The Origin of Kyle Watson’s Wonderfully Weird Slant on House Music

May 18, 2023

Lisa Kocay

2 min read

Artists evolve. Their music represents the different phases that they go through. They push new boundaries over time. This is the definition of true for Kyle Watson.

The sound designer started releasing music in 2007, when fidget house music was rising. The music at that time was wonky and weird in the best way, something audiophiles hadn’t heard. This was best championed by Chicago’s Potty Mouth Records, an inspiration for Watson’s early records.

His work pays homage to these groundbreaking sounds while keeping in step with today’s trends and tempos in house music, allowing him to create a fusion of electronic dance, deep house, and techno. And while he told Gray Area that fidget’s interestingly weird sounds, asymmetrical sampling, and ropey production were the catalyst for his work as a producer, when he listens to some of that early beats, he admits that they are “really not that good.” This is a common retort from artists whose first productions were just a sign of the time.

He had hit-or-miss records at the beginning of his profession, proving to be a difficult start to his currently illustrious career. He notes that music production has gotten easier with time, especially in dance music. The evolutions in production value allow current tunes to be more polished and neater, making him feel more comfortable incorporating those early influences. Indeed, his past inspirations and ability to boldly take on new techniques are why he’s such a deft purveyor of heavy house heaters.

“When you think about how [my] music got to where it is today, [my] starting point was the busyness and the weirdness and the wobbliness,” he says. “The interesting sort of different approach to drums as opposed to straight-up samples and the mangling of things and the feel and lo-fi of everything. I think those have stayed as central drivers for me and my production. Those are still elements that I try and keep [in my] music today.”

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