Matthew “Konductr” Kirchnerby Acacia Carr / May 1st, 2022
From the Blog / May 2022 - Issue 1 of 1
serious beats for seriously good times
Matthew “Konductr” Kirchner is an up-and-coming producer and DJ whose combination of Glitch Hop, Dubstep, and World Bass has been turning heads in the Denver underground scene since 2020.
Innovation has been a key factor in his quick rise. Kirchner strives to create energetic multi-sensory experiences with his live sets, often collaborating with local visual artists/VJs like Carbon Colton and professional dancers such as Will Walker (aka The Prince of Pumps) to ensure every performance is unique. Denver is known world-wide as a hotspot in the bass music scene, so combining multiple genres and mediums in his performances and releases has played an integral part in building a dedicated fan-base in such a highly saturated market.
By helping to build immersive, multi-disciplinary creative experiences, Kirchner places himself squarely in the vanguard of today’s experiential art revolution. More than your average music show or DJ night, Konductr’s sets are cultivated with a focus on expansive consciousness through immersive experiences and performances by artists in concert with each other across creative disciplines.
As he prepares for the quarterly finals of the Electronic Tuesdays DJ battle at the Black Box, it is clear that Kirchner AKA Konductr is on the right track and moving fast. Be sure to catch one of his live performances if you can.
“The Injured Reserve” [Visuals by Carbon Colton] – Konductr
What inspires your music?
“Growing up, I listened to mostly rock, both classic and modern/alternative. My father was into artists like Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead, while my older brother listened to a lot of experimental rock and metal. I found myself somewhere in between, listening to a lot of punk and alt rock such as Rise Against and Anti-Flag.”
“My tastes changed in my late high school and early college years when artists like Kendrick Lamar and Joey Bada$$ began to emerge. I pretty much listened to nothing but rap (some old school, but mostly from the modern 2010s era) from ages 19-21, learning every word of albums from artists like Mick Jenkins, Freddie Gibbs, Injury Reserve, Vince Staples, etc. I was captivated by the beats and lyrics, but what really sold me on this type of music was the atmosphere they created and maintained song to song. I grew to appreciate the art of making cohesive projects that can be listened to front to back. I was amazed by the risks they took with their lyrics and sounds, and I’ve always been fascinated by the competitive nature of hip-hop.”
“I never gave EDM a chance until I was convinced to attend Dreamscape 2017 festival, a small dubstep/experimental bass festival in Maryland. I loved the crowd reactions and thick bass, but what really caught my attention was the use of visual art in conjunction with the music. It created a unique atmosphere and energy that I thought was missing in a lot of modern popular music.”
“Nowadays, I look up to artists like Tipper, Amon Tobin, G Jones, and Esseks for inspiration. I love the visual art styles of G Jones and Esseks, with the latter creating his own album art and live visuals with watercolor paintings he’s created. Tipper and Amon Tobin are known for their highly curated events, where they create interesting stage designs and visual components that add to the live experience. Again, it is the mixture of styles and mediums that keeps me captivated in their work.”
What challenges have you faced as an artist?
“My biggest challenge in becoming an artist was finding the right medium. I wanted to be a musician from a young age, but the natural talent simply wasn’t there when it came to things like singing and learning basic instruments. I vividly remember one day in 6th grade band class, we had to do an exercise where our band teacher would play a note on the piano, and we had to individually sing it back to the class. When it was my turn, I confidently attempted to match the note played on the piano with my voice, only to be laughed at by the entire class after a brief awkward silence. My teacher tried to play me another note, but the result was the same. Even the band teacher laughed at me, and he was usually a really nice guy. Suffice it to say, I learned I was tone deaf in one of the toughest, most embarrassing ways possible. Firmly implanted as a core memory, this was enough for me to give up my musical pursuits all together for the next decade.”
“Still, I kept developing my taste in music, and eventually found an entry point by experimenting on basic DAWs such as GarageBand. Chopping samples and arranging beats came much more naturally to me than any instrument ever did. Now that I’ve had some success in music, I’m able to look back at the 6th grade band experience and laugh. Still, every time I release a new song or take the stage to perform, the thought still enters my mind, ‘What if they laugh at me?’. It’s gotten easier over time, but it was a major hurdle in the beginning.”
“Nowadays, imposter syndrome can make it difficult to enjoy my successes as an artist. I have friends and peers who have been making music for far longer than I have, so I often worry that I am somehow ‘cutting in line’ when I get booked at Denver venues instead of people who are more tenured musicians. Control and confidence are imperative when performing live, so I’ve had to leave these feelings behind when I get behind the DJ decks.”
What are your future goals?
“I can usually avoid being a perfectionist, but my first full-length album is something that I am putting tremendous care and effort into. My debut album—Train Bass Vol. 1—is scheduled for release on October 1, 2022.”
“Like many Colorado-based artists, playing Red Rocks is on the bucket list. More realistically, in the next three years I hope to play at some of the other unique venues in the area, such as the Mishawaka Amphitheatre or Meow Wolf.”
“In the short term, I want to collaborate more. And not just with other producers, but also with dancers, visual artists, vocalists, flow artists, photographers, etc. I find extreme joy in working with my friends and turning our ideas into reality. I’ve learned that a lot of these opportunities are simply one text away from being initiated, it just takes a leap of faith to get it started.”
Tell us about your upcoming projects and/or shows.
How can your fans help support you?
“The best ways to support me are to share my music on SoundCloud and to attend my live shows!”
Support the Bass Konductr
You can also show support by following and interacting with Konductr on social media. Independent artists rely on the support of the music community. You can actually make a difference in an artist’s life and career by showing your support in these ways!
For more cool new music and artists from around the world, stay tuned to this Blog!