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K+Lab adds glitch hop beat into Howlin' Wolf, De La Soul

New Zealand DJ promises lots of funk for funky Canadians



Gotta love a clubbing night called "Space Dirt."

New Zealand DJ and "full-time glitchy beat maker" K+Lab recently performed such a dirty night in his part of the world.

Now he's fronting a night of "Eat. Skii. Rave. Repeat," backed up by local DJ favs Skiitour, at the Garibaldi Lift Company in Whistler on March 19. He's fresh off a nomination for Electronic Album of the Year at the N.Z. music awards. 

Recently he wrote an article for an Australian magazine about his particular genre of music. It was headlined, "What the F$%K is glitch hop?"

So... What the F$%K is it? He laughs.

"Glitch hop has quickly evolved to be many things, it's really diverse, really funky and highly addictive. If you like hip hop and bass you'll love glitch hop," K+Lab says. "

"The type of glitch hop I make has all types of retro throwbacks, sampling the past to create the future, you can hear influences from Parliament to Peggy Lee to De La Soul or the Beastie Boys."

Even blues geniuses like Howlin' Wolf have found their way into his set.

"I'm finding my sound is de-evolving as the genre gets more high tech and, dare I say it, too glitchy. I'm finding my self turning to older, more analog style sounds," K+Lab says. "I grew up learning on old hardware synths and it just feels right to be bringing those sounds back."

K+Lab — derived from Caleb, his civilian name — says he got into music as a "young one," with an older brother who needed a bass player in his band and took the trouble to teach him how to play.

"Twenty years later and I'm still making bass lines!" he says. "I've been performing my whole life but over the last three to four years I've been lucky enough to travel and reach new audiences throughout New Zealand, Australia and your beautiful country, Canada. This year we're planning shows in the U.K., Europe and the States." 

Glitch hop is "the friendly genre," he adds.

"Since it is so broad in terms of the musical influences it brings in you'll get all types at glitch hop shows... and the artists don't take them selves too seriously, there's a large emphasis on having fun and that shit's contagious!"

K+Lab is super excited to be playing his first-ever Whistler gig.

"I'm bringing my Keytar (Editor's note: how retro is that?), which I play bass lines and leads on, and there will be the usual drum bashing on my MPD," he says. "I've got a ridiculous amount of new material to test out this tour and lots of new live tracks so I never really know what's going to happen, every show will be different, but loud and a lot of fun." 

How do places like Whistler and Grand Prairie get on your tour list for a Canada-New Zealand tour? 

"I've got no idea, I guess the funk elements in my music must resonate well with this part of the world, Canada is one funky country," K+Lab says.

K+Lab has "tons of releases this year," which he will add to the several tons of releases he's already put out.

"I've been doing a lot of remixing and collaborating so there should be a ton of new music available over the next few months," he says.

"Lots of exciting work with The Upbeats, Ex Mag, K Theory, Sola Rosa, (Kelowna, B.C. DJ) Stickybuds, De Funk and releases on Simplify in the U.S., Adapted in Australia, and Westwood (The Funk Hunters label).

"There's also a bunch of stuff I can't really talk about at this stage."The bottom line for K+Lab is that with all the collaborating he has been learning a lot, creating contrasting releases with "some super heavy, scary tunes and some funky soulful tunes."    

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