|THE MANY WAYS OF CLUE TO KALO
"I really liked the idea of a record actually feeling like it was logically moving from one point to the other," admits the mastermind behind Clue to Kalo, Mark Kitchell, "and that can be a difficult thing to achieve if you let yourself lapse into sameness, so there's something of a fine line. I wanted people. firstly, to be able to hear a song and for that song to have its own sense of itself, but, if you look at the whole thing together, I wanted the whole thing to work as one piece of music."
In fact, the album is almost like a series of conversations, almost stream-of-consciousness short stores, rather than songs with conventional verse/verse/chorus structure; yet still working completely with the regular pop conventions, whether they be those breathtaking harmony blocks or counterpointing vocal lines.
"I wanted thee to be a certain kinds of recurring ideas bit I also wanted the songs to be a series of different ways of approaching similar ideas, because at the time I was really interested in the idea of it actually being almost like a real-time analysis of certain ideas where you go through different ways of thinking about one thing in a particular place. So there are songs that I would sot of consider to be pairs. All that probably gives the record some kind of cohesion."
Clue To Kalo's forst album, Come Here When You Sleepwalk, like most first albums, was more of a collection of the best things Mitchell had written up to that point and while, like any artist, he was totally committed to it, the response it received took him completely by surprise.
"I finnaly had a record out without even thinking about the implications of having a record out, and I wasn't ready for it. That kind of paralyzed me for a little while about what I actually wanted to do. But then I realized that I'm incredibly lucky to be able to make a record and to be able to put it out, so I'm in an incredibly privileged position to release music and I want to make it count because at any point somebody could say they're no longer interested and that's it."
It was really by a series of "lucky accidents" that Mitchell ended up not only releasing that first album, but also getting it released by labels both in the UK and in the US. For a start, he'd never sent out demo CDs to anyone fishing for a deal.
"I was up in Newcastle at the Sound Summit Festival in 2002 I think, and the lead at the festival was this hip hop collective, Anticon, from San Francisco, and one of the guys who was a part of it actually took my music back to the label he was doing A&R for at the time, which was Mush, and I got signed and they leased the record through Leaf to Europe, and also now, for this one, to Japan and here in Australia through Spunk. So I was just in the right place at the right time."
That deal saw him offered a tour of the US and Canada, one of the highlights of which was the Mush 2003 CMJ showcase in New York City, and all that of course set Mitchell thinking about how to present what had essentially been music created on a computer in the live context.
"That was something that took me a little while to get my head around because I'd never really thought of what I was doing as something that could be recreated live. That was always quite secondary, and for a little while when I first played it was quite an anti-social performance. But as I understood better what I actually wanted out of music and what I was interested in other people doing,I started to become quite excited about the idea of getting a live show together."