This week’s installment of our Interview + MiniMix series has a little bit of everything, from grime and UK garage to old-school trance, acid, and happy hardcore. UK-born, now US-based DJ and producer Kyle Cook aka Glacci has a well-defined aesthetic that sounds like the euphoric vibrations found inside a glistening, cerulean blue crystal shard, reminiscent of Rustie in his prime. He’s able to bring together club frameworks, rave influences, and pure emotion with ease, and demonstrates a deep-seated insight about composition, matched with a remarkable sense of integrity to his influences.
Glacci’s latest release, an official remix of Lapsung’s “Behemoth,” earned the praise of Porter Robinson, and is “recommended if you like Virtual Self” (we agree). His work has often been held in high regard, with Plastician describing the title track of his debut LP as the best thing he’s released on his label. We caught up with Kyle on his recent move to the US, his mum’s UK garage records that inspired his next EP, and his new hybrid-label and club night, Moonbeams.
Read on for our interview with Glacci and listen to his extended, 40-minute mix jam-packed with first plays and unreleased goodies; although, he’s opted to share with us the track names versus the NEST HQ usual, ID – ID.
Hi Kyle. Thanks for talking to us and taking over this week’s MiniMix.
Absolutely. Anytime. It’s actually an honor because you’ve been supporting my music for so many years.
Of course. I’ve been super fond of it ever since you did your first premiere with Joey back in the day, I believe it was “Zaffre?”
Oh man, that was a long time ago, that’s for sure. I’m just really grateful and I’m excited that you’re into the stuff I create so much. It makes me happy.
We’re happy to hear that. So what’s new? I know were in Los Angeles at some point last year, but are you still in the US?
Yeah, so I actually live here now. I’m in the Midwest. I moved to the US last May, primarily because my partner lives here. It’s a nice little place. The rent is cheap. I’ve just been working at a garden center and surviving. It’s pretty basic stuff, but I have a nice life and enough time to make music. That’s all I could really ask for.
Have things been different now that you’re on the opposite side of the pond? How has the move affected your music, writing, and just you, in general?
I feel like it’s influenced me more than it’s affected my writing. I thought it would change when I moved here and it kind of scared me for a little while, because my music has such a strong UK influence to it and I didn’t want to lose that. But, I feel like it’s only gotten strong here – being around new things, new experiences, and people has allowed me to learn more about myself, and what I’m trying to put forward as a musician.
That’s super exciting. Yeah, it’s certainly a bit different out here. So you’ve done a couple of big LA shows now, including a Brownies & Lemonade party I was pretty upset I couldn’t go to. Tell us about that experience.
It was really great. That was my first time ever playing in LA, so I was really nervous. Especially because I was supporting Sinjin Hawke, so there was definitely an expectation that I felt like I had to live up to. But at the same time, I just went out there and did my thing. I was just kind of like “people are either going to like it or they won’t,” and it actually went really well. I had a chance to talk to Sinjin afterwards, and he said he really enjoyed the set. It was very positive experience.
Being able to meet people as well who have been listening to my music for so long, because back in England I was pretty isolated in Nottingham. I guess nobody really listens to my music there being able to go across the world and find people that actually do was like, “Woah, this is real.”
That’s got to be a crazy feeling. It’s kind of weird how things can feel like they’ll be one way forever in your hometown, but around the world people are going nuts about what you’re doing.
Absolutely. I did a few shows back when I was starting out, like small grime or UK garage nights, and there were maybe 10 people there and I would be hard-pressed if any of them knew my material at all now.
I want to touch base with your roots in grime. You’ve come a long way from your debut album, Lifeforce. You were doing a lot in the wave and grime space back when you were releasing music with Plastician. How did you meet Chris and end up working with the Terrorhythm crew?
It’s a bit weird, because it was a long, long time ago and I sent him a demo for the label through SoundCloud, and at this point I have must have been 16 years old or something.
You were a little raver?
Yeah, exactly. I wasn’t expecting to get a response back from him and he messaged me like, “I love this song. We should put it out.” It was a collaboration with one of my friends, Parkinson White, he lives in Scotland now, and it basically was an EP with him. That’s how the whole connect came about with Chris. Later on, I pitched him the Lifeforce album. But, we kept in touch the whole time and I’ve met him in person on numerous occasions. He’s such a good friend to me.
Since then, a lot has changed with your music. I’ve always felt you bring together so many different influences, from UK garage to hardcore, acid, and old school trance. There’s a huge amount of cross-over, a great example is that new remix you just put out for MAD ZOO. Also, congratulations, it’s absolutely crazy that Porter shouted out your track on Twitter.
