Swedish duo Kuf & Dold have been slowly making a name for themselves over the past few years. With releases on their own imprint Arsenik and beyond, the pair are known for their particular brand of stripped back, often sparse techno that, while minimal in nature, retains a sense of urgency perfect for the floor.
We featured Kuf back in 2016, and now we are pleased to welcome the pair for both a podcast and interview:
How did you guys meet?
I was hosting parties by that time and found Marcus’s (Kuf) music on soundcloud,
interested by his sound I wanted him to play live at one of the upcoming partys. That gig never happened tho, now we’re playing together instead.
At the time I wasn’t playing live or DJ:ing but we continued to talk and realized we had similar taste in techno and clicked somehow and became friends.
Have you always been involved in music? What first got you into electronic music and techno in particular?
I never played any instruments but I’ve always liked music. Especially sounds of synthesizers and other weird sounds.
I started messing around with DAW’s when I was about 16 (12 years ago) but it wasn’t until around 2010 I really started getting into it (techno) and finding a bunch of great music.
Music was never been a big part of my life. I got in touch with techno in 2012 when I started to go out raving. Only a few months after this i started to try doing my own music. I’ve always been into creating stuff, so it was kind of natural for me to start experimenting with music and sounds too.
Your label Arsenik now has 11 releases. What made you decide to start a label in the first place?
We thought it would be nice to release something on vinyl, which seemed like a pretty hard thing to do at the time.
But the more we talked about it we realized starting our own label probably would probably be the best way to do it.
We put together our first release and started out by sending it to a bunch of distributors and lucky enough we got a nice response right away.
How do you find artists and music to release? Does the fact you release vinyl mean you have to be more selective when choosing what to release?
We both agreed pretty early on that the music would always be the top priority. We release music made either by ourselves or our friends but also from people whose music we like and want to release.
One has to be selective because of prices and you can’t afford to make a new record every month. But also because we want each record to be special. Every track matter.
You both have a quite a distinct musical style, are there any particular processes or influences behind your methods of making music?
I’ve always liked minimal stuff I think, and upon discovering music from the old techno gods I really fell in love with it.
As for a process when making music, I just try to keep it simple and hypnotize myself.
I believe in the power of a solid loop, less is more. Using a small amount of elements forces you to be creative with what you have. Artists practicing this kind of music is making me really inspired.
You’ve played a number of live sets recently, what attracted you to this instead of playing DJ sets? How do you translate what you make in the studio to a live performance?
We had no real plans on playing live but we got asked to play one of the biggest parties (at the time) in Stockholm. So we took the chance.
The process when playing live is pretty much the same as in the studio. Sometimes we play bits and pieces from already released tracks or loops we’ve recorded.
We’re mainly using a TR-909 for drums, Octatrack for playing synth-loop samples & some effects.
Finally, what are your future plans? Both as live artists and for the label.
Our plan is to keep releasing music and keep developing our live set and growing our label.
One of our goals is to diversify our catalogue by releasing other types of electronic music, such as Ambient and Electro-leaning stuff.
We just launch a podcast series (Arsenik Displays) which has a full schedule for the year and first out is our friend Oisel.
Thanks to Monument for having us and Thanks to everyone who listens and support the label.
Big thanks to the guys for the insight, be sure to check them out!