KMRU on creativity (video + transcript)

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KMRU is the artist name of Joseph Kamaru. He has been described by The Guardian as “one of the leading ambient artists working today”, and Pitchfork has observed that KMRU “is carving out a unique place in electronic music”.⁠

⁠KMRU grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2020 he moved to Berlin to study the Master’s in Sound Studies and Sonic Arts at the Universität der Künste. His recent brace of releases include Jar (2020), Opaquer (2020), and the widely acclaimed Peel (2020) on Editions Mego. This year he released Logue (2021), a collection of earlier works from 2017-19 which still seem incredibly fresh.⁠

I had the great pleasure of interviewing KMRU about his creative process and the meanings of ambient, electronic music.⁠ The interview was in August 2021, as seen in this video, but we’ve just also made a transcript, which appears below.⁠

Here is a straightforward transcript of the video, so it’s not highly polished, but I did make a few light edits for readability. (Many thanks to Jessy George for her work turning the unreadable Zoom transcript into an actual transcript).

David Gauntlett: Hi! Welcome to another video. I’m very excited to be here with KMRU, Joseph Kamaru from Nairobi, Kenya, who has now moved to Berlin. A kind of breakout star of 2020, he’s been building his music and sound portfolio for some amount of time, and he seems to have really got lots of recognition recently because he does amazing work. I’m so grateful for you to join us here today, Kamaru. 

Joseph Kamaru: Yeah, thank you for having me here.

DG: I nearly called you Joseph. You like to be called Kamaru, don’t you?

KMRU: Kamaru or Joseph is fine, yeah.

DG: Cool. So I wanted to talk to you a bit about your creative process and your thoughts about the kind of work that you make. I’ve got a list of questions. Should we get straight into it?

KMRU: Yeah, sure.

DG: Do we start off just by… If somebody wants you to tell us your life story in a few sentences, what do you say about that? Can you give us a brief account of your life so far?

KMRU: Yeah, it’s been almost everywhere, and yeah being born and raised like in Nairobi I’ve had so many excursions. Not only in sound and music but different experiences in life. Also, moving to Berlin, yeah it’s just having these different stories and narratives in everything that I do, that I’ve been exposed to. Like so many things growing up and yeah it’s really helped me and nurtured me in the way I am. I’m only 24 years old.

DG: Did you have a kind of musical background, like were you encouraged to play musical instruments as a kid or anything like that?

KMRU: Not really but I wasn’t like encouraged to play an instrument or yeah no one really pushed me into play an instrument. But I was interested or drawn into music practice because my grandfather was also a musician and being named after him –

DG: A famous musician.

KMRU: Yeah, a famous musician, and yeah it felt like music or like musicianship was just natural. And you know high school is when I took up music as a subject and started learning and learning music theory and yeah that’s when I actually took up the guitar to learn how to play.

DG: You started with guitar in the conventional way of people starting out in music. And when did you start to explore electronic sounds?

KMRU: Electronic music and sounds happened actually late in. Like making it actually started later in my undergraduate when I had to like, borrow my dad’s laptop and do my assignments. Along the way, I discovered, yeah, you can make music on a laptop which is like a really amazing concept and got me excited to explore this world.

DG: Yeah, and that means that you can produce recorded music more easily than otherwise where you’re just playing and probably didn’t have access to recording technology as such yeah? When you discover you can do it on your laptop, it’s like ohh! Yeah no, I know that feeling.

And your grandfather, also Joseph Kamaru, your namesake. He kind of inspired you. You weren’t pushed into music or encouraged into music necessarily, but you must have taken something of the idea of him to carry forward. You feel you’re kind of carrying forward his kind of legacy? Or you’re just doing your own thing, and you respect what he did but it’s separate. 

