We catch up with Kit Grill, the London based producer, DJ and longstanding NTS Radio Host.
Taking the Sunday slot once a month on NTS, Kit’s show is the perfect mix to tune into on the weekend wind down. With a deep passion for music that sits along ambient routes, he introduces us to his record label and we hear more about his latest releases.
You’ve held your NTS Radio slot for an impressive 7 years, making you one of their most longstanding hosts. Tell me about the show and how it’s evolved over the years?
The show began in the early days of NTS after meeting Femi (NTS Founder) at the Haggerston Pub. I had just released the Expressions EP and covered an open slot when they had these 2 hour shows on Fridays to fill. After that I was asked back to do a regular show and that must be 7 years ago now. Initially it began with me just playing music I found and wanted to share, where as now I’ll invite guests down and have a chat or hear what music they’ve brought along.
It’s pretty casual and unplanned which makes it more fun and most of them so far are friends who have an affinity with music whether musically or visually and we just tend to just play music we like, sometimes there’s a rough theme like with Seana Gavin where we dug into music from her freeparty past or it was great to get Carl Stone to cover a show.
What I really like about your monthly slot is the continuity in what you play, listening back to archive mixes and then to your most recent you can hear an eclecticism in genres yet something quite deeply rooted in how it all connects. Is there any process when you put your shows together?
The process is usually very last minute. I have a month to prepare but that never happens unless… I hear something during that time and I’ll save it. Normally I’ll do a quick run around on music sites, other NTS shows and some blogs and quickly go through tracks. Within 10 seconds I’ll know if it’s the right fit or not. I like the last minute nature of the selection though as it does force you to be decisive in what you choose.
"Musically within the show, I’ll aim to have peaks and troughs too, moving between different styles and genres linking tracks that wouldn’t normally be together"
As a producer in your own right, would you say your NTS slot is a vehicle for you to showcase some of the myriad influences in your own productions?
I think it is yes. I like listening to all sorts of music and the show definitely aims to bridge tracks through their tone, production, vocals or mood. I normally feel really inspired after a show, being in the studio with friends listening to music you like and chatting about all sorts normally puts me in a good place to make something.
All your productions so far has been released on the Primary Colour label, what’s your connection to the label and how did this relationship begin?
Two records (Mirror Image, Paradise) were released by other labels but I started Primary Colours so I could release music myself and have more control / ease in that aspect. I do all the artwork, occasional video too for my records so it’s mainly about being able put something out when you want to. I don’t have the time to run the label like a normal label but it serves as a good vessel for new music to trickle into the system.
Are there any influences on your music which you would consider timeless, something you return to again and again?
As well musical influences it’s visual, so cinema, photography, contemporary media, pop culture are big inspirations. I’m constantly consuming visually and musically and I’ll process this into tracks, concepts, albums, artwork, videos etc. I’ll then tend to sit on projects for a while until they are right to put out or the idea has settled.
"When I write music it’s like I’m trying to write a film, each track plays out as a scene within the film"
What three records never leave your bag?
Good question, in terms of music that’s always on me, just to play whenever I’d say…
John Maus – We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92
Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians
Favourite locations to dig for new records?
I like Sounds Of The Universe in Soho. I love the record selection there and it’s location in London, good place to hang out and get a drink after.
What are your favourite spots to hang out around London?
Lant St, Around Sounds Of The Universe, The Blue Posts Pub, Camberwell Arms and the Italo Deli in Vauxhall.