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We may live in an age of digital recording and futuristic studios, but Katrine Ottosen sees greater possibilities in dated hardware. The Danish synth-pop star  better known by her stage name, CALLmeKAT  forgoes the backing tracks, heavy sampling and other mainstays of her genre, in favour of analogue instruments.

"There is some sampling going on, but it's me recording my own voice into a keyboard from the 80's," she tells the Beijinger (ahead of her November 29 gig at Yugong Yishan) of the key component of her live shows, before adding that the vintage instrument is "so old, any samples you record on it only last until you turn the keyboard off."

Below, CALLmeKAT tells us about the hidden advantages in her aged arsenal.

Why do you like playing such old instruments?
So many people today use pre-recorded samples that audiences presume you're just sitting back and pushing "Play." But my audience is hearing what I'm actually playing live, mostly with a few keyboards and some effects pedals.

Why did you choose these low key instruments?
At first it was a financial thing. When I started recording my first album I couldn't afford any big instruments. All I had were these small, weird little keyboards, and they threw me into directions that I wouldn't have gone to otherwise. It's not so much a boundary as a way to open your imagination. You have to think, 'How can I use this instrument in a way that interests me, and make a sound that I like with this simple, eight bit sample?'

Does knowing the benefits of analogue keep you from appreciating today's pitch corrected pop music?
There's space enough in the world for all kinds of people to make music. That being said, people could benefit from scaling down a bit (laughs). Simple instruments can force you to think, 'Does this song carry itself?' Then again, some songs really benefit from producing programs like ProTools, and some people really can't sing (laughs), so they benefit from pitch correction. There's an audience for it, I just don't necessarily want to listen.

Those songs dominate the radio, but your music broke through on MySpace and then on American TV shows like Graceland.
Yeah, it's funny to see what a song can do to an image. I hope more of my music can be used for TV or film, it's a dream of mine.

What director would you write for, if you could?
I love Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola, they use such beautiful imagery. Anderson is notorious for being meticulous.

Are you as nitpicky with your music?
Yeah. I've argued with bandmates about tones of bass sounds that would be indistinguishable to outsiders. But in a live situation, nothing is set in stone. We play it all, there's no backtracks, so we can change things and it won't fall apart. We can take a song from the record and make it jollier, or more experimental. I love how you can shape a song into something new for that night.

Catch CALLmeKAT, AM444, and Fifi Rong perform on November 29 at Yugong Yishan.

Photo: midemfestival.com


Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog