Where It Started: Kyle Watson

Prolific producer/ DJ, house connoisseur, purveyor of good times and all-round legend Kyle Watson is launching his own label ‘No Context Records’ with a heaving tribute to the Kick Drum.

The talented house producer detailed the process of his latest release: ‘I started testing out Kick Drums about a year ago and the reactions were pretty strong. I took it back into the studio and kept tweaking it until I felt I had squeezed as much out of it as possible. I’m super happy with how it came out and it feels like the perfect track to kick off the new label!’

To celebrate the release of his label, Kyle Watson joins us for our Where It Started feature – delving into the songs that shaped has as a person and producer. Below you’ll find songs that stood out through his childhood and adolescence, as well as what motivated and inspired him to make music.

Kyle detailed his thoughts behind the track selection and what made his choose certain throwbacks: “Growing up I’ve always had an appreciation for different genres. As a teenager I listened to a lot of rock – everything from System Of A Down to Deftones to Blink-182. Something I’ve always loved about the genre is the intense energy, I still listen to a lot of the same artists today.

Kyle continued; “As I got a little older I started to appreciate sound design more, and artists that were pushing the boundaries on that front started to appeal to me. This is where I found a love for acts like The Prodigy and Noisia who were warping sounds and turning audio into things I’d never heard before. I think a lot of the undertones in my music tie back into these early influences, and it’s probably why I find a lot of enjoyment building and tweaking sounds.

Dive in below to see where it started for Kyle Watson.

The Prodigy – Spitfire

Back in the day The Prodigy were a massive influence. They were making interesting beat patterns I’d never heard before and mangling sounds in fresh ways but still keeping everything very listenable. Inspiring.

Deftones – My Own Summer

Think I first came across Deftones in an old Tony Hawk game! The darkness in this record really gets me, plus I’m a sucker for angry music!

Mr. Oizo – Flat Beat

Before this record I’d never heard a wompy bass sound before, and I was hooked! Such a strange and unique track at the time, and you could still play it today.

Korn – Freak On A Leash

This one reminds me of the old MTV days when they used to play music videos all day! Korn’s hooks always get me, and the weirdness of the guitars in the record really stood out.

Noisia – Diplodocus

Noisia are some of the most talented producers on the planet hands down, and Diplodocus showcases how crazy they can get with sound design. Their production techniques have been an inspiration to me for as long as I can remember.

Young Kyle Watson having a boogie 🪩

blink-182 – Feeling This

I was in a very informal short-lived band as a teenager and Blink-182 was the soundtrack of my life over that period, we played a lot of their songs. The hook in this one is so catchy, I can listen once and hum it back for days.

Missy Elliott – Get Ur Freak On

Timbaland is an absolute G and his work with Missy on this track is incredible. He is an amazing producer and his approach to sampling in general really inspired the way I approach a lot of my records.

Switch – A Bit Patchy

Fidget house from around 2008 was a massive influence to me, and was the first genre I started producing and releasing. Switch was the holy grail of that era and this record was a massive one in my bag.

Foo Fighters – All My Life

I’m a big Foo Fighters fan and the energy in this record is too good. This one always reminds me of my family, taking road trips with this playing in the background. Luckily my family has good taste in music!

Jesse Rose – A-Sided

Another big record from the fidget house era that was a big inspiration to me came from Jesse Rose. It’s so weird and lo-fi, and I hadn’t heard these types of sounds being used like this before. Technically very inspirational.

System Of A Down – Toxicity

What can I say, a classic rock record from my youth! At the time not all the SOAD stuff appealed to me, I’ve grown to love and appreciate it more as I grew up but Toxicity was such an important record of my youth.

Freeform Five – No More Conversations (Mylo Remix)

More squelchiness! The bass programming in this one got me, just like Flat Beat this would come on in a club and stand out immediately. At the time this would be the record I’d hope to hear when I went out.

Queens of the Stone Age – No One Knows

The first record I ever tried to download from Napster was this. I waited days on dial-up for it to finish, and when it did it was just a looped chorus for 4 minutes. Taught me an early lesson!

Skrillex feat. Foreign Beggars & Bare Noize – Scatta

Hard to pick a fave from Skrillex but I had this on repeat for ages when I was young. Again, these were some of the angriest and energetic sounds I’d heard at the time, and listening back now it’s kinda crazy!

Linkin Park – In The End

Who didn’t connect with this record? I remember afternoons after school with my brother, playing video games with Hybrid Theory on loop. Absolutely iconic track from a band that was an important part of me growing up.

Listen to Kyle Watson’s incredible new one ‘Kick Drums’, his label’s debut release below:




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