In this series we'll be asking a variety of names from the scene to point out who and what they believe is being overlooked, so they get a chance to big up the stuff that deserves more attention.
For this edition Najaaraq caught up with KiNK, the Bulgarian with an enthusiasm for Detroit techno, who toured so much over the past year that ‘music almost started to feel like work’. Here providing some illuminative tips on overlooked music.
KiNK: I found this guy from Ukraine, Stanislav Tolkachev. I just heard a couple of records he made. I like his direction in techno, and I quite like his twist on the sound of Jeff Mills and Robert Hood. He’s very futuristic, but without the obvious drum sound that you can recognise in Mills. He’s also a good DJ so I’m quite excited about him in general.
It’s been a secret weapon in my DJ sets for a while - a really trippy track from 1997.
Najaaraq: Did you say creepy?
KiNK: It's trippy but also creepy, you can use both [laughs]. It’s a Neneh Cherry remix, she is a trip pop/hip hop artist, but this remix is really amazing. It’s very slow, it’s a house track - progressive, in the sense of having a slow development. It’s dark but interesting, its timeless. I like to look for music that is futuristic but also timeless.
Najaaraq: What happens when you play it?
KiNK: You have to find the right moment to play this track. Its not a typical floor filler, it’s very slow and dark, but when you find the right moment, and when you mix it in the right way, the response is amazing. But you really have to think about how you are going to introduce this track to people.
KiNK: You know, with the internet now, it’s just so hard to concentrate on all the music that’s been produced, and to be able to give the time to such a big project as an album. Normally you reserve some music - listen to the first couple of seconds of the track, then the middle, and then the end, and eventually you decide if you like it or not. It’s not nice, but that’s how we listen to music nowadays. So I decided to look back, and the album I think was overlooked is by Autechre. The album wasn’t actually officially released, its a CD just called ‘Radio Mix’. It’s a mix album only with their stuff, with remixes and original tracks. They actually made this radio mix to promote their album Chiastic Slide - in ‘97 I think. But I actually think this promotion album that’s not for sale is much better than the album they used it to promote.
Najaaraq: Why is it so much better?
Autechre had a period in the late 90s where they were very melodic, and still very rhythmic and more traditional, until the beginning of the 2000s they became really experimental, and not so easy to understand. I think this radio mix crossed the bridge between the melodic stuff and the later stuff.
KiNK: DJ Mush from Lyon, France. So this guy: He runs a record label called Sharivari Records, which is also definitely a label people have to watch, also he opened a record store called Chez Emile. The reason I like him so much is that I saw him DJ and then we played a couple of times together, and he is great, basically moving between everything; from disco to techno, then to house. He is a very eclectic DJ, he can play any kind of music while still serving the crowd. Because normally you see two types of DJs: There’s those who are really just pleasing the crowd, they don’t have personality music-wise, they just play what people want. And then there’s the type of DJ who wants to educate people, but sometimes you see them only play for around 10 people. So this guy manages a combination of both. And I have to say, when I am looking for fresh music, I just open his Facebook page because he posts so much good stuff.
KiNK: Macro, a label based in Berlin. It’s run by Stefan Goldmann and Finn Johannsen. Stefan is a world-renowned producer, and DJ Finn is a music journalist and a great DJ. Currently he is selecting music in Hardwax, which of course is an institution in music.
But lets get back to Macro. The idea of the label was to release music that was overlooked, besides Stefans original work, and they have done pretty well so far. They have released interesting stuff, but also accompanied with remixes by famous artists. Even though they are doing well I still think they deserve more attention.
Najaaraq: Overall what makes this label special?
KiNK: What makes this label special they release music from different moments of time: Stuff that has been produced in the 80s, as well as music that is being produced now. The common element is that it’s contemporary. It doesn't matter when it was released, the label was not dedicated to old school or to a specific sound, they look for something new, regardless of the production. They release timeless music.
Words: Najaaraq Vestbirk