03.05.2013, Words by Karen Chan

Dummy Mix 165 // The KVB

The KVB‎ is the dark wave project behind London-based artists Klaus Von Barrel and Kat Day. Originally a solo effort consisting only of Klaus, The KVB came through in 2010 with debut cassette via James Wing of Pink Playground’s Free Loving Anarchists label‎. Titled ‘The Black Sun’, it’s an eight-track collection of misshapen, gauzy, suffocating post-punk and avant-garde that strives for a knack of atmosphere. With this tape, Klaus grabbed the attention of Juan ‘Silent Servant’ Mendez and Karl ‘Regis’ O’Konnor, which eventually led to the release of 2011’s shoegaze-y ‘Into The Night’ via Downwards‎, the single that threw THE KVB into the spotlight.

With the addition of Kat in the same year, The KVB have been operating as a duo and their name has spread further afield. While working with labels such as Clan Destine, ~taqueOT and Sweating Tapes, February 2013 saw their debut appearance on Veronica Vasicka’s Cititrax – an offshoot of her always amazing Minimal Wave label – with ‘Immaterial Visions’; a meticulous eight-track suite of ghostly chords and vivid, pulsating industrial noise. You may also recall the second track, the fuzzed-out Dayzed, being featured on the brilliant ‘So Click Heels’ compilation that came out in the summer of 2012 via Downwards.

The KVB will be performing alongside Brooklyn duo ERAAS at east London venue Birthdays on 8th May. Further information and ticket details here. Ahead of their gig, the pair have drawn a selection of tracks by artists such as Throbbing Gristle, James Pants, Factory Floor, Kraftwerk, Oake, and John Maus; putting together a nebulous, indulgent and rather libidinous recording as the latest in the Dummy Mix series.

What did you want to achieve in this mix?

It will immerse your minds within the cold, motorik rhythms of some of the music we have been listening to a lot recently, as well as some of our favourite krautrock/ electronic tracks.

Tell us more about ‘Immaterial Visions’, what was the inspiration behind it?

Haptic imagery, glitches, reverb, reality, immersion, pan delay, consciousness, sex, death.

I adore Dayzed on the ‘So Click Heels’ compilation, it’s like a darkened, doom-laden song by My Bloody Valentine, are you a fan?

Yes, of course! We saw them recently at Hammersmith Apollo and before that at ATP.

How did you hook up with Downwards in the first place?

Juan [Silent Servant] got a copy of our limited cassette release which came out in 2010, called ‘The Black Sun’ via FLA. It took him a while before he finally listened to it, but this culminated in the release of the ‘Into The Night’ 10” a few months later.

Have you always grown up listening to new wave, post punk and shoe-gaze? How did those sounds end up playing such a major role in the music you play right now?

No, we both grew up listening to a variety of different types of music – psychedelia being one of the major influences before shoegaze etc. However, music genres do not exclusively influence us, for example the films of Kaurismaki, Lynch and Noé have equally contributed to our oeuvre.

As a duo, how do you work together? Do you always have the same opinion and creative vision?

Yes, the majority of the time we have the same vision – I express it audibly and Kat visually.

Hailing from London, how has that contributed and influenced your music?

Neither of us hail from London originally, but have been here on and off for the past three or four years. It has contributed to what we do because there are so many great events; art, music etc. happening all the time and always new people to be influenced by.

You’re playing in town again soon, to those who haven’t seen you before, what can we expect from your live show?

Immersive visuals and lots of noise.

What else are on your agenda for the rest of 2013?

Well, we have lots of exciting things planned, but can’t say too much more at the moment…


La Düsseldorf – La Düsseldorf
Cluster – Caramel
James Pants – Strange Girl
Throbbing Gristle – Walkabout
K-X-P – Mehu Moments
Oake – Erajh Nur Dwfa
Factory Floor – Lying (Chris Carter Remix)
The KVBOld Life (Worn Remix)
Kraftwerk – Pocket Calculator
Das Kabinette – The Cabinet
John Maus – Time To Die
Harmonia – Watussi

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