DJ Name: Chael (the H is silent)
Real Name: Michael Kimpton
Where are you from?
Macclesfield UK born, bred and still here
How long have you been DJ ing?
I think I'm coming up for 17 years in a few months
What got you into being a DJ?
Well I was listening to Electronic music for a long time before stepping behind a pair of decks for the first time. It was when I met like minded people at college that I gave it a try, I was hooked instantly. I ended up going to my parents for a handout. Much car washing, pot washing and lawn mowing followed and I bought a set of belt drive Numark and a 2 channel mixer, looking back the quality was terrible but I thought they were the s**t. After that me and my mate would be record shopping in Manchester every weekend and on college days we used to run back to mine on lunch time and blast it out, we were always coming back to afternoon classes late but I loved those days.
When was your first exposure to electronic music?
My earliest memories I would have to say New Order and acts like The Human League and The Eurythmics. I’m an 80s child so I was around 6-7 when the UK explosion happened (a little too young for the hacienda) but I remember that it was a big break away from other eras of music – probably the biggest cultural shift since the 60s. All the new music coming out was so diverse and unique. If the 70s were the era of electric guitar and the 80s were the era of synthesisers then the 90s was a culmination of all that knowledge, people took risks to sound the way they did, you don't see that much anymore. I feel bad for the newer generations I doubt they will ever experience anything like that again.
Who are your musical influences?
Speaking from a strictly electronic aspect I have stumbled through a lot of genres over the years. I started djing progressive house so then it was people like Sasha and Digweed. Then I moved into nuskool breaks where the Plump Djs were just coming through on the scene. It was after that I started to dig deeper into some truly weird and wonderful music – stuff like psychedelic tech funk where still to this day guys like Hedflux, Bad tango and Split & Jaxta blow my mind with that whole sound. And although not exactly techno I love Stevie Wonder and people like Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson. As much as I love techno and house music there is an obvious synthetic element to electronic music. I guess I'm just a sucker for those dusty sounding drums with a human element of swing to them – something a midi grids set to 16th notes will never capture.
What parties are you playing at this year?
I will be honest at the moment with a young family and other commitments I'm finding it difficult to make time to get out there, show my face and get shaking the right hands with the right people. I'm looking into promoting some events of my own as well as a few other projects but these are all in the early stages of planning. I'm hoping to go much bigger this year so we will see what happens.
What were your favourite parties you’ve played at?
I think my favourite gig was my first ever, me and some college mates got together and set up a regular night together, it was nerve wracking, hard work and expensive but I had a blast doing it, that first time I stepped into the booth and looked out at the crowd my legs turned to jelly, I think I was sweating so much I couldn't get a grip on the records so I'm sure I fluffed a fair few mixes that night. I also have had a lot of fun in Beba in my hometown but unfortunately that has shut down. I also remember DJing at a mates birthday at his flat, I played all night hopping on one leg as I had my leg in a cast after breaking my ankle at work, it was a little painful but very memorable.
Do you produce your own music?
I do, I signed my first EP – Greenfinger back in September last year, it literally came out of nowhere as I had those tracks up on SoundCloud for around 18 months, it's a great feeling to have someone believe in the music you make and give you an opportunity to get it out there. I had been dabbling with music production for along time but never really threw myself into it properly. I used to make edits of tracks for fun and try doing mash ups – they were all shocking! I still have some sat on my hard drive, hopefully they will never be heard by anyone else's ears!
Are you signed to a record label?
I'm currently working with DJ Tezzo's Mini Vibe Records, I have just had a remix of his track No Way released which is doing well and there is another release coming from me but it's a little too early for me to elaborate on.
Do you ever play live or do you just DJ?
Just DJing at the moment, maybe one day I will try out going live with my own material. I have recently started bouncing out all the audio of individual stems and parts of tracks I finish so they are there if I wanted to go down that route.
Who are some live acts that inspire you?
Acts like Orbital, Underworld and The Chemical Brothers blow me away every time I see them, it's just a couple of guys jamming away on some amazing hardware with awesome material, I also love the visual aspects of gigs, the Chemical Brothers did amazing stuff for their live album Don't think. I have also been lucky enough to catch Daft Punk live and the visual aspect of the famous pyramid was unreal, no amount of viewing the YouTube videos do it justice, they could of turned the sound off and I would of just stayed to watch happily.
Who were the 3 most influential artists of last year?
I think I would have to look at the regulars and mainstays in my sets, I'm a big fan of D-Unity, Ruiz Sierra and D-Deck. Nino Bua is also a big one for me at the moment he has had a really strong few months, it feels like he is releasing EPs every week but the quality hasn't subsided at all.
If you could go to one gig tonight where would you go?
I hear awakenings in Amsterdam is an amazing show. I have had a lot of fun times over there in the past and I'm hoping to make it to this years ADE. Sankeys in Manchester will always be in my heart, I didn't just have fun nights and a lot of memories I will treasure for the rest of my life but I also gained an education from those who played. It's a shame about the closure to make way for flats but if I had to pick right here right now I would give anything to hear Steve Lawler belt it out in that basement one more time, he always knew what strings to pull with me.
What can we expect from you this year?
Lots more weekly techno here on House Freqs, plenty more releases and maybe something that is top secret at the moment, I have said to much already, all will be revealed…
What would you say the single most vital piece of tech is?
I'm not sure there is any vital tech these days, I feel it's very situational as every Dj plays differently on different equipment. I started on vinyl, skipped Cdjs completely and dove right into digital. I don't regret it, I'm certainly not ashamed of it. I'm happy with the set up I have, it works for me but it might not for everyone else. I think the most vital thing is knowledge, educate yourself on the tech you use, don't let the tech take over for your lack of education.
What is that thing that most people don’t know about you?
Funnily enough my real name! A bar I was DJing at was making flyers up and didn't know what name to put on so they stuck Kimmi on there (a twist on Kimpton). Since then it has stuck everywhere I go. There are people I have known for over 10 years that still don't know my real name, my nephews don't believe me when I tell them my name is Mike and my better half has a hard time explaining that she isn't a lesbian to her colleagues when she refers to me as Kimmi.
If you could give any advice to young DJ’s just starting to get into DJ’ing what would it be?
I can't stress this enough – just play music you love and believe in. If you don't nobody else will either. Take the time to learn that music inside out and don't listen to people that tell you that you are doing it wrong. One thing that took me a while to get was that anyone can listen to music but it takes some level of discipline to actually hear it, dissect it and put it back together in your head. I know, it sounds like some mystical Jedi mumbo jumbo but it's something that nobody but you is going to teach yourself and it's one lesson you won't ever forget. Have fun, lots of it, otherwise what is the point?
MORE ABOUT CHAEL:-
After honing his deep mixing style for over 16 years Chael's skills have culminated in a distinctive flavor of rough and ready techno and tech house grooves. Chael's DJ sets take in various themes and flavours of tech music and brings them together through smooth transitions and quality track selection to take listeners on an unforgettable journey.
This week will see some new material from my forthcoming Vanish EP on Mini Vibe Records, be sure to tune in Sunday 6pm GMT on HouseFreqs.comMore Info