Photo: Press (Kai Alcé)
Kai Alcé has been a driving force in the development of house music for two decades and shows no signs of slowing down. While also unveiling his own eyewear collection in 2020, the NDATL Muzik founder has stayed prolific throughout the pandemic. His mix for our Groove podcast already provides a glimpse into his label’s future.
First off, how have you been doing these past year and a half?
It actually has been well. It gave me time to focus and get my new eyewear line on the market, an idea that’s been on my mind for some time now.
You have already played a number of events since clubs have re-opened in the US. What was the experience like so far?
It has been great! There seems to have been some new interest here in the states in places that once were not usual markets for house music.
Besides re-releasing your 2008 EP The Floating, you have also put out a new single called Luv Fantasy this year. What inspired the three tracks?
It acytually stared with me just challenging myself to do something on the MPC only, which produced “Luv Fantasy.” The other two tracks on the EP came shorthly after, although they were not totally made on just the MPC.
Luv Fantasy came out on your own NDATL Muzik label. Throughout the pandemic, the label remained very active. What made you put so much effort into your label work in such precarious times?
I can’t say that it was much effort. It was projects that had been in the pipeline for a while and with all the downtime, I just pushed them through.
NDATL Muzik has always been dedicated to supporting up and coming artists. What is important to you in terms of A&R work – what are you looking for in an emerging talent?
I’m usually looking for talent that have their own sound, one that is truly them. If it aligns with the NDATL overall sound, then it’s an easy fit. I get many submissions that I like and would play, but sometime it just doesn’t align with what I want to release on NDATL.
You have recently contributed a track to the Unity Vol. 1 compilation on Norm Talley’s newly launched Upstairs Asylum Recordings label. How did that come about?
Well, Norm and I have been friends for years it was just natural that he would ask. I have a few tracks from him that I have been sitting on for NDATL as well.
Aside from your work as a producer, label owner and DJ, you have also launched Kai Alcé Eyewear in late 2020, producing limited edition glasses. How does that tie in with your career in music?
I have been wearing glasses since my teens years and have always been know for having snappy eyewear. After many years of being told “Kai, you should start an eyewear line!,” I finally put a plan in place and with some help I finally was able to launch in 2020. Like with my music, I wanted the styles to be bold, individual and limited like my NDATL vinyl releases. Right now Kai Alce eyewear has two models, nine colors in Granég and six colors in Bézwen. Once these colors sell I will reproduce the models, but not in the same colors.
What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?
I thought I ‘d feature mostly remixes and original productions with one NDATL release coming from Claude Young!
Last but not least: What are your plans for the future?
Working on next models for Kai Alcé Eyewear, putting out releases from Claude Young, Kayenne, Norm Talley, June Jazzin and more.
Stream: Kai Alcé – Groove Podcast 311
01. KemeticJust – Stay My Way
02. Isoul8 ft Paul Randolph – On My Heart
03. Miranda Nicole – Build A Bridge
04. Silverlining – Aura
05. Ja Ka ft Paula King – Only Grace
06. Claude Young – No Regrets
07. Antonio Zuza – Together Forever
08. Demarkus Lewis – Mystic Vibes
09. Kai Alcé – Stars
10. Kai Alcé – Back In This Shit (Original Demo)
11. Hugo Mari – Get Down
12. Noah Slee – Radar
13. Ash Lauryn – Life Is Back