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Photographed by Cat Stevens.

**K at Hobaken 2008

London’s music scene puts its best foot forwards with a festival that only has a 750-ticket capacity. **K one of the Hobaken participants talks about London vs. NYC.

With a range of producers seemingly unconcerned with the financial rewards of hosting events, there is a chance for the relatively unknown to be embraced by a new and supportive audience. An attitude of ‘doing it for the love of it’ seems to be in the air…

At Hokaben festival on Saturday night, 93 Feet East became a hotbed of musical activity, with headlining acts Acid Mother Temple and Kid 606 and support from Wrong Music’s Shit Mat and DJ Scotch Egg who played at this year’s Bestival. It was a great opportunity for the producers to surprise us with some with some of the underground music community’s lesser-known talent.

A favourite on the warehouse scene, **k’s (pronounced 2 star k) set attracted a lively collection of unpretentious revellers. The set incorporated a hallucinogenic and entrancing sound and what can only be described as a ‘lively’ stage presence. I took the opportunity to speak to him about NY versus London, and what London’s grim financial outlook means for new music…

DazedDigital : Ok, so why the **k, what does it mean?
**k: Fuck. Do you know the KLF they reformed as the 2k foundation and burnt a million quid? It’s a tribute to them, of sorts.

DD: How would you describe your musical style?
**k: Psychedelic, electronic music.

DD: How did you get into it?
**k: I started in New York, I made a bunch of music and I had to get people in to play other parts because I wasn’t quite set up to play by myself, but it was a bit limiting really. To define songs with people and to have band practice once a week. When I moved back here I spent a couple of months just trying to sort it out to get a one-man band kind of thing, it could be whatever I wanted it to be.
I used to play with psych musicians and they couldn’t get the beat element and the longevity element, you know it goes for how long it wants to go, if it feels right we will all change together.
Even since I’ve moved out here people I know in bands, they all end up breaking up and if you do your own thing, it’s harder because you’re not necessarily very good at self-promotion, but nobody can break you up, its just here.

DD: What do you think of what’s happening in general with music at the moment, particularly in London?
**k: I think it’s good, coming from New York it’s more conservative over there, as much as there is good music that comes from over there, a lot of the time the music is bigger over here in Europe than it is there. More extreme musical styles are practiced and born over there, but the scene is very much segregated between rock people and electronic, dance people.
You know rock kids over there; that represent the large majority, they’ve never taken pills and gone out to dance. It was a bit of a challenge over there, trying to bridge those worlds. Coming back to London, your rock friends who are in bands and have records they all still have listened and taken in these other influences and they’ve all gone to techno or northern soul parties. There is more of an openness over here and I’m still enjoying that, and I think if anything it’s gonna get better. Bit of recession, we’re falling on hard times that’s bound to create some harsher forms of music. There’s always been a weird correlation between the arts and economic hardship, not having any financial goals with it.

DD: What do you think of being part of the Hokaben festival?
**k: There’s some great people playing, Acid Mother’s Temple and Kid 606, there’s a good crossover between a German psych band and San Francisco rave music, it’s pretty exciting…