When Kel McKeown (AKA Kelpe) was a young teenager, he decided that sampling and sequencing might provide him with a safer past time than bone splintering skateboarding mishaps. He got set up with a Commodore Amiga, a sampler and a tape player and began to create some primitive rave rhythms. These initial efforts are all long lost, but they provided him with a discipline and focus that is of fundamental importance to the creative process that he currently employs in the execution of his distinctive beat creations.
Kelpe’s influences range from the bleeps & bass of classic Warp artists to the funk of Sly Stone, and the minimalism of Steve Reich + Harmonia to the percussive space scapes of Tortoise + Do Make Say Think. The diversity of the music that inspires Kelpe finds reflection in his own sonic adventures, informing his ever evolving sound, combining as map and compass to guide his lunarbound bboy throw downs.
Making a name for himself across and beyond Europe for solo live sets and as a duo with long time collaborator Chris Walmsley (Psapp, Broadcast, etc), the live setup incorporates MPC style beat manipulations, tiny analogue synths and a lot of bass. With or without the addition of live acoustic drums from Chris Walmsley (AKA
All Traps Set), the explosive live act has travelled far and wide, from California to Lithuania, playing alongside diverse acts such as Aphex Twin, Ghostpoet, Gaslamp Killer, and Daedelus.