10th October 2013
Kino Oko face to face
Shuffle grooves in the 80ies, giving music for free and the Judgement Day
Interview by Nathan Lichter
Your music is really hard to define. How would you describe your style to someone who is new in the electronic scene?
Well, personally it doesn’t matter what genre my music is. It is hard to classify my music even for me as an author, and I’m familiar with electronic music scene for more than 15 years. But if you force me to describe my style I would say that it is close to styles like techno in terms of tools I use as a composer, trance in terms of the mood I create music, funk by choosing particular instruments, old-school electronics while you look at atmosphere and background strings solutions, disco in rhythm sections, rave if you look on synth lead instruments. Got it?
What can you tell us about the trance and techno scenes in Poland?
Nothing actually, I don’t play in Poland often. But as I observe the scene in Poland is small, it’s gravitating on techno side more but still I can’t say it’s big enough to call it a scene as most of us understand this word. It’s more like a small society; someone is doing music here, someone there, even some well-known names, some unknown. I see new faces from time to time. What is really important and makes me happy is that it’s alive. Size doesn’t matter; people are really active and original here in Poland, that’s what matters.
You’re one of those artists who does not care about fashion in music. You have your own style, and it does not come without a price, does it?
You are probably right; therefore I can’t answer your question. I don’t know this price since I’ve never tasted it. There is only one scenario going on in my life at the moment, no crossroads ahead. I don’t know what price I pay to be Kino Oko. It’s my life and I do what I feel is right and what makes me fly. I never betrayed myself as a musician. I feel good with it. I don’t expect any prize and gratification for my work now. I know I do it for the people who can’t offer me anything except loyalty and mental support. And that counts a lot. Actually I think that there are a lot of artists like me in all genres of music that can tell the same story. This is a signature of the time we live in. If you come to music business for money, you probably took the wrong path, or you have a serious offer, with all elements needed to be launched as a product. But I believe this kind of show business is reserved for professionals with marketing budgets which we lack in electronic music, they are rare. Combining such people with popular, well produced and simply music does the job.
Your music is influenced from the sound of the 60s, 70s and mostly from the 80s. What was so special in the 80s?
I don’t take it that way but if you have a pressure to categorize I would say that past in music is even more important than future. There is no future in present times without looking in the past. My music is a mirror of my musical experience, everything I listen to is somehow present in what I do. You noticed 60s to 80s because that period is most flamboyant and creative time for music industry in XX century. You noticed that period because it has a hell strong signature of uniqueness. There is no specialist needed to judge whether it’s disco rhythm, shuffle groove with rhythm guitar known as funk or epic progressive rock theme here or there. These genres are well known. People know that almost instinctively, fortunately they are educated at such levels. But it is much harder to call and recognize classical music solutions and influences, blues or country or some unique achievements I developed myself. People see and hear mostly obvious things.
Original artists have to do a bigger effort to get gigs around the world. What are your methods? How can people who appreciate your music help you?
Again, if you come to music business for money first you have to play what is actually popular. If you have balls big enough to stay opposite and deliver proposals which don’t correspond with present trends you must accept that you are in the margin. And this is actually fine for most of the artists trying to create unique proposals, or they have no choice as rookies. The real problem is that there is a massive chance you will be in this margin forever and you will never materialize your work as so called success. Then you verify your point of view on music and go the easy way where “they are”, go the rough path where “you are” or quit business disappointed. Lucky you if you like to do music that is popular and you do it well. Then you succeed if you work hard.
What do you think about the progressive trance music in these days?
I don’t know really, I don’t listen to progressive trance. I hope it’s good and it reaches in expression and music.
Who are you favorite original artists?
Favorite artists are like waves, they come and go. Better to say what I have on my MP3 player now: Lacksley Castell, Gregory Isaacs and Black Uhuru, Grateful Dead – Golden Road live concerts, Aloe Blacc, Jack White – Blunderbuss, Sina Vodjani, The Meters Discography, Eagles, Slash, Antony and the Johnsons – Crying Light, Cream – Disraeli Gears, Modest Mussorgsky, Carl Orff, Lana Del Rey – Born to Die and Queen.
You announced that you're going to work on an experimental ep with Jurek Przezdziecki . What can we expect?
Can’t answer that question since I simply don’t know. It won’t be a big deal, just another EP with stunning and original music addressed to people who have never heard such music before :D
You have many tracks that are not dance floor oriented. Have you ever thought about changing direction?
I change directions every time I start a new track. That makes me happy about music and creative process. I don’t have a pressure to copy any of my previous tracks and paraphrase it. I sometimes think “wow, this is really good, I’d like to have the whole LP so strong”, but that’s it. Copying myself is something which would kill me fast. Trying to copy something is like shackles for me. It’s not possible for me to even imagine I could approach music creation this way. Where is a sense in such model?
And now for the opposite question: It seems the more and more artists producing tracks which are effective only on the dance floor. They are trying to please the crowd with the same tricks. What do you think about it?
It’s fucking shame and pain, it’s a disaster and catastrophe for everyone who must listen to it. It’s like mental death for those who create it and death of senses for these who expose themselves to radiation of such muddy shit. Dance floor oriented music can be interesting, believe me.
Who can we blame on this? The crowd for accepting this, or the artists who provide the music?
Both. And promoters for making this possible. They all should go and pray the Lord since they will pay for it on Judgment day.
Is there a good recipe for producing music which is effective on the dance floor and at home?
Yes, I have some tracks that prove it’s possible. However it’s not a goal for me.
Not long time ago you release a very good and free album. How do you feel about giving music for free?
I like it. I do something and give it next day. I see people listen to it, have fun, giving me deep and emotional feedback, analyzing and understanding what I do. What else I could ever want from my public? I’m happy I have fans of this kind, people listening to my music are like my music: deep, interesting and entertaining, friendly and bright, emotionally involved, complex and full. They are connoisseurs of complexity and advocating to simplicity at same time, like to learn new emotions, like to read music and get something additional from it: mental and musical experience. Back to track: electronic music industry is not able to give me revenue I expect to receive from music as a product but it is not a reason for me to stop and cry in the corner. Playing gigs is more profitable at my stage and I’m ok with such a way of earning money from music.