KMRU: It was really important for me actually when he passed, I felt like there was a burden bestowed on me, and something that I really needed to do. And yeah because his later years are when we fully sort of bonded so much. I learned so much from him having conversations and speaking a lot about music because that’s when he also realized that his grandson is interested in music and the only person who is fully doing music more, like a career. Yeah I feel like I’m still ongoing the lineage of Kamaru because he really emphasized on the name Kamaru itself, is like… was really important to him, so yeah.

DG: Hmm, nice. I want to come back to that later I think to see, to talk in terms of whether your work, which is obviously not political in the way that his work was political, see if there’s some kind of way in which that carries forward. We’ll do that in a bit. 

So I read somewhere that you were a house and techno DJ at some point. Was that a sort of transition bit or was that just a mistake on the Internet? Did you have a DJ phase?

KMRU: Yeah I had a DJ phase, which was very, very short, though. I can count how many gigs of DJ that’s how short it is because when I started making electronic music a lot, I never used to go clubbing or outside and the first time I decided to be out and watch a live performance or a DJ set is when people recognized me and asked me if I am KMRU and I didn’t know like people actually listened to my music in Nairobi and prompted me to like learn how to DJ and just a means of way to perform the music that I was making then, and it was more leaning towards dance-oriented club music.

But also, when I listened back to this old music that I was making um… there’s some sense of field recording in a way, or like natural sounds that I was just incorporating them but anyway yeah I started I learned how to DJ like in two weeks in a workshop and we got a residency and I played some few gigs but I had some situations where I really wanted to slow things down and go very um… maybe experimental or just do something weird in my performance but was risky in a way, but because I knew, like the audience and what they really want and how the scene is in Nairobi and yeah it reached a point where I really wanted to focus on what I was doing like this more.

People consider my music weird in Nairobi, and they enjoyed it and I was glad like they knew about this, but I wanted like to fully focus on this new KMRU project so in 2019 I decided I’ll just stop. I’ll stop DJ’ing and just focus on this field recording practice that I was discovering, yeah.

DG: This year 2021 you released Logue, which I understand was sort of earlier works that you’ve had as EP’s and things along the way, is that right? And they’re kind of… they’re often more kind of melodic and musical aren’t they… And then it’s like you’ve moved more towards like with in 2020 you had so many albums. You had Jar which is kind of… it’s peaceful, beautiful recordings… music… it’s music.

I’m interested in that question about whether you call it music or not because sometimes [you’re described as] a sound artist, or people talk about field recordings. But it’s not just field recordings, is it? Because it’s very musical.

I was going through your albums – there’s Jar, which is peaceful and beautiful. There’s Opaquer, which is maybe somewhere between the two, and then there’s Peel, which is more kind-of soundscape-y. It’s still got music in it, it’s recognizable music but it’s very peaceful. Someone described it as a kind of cathedral of sound that they were finding peace in, in the COVID times.

Interesting to think also about the relationship between COVID lockdown and making this kind of music. There’s a number of things there. Let’s just talk about the COVID thing. Do you think COVID’s, everybody being isolated, locked up, including yourself, presumably at certain points. Do you think that means that people seek out a different kind of music? And do you think that has helped in, you’ve got loads of recognition in the past year, do you think that was connected in any way?

KMRU: I was also like a really isolated person myself just being inside and… but like COVID, it reached a point where I felt like I’ve been inside the house for a very long time. But I was still experimenting or like making music, which is more peaceful or meditative in a way, or like calming and yeah.

Peel wasn’t even scheduled or even planned to be. It wasn’t like something I was thinking would reach out to so many people or get like this huge attention. It happened in between when I just moved back from Montreal. I had finished my undergraduate and was thinking about my music life and if I’m going to like to move to Berlin for my Master’s then everything. And I was writing so much music, because I was also teaching in Nairobi, but I lost my job because of COVID, but I wanted to quit too and yeah I was like in this limbo state trying to figure out my life, and I was finishing projects.

I finished a job which had started like in the year before, but still pending, then I had this week, where I was working on Peel and it just happened so fast and I finished this and I finished Opaquer, which was also supposed to be released the year before even Logue was finished last year, it was supposed to be released last year, but it would have been so much music.

