Kurt Baggaley gained attention with his releases under the alias Scape One writing for various Electro and Techno labels in the early 2000’s. Although his musical interests go back as far as the 80’s with projects ranging from robot dancing to productions for local Hip Hop, Techno and Electro projects, gaining influences from all aspects of electronic music from that period.
More recently Kurt has evolved his productions into a more personalised and unique sound, taking in influences from early 80’s Chicago House, Detroit Techno, New York Club with a fusion of Italo Disco, Euro Synth and Electro. As well as being influenced by these innovative scenes he also tries to keep the production old school by using classic drum machines and synthesizers alongside some new machines to inject a specific sound. It can be either analog or digital as the end result is the most important factor.
The results have proved to be very popular and firstly being snapped up by Italo House label HotMix Records and the Deep House imprint Stem Records. Things really took off with the release of ‘Former Self’ on Nuno Dos Santos‘ label Something Happening Somewhere with an excellent remix from The Drifter. This EP has gained support from Joris Voorn, John Digweed, Atish, Lehar, Dominik Eulberg, Solee, and many more great DJ’s. This has lead to much interest and a spawn of new releases and remixes are scheduled from labels such as Abstract Theory, Chapter 24, CPU and Space Factory. Alongside these will be follow up EPs on HotMix and Stem. Kurt also writes under guise of Tau Sagittarii for his Ambient Experimental compositions, described as ‘Sensory data for hypersleep chambers’.
Being the opening track of what seems at first glance to be an all-star line-up of remixers must be a pretty good feeling?
Yes indeed, I feel like I’m the introduction to a very exciting remix project, it’s a real honour and very flattering.
Very much so, it’s very humbling to say the least. Chapter 24 have been really great and respectful towards my work and the response is way more than I could ask for. It’s nice to be authenticated alongside such amazing talent.
First impressions, there’s an epic 80’s influence, almost cinematic vibe in “Walking Dad”… What are your influences in music?
You got it spot on. I like to draw inspiration from all aspects of electronic music. I grew up in the 80’s and that’s the decade that has made the most impression on me. I love the arpeggios and synth lines from bands like Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and Klaus Schulze and always wondered what that kind of music would sound like if it was used to create Deep House and Techno.
“Walking Dad”, is that a typo or is there a story behind the title that you can tell us?
Well the original title was Claudia’s (Masaya) here’s what Claudia had to say about it: “The album opener ‘Walking Dad’ includes recordings of the Pacific Ocean which I took while walking along the water with my father, just days after the Tsunami in 2010.”
Where did you get the Weyland Yutani jacket from? And is this further proof of your love for the 80’s?
It’s from one of my Tau Sagittarii deep space missions, Weyland Yutani worked alongside The Tyrell Corporation to create certain technologies of which I’m not at liberty to disclose at this moment in time.
Listening to your work on Soundcloud, there’s a juxtaposition between an intimate detailed sound for headphone listener and a big room sound, what is the ideal environment you’d prefer your music to be listened to?
Maybe a large room with a massive pair of headphones inside? It’s a balancing act between deep music that could make you float and injecting a subtle pulse to keep your body in some kind of living motion like life support. I always wonder how deep I can go on a dance track, is there a limit? Sometimes I start with no beats at all and only add them if it’s needed. I tried to add beats to ‘Former Self’ but it just killed the deep mood so I left them out. Fortunately The Drifter did an amazing job of remixing it and the perfect balance was reached.
The Tau Sagitarri projects? Where does the inspiration come from for this project?
This is my little personal project that I do to create ambient deep electronic albums mainly for my Bandcamp page. I want them to act as mini soundtracks to imaginary space movies. They come from a time when Sci-fi movies used to have great electronic scores, so there are elements of John Carpenter, Goblin, Tangerine Dream and especially Bebe and Louis Barron’s work for Forbidden Planet in 1956, the first entirely electronic film score.
The “Exoplanet remix!!!” of the Same Day… how far does your sonic pallet stretch? Given the right amount of set time length, would you take it from ambient through a more up-tempo variant of electronic music? What artists would you include in your set?
Yes definitely, I love the variations in sets, there’s way too much good music around to stick to just one genre. I like to surprise people and be unpredictable. A few of the artists I could play at any given moment are Duererstuben, John Foxx, Donnacha Costello, AntonZap, Drexciya, Jonzun Crew, Fairmont, Newcleus, Cubicolor, Larry Heard, Harvey Sutherland, Scuba. Various styles from different eras.
I’m still getting a deep in outer-space vibe with your music? What importance do you feel visuals play in a DJ set or even videos? Do you see yourself getting involved with that kind of production?
It’s very important, especially for motionless electronic music. A Kraftwerk gig wouldn’t be half as entertaining without that big screen behind them. I am actually venturing into it at the moment. I am writing an electro score for a short Sci-Fi/Horror for the indie film company Vertigoheights Film that is in the final stages of post production. It’s called Lazarus and it’s written and directed by filmmaker Tony Sebastian Ukpo. I will post updates on my soundcloud page as and when.
