Palmbomen Talks Hard-Working Dance Music: "I'm Sweating Like Crazy"
Photo by Desiré van den Berg via facebook.com/Palmbomen
"I'm sweating like crazy, actually," says Dutch producer Palmbomen, AKA Kai Hugo, from his mother's home in the south of Holland.
"Especially when I play live. When I play live, I'm really soaking wet. It just heals me, always, when I play. The same when I DJ. Yeah, I like to move."
The scruffy, long blond-haired artist is candid and charmingly modest as he discusses his live show, DJ sets, and various projects at his Amsterdam-based label, NON Records.
"I never really know when something's coming out; it's sort of just ready when it's ready," he says of his general work process.
Since the release of his debut LP, Night Flight Europa, this past January, Hugo has been busy working on a new side project, doing mixes for Modular Records, touring Europe with his live band, and finalizing material for a new video game (he can't provide any more details on that just yet).
He's also working on a new album under the Palmbomen moniker that's "totally focused on my DJ side," he says. "Those are songs that I don't sing on, and it's just a little bit more minimalistic and stripped out."
This summer marks Palmbomen's first full string of U.S. tour dates, 10 stops from Austin to Los Angeles, playing DJ sets rather than full live shows with his band. While Palmbomen describes his current sound as an atmospheric cross between early-'80s New Wave and the more DIY, industrial aesthetic of coldwave, with a twist of Italo-disco, his DJ sets offer another dimension, for a different effect -- "the same old textures of tape and everything, but just a little more focused on the dance floor."
For his show at Bardot on July 25, expect to sweat. A typical Palmbomen DJ set incorporates early '80s house -- "things like Trax [Records] and Jamie Principle" -- and dance music situated between the disco era and the introduction of more minimal house, keeping the same dreamy atmosphere and old-school synth textures of his live shows intact.
-- Falyn Freyman
Palmbomen. With La Minitk, Goodroid, and Henry Krinkle. Thursday, July 25. Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The show starts at 10 p.m. and tickets cost $15. Call 305-576-7750 or visit bardotmiami.com.