate such a rapid increase in your listeners?
DH - No! It’s really surreal. It’s happened really quickly, I’m talking in the last two months. I think I went from a thousand or two thousand Facebook ‘Likes’ to ten thousand in about less than two months, which is really, really strange. I’m pretty blown away.
BYO - Where did the name The Kite String Tangle come from?
DH - It was originally for an ambient project that I used to do. There were no drums, no vocals, nothing. It was really ethereal, airy washy stuff and I kind of liked [the name] because of the imagery and I thought it was quite fitting - nostalgic and pretty. Then the music changed at gigs, but the name sort of stuck and I couldn’t think of anything else that I liked and I’d already had that one there for a year or something, so I just stuck with it.
BYO - Who or what inspires your music?
DH - Hmmm. I think musically - there’s sort of two sides. There’s music - the actual beats, instruments and stuff is very much from a beats background, like Mount Kimbie, Bonobo and that kind of ‘beatsy’ U.K sound I guess. And then vocally and lyrically - lyrically I like experiences and people around me. I don’t really like telling stories. I like saying sort of vague stuff that people can relate to.
BYO - People describe your music as “dreamy”, “vibing” and “smooth”. How do you personally like to describe your sound?
DH - Yeah, it’s dangerous to do that. I like to go with something really vague like ‘Down Tempo Electronic’ or something so that people can make up their own minds.
BYO - Can you give insight on your creative process?
DH - It pretty much exclusively happens on my laptop, which is kind of dorky… Getting a laptop for the first time was a massive game changer for me. I got this program called Abelton and I pretty much always start with drums and beats and layer things on top of that. Vocals are always last and are usually done in the studio.
BYO - What do you want people to take from your music?
DH - I like my music to be emotive or evocative. I like people to feel things when they listen to it. That’s my main purpose for doing it, I guess.
BYO - What do you want to bring to this ever evolving music industry?
DH - I like to contribute to any innovation that’s going on. I like most music, but I find there’s so much throwback stuff going around like Fifties’s Rock n’ Roll or Sixties Psychedelic or whatever, so I’m really interested in people who are forward thinking and finding new sounds. It’s not what I’m trying to do necessarily, but it’s what I enjoy.
BYO - Was music something that you always wanted to do?
DH - Yep! As long as I can remember. I got a nylon string guitar when I was twelve and I’ve not stopped since. I was in a sweet pop-punk band when I was twelve in the U.K called Scratch Card Junkie - I grew up a lot in the U.K.
BYO - Can you name any artists that you hope to work with in the future?
DH - If I could choose anyone? Brian Eno. He’s a really cool producer and he does all sorts of stuff. He’s pretty wacky.
BYO - After your tour what’s next on your agenda?
DH - Writing for the E.P. So, December is all writing and then hopefully January I’ll put some sort of timeline in place to release new music. Then probably another tour in February and maybe a trip to The States is on the cards.
BYO - Finally just for fun. If you could create a track that reflected your personality, what would it sound like?
DH - It would probably sound like Dial-up Internet!
The Kite String Tangle
Facebook - The Kite String Tangle
Instagram - @thekitestringtangle
Twitter - @TKSTmusic
SoundCloud - www.soundcloud.com/thekitestringtangle
- Lauren Hansom
Photography by Daniel Knott