Kissy Sell Out
Classical and electro are two genres of music that don’t often meet in one single track – let alone in the club. Unless, that is, you’re Thomas Bisdee. The British DJ known as Kissy Sell Out often incorporates snippets of classical tunes into his intense and highly energetic sets, giving pumping party peeps a bit of a breather before the tempo inevitably picks up speed again.
But it wasn’t until Kissy’s sophomore album Wild Romance that the classical-meets-electro concept saw wide release. “It was sort of a gamble, having tracks with oboes and stuff… but it actually worked!” says Kissy. Listen to the album’s title track, Something Extraordinary, where tinkling xylophones and string instruments find a home alongside distorted bass lines and put-your-hands-in-the-air build-ups. While Kissy says the album as a whole came together surprisingly quickly, he does admit that Something Extraordinary took more than a year-and-a-half to complete.
But we can imagine Kissy had plenty to keep himself busy with in that time. Aside from the single being a delightfully complicated tune (which understandably took much time to conceive and deliver), the man’s also busy at the helm of his own record label – San City High. But it doesn’t function like your typical music operation. “We made a point of saying that we wouldn’t take many royalties – we’d only take 50 percent of what a track earns.” For Kissy, San City High is a platform for him to help launch the careers of burgeoning DJs that wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to have their tunes heard.
Kissy Sell Out’s BBC Radio 1 show was another way for him to expose interesting sounds and up-and-coming DJs. He held a weekly nighttime slot since 2008 – but saw his eclectic dance music show come to a close late last month after three years on the Beeb, amidst a station-wide rescheduling. While Kissy’s a bit apprehensive to have his weekly schedule shaken up, far-flung electro fans selfishly can’t complain. “Before, I could only take so much time off, which really stopped me from travelling to far-off places.” Like Hong Kong, perhaps.
Catch Kissy Sell Out's DJ set at Volar on Saturday April 14.