Thank you. That blew my mind. I guess I was in the kitchen making a snack or something, and my phone was constantly going off. At first, I was like “Oh no, what’s happened,” but then I saw the tweet and yeah. I’m really glad he fucks with the kind of stuff I’ve been making, and I’m hoping I can send him more stuff.
You’ve been putting out most of your music this year on a new label called Moonbeams? Is that your own outlet?
Yes, it’s my own label and soon to be club night. The hot kind of idea behind it is to be something a little more mysterious and bootleg, very much how the nights and labels were in the ’90s. There would be a logo on the record, or just a name, with little information out there about it. I guess it’s kind of my approach to starting a label where me and my friends can release we like and enjoy, and spin it. But at the same time, do something a little different that isn’t just a detail thing and makes people think. It kind of has a curtain or layer, that makes it more interesting in a way.
Oh man. There are so many stories I’ve heard of one-word vinyl records in European record stores, no print, no name, and it’s just absolute fire.
Yeah. I think it was a little before my time, because I’m only 23, but there still is a big vinyl prevalence, especially in Europe. I did cop a bunch of records when I was a teenager and spun on Technics, but it’s been a while since I’ve done that. A lot of the stuff that I’d find was unlabeled, it had very little information about who the artist was, and it was written one with a marker, like a Sharpie.
I love that. It’s like that real UK underground rave energy. Well, I won’t press you much more on the label and will let you keep your secrets. Can you tell us what you have planned for the rest of 2019?
Next month, I’m putting out an EP on Good Enuff and it’s called Nightshade. The whole kind of concept behind the EP is that it has like a rave influence to it, but it leans more towards that UK garage sound. I was back home and looking through a bunch of CDs, and I had noticed some really old UK garage records from the early 2000s. They were the ones that my mum used to listen to and I actually really, really like them. My idea was to create a record that’s similar to that, but way weirder.
Have you showed the record to mum yet?
Yeah, and she definitely approves of it. So that’s coming out next month, and then I am working on a second official album. I think it’s going to take some time before I have anything ready for that. But it’s definitely underway and it’s definitely going really, really great.
That’s fair. I feel like you have so many different ideas, and your projects are very separate and thematic. They’ve got a well-defined aesthetic, and can take time to develop that. I’m not sure I know how to phrase it properly.
I completely get what you’re saying. I feel like my music is a melting pot of all my influences together, and with every record I make, predominately one seems to come out the most. I guess that depends on what kind of music I’m listening to at the time, or if I go back home and I’m looking through a bunch of old records, something might inspire me. Or a friend might send me some music that might get me inspired to make something, but it’s all kind of a big melting pot, you know like, anything goes.
I like that. So then, what have you been listening to lately?
Definitely a lot of happy hardcore music. It gives me a good kick up the ass in the morning, like when I’m feeling tired and sluggish. I put it on and just want to dance around the house with the cats, and I clean the house. Then after all of that’s done, I can sit down and make music. I feel really inspired, and it just lifts me up.
Wow. Maybe I should try that sometime.
Yeah, you should. I think it would work out. If it can help me, it can help anyone.
Now, tell us about this mix you’ve put together. Are there any standout tracks people should look out for and most importantly, how do you want to make people feel?
How I’d explain it is that it’s a collection of songs that I’ve just recently finished, like not that long ago. It’s hard to put into words an explicit vibe and theme of it, but there definitely is something in there that ties it all together. I think the biggest, most prominent influence on that, has been like I imagine what would music from a club in Blade Runner sound like – that’s the kind of vibe I’m trying to evoke with this whole mix. I hope you’re gonna like it.
Last one, this one’s just for fun. You know that Detective Pikachu clip where he’s dancing that’s going around the internet? What song would you have Pikachu dance to?
I would definitely put Cannibal Corpse’s “Hammer Smashed Detail.”
Glacci – Silver Storm
Glacci – Blue Halcyon
Glacci – Secret Crest
Glacci – Herbal
Roger Sanchez – Another Chance (Glacci Remix)
Glacci – Delphinium
Glacci – Southside Rider
Glacci – Sunshine E
Glacci – Bittersweet
Nightwave – Bucky Bomb
Glacci – XTC Sunstroke
Glacci – Mindbend
Glacci – Endorphin
S-Type – Demus (Glacci Remix)
Glacci – Mirror Cluster
Glacci – Spectra
Glacci – LUVV VIP
Scott Brown – Neckbreaker
Glacci – Blue Illuzion
Glacci – Lust Pattern