Beatport Hype Release of the Month: Kevin Yost — “Perspectives EP Five”
Beatport Hype Release of the Month: Kevin Yost — “Perspectives EP Five”August 26, 2021
A man whose career is synonymous with the deeper, jazzier side of house music, Kevin Yost has been blessing the scene with a steady stream of spellbinding tracks for over 25 years.
Hailing from rural Pennsylvania, Yost first broke through in 1999 with the release of his now-classic album, One Starry Night. Since then, Yost has produced hundreds of tracks that have appeared on labels such as i Records, No Fuss Records, Mobilee Records, Suara, and K7 Records. And as a touring DJ, he’s touched every corner of Europe and beyond, playing clubs and festivals like Do Not Sit On Furniture, Amnesia, Soundwaves, DC-10, Sonar, Flash, and more. In 2016, Yost founded his new label, TSOY — a personal imprint created to showcase the “darker techy side” of the artist’s music.
His latest release, Perspectives EP Five — the fifth iteration of his “Perspectives” EP series on the label — is a spacious and expertly crafted nine-track EP, filled the type of sway and swing that showcases his expert skills as a jazz drummer.
We caught up with Yost to learn more about his latest EP, his recent travels and work with film scores, his TSOY label, his most essential studio gear, and his plans for later this year.
Hey Kevin, how has your year been so far?
Dealing with it the best I can. I’ve been refocusing on studio time as much as possible and working with various film scores alongside producing and remixing. I am currently working on a Greek film entitled Family Home, as well as composing and producing a new series of albums for the upcoming Jazz Influence series.
How do you decide what gets released on TSOY as opposed to I Records?
I Records has a list of artists who vybe off each and create the symmetry of the label, which allows a definitive genre. TSOY is more of my thing, no barriers. It’s my outlet for me to push experimental deep house and tech-oriented productions that I have developed. TSOY is still evolving and finding its way via a less structured platform.
What were some of the most essential pieces of gear you used on this release?
At the heart of my studio is Ableton Live with a Push 2 controller and a weighted 88 key keyboard. Synths on this project included a Roland Juno 60, a Sequential Prophet 6, Nord Lead, and Roland 2080. You can definitely hear them stand out in the free-form tracks where I did one pass live recording.
Some drum parts were created using a classic Oberheim DMX Drum Machine and an Akai MPC 3000. I also recorded drum overlays using a Roland V Drums set up to give the programming a more natural feel.
Do you ever use sample packs? And did you use any on this release?
I prefer to find my own samples and do it the old fashion way. I am even still using an AKAI MPC to bring samples into the productions. I also mic up and record drum kits to get a lot of the loops I use. Being a drummer has really helped me make my music feel more live and less mechanical. I will occasionally use something from a sample pack in the background. It definitely helps fill in textures and space, and adds to the groove I am looking for.
What’s next for you this year?
I hope to keep things flowing by doing film scores. I’m currently discussing a major studio film, which has always been a dream of mine. I have a chalkboard of many ideas for new house music, jazz projects and other experimental things I have brewing. It is important to me to always be creating no matter what is going on around me or in the industry. I feel that even after all these years making music that I’m still learning new things and growing with each new project.
Cameron Holbrook is Beatportal’s North American Editor. Find him on Twitter.