New Music — June 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Introducing Kaaaaatastrophic


I met Kaaaaatastrophic (Katrina Quackenbush) in Buffalo, New York in 2007.  I was immediately attracted to her warm personality, and unending love for all types of music.  By the Summer 2008 we were hitching a ride to Lollapalooza where we cemented our friendship and love of eclectic music festivals.  I was thrilled to find that she had begun creating her own sounds two years ago, and since then have been following her unique productions.  With her love of Hip Hop, Jam Bands, and Electro, her widespread tastes have formed an incredible experimental vibe that entrances you from the get-go.  Her productions are entirely improvisational , creating a raw, dreamy atmosphere that lets you look deep into her psyche.

She has had many of her tracks featured on The Upstate Soundscape radio program, receiving critical acclaim for her ability to  create a refreshing, unique, boundry-pushing genre.   Her soundcloud lists her genre as “Electronic – Experimental | Abstract | Psychedelic | Noise | Not sure what to call it– Improv”, which sounds about right.  It’s difficult to put her work into words, and that’s why I took the time to interview her so our readers can get a better feel for this very cool, very different producer.  I recommend playing THIS TRACK while reading the interview…

First DAW you’ve ever used?
My first DAW that I had ever used was Garageband on my Mac, I started to “mix” noises together back in early 2010. Bought a Maschine in October 2010.


What first got you interested in producing music, and how did you go about taking the steps to do so?
Have you ever seen the t-shirts that say “J-Dilla changed my life”; it was kinda like that. I went on an impluse and purchased The Maschine and borrowed the software from my friend. Best decision I have ever made, besides a pair of rainboots.


Who influences you the most when it comes to making music?
Inspiration comes many different artists and driven emotion. I listen to way too much music to give people credit for. To name a few: J-Dilla, Holy Ghost, Shlohmo, VVV, Ghostek, Clams Casino, Delete, Tokimonsta, Gasface, Polish Ambassador … honestly the list goes on.


The bars in Buffalo don’t close till 4am… what is your necessary snack to sober up before stumbling home?
Poutine fries and veggie tacos from Jims Steakout, the place is open until 5am!


Do you find EDM/producing to be kind of a “boys club”, or have you found your footing just fine amongst the mainly-male dominated industry?
I am not part of the “boys club” nor industry yet. I am all about being myself and producing music for me not anyone else. Dabbling on the pads is a creative outlet for me. Wish I had a cooler story, but I just make music in my bedroom, my first show is at the end of July at the Buffalo Infringement Festival. I will be performing at the legendary Soundlab! I would not consider my music EDM music, as it is a journey and features more of a abstract and experimental soundscape.


Favorite production tools?
My best friend is the Maschine by Native Instruments.


Super important question: Bubbles or Sidewalk chalk? Which is more important for a successful Summer day?
This was a hard question. Only Buffaloians would know who the “Bubble Guy” is. I find that bubbles make everything better.


What are your Top 5 albums of all time no ifs, ands or buts. Any genre, any year.
I do not like this question. There is too much music for me to select my favorites. Not in any order…
1. J-Dilla – Donuts
2. Led Zeppelin – The Untitled Album
3. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
4. The Black Keys – Brothers
5. Do Magic Tapes count? If so all of The Magician Magic Tapes.


What was the most inspiring performance you have seen live? Was it a concert, a festival? Who were you with, and who did you see… why did it effect you so heavily?
Every time I go to a show, concert or a festival, it is honestly a life changing experience, as music MOVES me. I was especially affected by Lotus “Summerdance” in Ohio.  It was a two day festival last summer, in the beautiful Nelson Ledges Quarry Park. Lotus playing on a beach with a few close friends; That sealed off 2011 for me. Conspirator is a roller coaster ride of a show if you want inspiring.


Do you record all your music live or do you have an idea of an outline you want to follow before you hit record?
I pick out the samples I want, slice those up in Ableton and use Maschine as a VST. Then I slice those clips even more in Maschine and assign it to different groups and tweak each one differently, so I have an array of sounds to work with. Then it is all improv from there.


You’re pretty well-traveled for a music lover… How many shows have you attended so far in 2012?
Hang on, gotta count them all … I would say 15-20. Cannot wait to finish out the rest of 2012!


What is your spirit animal?
I like to prowl. RARRRR!!! Tiger.


How do YOU stay RUDE in your day to day life?
I stay RUDE by doing the complete opposite… I am all about ☮ ♥ and MUSIC!

I highly recommend chilling out to Kaaaaatastrophic’s tracks in a quiet, dark and breezy room. Experiemental and ambient soundscapes will fill your surroundings and take you into a different world.  Many of her productions, when listened to properly, hold some ASMR qualities to them–literal Braingasm.

This Hip Haze refix does exactly what the genre says: breathes you into a hip haze where dreamscapes are your new reality, and real life is lost in the details. Absolutely beautiful.

I always knew Kaaaaatastrophic to be a massive fan of Lil Wayne (before the “Lollipop” days, thank you.) and it’s great to see her getting back to her roots and sampling the man she’s loved for so long. Hazy, sexy, this is a great relaxing track to keep playing in the office or throughout any mundane task.

This hazy tropical fix to the slow and sexy ballad creates a new environment for “Climax”. I love that it starts so slow and unassuming, and then she starts to chop up the drums. Just the right amount of vocal usage. Less sleepy than most of her mixes, and more of an urgent vibe.. perfect for a song retitled (Deep) Climax…

This trip down memory lane mashes the fondness for yesterday with the intensity of the digital age we have come to know and love indifferently. Ooh Baby Baby keeps the romantic vibe, while again pulling at your breathing patterns and heart beat. I dare you to turn this on in any make out session–be prepared to fall in love.

I’m not even a fan of Drake, but I adore this refix. Romantic and unrelenting, this is the sound of a Summer romance blossoming.

Kaaaatastropic does not use Twitter or Facebook, but you can follow her progress on her Soundcloud.

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