I first came across Kauf in 2012 when I was music surfing through the web and stumbled upon the song "When you're out". Not knowing who he was at the time, I found that I hit the Holy Grail of songs. I quickly became a fan. And being the true devoted fan that I am, I reached out to him on the Facebooker to let him know how great I thought his song was. Much to my surprise, Ronald Kaufman (aka Kauf) responded with a kind "Thank you" and ever since then, he has kept me updated on the release of all his Holy Grails, including all of the projects he has been remixing.
In August of 2013 Kauf released his first EP, "As Much Again". It's a small package of songs that you just wanted to hit repeat with, hoping that they never end. Since then, Kauf has gone on to open up for the band Cut Copy in select cities and has remixed songs for artist like Labyrinth Ear. There is also the new and anticipated remix of Polica - "Chain My Name" (see below).
When I flew to Los Angeles to meet with Kauf for an interview, I have to admit, I was bit nervous. Not only was I going to pick his brain about his music, but I was also going into it as someone that had thought it was some of the most glorious stuff I had ever heard. As I made my way to the top of the ACE Hotel rooftop in downtown LA, I prepared a list of things that I wanted to ask. But as soon he arrived, the interview became less scheduled and took on a relaxed and sweet life of its own.
As the drinks started to flow, so did the conversation.
Barby Garcia: How did your music journey start? Did it happen before your move to LA
KAUF: I had been trying to do music for a long time. I was in band in high school and college and whatnot. But it wasn't until a couple of years after I moved out here that I actually got into buying equipment, instead of trying to do everything digitally on the computer. I bought some synthesizers, and some cool stuff.
BG: But you made all this music at your apartment?
KAUF: Yeah. I made it all at my place.
BG: Tell me about how you got hooked up doing the Polica remix?
KAUF: We reached out to them, actually. I had a remixed a couple of male singers before, and I wanted to try something with a female voice. And I love Polica records. I heard the song "Chain My Name" sort of right before we were trying to figure out who we were going to approach. I was just listing to that song over and over. So, we reached out. And they were actually the first on our list to reach out to. And they said yes. They said "we like you music", and they sent us the stems.
BG: What's next for Kauf?
KAUF: I would say my new album is in line with the newer tracks of my EP, "In Tow", and "The Closest". There's more prominent guitar work and less heavy compression. I've added flutes and some Indian and African percussion. A lot more variations in tempos as well - There are a few tracks that are well into real dance music bpm territory. It will likely be 9 songs, though there are 2 others that might make the cut or maybe be used as B-sides. The lyrics are all mostly autobiographical and stem from trying to look objectively at my childhood relationships instead of through the lens of culture or what is "normal" or a commonplace, and also my failed relationships is my early 20's - basically me trying to find out how to have healthy relationships... it should be out early next year.
Photography by David Cortes
Latest Tracks // Kauf
Fresh Release // Polica Remix - Chain My Name