Kai Alcé and Atlanta’s house scene are fairly synonymous at this point. The ATLien (by way of Detroit and NYC) carries a uniquely smooth sound; influenced heavily by the soulful sound of the motor city and surely related to his time at the famed Music Institute. Since relocating to Atlanta, Kai has cultivated quite a following by way of his wax imprint NDATL (those Special Editions are a must-have) and parties such as DEEP, MJQ and House In The Park. Alcé is an expert producer in his own right, having cooked up tasty tracks and remixes for the likes of FXHE, Mahogani Music, Kolour LTD, Local Talk, Defected, and obviously his own imprint as well. It’s safe to say Kai is a busy man. Lucky for us, the guru took the time to do a little Q&A and guestmix for the blog.
A lot has been made of your role carrying the torch in the Atlanta house scene. What’s the status of the scene these days?
The status is great at the moment. We have a few different brands & styles thriving. The Sound Table, The Music Room, Wildpitch (owned by DJ Pierre) for the venues. Myself, DJ Kemit, Stan Zeff, Salah Ananse, Ramon Rawsoul & Bobi all have residencies that do well monthly.
Currently there seems to be an imbalance in the number of house labels and producers based in Europe as opposed to here in the States. What, if anything, can be done to change that dynamic? Do you think it’s a matter of getting younger heads hooked?
Yes that’s definitely the key as the elders that have been around and still around are dwindling we need new energy to fill the ranks. Not only in numbers but in tradition.
Speaking of the Europe / US dichotomy, you’ve always handled your NDATL operations (pressing, mastering, hell even production) in the USA. Was that deliberate?
Also definitely doesn’t make sense to me to be an american label but to get your product pressed and manufactured and then sold back to the states at a premium seems so backwards.
Has there been much a shift for you in your wax process going from working with Prairie Cat to Complete?
Yes as with everything there was a moment uncertainty but we’ve gotten bit more comfortable with the change
Speaking of NDATL, what can we expect from the label in 2017? Another Special Edition I presume? Do you have a specific vision for the imprint going forward?
Yes U can expect another SE & my direction is just trying my best to release music that the consumer wants & promote the sounds that I feel are not always represented.
What are some new names and labels that we should be looking out for?
Stefan Ringer, Byron the Aquarius, Chaos in the CBD & their perspective labels which I know CBD has already started and Stefan & Byron are in the making of their own perspective labels
Focusing more now on your own production: 2016 saw you come a little harder than you sometimes do with the Movin’ Thru EP on Sounds of the City, with some dope remixes on the likes of Shadeleaf, Local Talk, Traxx Underground and (my personal favorite) Modelisme as well. What is Kai Alce’ working on these days?
I’ve done some remixes for new Jazz greats Kamasi Washington & Gregory Porter that I’m working diligently with their labels trying to get them released. I have and project by singer Kayenne dropping later this feat production from strictly Atlanta producers and there’s always tracks being cooked up in the studio.