Kyle Hall, the brightest of Detroit’s new breed, knows a thing or two about the Motor City.
Hall has spent “99%” of his 21 years in Michigan’s industrial nerve centre, growing up in the North-West sector before settling down in the bustling Midtown region. More importantly, Hall is thoroughly immersed in the city’s long and complex musical history. Not only is he well-schooled in the work of those that came before him, but he’s whittling his own fascinating branch on the techno family tree.
Hall was barely a teenager when he began spinning records. Under the personal guidance of folks like Mike Huckaby, Rick Wilhite and Omar-S, he elaborated a distinctive production style. His subsequent releases have shown a startling musical maturity. 2007′s ‘Plastik Ambash’ was an astonishingly well-realised set of tape-saturated bricolage. 2008′s Worx Of Art EP and 2009′s ‘Bsmnt City Anymle Kontrol’ EP saw light creeping into his sound, and Hyperdub saw fit to release his 2010 barnstormer ‘Kaychunk’. Hall’s work often nods towards Kenny Dixon Jr’s baked techno, but there’s a languid quality that makes his sound his own, not to mention a rhythmic sensibility that often feels closer to jazz than Juan Atkins. He’s not afraid to go hard either, as last year’s walloping WO6K 12″ proved.
Hall’s Wild Oats label are gearing up to release a new 12” and CD-ROM of “darker, atmospheric techno” from Manuel Gonzales, and Hall himself has a collaboration with Funkineven in the works (they also do a natty line in branded bibs). The young producer will also be appearing at this weekend’s Movement Festival in Detroit, and will be stopping by at Sankeys Ibiza on August 11. Hall took half an hour to walk us through some of his favourite spots in the city. The resulting Rough Guide is a veritable techno topography, encompassing happening bars, prime digging spots, and the best tofu patty in Michigan.