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Raised around Detroit, Konstantin’s affinity for the sound of the city began at an early age when he could be found working at one of the few record stores in the area. Leaving Detroit for a handful of years after graduating from high school, Konstantin traveled to London where he studied jazz theory at a conservatory and explored the city’s rich sound-system culture.
Upon his return to the United States, Konstantin continued to study sound, but from a different perspective than playing or producing; he earned a degree in audio engineering from San Francisco State University. During his years in San Francisco, from 2007 to 2012, Konstantin ran a tape/free label called Two Circles Records.
He then returned to Detroit where he now runs two all-vinyl labels: Local Heat and How to Kill. Both labels release a variety of genres, but focus extensively on the new Detroit sound known as Sludge. Detroit Sludge is a genre that takes its cues from industrial, techno, house, and ghettotech, and is distinguished by its filthy sultriness. It was created by Konstantin (working under the alias ‘The Friend’), fellow Detroit artists Marshall Applewhite and Adult Supervision. Its sound has been described as “the echoes of the hollowed innards of a now derelict factory, punctuated by inevitable progress and the crunch of feet on cracked ice.”
As far as his productions, Konstantin is, by all means, a tape fanatic and a massive proponent of found sound. One might go so far as to say that he’s noise and sound obsessed. Stemming from his passion of sonic artifacts, he employs a vast variety of gear in his productions, pulling from a large artillery of material that he’s collected over the years. The resulting product leaves even the listener damp with sex and caked in grime. Konstantin’s music has been described as having a primal sultriness, well suited to a dark, humid room full of pulsating bodies, a room quivering from massive sound, looming bass-lines, and loose rhythms that hiss and sway as if held together by tape or string.