Yeah I had this creative drive just making music and I made so much music inside and relating also with the whole global situation, I think the need to slow things down and even the music that people were listening, I felt like you know there was more interest to listen to club music, but maybe music just to listen to yeah.

DG: Yeah. I mean, there’s loads of music in the world, including loads of ambient music in the world and still yours got noticed so it’s not just the people wanted something gentler or whatever. It’s to do with the special quality of your work. I don’t know if you know, have you got any ideas what that is that people find in your work that they’re drawn to? 

I think it’s interesting like Peel is kind of one of your strangest albums isn’t it? Yeah, most experimental but also the one that seems to be most widely praised, I think it seems to be the one that people have especially noticed. But it’s less kind of commercial, whatever that means, than the others, isn’t it? Less sort of obviously melodic. It’s slower and you just got big, big pieces of similar sound with interesting things going on in them. You know it’s kind of interesting that this has caught so many people’s imagination.

KMRU: Yeah, because I remember when I made the first track, I just knew this is going to be an album. I usually know this, when I’m playing around with tools and realizing that if I make more tracks in this direction, hopefully, something will end up being full length or something and Peel happened. It was also like my first drone project which is like all improvised, one take recordings and very long form pieces.

I wasn’t sure people would listen. So I kept it for some time and sent it to my friend and he told me, hey I can send this to labels, because I never used to send my music to labels much, and I sent it to Peter [Rehberg] and some other labels and yeah Peter wrote back to me from Editions Mego. And he really liked it and it happened so fast, but like in two months, it was fully released.

It wasn’t expected that people would get so into the record itself but yeah I also like to listen back to it and also like just think about it, how it reached so many people and I try to understand why it attracted so many people, yeah.

DG: In terms of that thing – about is it music or is it sound art or is it experimental or is it field recordings – what do you most want people to describe it as? Does it sometimes upset you that people give you the wrong label? If you think you’re making great music, it could be offensive when somebody calls you a ‘sound artist’ because that sounds like they think it was not really music so we’ll call it sound art. 

KMRU: Yeah but there’s also this idea of what is sound art or sound? But like I started thinking more of my work in relation to sound itself because that’s where I start from but also, I have a musical background. I’ve studied music for so many years, like since high school and different kinds of music and even performing and dancing this music. Yes it just comes intuitively when I’m making the music. It’s also musical but also has elements of sound and sometimes I see my work cutting across the art outside like at this side and also like the musical side of it, yeah.

DG: Yeah, because you moved to Berlin to do an MA in, is that called Sound Studies? Right, yeah. So what kind of people do that? Are they mostly musicians who are interested in the qualities of sound, or are they more like people who are focused on sound and not so much music or maybe some mix?

KMRU: Yeah it’s a diverse selection of artists and individuals in the program. You don’t even have to have a musical background, if you want to take the program because I have colleagues who have a background in computer science or like philosophy. And they’re interested in this idea and concept of sound.

But I also wanted to take this program because I wanted to discover this other side of this concept of sound as an entity in itself and not like the musical aspect of it and just go deep into the philosophy of sound and theories about it. Yeah, because how it relates to sound and music or like how music is mostly from an African context is a bit different and just coming here to like understand like this past year has just been exploration for me and trying to like see what actually my professors are talking about, yeah.

DG: Yeah, that’s interesting because that whole sort of… I don’t know how they teach you there, but I would expect that the world of sound studies in Berlin it’s probably quite European isn’t it? – and the idea of ambient music. Maybe that’s my own kind of perspective. But you sort of think of that as a largely white European kind of music, and also in the US.

So it’s especially interesting for you to be doing that, coming from where you come from and has that, do you think that’s given you challenges, or do you think that’s given you a whole different perspective that other people don’t seem to have. Do they… do you sometimes feel like an outsider in those worlds or how does that all work?