Looking through your Soundcloud, you have an incredible work and completion rate? How do you maintain this work rate? How do you focus?
It’s actually very difficult at times, I use a lot of analog hardware and some of the older kit has volatile memory and I’m always afraid to turn things off in case I lose patterns or sounds so I try to finish a track as soon as I can and then revisit it the next day to see if it can be improved. That way you can go in with fresh ears.
What is the fundamental difference between Kurt Baggaley and Scape One?
It actually came about by accident, I had a release a few years back on an Italian label called HotMix, just prior to release they asked what name they should put on the label for writing and production credit so I said Kurt Baggaley. I guess there was a slight language barrier as they released it as the artist name. Although this actually turned out to my advantage as it came at a time when I had started to change my style. Scape One was predominately my name for the Electro and Detroit Techno style of productions I was know for and I really wanted to break away from that as I wasn’t comfortable with being boxed in to one particular genre. So now I use my own name and write any style I like and occasionally release something as Scape One when I feel like it.
You’ve described some of your music as ‘Sensory data for hypersleep chambers’. What works best? 432hz or 440hz? What’re your thoughts on the science behind music production?
I would say 440hz but only to my ears, I think everyone hears things differently anyway. As long as you feel the music is some form, either through your mind, body or waveform.
Ok, listening through your Soundcloud and Bandcamp, there’s still a definite 80’s synth sound throughout your music, behind the decks, are you a static mind controller DJ, or do you like to pop, lock and whack from time to time?
I like to pop, lock and do the robot and then some flex some electric boogie.
Given an unlimited amount of money and any given location, what DJ’s would you book to play alongside and where (on earth) would you like to play?
Elon Musk gives you call and says, “Our mission to Mars needs a DJ, we want you but it’s a one-way trip” do you stay or do you go?
I’d go definitely but as long as I can take all my family, friends and pets with me.
Given the answer is a possible yes, who do you take with you and why?
My girlfriend and my family. It would be the adventure of a lifetime, just imagine living on Mars, l could jump around like John Carter.
The world as we know it is coming to an end, you have time for one last gig? Is it Ibiza, Berlin, L.A, Croatia, Barcelona or an unknown location in a restricted area?
That’s fine, I’m on Mars so I’ll watch the destruction through a telescope.
In the none too distant future, rent rates are so high, you can only fit a laptop, one midi keyboard and one hardware synth in your workspace. What do you take with you?
Oooh, it would have to be a TR-808 and SH-101, neither are midi but without them life doesn’t exist.
With the pending release of the Blade Runner sequel what are you hoping they get right above all else? The script, the SFX or the soundtrack?
Well it’s in good hands, it has been written by Hampton Fancher who wrote the original so scriptwise it should be on point. From what I’ve seen of the trailer it looks stunning and Denis Villeneuve and Jann Jannsson did such an amazing job with Arrival that I am optimistic and very excited. I will enjoy it it it’s own right and hopefully accept that it isn’t the original. Blade Runner is the only classic 80’s Sci-fi movie that hasn’t become a franchise so maybe now is the time? I would love to see a series of movies set in that universe as long as the right creators are behind them.
Kraftwerk with a close second to Giorgio Moroder and Yellow Magic Orchestra although there are many pioneers that came before them.
What’s your honest opinion of Alien:Covenant? and do you think Blomkamp will ever do Alien 5?
I loved it, once it got going it was a pure xenomorph thrill ride. A few people have criticised Ridley for adjusting the Prometheus storyline to bend to fan opinion and yes you can notice that a bit but I hope when I am 79 years I could direct a movie one tenth as good as that. As for Neil Blomkamp’s Alien 5? Well it was a nice idea but I think he will be better off concentrating on the sequel to District 9, maybe he could send a bunch of colonial marines to the prawns home planet and… bingo!
Masaya – Walking Dad (Kurt Baggaley Edition) it out now available from Beatport
01. Kurt Baggaley – The Same Day (Exoplanet Remix) [A Must Have]
02. Switchdance – The Black Tape [Karakter Records]
03. Stephen Lopkin – 140 [Talahachi]
04. Kurt Baggaley – Fall Into The Sky [Goldmin Music]
05. Haku – Minarets [Talahachi]
06. Masaya – Walking Dad (Kurt Baggaley Edition) [Chapter 24]
07. John R!se – Caviale [Zeitlos Music]
08. Kurt Baggaley – standing still (Voices Of Valley Remix) [Us & Them]
09. Masaya – Haumea (Patlac Edition) [Chapter 24]
10. Entoniu & Agape – La Familia [Introspection Recordings]
11. AWITW – 4U [Hi-Phi Music]
12. Rusty Egan featuring Peter Hook – The Otherside (Kurt Baggaley Remix)