Klear Vision: Q+A with Krystal Klear

Neutron Dance is being tipped as the track of 2018, so we fired some questions at Dec Lennon, aka Krystal Klear, about living in NYC, what keeps him inspired and how it feels to have the hit of the year on his hands...

Feature by Claire Francis | 13 Sep 2018
  • Krystal Klear

Resident Advisor called it “an impossibly cheery nu-disco track that might be 2018's Inspector Norse”, referencing Todd Terje’s 2012 hit; Mixmag stated in a nod to Midland’s 2016 standout banger, “this is 2018’s Final Credits”. Krystal Klear’s EP The Division was released earlier this year on Gerd Janson’s Running Back imprint, and its opening track Neutron Dance has all the hallmarks of becoming the anthem of 2018.

Dublin-born, New York City-based Krystal Klear has been DJing and producing for the better part of a decade. With previous releases on All City, MadTech and EGLO, and high-profile shows with the likes of Skream and Ben UFO, Dec Lennon is no stranger to the spotlight, and Neutron Dance looks set to become another career highlight. Ahead of his upcoming shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh, he answers some questions from The Skinny from his home in NYC.

The Skinny: You've had an amazing response to The Division so far, in particular to Neutron Dance. Did you anticipate the reaction you’ve had, critically and commercially, to this record?

KK: I thought it would do well but by no means to the extent that it has gone. Signing to Running Back was the dream and anything after that has been a bonus.

What prompted you to relocate to New York, what attracts you to the city as a DJ/producer?

I was tired of what was happening in the UK and wanted a change. I have somewhat of an obsession with NYC and it basically reached a point where I felt I needed a new deep end, a new challenge, and New York was it. The history continuously motivates me with what I am working on and that has always been an everlasting attraction.

Sum up your feelings on Donald Trump for us?

No.

Which other DJs/producers inspire you? What are some of your favourite albums/tracks of 2018 so far?

I tend to avoid listening to a lot of 'dance music' as it keeps me excited to play it when I am DJing but I guess I dig for anything on Running Back (naturally) – I like Fango, Terr has some great stuff, and TEED's new album tracks are fantastic too.

You've met and worked with all sorts of artists, from Nile Rodgers to MF Doom. Has anyone encounter remained particularly memorable for you?

I smoked a cigar with Tom Jones in the Playboy Club in Mayfair once when Skream and I DJed at Kate Moss's 40th... that sentence alone should give an indication of how ridiculous the night was.

You've spoken out previously about the ‘boys' club' nature of the industry and the mental health issues that come with it. How do you steer clear of this side of the industry when you're touring night after night?

I don't necessarily know about it being entirely a 'boys' club' thing [rather than] just a universal part of the industry I am in. I think to answer your question, I know what I want now more than ever and that's especially evident when I DJ or travel so I guess that steers me in the right direction and avoids me getting into any pent-up frustration on the road.

Is writing and releasing a full-length album still on the cards?

100%

You’re playing La Cheetah Club in Glasgow in September, and Terminal V’s Halloween Festival in Edinburgh in October. What’s your favourite memory of playing in Scotland?

I think the best memory I have of playing in Scotland is that I have never had a bad gig in Scotland – but playing Subbie always gets me going.

What do you think of Gerd Janson’s remix of Neutron Dance? In an interview last year you were quoted as saying “If you’ve got a Gerd Janson or a Sven Vath playing [your record] at Time Warp, then that makes people want to get it and play it.”

I think it's amazing. I mean, to have one of your mentors bash out a remix with such an interesting take was such an amazing addition to this release.

What do you like to do when you’re not playing or making music?

If I’m not taking photos, I am generally slagging Janson about his brown vest, or Alex Olson about his homeless-chic.


Krystal Klear plays La Cheetah Club with Ezup, Glasgow, 22 Sep; Terminal V Halloween, Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, 27 Oct

https://soundcloud.com/krystalklear