KMRU: Yeah, when I applied for the course I even asked because it’s a very intense process of applications and interviews and I was curious to know if, like there’s any other sound artist, or like person from Africa has ever been in the program,  and unfortunately not and yeah just being here, I, like the first few weeks I realize, oh it’s different and this idea of sound studies is like focusing mostly on the European North American context of sound, John Cage, Alvin Lucier… Yeah so I decided to do all my projects in school, based on what like my background in home, all my projects and installations that just works from home in like theories that I grew up knowing about sound and music.

In my view, like some communities or like practices in Kenya, or like different parts of Africa, the music is sort of, like to an outsider it’s very experimental or noisy, but like to the people who live there, this is like their way of life and practice and it’s not sound art to like music it’s just like how they relate to the social involvement with things, and you know, so it’s interesting just to also be here and learn and experience this and also like trying to like relate this to what I know, yeah.

DG: Yeah, but your perspective being on that course, I expect makes the course better for everybody.

KMRU: Yeah.

DG: That’s good for them and hopefully for you. And then, so, on the one hand you’re kind of… they’ve not had somebody from Africa on this course before even and so you’re different in that way, but also different, because like you’re now a well-known recording artist, and presumably most of them are not, so that also is different – like you’re playing in Berghain the legendary club in Berlin, and you’re friends with Luke Slater and other kind of people from that kind of world. I think of Luke Slater as kind of a techno guy –

KMRU: Yeah, yeah.

DG: – but also seems to be doing kind of experimental things like that collaboration with you. So you’re in an interesting position aren’t you? But it’s good that I think you have the confidence to just carry on and do what you do and that’s great.

KMRU: Yeah I think, yeah I’m grateful for this artistic side of my practice because in school I’m just very standard focused to do, like write my papers and do everything, but most of my colleagues in school usually some of my friends are telling me like what are you doing, are you already doing stuff outside, but I’m pleased with the experience and yeah I’m really cared for, yeah.

DG: Yeah and it must give you some different inputs and different people to meet and different things to think about.

KMRU: Yeah, I guess.

DG: And you moved to Berlin, so that would have been Summer 2020 when the pandemic was still starting up as we now know, and so were you on Zoom a lot? Have you had in person classes?

KMRU: We had the first like Winter semester. We had like maybe two classes in person, but most of them on Zoom. But good thing, you could access the studios and facilities in school, but when the idea of a second wave came like this past semester, the summer semester has gone so fast and everything has been online.

DG: Yeah, so did you choose Berlin because, obviously, Berlin is really famous for its electronic music culture. Is that what you wanted to go and join? and then presumably joining it has been less straightforward than it would normally be.

KMRU: I was here in 2019 and it was actually my first time outside Africa and it was when I was studying to like to discover more experimental musicians and artists and being here for like two weeks. I think I just had an eye opener of what I was doing was something right, wasn’t wrong, like I wasn’t making a mistake. So going back home, I was so motivated and I was still in college, in university finishing my degree. And as soon as I finished I had a different concept of sound and music that I wanted to like to read more and understand, yeah.

DG: If we could go back to the thing about your grandfather, who was a political figure wasn’t he? Through his work, and then, in some ways you’re carrying the torch of Joseph Kamaru, but obviously you’re not doing,you’re not a singer-songwriter, you’re not doing campaigning kind of songs or anything like that. But do you still see the work is political in some way? 

Do you think it explores any kind of… like some people think ambient music is just kind of soothing, new age is, you know, pleasant? And that’s kind of it and that serves a role because it’s nice to have something soothing and pleasant in modern hectic life. But do you think about it, having any kind of… you know, different roles, about opening up ideas or anything political to it, how do you think about it?

KMRU: Yeah. Like since last year I’ve been thinking so much about different contexts and narratives that I’m trying to like get across through my music and works and mostly I was separating my music intro installation works, which I’m sort of focusing more on a discourse that I want people to like explore and learn from it and, like my music is just for people to listen, but also I’ve been leaning more towards this idea of listening a lot in my practice that I try and sort of position this in my work that I’m making and yeah.

