Adored by listeners from all corners of the internet and festival goers alike for his euphoric, energised sound and artistry; Kilter is the moniker for Sydney rising star Ned East. Having amassed over 40 million streams online and with his debut LP Through The Distortion receiving extensive praise, Kilter shows no signs of slowing down in 2018.
It’s a decent indication of an artist’s potential when they’re being hand-picked by the heavy hitters of the game like ODESZA, Mø, Duke Dumont and London Grammar to remix their singles with only a handful of originals under their belt. Likewise, when they’re scaling the heights of the Hype Machine charts and a remix for UK sensation Ben Pearce amasses millions of plays simultaneously. Well that was Kilter and all before he cracked the quarter-century.
“Kilter’s no longer just another young bedroom producer with a fancy drum-kit; instead, he’s one of Australia’s biggest electronic exports and force to be reckoned with both nationally and internationally.” – Hayden Davies // Pilerats
Through The Distortion, Kilter’s debut LP landed in mid-2017, East pushed sounds to their limits until they became something different, exciting and totally foreign without losing its roots. Throughout this, the music manages to punch its way through the noise, forming and shaping its way into a comprehensive and addicting 13-track album.
“Kilter relishes disruptive hybridisation. This debut packs in everything from muscle car EDM (Ritmo) to traphall (Shut It Down, featuring Melbourne singjay Yaw Faso) to psy-breaks-rock (Waste Time with an ethereal Woodes)” – Cyclone Wehner // Herald Sun
Having quickly developed a reputation as a gun producer in the studio and enigmatic songwriter, Kilter propels his tracks into the live setting, honing his performance abilities over years of experimentation, resulting in one of Australia’s most engaging and spectacular live electronic performances. Kilter flanks himself with a sea of synthesizers, controllers and drum-pads intertwining with acoustic percussion. Combined with live vocals, Kilter’s set delivers on the promise of a live performance with limbs flying fast between the keys, pads and drumstick duties.
“When it came time for me to bring my music to the stage, having an instrument in my hand is what felt most natural.” Kilter says of his show, crediting an upbringing surrounded by music at home and jamming in school jazz bands. “Using drums, keyboards and samplers, I can perform and express myself in a way that’s unique to that particular show and crowd,” he says. “That uniqueness is what I’ve always loved most about seeing my favourite artists perform and it’s what I try to capture at a Kilter show.”
The lively setup has been winning Kilter a slew of new followers at virtually every festival across Australia including Splendour In The Grass, Falls Festival, Listen Out, Field Day, Vivid Music & Arts Festival Sydney to just name a few. Those new fans kept Kilter on the road for an extended ‘Shades’ EP tour that clocked up a bonkers 24 dates across Australia and New Zealand. Since then Kilter has taken his live show to clubs and festivals in the UK (including Bestival), Europe and a 13-date North American tour in 2017 alongside a 7-date Australian tour for Through The Distortion, presented by Triple J, including a prime time slot at Splendour.
“Creating beats comes naturally for Kilter, a Sydney native who has a background as a drummer and displays his skills behind the kit in his live performances.” – Lars Brandle // Billboard
It is through that teeth-cutting journey of gigging and converting new eyes and ears every night on tour that the Sydney artist found his own approach to creating his debut album, explaining that the ecosystem of a live show – from a finely-tuned set list to feeding off a crowd awash with sweaty and smiling faces – has shaped the production process.
“I had a strong idea around how I wanted the album to sound and themes I wanted to explore. Through performing live, I’ve found myself considering how I would play a track and how it would be experienced overall. I ended up working with a lot of exciting writers and musicians to make it the best experience it possibly could be.”
With a plethora of curated collaborators on Through The Distortion, including Melbourne multi-instrumentalist and crooner Lanks, singer-songwriter beauty Tyne-James Organ and breakthrough South African rapper Espacio Dios amongst many more, Kilter hyped and ultimately deliver the goods on his debut.
“A debut record is often as much about exploring what you are capable of as an artist as it is putting together a refined body of work. Kilter has done that in spades, and with Through The Distortion he has smashed apart the box that represented what you’ve come to expect from his music, whilst still satisfying those who’ve popped by for a short boogie.” – Zanda Wilson // The Interns
With his debut album in the rear view mirror, Kilter welcomed the New Year with a slew of international dates, delivering his infectious live performances to festivals and intimate club shows alike. As he returns home, it’s with a laser focus on the studio for 2018, channeling the experiences and energy garnered on the road into the next evolution of his sound. With a trajectory that’s only been going one way, we can only dream of what’s to come.