As a young teenager, Kel McKeown (AKA Kelpe) decided that sampling and sequencing might provide him with a safer past time than bone splintering skateboarding mishaps.
The initial efforts made on a Commodore Amiga with a sampler provided him with a discipline and focus that is of fundamental importance to the creative process that he currently employs in the execution of his distinctive beat creations.
Kelpe’s influences range from the bleeps & bass of classic Warp artists to the funk of Sly Stone, and the minimalism of Steve Reich + Harmonia to the percussive space-scapes of Tortoise + Do Make Say Think. The diversity of the music that inspires Kelpe finds reflection in his own sonic adventures, informing his ever evolving sound, combining as map and compass to guide his lunar-bound b-boy throw downs.
Coming to the attention of DC Recordings in early 2003, his first release for label was the 12” EP ‘The People are Trying to Sleep’, a wide eyed carnival of fractured beats and warped electronics. This was followed by the critically acclaimed album ‘Sea Inside Body’ (September 2004), an album described by The Wire as “One of the most engrossing listens in recent electronic music”. In 2005 came bedroom discotheque 12” ‘Sunburnt Eyelids’ and In 2008 came double LP ‘Ex-Aquarium’ (2008) and remix companion ‘Extraquarium’ (featuring Zombie Zombie, Fulgeance, Architeq etc). Most recently, in October 2009 third full length ‘Cambio Wechsel’ arrived, which BBC Music described “as irresistible as Prefuse 73 or Flying Lotus’s most commended collections”.
In early 2008, to support the release of ‘Ex-Aquarium’ Kelpe teamed up with ubiquitous drummer Chris Walmsley (Voice of The Seven Woods, Broadcast, Psapp etc) for a new live setup incorporating the traditional drum kit and MPC style beat manipulations whilst not being afraid to embrace modern technology (i.e. a laptop computer!). Within a few months of this new duo’s first gig they found themselves in sold out venues supporting the likes of Holy Fuck, To Rococo Rot and others. The explosive live act has travelled far and wide, from Lithuania to California, playing alongside diverse acts such as Aphex Twin, Jaki Liebezeit , Prefuse 73, and Daedelus. Chris Walmsley (AKA ‘All Traps Set’) also made a guest appearance on latest album ‘Cambio Wechsel’, providing the heavy rhythmic backdrop to the bass driven ‘Closed Cup Headroom’.
Kelpe has also shone as an innovative remixer, re-working Red Snapper, Jean Jacques Perrey, The Oscillation (DC), Eliot Lipp (Mush), Fulgeance (Musique Large) + Architeq (Tirk) among others.
* This was taken from http://www.myspace.com/kelpemusic