Just like this idea of listening and also being in school and learning these different modes of listening and for me it’s just, it’s not very political like my grandfather that he’s trying to push a certain topic which is very huge and it’s discussed for me I’m just thinking more of like this aspect of listening because I’ve been doing this a lot since I moved here. Also, how I approach my creative process like stems from the idea of listening and also like my background in field recording and just thinking about spaces that I’m recording, yeah.

DG: And so, when you say listening is important to you, what do you mean, a bit more about that, what’s the thing about listening that is important?

KMRU: Yeah um… When I started field recording or this idea of field recording… For me, it was an intriguing concept that I could have a device and record my environment and like have an extended pair of ears to listen to my surroundings and then I was like capturing sort of so many sounds and not thinking much about the context of the spaces and, like the people I’m recording on the sites that I’m recording.

I was involved in a project that really pushed me to understand the sights and spaces that I’m recording and this put me in a situation where I had to like listen fast before even thinking of going to a specific location to record and, for me, I think, in my practice of field recording or thinking about an environment or a place that I want to go and record it first has to come from this idea of listening of me, as opposed to you as a human being in a specific place.

Like what’s my role in this site as an artist or as a sound artist and a field recordist and it just draws me back to, yeah like being mindful and listening and yeah it sort of drew me or like encouraged me more and more just to listen to like my surroundings and my immediate environment and just being aware of what’s happening, not just carrying my record and go into a place and recording sounds and coming back and appropriating the sounds, yeah.

DG: So do you think it means you have more kind of care for a space because you’re paying a special type of attention when you go around with your actual recorder and your headphones on hearing sounds that otherwise maybe you wouldn’t really think about, what most people wouldn’t really think about that’s just kind of happening, but you’re paying special attention to them and maybe that creates a sort of sense of like greater connection to the environment or greater kind of care for it?

KMRU: It’s more of like intentionality of like what I’m really doing or like recording, yeah.

DG: Yeah, so I did a book called ‘Making is Connecting’ which was about, how if you’re someone in the world that has the engagement with the world where you’re making things in the world, then it puts you in a different kind of position to if you’re, you know a lot of people are familiar. Especially by the end of the 20th century, people are familiar with basically being consumers. You sit and watch TV, you go to work, come back, sit and watch TV, that kind of thing. 

As a kind of consumer-oriented way of doing things just in terms of culture, you receive stuff made by other people elsewhere. And then with the Internet coming along and DIY music and other ways in which people seem to be finding new ways to be creative, you’ve got more kind of engagement with the world because you’re making things, and so you realize, you can be a greater in the world, so you’re participating and not just consuming. 

And I’m saying that now, not to talk about my book in particular, because it sort of reminds me what you’re saying, if you’re listening to the world in that sort of deep way you’re going to feel more connected to it, more part of it, and maybe more concern for it, and maybe there’s a sort of environmental dimension, where people have forgotten to have the amount of care for the world that we should have for the world, and then have this kind of approach to field recording and sound maybe means at least, for you, and also for people listening to your work, I guess, that you might listen to the sounds in a new way and environments in a new way.

KMRU: Yeah, yeah I feel or I think like to listening there’s a sort of a breach towards even understanding like one another, or just realizing how much is sort of like an anthropocentric way of doing things, yeah.

DG: Yeah. And sort of similarly, and I was reading about minimalism and I think often people sort of think minimalism sometimes it seems like kind of joke like where there’s artworks that are almost nothing and a lot of people don’t really understand why you would do this and it kind of seems like nothing and what’s the point? But um, I read something inspiring about how it’s about essentially stripping everything away to see what’s left, like taking away all the unnecessary elements and seeing what is at the kind of root of things.

