Just a couple years ago, Kevin Moultrie was frontman of highly regarded local rockers the Ten Thousand, who were all the rage at UCLA and beyond. Now based in the Bay Area, where he is a graduate student in architecture at UC Berkeley, Moultrie today unveiled his new project KNXVES (say it like the cutlery). He calls it “post-soul,” a term, he says, “that designates both my music and myself … Something that has the hallmarks of soul, blues, R&B, hip-hop and rock and roll (all generated from black culture) but is completely removed from its context and history. No matter how separated I am from my community, or my history, my blackness is FACT.”
Drawing influences from the likes of DJ Shadow and Death Grips, KNXVES’ first single “Reasons Pt. 2” is powerful stuff — heavy, grimy beats underneath Moultrie’s half-sung, half-spoken venting, warped by some vein-popping distortion. The song is the first from an EP that will be released Sept. 21, and in his self-directed video, KNXVES is alone with his gear and his lights and really flips the switch.
||| Watch: The video for “Reasons Pt. 2”