MNS Podcast 010 | KiNK

Strahil Velchev aka KiNK graced us with an insane live + DJ set for Midnight Shift x Zouk: Now is Found on May 18 2012. Here, his exclusive set is recorded for the 10th Midnight Shift podcast.

Interview courtesy of kissmyculture

What's your "live" set equipment setup like?
I change it quite often, it depends on the luggage I can take with me, but the core of my current setup is a Macbook, armed with Ableton and max4live, controlled with two Novation Launchpads, Novation X-Station (a keyboard, midi controller and audio / midi interface), a very exotic sensor control, called "The Ribbon" by Eowave (looks like a lazer sword), Akai lpd mini (pads and knobs), some simple things like a sustain pedal and my headphones, which I use as microphone.

What about these gears that works perfectly for you?
I love the Launchpad, I don't know how can I make a computer based live p.a. without it. So versatile, reliable and small! I have to mention I want to work on a full analog setup, without computer or other digital devices, it wont happen soon, but all the synths I bought for this adventure are by the German brand MFB, i love their concept, not much hidden menus, all is simple and compact. Which is essential for touring and playing in dark, crowded places.

Do you think playing "live" adds greater value to a set instead of just DJing?
I don't think so, being a good selector with huge music knowledge and eventually learning how to use the available equipment to perfection or being a good scratch DJ is equally hard as to produce a track or to perform it "live". I used to prefer to listen to a good DJ set in the club, instead of live, but now the technology gives us amazing possibilities and often a dance music live act sounds as good as a DJ set. I think both types of performances are equally good, if they are done well.

It's like getting a producer to the DJ booth. Is that the next evolution for future DJs?
Yes i believe the border between DJing and playing "live" becomes smaller and smaller. Often after my live set I speak to the people on the dancefloor and they say - "wow that was a great DJ set!". For the regular people a club performance with some gadgets is a DJ set and I don't see nothing wrong with that. I play some keys live, but also I use a lot of DJ tricks or sometimes I spin a record over my music. A good DJ set also is a live performance and I see only good things in merging those types of performance together.

You have a hearing condition called tinnitus. How is it at the moment?
Well, it's an irreversible condition, but I don't feel it getting worse and after some time my brain started to ignore this tiny sound i hear permanently. But since i got this problem I use earplugs every time when i expose myself on loud noise.

That doesn't affect your performance does it?
Well, it did in a way, when i started to dj with hearing protection - i couldn't hear the music very well and i did some bad transitions between the tracks, but after couple of gigs I learnt how to handle that. Otherwise my hearing is still pretty good for my age, as the specialists say. The tiny ringing i have is pretty quiet, i can hear it only in completely isolated, silent room. However, it is there and its a signal that i have to be careful from now on.

What can we expect from this set?
Considering the live performance - there will be contrasts. Deep chords and piano solos  vs. ecstatic techno stabs. Funky basslines vs. raw acid tweaking. I will DJ a bit as well, so i will surprise myself as well, i am about to burn some cds right now!

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MNS Podcast 010: KiNK