The Kite String Tangle // Interview // Howler, Melbourne // June 1

The month of June saw Danny Harley, better known as The Kite String Tangle, tour his new single ‘P()L4R,’ hosting gigs across the East coast, showcasing his newly developed sound.


Saturday night at the Howler brought the mood as always, living up to its reputation as a buzzing venue filled with vibrancy. This location never ceases to disappoint. Introductory acts lead the way for TKST, as Melbourne-based Elkkle took to stage. With a humble demeanour and likable energy, the artist broke the silence by propelling deep electronic textures at the audience. The sounds used were recognisably Flume inspired, however, Elkkle did manage to pull off certain features of originality and that stayed unique. While utilising his vocals, Elkkle was able to distort and manipulate his voice in real-time, an impressive showcase of his capacity being a live-performer.


Cut short to only 30 minutes, Elkkle's set left the crowds wanting to hear more of want the young musician had to offer. A very talented supporting artist to begin the evening.


As crowds began to trickle through the doors, the second act Reynier took to stage. Hot damn, this boy was dripping. In a vintage get-up, golden locks and combat boots, the indie-electronic producer made his way to the spotlight. Atmospheric and dreamy, Reynier’s jam session was seamlessly finessed, while also packing some serious heat. Deep tones and heavy resonance circulated the band room as the audience bopped almost hypnotically to Reynier’s disposition. Conclusively, the supporting acts gave an excellent introduction for TKST to take to stage.


Lights dimmed, floor filled. The atmosphere was set. Never seen Danny Harley perform, it was difficult to know what to expect. As Kite String emerged you could tell a darker tone was being adopted into the overall performance vibe. This was a step in the right creative direction for the electronic producer. Bellowing bass and drum echoed through the venue, the acoustics were unparalleled. The crowd were in a trance as Danny presented irresistibly groovy textures in his music, interesting layers and warping melodies gripped those listening. The Kite String Tangle live, proved to be an other-worldly experience than when simply listening at home. We were also treated to a plethora of new music that had not been released as of yet, fuelling audience anticipation and excitement.


The thing that is most memorable from this experience was Danny’s energy and his tendency to create a show that was interactive. Probably if not definitely his most successful track Arcadia was stripped back, into a more soulful and dreamy version of the original. Danny reached out to the audience asking everyone to sing, one side to be the melody, the other to be the harmony. Surprisingly, this request was executed perfectly, as the crowd created a beautiful new texture to the track itself. Even Kite String himself was surprised. This is something that everyone should witness at a live performance, when the performer operates with the fans to create a synergistic ambience.


With new and darker material being released, The Kite String Tangle have definitely channelled that vibe through their live performance, forging a new path for the Brisbane producer. Living up to his name and reputation, Danny delivered a powerful experience and more, definitely an artist that is worthy of recommendation when it comes to live performers.


T-Rex Musiq were lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat with The Kite String Tangle before his set.


So first things first, you’ve been touring Australia with your latest single ‘P()L4R,’ at different venues along the east coast. Is there a particular place or venue which has stood out to you?

They’re all pretty different. We were talking about this earlier. Melbourne is a lot different to any other place on multiple occasions, everyone seems to be more attentive, like a really polite crowd which is nice. Sydney is great and gets pretty rowdy at times but Brisbane last night was really, really rowdy, which was awesome to see. I think Melbourne has a lot to live up to tonight, should be incredible.


Do you think as an artist, would you prefer a crowd that is more mellow and attentive or one that gets up and about?

It’s really different. I think as an artist, I love seeing people getting energetic and vibrant to my music. But at the same time, I enjoy when people like really just kind of vibe with music because it’s really quite a different connection you have with the audience. Both are great.


Being a solo artist and producing your own music means there isn’t a lot of creative flare to really bounce off, I would imagine, as compared to a band/collective. Do you think previewing new music at a show or on tour is sort of a test run? To see how fans are reacting to your new music?

Absolutely. One hundred percent. I rely on the fans. When I am up there and performing new stuff, I can glance on the audience and sort of see how they react to the music. Of course once I have finished playing, I can’t really change anything or tweak much. This time, however, is the first time in a long time where I could probably finish up and potentially change or modify my music depending on how well it goes when I am performing. Live shows are definitely test runs, for me especially. If I’m lucky I can sneak a glance, see what the audience faces are doing, kind of gauge the vibe of what other people think of my stuff.


It is hard to not mention the impressive shows you’ve played over the past few years. Was there a specific moment or performance that has stuck with you?


I mean, what can I say. Splendour In The Grass was the biggest step for me and still is. I can remember walking out on stage and looking up thinking ‘damn, there is thousands of people out there, they want to see me and they all want to hear my song,’ It is seriously what dreams are made of. It is the Aussie artist dream. For me it was and still is a crazy pipeline dream. Yeah, I did have a little moment on-stage where I thought to myself “woah, this is actually happening right now?” It was amazing.


I live in Brisbane. There’s this one particular venue called ‘Riverstage,’ and I happen to play along side London Grammar, which was absolutely incredible. It is such an iconic venue and has a big reputation among the city, music wise. I had been wanting to play there for so long. So when I got off stage I had a bit of moment, bit of a meltdown. Just all the emotions going at once, and that sort of thing never happens to me. Really weird stuff man. Definitely something I will remember.


You’ve come a fair way since winning Triple J’s Unearthed Artist award back in 2013 and your breakthrough track ‘Given The Chance,’ as an artist do you feel as though you have evolved in your style and music?

It is sort of hard to really tell, when you are so close to the project. It is hard to objectively look at it, from an outside point of view. But yeah, I would say so. The style has definitely sort of morphed as I’ve gone along. Even playing these sets recently, it’s been pretty varied I guess. The production has a more gloomy and darker undertone to it, well that is what it feels like to me. The darker turn is definitely intentional. It kind of lines up with what I like to listen to and what I sort of focus on.

In an extremely popular music scene, Is there any advice you would give aspiring electronic producers who are trying to create a sound and name of their own?

I guess just, stick to what you want and your own vision. Don’t let anyone try change what you want. Don’t do what other people want you to do and don’t overthink what you should be doing. Follow your gut. Create amazing art that other people can enjoy and create something that your proud of.

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Erling Will
Erling Will
Erling Will is a lover of writing and helping others save time. She has a background in journalism, which helps her communicate effectively and efficiently. When Shea isn't writing, she enjoys shopping - especially for clothes, as she loves to stay up-to-date with the latest fashion trends.