Inigo Kennedy: The Moment I Knew

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It can be a track, gig, a piece of art, or absolutely anything. We’re taking a look at the moments when artists realised they were going to dedicate their lives to music. 

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We catch up with techno and electronic music producer and DJ Inigo Kennedy ahead of his performance at Melt Presents at Printworks London on the 18th of March. With almost 100 releases across different formats, Inigo Kennedy has been pioneering the sound of techno in creative and innovative ways. Read on to find out all about the defining moments that sparked his love for music. This is Inigo Kennedy's moment.

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What were the moments that made you realise you'd dedicate your life to music?

There are so many formative and seminal moments that it's hard to pinpoint a moment when I knew that music was so important to me. It's a journey after all.

Family legend would say the turning point was when I got a Fisher Price record player age two when my brother was born and who knows how fundamental an effect that might have really had. There was also a piano at home when I was growing up and I used to sit at it and just play so I guess I got an idea that there was some sort of inherent musical ability in me. We would do these primitive cassette edits at school and I knew I was quite good at that too and always was the one to do mix tapes and music at parties. You just get a sense that you're quite good at something so of course, you enjoy it and want to do it as much as possible. I went through a phase of discovering the music of Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream and so on and then all sorts of other edgy music thanks to John Peel that really ignited an interest in electronic music.


At the same time, I got hooked into a fascination with computers and electronics, thanks to my dad who was an electronic engineer, and I got heavily into synth pop and Howard Jones in particular. I knew I wanted to somehow get to understand and play with these machines that made music. I learnt how to build my own mixers and filters and I learnt how to use and abuse guitar effects pedals, tape and so on. It was brilliant that you could do all this and get completely lost in your own world and create something.

What about tracks and club nights?

Colin Faver's show on Kiss FM in London was a huge help in pushing me into the techno direction and discovering that it really brought together everything I'd picked up before; the energy, the electronics, computers, freedom of ideas, etc. Of course, club nights played a huge part too. Eurobeat 2000, Ultimate Base, Deepspace, Submerge, Megatripolis, Lost in London. The Orbit, Megadog, Herbal Tea Party up north when I was at university in Manchester in the 90s - I was in my early 20s.

I distinctly remember Dave Clarke smashing the roof off Paradise Factory in Manchester in around '95. He played tracks from Jeff Mills' Waveform Transmission Vol. 1 with blistering speed and skill. I remember thinking I want to do that. There was incredible energy in the music and the way he would mix and the way people would respond. Likewise, the early Essential Mix sessions that Dave did in the 90s; I absolutely wore down those treasured cassettes to dust. And then there was Red 2. A beautiful demonstration of how difficult and skilful it is to make amazing and distinct music yet it seems like you've already known it your whole life. It has rules that seem so obvious *and* it changes them. What a lesson.

Any other fundamental locations or records that played an important part?

On a similar note, I used to go down to the Fat Cat record shop in London a lot, eventually getting to know the staff well enough to check out 'under the counter' promos that had come in. One day one of the guys at the shop, Alex Night, handed over the first two Surgeon EP's on Downwards (Electronically Tested and Magneze) and this was music like I had never heard before. But I knew instantly it was something important and I wanted to know more about it. It just made sense but was bonkers at the same time. Those records inspired me more to not really care about the rules and to stick to my own ideas. That almost counter-culture punk ethic has always been important to me.

And that's all pretty much before I was lucky enough to be given the chance to get on a plane to go somewhere and play music. It's impossible not to say that this is a constant reminder that you are doing something pretty special and that you are dedicated to doing it as well as possible. To see the reaction on people's faces in the flickering lights in the dark, to hear how far some people have travelled to a club or how much the music means to them...that's a constant source of inspiration that makes it impossible to pinpoint a moment as they just keep on coming!

That said, I do also have to be honest that it's not fair to say I've dedicated my life to music as it's one of many things I'm dedicated to! Not least trying to inspire the next generation to enjoy music or, at least, creativity.

Author: Claudia Manca


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