Who is the funk-nastiest Kentucky gentleman you've ever met?
Doesn't matter 'cause Caleb Cornett takes the cake. Better known as Amtrac, you may have seen Mr. Cornett around Miami, because he splits his time between the rolling hills of Louisville and our own city of skin and sin.
He just released a free mixtape, Hey There Kiddo, featuring 16 of the grooviest, sample-heavy disco jams we've heard in a minute. And now he's coming back to the big city this weekend to drop knowledge on the decks at both Bardot and Soho Beach House.
The mixtape follows the release of his debut album, Came Along, and it's heavily inspired by his favorite album, The Avalanches' Since I Left You. It's about 90-percent sampled, sounds lifted from '70s and '80s tracks, then distorted beyond recognition.
But don't think this release means Amtrac's taking a break. This dude never sleeps.
"I always just have to make music, like, once a week. If I don't do it, I kind of get a little stir crazy," he said. "I know a lot of people that aren't like that, and they get one record done and that's all they want to do is push this record to be the biggest thing. That's not how I've ever been."
Cornett's father raised him on music, mostly classic rock like Pink Floyd and Golden Earing. But he has never forgotten his first forays into electronic music. He was changed forever.
"I bought the Prodigy's Fat of the Land cassette tape twice 'cause I wore it out. That was the first thing that had beats that were heavy for electronic music. I thought it was probably cheesy until that point," he said. "And MTV was my one thing, that's how I found Prodigy. That's kind of weird to think now that all they play is reality TV. And my music videos from time to time."
Cornett's album singles "Came Along" and "I'm All Yours" were both featured on that network formerly known as Music Television, something of which he's quite proud. His tracks were also heavily sampled during recent episodes of hit show Jersey Shore. Not exactly his favorite program, but exciting nonetheless.
His proudest moment was the special premiere of his dark, conspiracy-tinged clip for "I'm All Yours," completely written, filmed, directed and scored by himself and close friend Cory Black. It's unnerving to be sure, his homage to beloved directors Stanley Kubrick and John Carpenter.
"When we got that on MTV, I thought that was super cool because that video is so fucking crazy," he said. "We just got all kinds of tweets like, 'What the fuck was just on the TV, I don't know what that was.' One of the girls from Teen Mom was like, 'I don't know what was this on the TV but it was terrifying.' That's awesome."
Cornett is certainly here to make his mark, and as EDM continues to explode among youth culture, he sticks to his guns. A self-proclaimed outcast to the mainstream, his music is devoid of hard wobbly drops and big-room builds, and that's the way he likes it.
"I'm definitely just still doing me, and I feel like that's important," he said. "I'm not trying to conform to anything. Everybody always tells me they know it's my sound and it sounds like I made it, which means a lot to me because I don't want it to sound like anything cookie-cutter."
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Amtrac w/ ESP and Rude Boy Sven. Saturday, September 15, 2012. Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Call 305-576-5570 or visit bardotmiami.com.
Amtrac. Sunday, September 16, 2012. Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Call 786-507-7900 or visit sohobeachhouse.com.