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KiNK: Broadcasting from the concrete towers of Bulgaria

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You mentioned that you’d initially planned a more functional album; this was perhaps what I was expecting, so Under Destruction came as a surprise.

It was a surprise for me as well. But I’ve always been interesting in experimental music as well, not only music with function. When I had this material, I was not really scared to show it, and I thought that the format as an album was a really good option. I’d had the desire earlier to experiment, but it was not that easy to establish myself internationally as a producer. Right now though, I feel strong enough to take risks, stronger than before. So now is a good time to do it. 

My goal was to make something more interesting, and in the first listen it might be a shock to listeners. But if you look at the back catalogue of artists like Aphex Twin or Autechre, their stuff was very musical in the beginning; and suddenly it become more and more abstract. These are artists who were searching for new forms of expression, and over time their music became more and more complex. Perhaps those later works, they wouldn’t have been accepted without the previous works that were more accessible. So I didn’t plan that way of evolution with my music, but it happens. And I’m excited about it. It doesn’t mean I want to move away from the club scene, but I think the more influential electronic acts, they always search for something.

It was not a planned project, it was inspiration that came from something else. In my case, it was first the equipment that I used, and secondly the environment that I created it in. For a couple of months before I decided to do the record with Macro Recordings, I was talking to different friends and DJs and sending them the music. And there were quite controversial reactions. Some of them really, really loved it, while some of them didn’t really find anything in it for themselves. So I’m happy to see approval from fans now it is nearing release. 

If you think about the KINK sound in terms of what you hear in your club records, it’s a mixture of those warm house sounds, intertwined with the darker techno elements as well. Listening to the album, those contrasts are still there.

Absolutely. Everything is a little harsher, but I can explain that. The past couple of years, house music is the new rock music, and some genres of this sound, they became very clean in their production. When I first got excited about house and techno music many years ago, I got into that music because it sounded different, it sounded like nothing else compared to the pop music on the radio. Nowadays, when I listen to a big house record, sometimes this sounds less experimental or adventurous than a pop record from Beyonce or Justin Timberland. And I think it’s our duty to change that. House and techno artists used to be open to discovery. What I liked about electronic music, firstly with house and techno and then later when I listened to music from back in the 50s and 60s; this music still sounds futuristic. Not like the future we imagined, but the future that never happened. That’s something similar that I try and achieve with my music, I want my music to live in a parallel reality. Somewhere in a future that will never come.  

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When did the decision come to partner with Macro Recordings to help you tell the story?

First of all, I am good friends with Stefan for 10 years now, and he is probably the first real electronic music recording artist that I met, so I view him as a mentor to me as an artist. For this project, the doors of the label were always open, but it took me a while to decide which label I wanted to work with for this project. I had a couple of other options in terms of which labels I was going to release it with, there were several big labels who wanted to release it regardless of the sound. So I had to make a decision that was not so easy. For example, Macro is not quite as popular as some of the other labels, so I had to think about the positive and negative sides of doing this record with a more boutique label. It took me a while to decide, but right now I’m happy with the choice. Even before the album has been released, I can see the positive fruits of that decision. First of all, I am good at expressing myself with sound, but Stefan also helped me translate these ideas into words. This is very important, because if I have an idea but I don’t know how to explain that idea to the audience, then 50 percent of the magic is lost.

How do you plan to communicate the concept of the album? Many might download it off Beatport as opposed to buying on vinyl; it doesn’t leave as much room for expression.

We try to cover all the possible formats, and we are looking for a different type of audience. However, art has not only one meaning, but several meanings. We don’t try to reach only those who want to think deeply about the concept, we also those who will just be interested in the club tracks. The music itself should have sonic value in and of itself, for those who would just like to download the album without artwork or reading about what stands behind it. Otherwise, it becomes a very silly form of modern art; like painting two dots on a canvas, and then writing a book with an explanation of what that means, or otherwise you can’t enjoy the picture. I want to give something extra with the concept behind it, but also the music itself should be strong enough to lead without any explanation. I hope it is [laughs]. 

Looking to catch KiNK in the flesh? He’ll be performing live at this years Edge Of the Lake Festival for those of you lucky enough to be in Switzerland on 27-29th June! Click here for more information and tickets

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