MOVEMENT MUSIC FESTIVAL 2023 @ HART PLAZA, DETROIT
KiNK WALKS THE HIGH WIRE AND THE AUDIENCE SWOONS
SUNDAY MAY 28, 2023 – SET TIME: 9:00-10:30PM
Detroit’s Movement Festival takes place annually over the US Memorial Day long weekend, in late May. The festival is a cultural phenomenon, celebrating the city’s rich musical heritage and turning it into a three-day party of festival performers and after parties that go through the night.
Live performance is difficult. While the “button pushing” of contemporary electronic music DJs looks simple, it is anything but. It may not require the raw physicality (and memory) of turntablism but the music curation and transition needs to not be perfect but be on a dopamine level point to engage the audience and keep them there. That intangibility is the difference between a button pusher and audience pleaser. It is a high wire for sure.
Bulgarian performer KiNK takes this high wire act to a new level by taking the instruments used for electronic music production with him on stage and (re)creating his music in a live setting. KiNK, whose real name is Strahil Velchev, began his journey in the late 1990s and has since established himself as a leading figure in the world of electronic music. He is known for his dynamic and energetic live performances,
Today’s Movement performance was mesmerizing. The swelled audience at the Defected and KRS Records Stargate Stage was already in state of delirium from Adam Port playing Prince’s “When Doves Cry” as his closer.
KiNk bursts onto the stage part energizer bunny but mostly madman, with a ‘I’m really happy to be here’ smile. Using and combining his vast array of analogue and digital gear, including synthesizers such as the Roland TB-303, Elektron Analog Four, and Korg MS-20, along with drum machines and effects units he created a mesmerizing 90-mins soundscape on stage.
Beyond the technical competency required to play all his instruments in a live setting he has a very real ability to draw his audience in. Holding up a synthesizer, drum machine, or finger device that simulates a clap at various times through his set, he shows the audience how he creates loops on the spot and how he knits together these various sounds together to make coherent ones. It’s not quite a magician showing you the secrets to their magic but his approach is magic and the audiences eyes are locked in for the entirety of his set.
(Photography by Paul van der Werf)