I don’t know If all minimalist artwork is actually doing that, but it seemed like a nice sort of way of thinking about it and I didn’t know if you thought… you’ve got quite sparse, ambient, minimal works, if you have any sense of so doing that so getting down to like the essentials or maybe a actual process of making music, do you find yourself taking things out, in order to get to what is the sort of essential element at the heart of it? Or am I just saying things to get through the door, you don’t have to agree. I’m just interested in if you’ve got any connections with them.

KMRU: Yeah, I have like projects where… you know, maybe a good example is Peel, which is only like one take recordings when improvised and I’m just like attenuating the volume and like elements coming in and coming out but I wasn’t sure if I was thinking about this minimal aspect, it’s more like this intuition of like making the peace.

Because they made different iterations and pieces and decided which one would fit well together, but to have projects where I have so many tracks and before entering everything I just mute one element, or like one main element of the piece and see how it sounds without it, and I try and do this in most of my projects where I remove the main element and just like leave it as mute and leave it as it is, yeah. But I always think, yeah, less is more sometimes.

DG: Yeah, uh huh. I suppose I’m kind of digging to see if there’s a kind of political way that is… minimalism sometimes and I don’t know. You probably, it seems like maybe you don’t really connect with the idea of minimalism. Maybe it’s more, you seem like a gentle kind of person and you make a gentle kind of music and it doesn’t need to be connected to ideas like minimalism. Just sort of seeing if there was a sort of political dimension to that really, there doesn’t need to be. Just interesting to dig into.

You’re in Germany, and also in Germany somewhere and also around the world. there’s this movement called Wandelweiser, have you heard about that? It’s probably a very white European kind of thing, and which is very quiet music. Basically it’s kind of in the classical music realm or art music realm. You can get recordings of it, but it’s essentially super quiet and it’s about the idea that you… like you said. 

We’ve got a quote here about being very present in the moment of listening. And because…

I mean it’s not just quiet there’s no it’s only going to give us do, but it is largely quiet. That’s not the only characteristic obviously but it is largely quiet. So I’ve never been to a Wandelweiser concert, only heard about it recently. We don’t even have concerts anymore, but um it seemed to be about like in Wandelweiser concerts when everyone’s attending very closely. 

Because it’s barely there you know, and you sort of think with music that’s very quiet it’s hard for people to attend to and maybe they sort of wouldn’t. But people really attend to it because of its quiet nature and there’s something about it. There’s a metaphor that’s about… you might find this interesting, there’s a metaphor about like in a city, you have a square which is, on the square is kind of nothing, it might just be like a space, flat, with nothing in it.

And the square is defined by the things that are around it, it’s basically got stuff around it. And so the square is the thing, it’s kind of the center of the city, but also it’s kind of… it might have a monument or something but it’s basically a large space of nothing. I thought it was interesting to think about music like that, to think about the spaces, which are not things, are not very much things. But also can be kind of central and people attend to them. Because they’re the thing where something isn’t happening.

KMRU: Yeah this idea of like I didn’t know about like this Wandelweiser music but I try in my music just to create these sort of subliminal elements in the pieces where they’re very low in volume, but still present and the more you listen to the music often, the more you get to hear these elements. Maybe in your head or like from your ear and sort of these tones that sort of generate themselves, but in the piece, but you sort of think they’re there. But they’re very subliminal yeah.

DG: Yeah that’s interesting. In your own creative process, like I’ve seen videos about how you go about doing things. Essentially you seem to collect sounds because that, as you collect field recordings and then sort of layer them up and then add in sometimes more musical elements afterwards. Is that now like your process? Is that what you do and you go out and do that? To what extent has that sort of evolved or changed or do you think that might change a lot in the future? Is that what KMRU does?

KMRU: At the moment, I think that’s what I’ve been doing, mostly. I just based most of my compositions of pieces from field recordings or yeah, I can start with the field recording and make a composition, but it’s… yeah I just try and make different kinds of music. Not necessarily, only field recordings, like yesterday night I was just jamming. I decided to only play with analog stuff and see what happens then. Yeah not necessarily focus on this one direction of what people expect to be hard for me, yeah.

