Today we’re Raccoontroducing you to electronic musician Koloto, the psyeudonym of Maria Sullivan, who heralds from Canterbury, England.
We speak to her about splitting her time between projects, her upcoming LP and… sleepy raccoons. Well you’ve got to carry on reading now, don’t you?
Hello Koloto, please introduce yourself.
Hey Raccoon readers! I’m Koloto or Maria, Which ever you prefer really. I am a musician/producer from Canterbury, Kent. I make a kind of glitchy electronic music and I also play bass in a band called Delta Sleep.
How long have you been working as a musician?
Hmmm, it depends how you define the term work really. I have been playing/writing music for the past 15 years or so, but it’s only since the beginning of this year that I have given up the day job to dedicate my efforts to making music full time.
You juggle between Koloto and playing bass in Delta Sleep, how is it finding the time to fit both in?
To be honest it actually works pretty well, things tend to come in waves with Delta Sleep, we may have a run of shows, or a tour but then things will be pretty quiet for a few weeks and this gives me plenty of time to work on my own music. Both Glen and Adam from Delta Sleep also play in other bands and Dev works at Vice, so we all have other big commitments in our lives, so finding time to fit both in has never really been an issue.
Do you see one as being your primary focus or are they both equally as important to you?
I definitely see them as being equally as important but for different reasons. In a way the two are incomparable because they fulfil a different set of needs. I can’t imagine my life without either one of them
I really like the challenge of writing music by myself; it’s often like solving a really complex puzzle. In theory, all the notes and sounds already exist, you just have to find them and put them in the right order! You don’t have anyone else to fall back on or ask for help, so when you finally solve the puzzle you get a real sense of achievement. I guess it’s also really therapeutic, it’s like you get to know a little more about yourself through the music you make.
Having said that I think being in a band is really important for my musical development. Every musician has a specific set of musical tendencies, so when you are constantly making music by yourself you can often get stuck in a rut. When you make music with others it really stretches you to try new things. Plus there’s the whole social side of things, being in a band is like having an extended family.
Who would you say your main influences are musically?
I guess one of my earliest influences is Squarepusher, He’s probably the reason I started playing bass.. EdIT is another major influence, when I first heard Crying Over Pros For No Reason it sounded like some kind of magic was at work. It really inspired me to explore different production techniques
I would also have to say that Adam, the drummer from Delta Sleep, has been a huge influence. I know everyone likes to big up the people they love, but I sincerely think that Adam is one of the best drummers in the UK right now! Playing along side him for the past 5 years has really made me step up my game, and sharpen my rhythmic sensibilities.
How would you describe your sound in three words?
Fun Time Quest!!
How would you describe the current state of electronic music?
From a musicians perspective I’m thankful that I was born now and not say, 60 years ago. When Electronic music started out, musicians and engineers were limited by the technology. Now technology is so advanced the only real limitation we have is our imaginations.
Electronic music has slowly permeated the mainstream, so unfortunately you get a lot of generic commercial nonsense that all sounds the same, but there is also a lot of amazing and original music out there, and more and more cool labels popping up to nurture it.
You’ve released a number of tracks on your SoundCloud page, are there any plans to release an EP or LP?
Yeah, I’m currently working on my EP, which will feature a few of the tracks I have already released on soundcloud. It’s actually pretty close to completion now and I’m hoping to put it out within the next few months.
Have you got any upcoming gigs in the pipeline?
Although I have been working on my live set for a few months, I only just played my first show about a week ago, and that was a really awesome experience. It’s been a long haul trying to translate my music into something that can be performed live. So this show was kind of a good way of testing the waters. I’m now working on putting together a mini tour with fellow Canterbury producer Ekoda Map toward the end of this year so watch this space.
Canterbury draws up images of a peaceful and picturesque cathedral city, what’s the music scene like there?
It’s a real shame because for such a small city there is an abundance of great musicians, as well as music lovers, but unfortunately there are very few places for these two parties to commune. Venues are constantly closing down, and in a way the lack of venues stifles the development of the music scene here. The DIY scene is holding things together here really with people organising gigs wherever they can often at rehearsal spaces and on their own land.
…and finally, your cover artwork features a snoozing elephant, is there any chance one day it might be of a raccoon having a nice lie in?
Well funny story actually. The sleeping elephant was drawn by Adam, It was actually a design we used for a Delta Sleep flyer back in the day. If you look closely you can see a cheeky little delta sleep reference. But yeah I’m sure I can get him to knock up a sleepy Raccoon!