Over the past few years we’ve had the fortune of some pretty incredible guests gracing our mix series. This week adds to that esteemed list of producers that we hold in the highest regard here at LAMP. We’re proud to present a fresh mix from the legend Kiko!
Kiko is an established producer and DJ who has been involved in the scene for over 2 decades. He has released on a slew of labels such as Turbo Recordings, Suara, Material Series, Noir, Stil vor Talent, Get Physical Music, SINCOPAT to name just a few. He has inspired multiple collaborations including his most notable with Olivier Giacomotto called Cold Miles, and spawned a plethora of aliases and still to this day manages to keep things fresh and forward thinking.
MR PUZL: Hi Kiko! Welcome to our weekly mix series. We’ve been looking forward to having you. What have you got in store for our listeners this week?
Kiko: I have got a new EP (3 tracks) in collaboration with my friend Citizen Kain coming out on Suara on May 22nd and I decided to include 2 of them in this mix!
MR PUZL: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got involved in the music scene. Was there a defining moment where you knew this is where you’d want to be or was it more gradual?
Kiko: I have been making music since I turned 14. My mom played the piano and she basically tought me my first classes! I started producing my own tracks when I was 17.
In 1993, I went to a massive rave in Lyon, France. The DJs behind the decks were Jam & Spoon, Resistance D, Sven Vath, etc. That is when that specific moment happened, and when I thought to myself “I wanna live off of my music”. I was already a DJ at the time, but I didn’t think I could make a career out of music. In 1994, I moved to Grenoble to open my own record shop Ozone Records. That is around the time I first met The Hacker, Oxia, Miss Kittin and truly the start of my musical career. We quickly started our first record label and called it Ozone Records and eventually Goodlife.
MP: Having seen the electronic music scene evolve in France over the past few decades what has stuck out to you as prominent and special moments in terms of its history and how it affected you?
Kiko: For me, Daft Punk changed everything in 1995! I was such a unique sound with this mix between funk and house music, which then led to the start of the French Touch movement. This really affected me because in 1997, Oxia & I decided to launch our own live set under the name of Phunky Data which quickly encountered a massive success! We played with the biggest names in the scene lke; Moby, Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, Laurent Garnier, Sven Vath, and Carl Cox. Carl Cox even invited us to play at his birthday party in London, and then in Ibiza for MTV.
MP: You’ve been producing and DJing for over 2 decades and your output seems relentless. In past interviews you’ve mentioned that you like to listen to a variety of styles of music in order to get inspired. What are some records you’ve been listening to recently that fit that mold?
Kiko: I listened to a lot of new wave, a lot of pop music, like Depeche Mode for example. I also listened to some of the first Chicago house tracks produced by Marshall Jefferson, Steve Silk Hurley, François K. Finally, I listened to a lot of italo disco, like Mr Flagio’s “Take a Chance”. By mixing all of these influences I eventually began to work on producing my own original tracks!
MP: Your collaboration with Olivier Giacomotto as Cold Miles is fantastic and another wonderful chapter in your career. How would you define or distinguish the music you’re making under this project compared to your own productions?
Kiko: Olivier and I have known each other for more than 20 years. He has a more tech-house oriented background, while I have a more techno oriented background. He also has better technique than me, and is way more instinctive. In the studio, there is real chemistry between the two of us which resulted in our first successful track together ‘Beautiful Place’ that came out on Noir Music. It’s thanks to that chemistry that we kept working together and eventually formed the project “Cold Miles”.
MP: As DJ performances become more widespread and mainstream a lot of artists are returning to their studios and roots and bringing live instruments, and other pieces of hardware in to enhance their sets. Have you considered approaching your own sets this way? Do you see that becoming more prominent in the way you perform as well as create music in the future?
Kiko: No, I do not. What is done is done. I do not want to go back in time, which is the reason why I chose to make techno at the time. Because it was innovative, so you had to force yourself to come up with new and creative ideas. Of course, I still make stuff I know how to make, but I always try to improve on that notion.
MP: A lot has changed as far as having a career in electronic music with technology and marketing becoming more readily available for up and coming producers as well as veterans in the scene. What would you say to those who are trying to make an effort to break into this heavily saturated market?
Kiko: It is true that it is really difficult. My best advice would be to admit to yourself what you can and cannot do, especially when it comes to the marketing/promotion side of it. If you cannot do it, recognize that and surround yourself with great people and work as a team. On a personal side, I succeeded because The Hacker, Miss Kittin, Oxia and I have always worked as a team.
MP: What hurdles and challenges did you have to overcome in your own career early on. What are some things you still face to this day and how do you push through them?
Kiko: After 23 years, my biggest challenge is to make a younger crowd appreciate my music, and I have a team that helps me to get there.
MP: To end on a positive note. If you could plan your own tour for a few months, where would you travel to and what venues or events would you want to be apart of?
Kiko: In July, I will be touring in Thailand and in India. I have already been to those places once, and I am really looking forward to going back!
Thanks guys for this interview ! – Kiko
1. Fred P – 6AM – Secretsund
2. Patrice Baumel – Glutes – Afterlife
3. Dexter – De Fles – Klakson
4. Luke Hess – Emerald – Echocord
5. Tone Depth – Panama – Noir Music
6. Lee Van Dowski – Tale of Ordinary – Crosstown Rebel
7. Osunlade – Deep MusiQue ( Rampa remix ) – Rebirth
8. Kiko & Citizen Kain – Sundays – Suara
9. Tone Depth – Burma – Noir Music
10. John Monkman – Trusting Source – Noir Music
12. Kiko & Citizen Kain – Wild – Suara