This Philadelphia based solo project has given drum ‘n’ bass music an impressive alternative edge, mainly due to combining that style with harsher industrial or calmer ambient soundscapes, and dedicating countless hours just experimenting with the many samples that will eventually set the wheels in motion for his next score.
With the album “Repetition & Texture” available now on the French label M-Tronic, and already receiving high levels of praise from the critics, Richard Hobbs catches a few words with the man himself Kevin Potts….(December 2002)

1. Please give us a brief introduction to Kaltesglas?
Kaltesglas began as Weakener, which was a side project to explore some drum ‘n’ bass music. However, it quickly developed into my main project.

2. What’s symbolic about the bands title?
Well, it means “cold glass,” which fits the sound. The music can be harsh and cold and almost brittle at times, and a lot of the themes have to do with observing things from a distance, relating to events and emotions on an objective level.

3. You are based in Philadelphia, but signed to a French label…What was your reasoning for this?
Well, when I initially sent out the demo, I also sent it to some American labels, but I never received any response. Laurent knew my music when I was doing Weakener, so I think he provided me the best opportunity.

4. I believe you are also active in other music projects?
Well, Cage Decay was my first project, but I don’t work with it so much anymore. It is primary an industrial-house-trance project, completely instrumental. Not many people are interested in the sound though, because it’s too hard for house people and too soft for industrial people, and there are no words to sing along to. Bloodflowers is my ambient project, and I have released an EP on Ad Noiseam in Germany. I am still working with this project as well, and a bunch of exclusive tracks have been popping up on comps here and there.

5. I was originally going to categorise the music of Kaltesglas as Drum & Bass, but there also contains strong references towards Industrial and Ambient as well. How would you best define this crossover sound of yours?
Well, I’m never completely happy listening to one type of music, and I was never happy creating just one kind of music either. There are a lot of different influences. I think the foundation is drum ‘n’ bass, but I mixed in a lot of the harsh, atonal noises from industrial and some nice ambient work as well. I like albums that have little bits of ambient interludes between the beats, and I tried to do that with the album. On the next record, you will probably hear a lot of dub influence.

6. What bands do you look upon as mentors of Kalteglas?
Bill Laswell in all of his incarnations. Haujobb and Dryft are also really excellent.

7. The album “Repetition & Texture” was recorded at the Batcave studios in Philadelphia. I believe it is a popular choice of studio for many acts, but what in particular attracted you to its services?
The Batcave was my home studio.

8. The rather eye-catching artwork on the albums digi pack cover was also designed by yourself…. Is graphical design your main day to day job?
Yes. Right now I own my own graphic design business, doing mostly corporate graphics and websites. I like to do all of my own album artwork because it makes the release more complete to me … I think it would be very weird to have someone design a cover for my music. But for “Repetition and Texture,” I wanted to create something visually exciting that the listener could look at for more than five seconds.

9. Can you describe the process involved in constructing the music for a typical Kalteglas track?
It’s a lot of experimentation. I go through tons of samples, picking and choosing, then mix them all together. Once the beats are in place, I start looking for bass and ambient samples to fill in the track. Some tracks take a few hours, others take months.

10. What are your favoured sources for collecting samples?
There are a lot of great places on the internet. I also have a lot of sample CDs, and I record a lot of my own samples as well.

11. I like the way you’ve not tied the album down to any one specific theme. What inspires your creative visions?
Mostly feelings and emotions. I like each song to have something behind it, so I give them descriptive titles that might relate to a time or place or particular feeling.

12. I’m intrigued as to how you came up with “headache” as a title in particular…?
Well, that song took months and months to get where I wanted it, and there are about fifteen different versions in my archives. Anyway, its pretty long, and has some really harsh distortions, and after listening to it, it would just give me a headache. There was a time where I couldn’t listen to it all the way through because my ears hurt. After I discovered that, I made it even longer.

13. What do you imagine a “Passage to hell” to be like?
That song reflects a journey into the mind of a disturbed person. Its not hell in a religious context, but hell inside of a person, pain and suffering and all that stuff. That particular song was on the original demo, and it remained unchanged.

14. How did the three remixes on the album come to be there?
Well, Platelet did a remix for my Weakener album, and I really dig his style – he sort of has this minimal, Photek-type sound with lots of space. I think Mimetic does great stuff as well, and Laurent got him and Mlada Fronta (who was on M-Tronic at the time) to do remixes. I had done a remix for Mlada on their previous album.

15. They say there is a time and place for everything…so where does “Repetition & Texture” fit into the equation?
It’s the first step to bigger things. It took the Weakener project to a new level, and it will pave the way for the new album.

16. Any final comments you might wish to include?
Thanks for the interview. And to the people who dig this release, just wait until the next one.