Home' In The City : In the City - Summer 2012 Edition Contents The Karton guys cringe at
the suggestion of musical
chemistry, but there's no
denying the partnership
makes for a potent
"We bring a different set of skills,"
Paul Beohm explains. "Richter's
much more musical, he's got all that
training and the concept of putting
together a melody is very natural to
him. What I've always had the ear for
is more the engineering side --"
"And the structuring, too," Paul
Richter adds. "How to make it
appealing to radio or the dancefloor."
Karton have spent the past decade
carving an international name for
themselves in all things broken and
bass-heavy -- though not before some
important developmental lessons.
"I did 12 or 13 years of classical
piano training -- and hated it to start
with," Richter says. "But I'm really
grateful to have been tortured for
that many years, because... to make
music that people can engage with
on an emotional level, you've got to
understand how harmonies work."
Meanwhile, Beohm was trying
his hand at a range of instruments,
though it was playing around with
tape-recorded film samples that really
resonated with him.
"Me and my friends, back in the
old days we had a sequencer that you
basically just put audio loops into it,"
Beohm recalls. "We'd put [samples]
over a Wu Tang track, chopping up and
moving stuff around... We'd spend a lot
of time exploring, 'What happens if you
put these two things together?'"
Though heavily into hip-hop as
a teenager, Beohm received an
introduction to electronic music after
hearing US breakbeat duo The Crystal
"I was like, 'Oh, this is kind of like
hip-hop, but it's a bit faster'. The
drum programming is very similar in
a lot of that stuff," he says.
By 2002, both Beohm and Richter
had independently struck out into the
world of electronic music production,
bubbling along on Canberra's tight-
knit and supportive scene.
"A friend of ours was like, 'Hey,
you guys have the same ideas and
you're kind of doing the same stuff --
have a studio session and see what
happens'," Beohm says.
During the resulting session,
Richter recalls, "we threw a few ideas
around, and realised that we were
moving in the same direction, and it
was quite easy to get things going".
Their second single was remixed by
the head of a Swedish breaks label,
Sound of Habib, which subsequently
became the "go-to place" for Karton's
"He was really wanting to build
profiles and give artists, including
us, a lot of creative freedom," Richter
"That brought a lot of remixes
in as well," Beohm adds. "Having
someone based over there [with] all
the contacts into Europe and the UK
-- he'd get our records into the right
The "right people" have included
Skream and Benga, The Freestylers
and the Plump DJs -- who were
particularly enamoured with Karton's
2010 debut album, For All Seasons,
describing it as "massive".
"There was a fair bit of [album]
press and coverage over in Europe,"
Richter says. "So as a result of that,
I went over to play a few shows...
in Spain and the UK during their
"It was kind of weird -- because
we had this European label doing
[promotions] over there, people at festivals
would come up to me and go, 'Can I take a
picture with you?'"
The duo wasn't receiving nearly the
same level of recognition in Australia,
however, so as they began compiling
material for a second album, Karton sent
a sampler to Sydney DJ/producer Jesse
Desenberg -- better known as Kid Kenobi.
"We sent it to him as a courtesy -- 'Hey,
this is what we're doing, if you want some
copies early, let me know and I'll hook you
up'," Beohm recalls. "He'd started his label
[Klub Kids] at that point, so he was like,
'I'm actually running a label -- can we do
something with it?'"
As a result, Karton's second album, Find
The Constant, was released via a split
licensing deal in mid-2011, with Klub Kids
handling distribution in Australia and New
More dancefloor-focused than their
debut, Find The Constant is a sternum-
shaking showcase of Karton's flare for
dubstep and its bass music cousins.
"But," Richter says, "now that we've
done two albums, it feels like there's a lot
more to be gained from releasing music in
small packages...because you can get it out
a lot quicker."
Accordingly, Karton are wrapping up a
four-track EP that they expect will be ready
for release for early 2013, which will be
followed by another national tour.
Another lesson they've learned is to
better manage their studio time, Beohm
says -- which is partly a necessity, as
Richter has recently become a father.
"We're a lot better at getting where we
need to be really quickly, whereas back in
the day there was a lot of messing around,
hoping to stumble into what we wanted,"
"That's true," Richter agrees. "Nowadays
we go, 'Let's do this' and we know exactly
what to do. It's those 10,000 hours people
keep talking about -- and I'm sure we've
A select journey through
Canberra's dance music
DJ CHRIS FRESH & NASH
T -- BURNING HANDS
Beloved Canberra pioneers
make an early mark with
some chart-storming peak
NORTH ATLANTIC --
This era saw Chris 'Fresh'
Fraser release a slew of
tracks that won favour
with prog house royalty
like Satoshi Tomiie.
From Canberra to Los
Angeles, Tiesto brings the
second disc of ISOS5 to
a rousing peak with some
The boys' inaugural
release on Swedish label
Sound of Habib sees them
making further European
JAYTECH -- MUSIC 101
Teenaged James Cayzer
was still studying at
Canberra Grammar when
his prodigious debut was
released to the world.
The Canberra Times | In The City Magazine
B(if)TEK -- 2020
Analogue duo Kate Crawford
and Nicole Skeltys journey
down the Autobahn with a
concept album that reheats
electro before it became
Links Archive Canberra Style - Spring Summer 2012 In The City - Autumn 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page