DG: Is that something you’d say you’ve learnt about your own creativity that you didn’t know five or 10 years ago? What have you learned about you and making things?

KMRU: Yeah. This idea of field recordings for me was very naive, when I started I didn’t know about Chris Watson or this field recording artist before. So I just put my record in and I was recording sounds in the house and making sounds like making collages with these sounds that I’m collecting or recording and putting them in a DAW and sort of trying to get textures out of them, but this was you know, this was just for me like compositional tools that I could use for for peace, then later discovery or even just being in school and thinking about what I was doing before is actually an art practices just intriguing for me just to realize.

There’s a whole discussion about this and it’s just being… I think it’s amazing just like start making music thinking about what you really want to make not knowing what’s already happening and then along the way you discover all these great musicians and artists who are doing this practice. But creative wise, my process has just been back the same even when I’m making more texture based compositions and field recordings and since I think I’m in the same mindset, as I was.

Before maybe just with new equipment or stuff that I use for making music but it’s still the same direction of how I approach making music and also like this idea of time really changed so much in my music, where intuitively I reached a point where I wasn’t thinking about like the metronome or like following a certain read of things that are happening and just plugging in a synth and like recording and layering and continue like making a narrative.

I ended up making very longform compositions which was only maybe for me to listen to, but I didn’t know if people would sit down and listen to 40 minute pieces, and this is something that I’m using a lot like in my work. Yes, I’m thinking about, I think, with my background in music theory and keys, and knowing what works well it’s easy just to hear it just feel like if it works, it will work if it doesn’t it doesn’t and yeah not thinking so much about the time of the length, or should I be on a sudden click or something. It’s more my intuition and…

DG: Yeah, which works, so good. What’s next for you, are you going to stay in Berlin, beyond the course, do you think? Maybe there’s two years of courses. It’s two years, okay. So you’ve got another year of that.

KMRU: For my master’s it’s three years.

DG: Three? Wow.

KMRU: Yeah, but I have two more years. I think I’ll be based here and in Nairobi, yeah. I was to release a new [album for Editions Mego], Peel 2, for Peter next year, but yeah… He passed, but I’ll still like make a record for next year. I’m currently working on like site specific installation multi-channel pieces and yeah. I haven’t like sat down and made music. It’s more like towards art-oriented pieces .

DG: Right, interesting. Because your newfound fanbase will be needing more stuff. You can’t just start making installations that we have to go to Berlin for, when we’re not allowed to travel to Berlin! I’m suggesting it’s interesting to see you exploring a new kind of territory, doing new things, that sounds great.

And that was really good and very interesting. Thank you so much for spending the time talking to me. I love your work so it’s great to have the chance to talk. I liked digging into the stuff about the meaning of your quiet, meditative, kind of work that’s really interesting.

KMRU: Yeah I just like to think for myself, for how I am as a… I’m very calm here and it reflects a lot in my work in some way, yeah. But yeah I think you… it was a very calm, nice conversation.

DG: Great, thank you. Keep doing your amazing work. You’ve got lots of fans around the world now so that’s really good. It must be strange for you, because I don’t suppose you can picture what that means, can you? Must be strange to… this level of, you know, recognition that you’ve got now that you didn’t have two years ago.

KMRU: Yeah. I think about it and it’s like so insane how I just started like on my dad’s work laptop to just make music and experiment and spending so much time in my bedroom. I think only recently is when like my mum mostly like realized… how I usually tell them like, you guys, do you know how my music like has reached so many people? And I’m not sure if they really know. But like they’re super grateful and yeah.

DG: Yeah. Nice. And well I hope one day your mother appreciates… and yeah. Keep doing the great work, I hope that you’re able to enjoy Berlin and connect more with actual humans as COVID passes, hopefully. And it’s great to be in touch with you, so thank you for doing this.

KMRU: Yeah, thank you for having me here.

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