Son Kite

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Son Kite

The picturesque city of Malmo, near the south-western tip of Sweden, is home to two of the world’s A-list electronica producers, Marcus Heriksson and Sebastian Mullaert. While the mainstream music scene in Sweden fed on the success of pop bands like ABBA, Roxette and Ace of Base, two young and talented – but uniquely different – musicians were about to meet and change the course of their lives (and the Swedish trance scene) forever.
“Sebastian and I have become a bit like a married couple in many ways,” Marcus admitted with a smile. “We were so young when we met and very different.”
“I was classically trained when I was young,” Sebastian affirmed, “while Marcus listened to Kraftwerk.”
“I’d always loved dance music, but it wasn’t until my first time at a trance club that I absolutely fell in love and knew I wanted to become a DJ. It was back in ‘93 and I’d never seen anything like it,” Marcus explained.
“There was a big group of people gathered, transfixed by music I had never heard before. They were dancing their arses off!” Marcus laughed. “It looked like they were part of a ritual, and nobody cared who the DJ was – they were just deep in the moment. I started putting on parties and DJing myself after that night.”
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Malmo a dread-locked Sebastian had quit his job as a classical piano tutor after becoming inspired to make his own music and find a new sound. He was out on the hunt one night when he stumbled upon an underground party Marcus had organised.
“After meeting back in the mid-’90s we kept in touch and soon we realised we could combine what we were good at and make something new,” Marcus said, before adding, “I was already a DJ and Sebastian knew so much about the theory of music. Plus we both bonded over our love of dancing for hours and hours!”
Soon Son Kite had taken off and the unlikely duo found themselves at home in trance clubs and festivals across Europe and the rest of the globe. “We first came to Australia 15 years ago to play the Earthcore Festival – it was like a dream,” Sebastian reminisced.
The millennium was a good time for trance music and Son Kite were on top of the world – but Marcus and Sebastian felt that the dance scene was evolving and so was their style. “After we released Colours in 2004, we felt there was a shift in the culture – house and techno was taking over the clubs. Sebastian and I are very influenced by what is happening around us – that’s why we started Minilogue.
“After our last album as Son Kite, Marcus and I lost some of our passion,” Sebastian continued. “We were bored with the parties we were playing – focusing on other music was more exciting and inspiring.”
Playing their blend of progressive house and techno as Minilogue, Sebastian and Marcus experienced more success than they ever thought possible – but it wasn’t exactly what they signed up for, and soon underlying tensions, left unresolved for years, began to fester and grow into a much bigger beast.
“After years of working in the club scene I felt I’d lost myself in it. Everything was tied in with alcohol, how you look, your success, ego and the fame,” Marcus revealed candidly.
“I missed playing trance festivals where people get lost in the dance and let themselves go. It affected me a lot – I lost my passion even though I was playing all these big clubs in Europe with all the big-named DJs. We both felt unhappy and frustrated, then all the small quarrels we’d had over the years began to the surface again. Until last year when we went too far and really hurt each other.”
“We needed to take a break,” Sebastian agreed. “We’d lost something and we didn’t know if we’d get it back. So we both decided to work on our solo projects.”
While we may have seen the last of Minilogue (though both guys’ attitude is ‘never say never’) this unfortunate turn of events lead Marcus and Sebastian back to basics and rekindled their friendship and romance with the ritual of all things trance.
“After only a month of silence between us, we started talking again,” Marcus said proudly. “I started to realise things I’d taken for granted over the last 15 years that Sebastian had always done. Suddenly it was like, ‘Oh, now I have to do this all by myself?’ We started to have a whole new appreciation for each other.”
“We remembered our history and it helped us to forget all our silly games,” Sebastian added.
With a renewed sense of purpose and mutual respect, Marcus and Sebastian got to work on tracks that had fallen by the wayside during Minilogue’s reign. “I remember saying Minilogue is infected – let’s do a Son Kite album,” Marcus said happily.
Prisma, the first Son Kite album in 10 years, is out now. “It’s been such a long process – in fact we made the first track for the album in 2007! We’re so happy to finally have it out.”
“But we’re glad we waited to have something special to share with others,” Sebastian added.
Known for using all analogue equipment over digital, the seven tracks have a depth rarely seen in electronic music. “Analogue is alive, it’s present and in the moment, whereas digital is a dead replica of that sound,” Sebastian clarified.
“The use of digital allows a human mind to decide what should be in there and what shouldn’t be in there. Everyone knows when you go to a dance party the experience is much more than your ears or your brain – your whole body experiences it and that’s what we want. More than that I just think it sounds cool!” Sebastian grinned.
“This will be our fourth time at Rainbow Serpent Festival – we love it. People dancing for days and getting into the ritual of the dance, that’s what is most important to us,” Marcus said. “Being out in the open surrounded by nature and to be able to play for that kind of crowd is like a dream.”
When & Where: Rainbow Serpent Festival, Lexton – January 23-26
By Natalie Rogers