Janelle Borg November 10, 2019
KNTRL on embracing change, analogue synths and Electro-Clash
No one can dispute the fact that Clint Spiteri, a.k.a KNTRL, has one of the most distinctive sounds in Malta’s electronic music sphere. The analogue aficionado has been slowly but surely gaining momentum in Malta and abroad, with international music magazines such as DJ Mag US featuring him as ‘one to watch’. Trackage Scheme sat down with KNTRL to discuss his roots, his artistic inspirations and his future projects.
Growing up, who were your main musical influences?
I started listening to Grunge, Punk & also less cool stuff like 80’s Synth-Pop which my guitar-loving school friends mocked me for. The first record I bought was ‘The Best of Nirvana’ which I still listen to quite often. It was also the record that inspired me to become a musician and write my own music.
When I was 15/16 years old, I first heard Electro-Clash & absolutely loved it. After that episode, I started exploring the genre and that’s when my love for electronic music began.
How would you describe your transition from Dolls for Idols to KNTRL?
KNTRL opened the doors for a new musical path. After a good five years with Dolls for Idols, my music taste started to change. I was getting more into sound synthesis and experimental downtempo music. I felt the need to write darker and more atmospheric music, something that wasn’t quite possible with Dolls for Idols.
At first, it was pretty frustrating to write music alone since I was used to the band environment, but now I’m pretty happy with how the project is evolving. More importantly, I feel more fulfilled as a musician this way.
In your opinion, is a label still necessary to promote and push your tunes nowadays?
While I recommend that you initially focus on being the best independent musician you can be, if you want to reach a bigger audience, there’s a good chance you’ll want a label’s help to do this. Not all deals are going to be good for you, so never sign to the first label that gives you a deal. That being said, sign with the right one, and it could be the help you need to get your name out there.
Take us back to the first time you discovered your love for analogue keys.
The first real synth that blew me away was the Korg Monopoly which I played whilst recording the Dolls for Idols debut album at Temple Studios. Such lush sounds! I instantly fell in love with analogue. I also loved the music that was being made on synths, of course. As a child of the ’80s, I was into OMD, Ultravox, New Order, Bronski Beat and all that stuff.
Any releases/live sets in the pipeline?
I’m currently writing a 9-track album which I hope to finish by the end of this year. Then I’ll be focusing on curating a good live set and hopefully, have some gigs!