We know Strahil Velchev a.k.a KiNK since he was part (and technically still is) of the friend collaborated electronic music project Porno BPM in the early 2000. Since then he steadily path his way into the dance music circuit. One of his very first releases which draw attention to him was for Ovum and consisted a sample from Jeff Mills, which he officially received a permission to use. For a while he was mostly booked for remixes, because of his niche analog approach and was a persistent to the Ovum’s showcases. This is the way most artists claim their place into the dance music industry – specific sound and flow of releases.
The thing which made him really stand out of the crowd is his live sets which during the years he perfected to an impressive heights. We have been to his lives numerous times and somehow he always manage to deliver a memorable experience – no matter if he is performing in front of a small crowd or a huge festival. Speaking of huge festivals, in the summer of 2018, KiNK trumped his way on the big stages of the biggest and renown festivals. Something he truly deserves!
He is also very demanding and critical about his performances – so much that he usually goes and asks his friends after the performance – “Was this OK?”, “Was that OK?” When you tell him “It was amazing!”, he usually says “Nah… This or that needs perfecting”. So we were genuinely surprised when we received in our promo box his Live recorded set from Cocoon this summer in Ibiza. Somehow he has been persuaded to release his live as commercial CD!
Thanks to that we can enjoy 70 minutes of pure dance perfection. As he admitted in a Facebook post: “Delivering a tracklist for the CD was really hard”. We totally understand that, because his performances usually consist of a few of his already released tracks – for example The Russian and the discoid Perth. The rest is something he made up in his studio while jamming the day before the gig or just improvisation happening on the fly. One of the cons of listening his live without manage to watch it at the same time is that he is really performing surrounded with his gadgets – adding some live effects, dropping punching claps, pitching hi hats and other wizardies. Sometimes he even let people from the audience to participate. Generally, there is a lot to see during his performances and sadly this cannot be captured in an audio recording.
This however helps on focusing on the music journey that unfolds during the mix – it starts in a rather funky manner and then imperceptibly transits into the euphoric The Russian. After that KiNK goes in a darker direction with a track from his alter ego kirillik, accompanied with the timeless vocal sample from Beach Boys. He again goes in a little funkier direction, then again dive into more darker and hypnotic vibes with Trans and Dynamo, leading to the edit of Rachel Row’s Use The Rhythm. Later, the version of the disco monster Perth we hear in the mix is spiced with another timeless acapella by First Choice. Ironically, one of the most memorable tracks form the mix is I Remember with its vocal hook and nostalgic piano loops. Till the end the vibe swings between acid fuelled tracks, strings and funky organs delivering pleasant ups and downs, capturing the listener’s attention.
KiNK’s Live at Cocoon Ibiza is a successful snapshot of his gigs which delighted many revellers this summer. It’s exactly a snapshot, because we know that the next time we have the opportunity to listen to him we will be equally delighted and surprised about what’s going on with his ever evolving performances.
KiNK – Live at Cocoon Ibiza is forthcoming October 12, 2018 via Cocoon Recordings.