What inspired the album?
I believe artists make self-portraits with songs they create. I wanted to do another self-portrait which screams ‘me’, but I didn’t know how that would sound before I started jamming with my machines. I locked myself in the studio and quickly made a few sketches which were very euphoric, almost naive and charged with raw energy. I sent the demos to my friend Gerd Janson, who runs Running Back. He loved them, and said yes to the project.
How did you finish it?
I borrowed an E-mu SP1200 sampler/drum machine from someone and was blown away by its character. It adds harmonics in the mids and highs and a lot of dirt and punch. I prefer the workflow inside a computer for drum programming, so I re-sampled a lot of drum hits through the SP and sequenced them through the drum rack in Ableton. The SP made me dig deeper into sampling and I bought two rack-mount devices: the Emax I and E-mu E64, responsible for most of the melodies on the record. I sampled plug-ins like G-force’s Minimonsta and Arturia’s CS80 and recorded some of the sounds through various tape delays like the Roland Space Echo to add colour.
The E64 doesn’t add strong colour to the sound, but the modulation matrix and the capabilities of the sampler are amazing, so I used it all over the record. As I got obsessed with the digital artefacts, I bought another cheap device, the Alesis Midiverb, which I used very subtly in the mixes, but it’s all over the record too. It’s a preset-based budget reverb; I liked it because it didn’t sound very natural.
The Pioneer/Toraiz AS-1 synth inspired me to make ‘Five’, one of the strongest tracks on the record. The microtuning capability and low/highpass filter combo is special. I also used a Korg Arp Odyssey, my favourite monosynth, and a rare Russian polysynth called Tom 1501 on ‘The Russian’. The keyboard doesn’t have midi functions so I had to record it all live. Novation Launchpad helped me capture all the loops live. I mixed the album with a cheap Mackie mixer, but I recorded all the pre-masters through something special: the Thermionic Culture Vulture Super 15 tube pre-amp.
From L-R: KiNK's home studio, Korg Arp Odyssey, ADAM A8X, Novation Launchpad, Roland TR8 Rhythm Performer, E-mu SP1000, Alesis Midiverb II, TC Electronic Stereo Chorus Flanger, Thermionic Culture Vulture Super 15, Roland RE210 Space Echo, Roland RE501 Chorus Echo, Solton Cathedral Echo E-3000
KiNK 'Playground' is out now on Running Back
This is taken from the November issue of Mixmag