Alpha Quadrant is a new 80’s inspired female fronted synth act who has recently released an eponymous first EP.
So let’s talk (and listen)!
Headphones For Robots: Who are Alpha Quadrant? Star Trek fans?
Alpha Quadrant: Alpha Quadrant is the combined creative force of KC Killjoy and Kayla Bee. And yes Star Trek has played a founding role in this project.
HFR: How did you meet and start making music together? Could you tell us a bit about your influences?
AQ: We’ve known one another for several years now. Kayla would sing at karaoke bars every so often and post up little videos of herself singing acapella on Facebook. That struck a note with KC musically when he came across them when he was on tour with another band. Once home, KC proposed starting Alpha Quadrant and Kayla was beamed right up. We were immediately influenced by the Retro 80’s Era. Think Tron, Robocop, and classic arcade games like Galliga and Joust. If it sounds like sci-fi, it’s up our alley.
HFR: You have just released an eponymous first EP. What can you tell us about it?
AQ: Our first EP was a blend of the sounds we were most inspired by when developing our sonic imprint. The tracks range from Anamanthea, a solid groove with layers of unexpected sounds (sitar anyone?), to #Obsessed, a fast-paced satirical track inspired by the sounds of Gorgio Moroder. It was new territory for us both, and we wanted to experiment with what the genre had to offer.
HFR: What was your approach on writing music? Which are the steps you make when songwriting?
AQ: We consulted Starfleet Command via a secure subspace channel! Just kidding! In all seriousness, KC has a very vivid imagination when it comes to musical arrangement and sound design. He’ll sketch out a rough idea and then both of us will play around with the sounds. It eventually takes shape and Kayla begins writing the lyrics. The lyrical content is based upon the emotional impression of the song. Some songs sound more melancholy while others may be more uplifting. From there Kayla creates a storyline and begins to tell her tale.
HFR: Could you tell us a bit about your “go to” equipment? What do you use when writing a song and which are your favorite instruments?
AQ: We are #Obsessed with UHE Diva! It’s in every single track we do! We are also fond of Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2, Sonic Academy Ana 2, and a host of other software synths all cleverly programmed to sound like analog dream machines. Our DAW of choice is Ableton Live, we are still on version 9. We will switch to 10 soon! We do have a few hardware synth goodies too: Roland: Juno-106 and a JD-800. E-Mu Emulator 2+. Access Virus Ti2 Keyboard. A Clavia Nord Lead 2. Waldorf Microwave XT. We plan to use these on future releases as well as add a few new friends to the studio for them to play with.
HFR: Do you think Synthwave is the sound of space?
AQ: Not only space, but the sounds of futures passed as well! We’ve tried to capture that in our explorations within the genre and will continue to do so as the project evolves.
HFR: In a near future, will you go live? Do you have other projects?
AQ: We actually just went live for the first time in February with our friends Astari Nite, Grinder 6, and The Exploding Boy. It was a wonderful experience and we look forward to doing it again very soon with other talented artists. We’re crossing our fingers for a South Florida synth showdown with Moondragon and Night Raptor.
HFR: Last words?
AQ: Always remember to wash your hands and never trust a Klingon.