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Kinki Roland ate my budgerigar

Kinki Roland

Article from The Mix, January 1995

Phone interviews, Internet interviews, they're all in a day's work for a music journalist. Never before have I conducted an interview with a budgerigar perched on my shoulder. But if you remember some of Kinki Roland's records, under aliases such as Terminator Benelux, Trance Uber Alles, Tranceparents and Tunnel Vision, you'll also remember the Budgie label on which they appeared.

Nothing can prepare you for meeting Kinki 'though, a German musician who has been living tn south London for the last five years, turning out a melodic style of Euro-techno which draws inspiration in equal parts from Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream.

A livewire personality who has released gay techno anthems such as 'Dinge Queen In the Mist' and 'Take Me Alive (Let Me Be Your Tupperwear)' on Flash Your Tits Records, Kinki also has a serious side, for which he uses the title Tunnel Vision. His new album has emerged under this sobriquet, and is titled O.B.E. I mistakenly assumed it was some kind of sardonic piss-take of the English honours system, but Kinki swiftly disabused me of the idea.

"It's called O.B.E for Out Of Body Experience. The name Tunnel Vision is also related to that. In the last year or so I have lost several friends to AIDS, and the whole experience has awakened an interest in spirituality and reincarnation. At the same time as all of this was happening, suddenly a lots of TV programmes appeared about rebirthing, out of body and near death experiences.

"With my friends dying of AIDS I was thinking about death a lot, and I wanted to write something which drew on those common experiences. Nothing is written or said much about these things, and people don't know how to deal with them. Tunnel Vision refers to the common sensation described by everyone who has had one of these experiences of travelling up through a tunnel toward the light, which seems to act as a gateway to the other side.

"The track 'Encounters', which I remixed especially for your readers, is about the journey to the other side, and the 'friends' who are supposed to meet you there. What I find so bizarre is, it's the same wherever you go, like you have an Eskimo woman somewhere in an igloo and she's had an out of body experience. I'm not some religious freak or anything, but I just won't deny things that are happening."

In Kinki's studio are many obscure and mouthwatering pieces of analogue kit, all found by scouring the local markets. Kinki runs everything from an Akai MPC60, preferring this to a computer sequencer, as he finds the screen display of a soft sequencer distracting. He runs all of his drums from there, as he'd rather to put his faith in the tighter timing of the MPC60 than rely on MIDI to Sync or CV and Gate.

Drum sounds are sampled from a variety of analogue sources, from the humble TR606 to the ubiquitous TR909, plus an extremely rare piece of kit, a Tandy Moog! I was amazed to see this keyboard with its 'Realistic' label, but even more surprised to see the legend, 'Sounds by Moog' just below Tandy's brand. It appears to be a cut-down Minimoog which was marketed by Tandy in the States, and Kinki was lucky to pick it up cheap from a market trader who obviously didn't know its rarity value.

The Concertmate MG 1 Moog is used for normal synth basslines, and sits comfortably next to his ancient Wasp and Yamaha CS01. Roland gear is also in evidence with a Juno 60, JX-3P, SH09 and perennial TB303 all occupying honoured positions. A Kenton Pro 2 takes care of the job of synching up the older gear with the MPC60 and Akai S1000.

Kinki plays out live with all of this gear and more. He's only learnt to DJ recently, because "I thought I'd better." A classically trained musician, recently he's dispensed with the tadpoles, claiming "I'm too lazy for that". He's much happier letting the music flow naturally. A mercurial personality, he has already moved on from the ambient excursions of Tunnel Vision, and is now doing hard kickin' acid. One thing's for sure. Whichever way his music moves next, Kinki's vision is never blinkered.

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Publisher: The Mix - Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

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The Mix - Jan 1995

Donated by: Colin Potter, Chris Moore

Coverdisc: Mike Gorman

Mixing It!

Re:Mix #7 Tracklisting:

04 Encounters

This disk has been archived in full and disk images and further downloads are available at - Re:Mix #7.

Interview by Roger Brown

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> Space cadets

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> Mixing It! USA

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