the 666 – Inigo Kennedy

This week we chat to one of Britain’s most reliable and captivating techno DJs and musicians: Inigo Kennedy.

Regarded by many, myself included, as a DJs DJ; Inigo is quite frankly one of the best DJs I’ve heard. His cerebral edged techno sets make for essential listening, his 3 deck extended session at Darkfloor Live last year no exception.

In the studio he delivers unique sounding deep and solid work complete with his trademark IDM slants from his accomplished synth wizardy. His tracks both stand out and slot into a set with ease – quite the difficult ask. And for a genre largely void of melody, discounting the Detroit sound, he injects musicality into the often relentless march of a stripped machined techno set.

His latest release on Token; Cathedral shows just how he can work the mind with that downbeat synth line that shivers your spine and moves your body. It’s one of those rare tracks that sounds both fresh and classic – timeless.

For his first 666 we discuss six of his secret weapons, six of his must own IDM albums and six labels that have influenced his path in music. All of the tracks embedded below can be watched as one with this playlist.

Question 1.
Six secret weapon tracks? What is it about these tracks; Is it the back to basics approach; ‘that’ synth line or just the sheer awesomeness of it as whole?

Surgeon – As You Breathe Here Now
This is a pretty recent track so perhaps hard to know if it is a secret weapon of the future, but for the time being it is incredible and even more so on a big system. [It] brings on the goosebumps so can’t argue with that! Definitely not an obvious choice and missed by a lot of people so even more special for that reason I think.

Curve – Falling Free (Aphex Twin remix)
Always a mood changer and guaranteed to be one that means a lot to at least one person in the room (other than myself). Being a big fan of Curve back in early the 90’s it’s like a perfect combination too.

Portishead – We Carry On
(especially when combined with ‘Prowler‘ by Surgeon)
The Portishead track alone is dark and fantastic but it’s the surprising combination with the Surgeon track that is a secret weapon really. When the mix works it’s just massive and suddenly makes a lot of sense.

I’ve tried the combination many times and it will almost always stick in mind as a highlight of the set; just delivers an emotion and energy that’s hard to beat.

Jeff Mills – Phase 4
This track has a brutal raw power, a kind of punk attitude, and it’s a bit of a risky track to drop in the middle of a night especially these days. That qualifies for secret weapon status in my book.

The Prodigy – Charly (Asymmetric edit) or
Inigo Kennedy – Preliminary Statements (A1)
It’s hard to pick between these two tracks of mine as they both do the trick for similar reasons; the ‘Charly‘ edit has to be more secret I suppose since I’m the only person to have it but Preliminary Statements (the first vinyl release on Asymmetric) is kind of a cult track too.

The great story behind the ‘Charly‘ edit is that I made it in the afternoon before I played with The Prodigy in the Czech Republic many years ago and a couple of weeks later someone from XL called up asking about it since Liam had become curious.

Still does the job big time.

Choice – Acid Eiffel
Without doubt a track that brings a smile to faces as it means a lot to a lot of people. It’s always like a bolt from the blue to play classics like this one though. Secret weapon? I don’t know.

Question 2.
Your six must own/listen electronica/IDM albums you couldn’t live without. The standard desert island scenario question.

Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92
Utterly timeless and inspirational music and I don’t think there’s much more that could be said about this one!

Arovane & Phonem – AER (Valid)
Definitely a dark horse but a stunning collection of tracks none the less. One track in particular ‘Valid Fard‘ means a lot to me and I could and have listened to on repeat for a long long time. Amazing atmosphere.

Tangerine Dream – Phaedra
This dates back to 1974 and to me is one of the archetypal electronic music albums.

It’s an education in analogue synthesis and the musicality of machines. It was acid well before acid came along too. The follow up ‘Rubycon‘ is pretty special too.

Various Artists – Artificial Intelligence II
A compilation might be an odd choice but there is a lot of music from the same era that is pretty seminal. Both this and the first volume are excellent but I think this compilation works as the best package.

Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene
Similar to Tangerine Dream although I think this in some ways is more timeless. I listened to Jarre a lot as I grew up and there’s no denying his music and especially this album for 1977 inspired me into electronic music a great deal.

Autechre – Amber
In many ways their first album ‘Incunabula‘ was more of a a game-changer but I think their second album ‘Amber‘ is the one for me that I go back to again and again. Beautifully crafted, unique, melodic electronic music.

Question 3.
What six labels have influenced you with your path in music?

Mute
Mainly for Depeche Mode of course but there’s a considerable quantity of defining electronic music from others like Nitzer Ebb, Fad Gadget, Wire and Moby too.

Creation
More so for the early 90’s releases from the likes of Primal Scream, Slowdive, Swervedriver, My Bloody Valentine, Adorable and countless others. A huge back-catalogue to delve into on rainy days.

Warp
In many ways Warp picked up where Mute left off. A relentless catalogue of ground-breaking electronic music and not least definitive releases from Aphex Twin, Autechre. LFO, Speedy J, Clark, Squarepusher and so on.

Tresor
I was thinking of listing Axis since Jeff Mills is clearly a huge influence but it makes sense to put Tresor ahead since it’s here that I first met Mills’ music via ‘Waveform Transmissions‘ and the X-101, X-102 and X-103 projects.

Not to mention dozens of other artists like Joey Beltram, Cristian Vogel, Neil Landstrumm and Surgeon. Clearly a label that had a major part to play in my path in music.

Downwards
Regis and Surgeon full stop. Being handed the first two Surgeon EP’s from under the counter of the Fat Cat records shop in London was a defining moment. Music like I’d never heard before.

The birth of ZET as a Downwards sub-label was a big part of my own start to release music too since it’s here that I had some of my first records put out by Karl alongside Monrella (Mick Harris) and Umek.