Say what you wanna say, but you have to give Strahil Velchev this: the man’s a powerhouse. Recording and playing live under the KiNK alias, he went on to become one of the finest purveyor’s of funk in techno and house. What it is, by definition, ain’t exactly clear. And that is the beauty of it.
KiNK’s music is unifying in the best possible way. Channeling the spirit and feeling of a time where it didn’t really matter who the faces behind the music were, KiNK plays with the elements of genres and sub-genres as if the future of it all is still wide-open. At the same time it could be accused of retro-fetishism, as much as the Pope himself is infallible.
The pure need to recreate moments, feelings and experience – rather than carbon copies of existing designs – was what started KiNK’s production work. Hailing from Bulgaria, it was nearly impossible to get your hands on all the records and music that fed into a system of raves, clubs and record shops that seemed far away from Sofia, and financially it might as well have meant another galaxy. Wanting to DJ without having access to the tracks that spun the carousel meant that you had to create them yourselves. So, here we go with a private bootlegger gone public mastermind and one of the loudest voices in house, techno and beyond.
From KiNK’s early productions with Neville Watson to his smash-hit for Ovum, a cerebral album for Macro, tons of remixes & tracks and his mind-bending live act, Playground seems to take all that into a blender. Simultaneously a sound- summary, the harvest of a field of ideas, and the exhibition of an artist in his prime, it also works as a sort of KiNK dictionary: avant-garde soundscapes stand next to boisterous bangers, classic club tracks and peak time emotions find their idiosyncratic and contemplative counterparts – all of it coming down like a torrent in a drought.