Monday, July 7, 2014

The Knix Mix Interview with Ki:Theory

Ki:Theory (pronounced "key"), Virginia native Joel Burleson, is a gifted multi-instrumentalist, producer and recording artist.  And since someone is likely to ask, Joel explains that the name Ki:Theory came about from having lived abroad in Japan.  It's the Japanese equivalent of the Chinese word "chi," which - in simplified terms - means "energy."  Even if you don't yet know Ki:Theory by name, you have likely appreciated his artistry in one medium or another.  He has remixed tracks for artists as diverse as Kings of Leon, Queens of the Stone Age, UNKLE, Daft Punk and Ladytron, among others.  His original music has been featured on TV shows, commercials, films and video games.  His remix of Daft Punk's "The Son of Flynn" for Tron:  Legacy was featured on the official remix album, Tron:  Legacy R3CONF1GUR3D.  I mean, how cool is that?
I've been playing the 2 disc deluxe edition of Kitty Hawk, which dropped in April, on The Knix Mix since it arrived at the station. It's crazy good!  The album, which you can download on the Ki:Theory website, features 6 unreleased Ki:Theory tracks and some amazing remixes.  I was curious to interview the maestro behind the music, but what impressed me the most in chatting with Ki:Theory is that, despite his achievements, he is both genuine and modest.
Kitty Hawk is at times haunting and moody; at other times pounding and danceable. His rendition of "Stand by Me" is uniquely dark and moving. The vocals supplied by Maura Davis (of indie band Denali fame) add an engaging feminine energy to the tracks "I Wanna Run" and "Needles."  While Ki:Theory's origins are alt rock, there are electronic elements to his music, which stands out on banging tracks like the Break Science remix of "Kitty Hawk" and "Lay Our Body Down."  "Open Wound," both the original and the Odesza remix, and "Holiday Heart" are a couple of my personal favorite tracks off the album. 
The Ki:Theory mini tour in support of the album had just begun when The Knix Mix live interview took place, but as of this blog post, the tour has come to a noteworthy conclusion.  Ki:Theory played at Great Scott in Allston, Massachusetts on June 21st, so I hope local Knix Mix fans were able to make the trip!  I wish I'd been in the audience for his hometown appearance in Richmond, Virginia on June 28th at Strange Matter.  Maura Davis was scheduled to appear, and I imagine that had to be an epic event!  
There are official videos for "Stand by Me" and "Venin," which you can find in links below.  Give a listen to the complete Knix Mix interview with Ki:Theory here!  Find out answers to questions you didn't even know you had.  Like who would Ki:Theory choose, living or not, to sit down with for a meal and talk?  I know, but you'll have to listen to find out!

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