Amor, Est. goes from classical guitar to digital mayhem of 8-bit bleeps and jittery samples

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If you're one of those folks who thinks electronic music is made by people lacking the manual dexterity to play "real" instruments, then Amor, Est. would like to prove you wrong. The local producer, born Steele Kempton, has a dozen years of classical guitar training, but preferred the expansive possibilities of digital production to the limitations of a single instrument.

Kempton has had a busy year thus far, including a full-length album, a handful of singles on beat compilations and a few out-of-state shows. He kicked off the year with the release of City Birds, an eclectic LP that wanders through an abandoned amusement park of 8-bit bleeps, jittery percussion sequences and WTF-inducing samples. Check out the album's second track, "Demoiselle Crane."

The defining characteristic of Amor, Est.'s creative output is a personal quest for satisfaction -- not the hedonistic abandon of dance music but a quest to explore the boundaries of possibility and creativity. It's thoughtful, technique-based composition rather than pulsing loops. "Getting signed and getting famous, it'd be great," he says over beers. "If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't happen, I'd be fine making music for the rest of my life even if I'm the only one who's gonna hear it."

The likelihood that he'll be the only one who hears his music diminishes more with each passing month. He had a tune, "Death to Club Pets," included on a compilation called Trouser Trousers released by Fort Collins-based producer Dinosaurus Rex, and then had "The Mustard Tiger" included on a compilation from the global beat consortium known as the Birdview Crew last month.

Although his local gigs are sporadic, you can check out his live stylings tomorrow night, Saturday, July 7, at the Meadowlark with DJ Stew Brrd, Kitty Crimes and Dawn Safari.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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