Waveform Mix Series 003: Kincaid


The enigma that is Kincaid stops by with the latest in our Waveform mix series. The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight has the details on the mix and talks to the man himself, below.

Kincaid is something of a mystery, popping up seemingly out of nowhere with his contribution on the Polymath label’s release, Melancholia.

Like a master of his craft, Kincaid manipulates sounds as though they were loyal servants to be commanded at will. This is evident from his interpretation of the title track of the Melancholia EP.

The Polymath label, owned and run by producer Third Son, has been designed to allow artists from across the electronic music spectrum to come together and contribute their understanding of a particular theme through the medium of sound; in this case, melancholy. Previous releases, all titled in accordance with the feeling or emotion they are portraying, have dealt with Nirvana, Soul, and Devotion, amongst others.

Kincaid succeeds in crafting a piece that truly resembles ‘melancholy’. The breakbeat with which the track starts out is stark and isolating, and it is punctuated with the sort of discombobulating vocal chatter that can be likened to slipping in and out of consciousness.

A lilting pluck kicks in soon after, alongside a deep techno drum pattern that sets the track into hyper mode – this, one thinks when listening, is perfect for peak time in a darkened room. Spikes of static enter the consciousness as the sound takes on a hypnotic, almost euphoric undertone.

This just serves as a lure, however, as the doleful, almost sulky atmosphere soon creeps back in – the vocal snippets described earlier returning for a second go at your senses. There are certain elements of the track that feel tribal, and these are just as inductive of the notion of melancholy as the other elements contained within.

The music returns to grab you from the clutches of impending melancholy, however. The euphoric breakdown 3/4 into the track is so intense that it is enough to send a shiver right through your central nervous system. Brilliant stuff.

Third Son‘s version of the track is a laid back techno affair with a wonderful panning synth rendition in the second half, while Roboturner‘s electro workout is reminiscent of some sort of recurring science-fiction dream that wakes you up in a cold sweat. The release works just as perfectly as a whole, as it does when broken down into its constituent parts and you should check the label’s BandCamp page out for more inspiring journeys into sound.

Kincaid kindly stopped by, not just with his awesome contribution to our Waveform series for you to enjoy, which covers a broad selection of tracks and styles (including a few of his own productions). He also gave us a nice little insight into what makes him tick – perhaps we’ll discover a little more about this man of mystery. Here’s what he had to say:

Waveform: Kincaid, thanks for taking time out to talk to us. Now, you’re quite an enigmatic character…so first things first, tell us, who is Kincaid?

Kincaid: It’s my pleasure! Hah, it might be slightly ironic if I were to answer that one too fully haha.

Waveform: You’re a Bristolian producer. How did the diverse scene in Bristol influence your sound?

Kincaid: Well I suppose the scene lead to my interest in a broader range of electronic genres, from early dubstep, post-dubstep, to some of the more obscure leftfield experimental music. There is also the house & techno scene that is still constantly churning out new and exciting artists, and tracks, to draw inspiration from.

Waveform: Speaking of scenes, what is your opinion on the current climate on the underground scene? What with the tragic events at BPM in Mexico and the closure of venues all over the UK, do you feel the scene is under threat?

Kincaid: The incident at BPM was a horrific tragedy and my thoughts and feelings to go out the family and friends affected by the attack. Truly terrible! I feel that in terms of venue closure, it has narrowed the platform for artists, who inhabit an ever more saturated scene, to break through. Over time I suppose it has led to a lack of diversity and evolution in the music that is currently dominating the electronic scene; house and techno in particular.

I think that this definitely threatens the existing “status quo” of how a scene develops, but at the same time, it’s up to musicians, labels, promoters, and the audience to persevere and innovate. I’m looking forward to seeing what a venue like The Print Works has to offer, seems like a really exciting venture!

Melancholia artwork
Melancholia artwork

Waveform: Your interpretation of the Melancholia track is a dark yet deeply euphoric exercise in house. Can you tell us a bit about how you see or define the track?

Kincaid: I’m glad you think so! I was trying to create a track that captured a bit of depth and emotion in it, but also had the driving energy and rhythm in it that would allow it to convey all those emotions in a club environment. So, I guess it’s an emotive dancefloor track, to summarise it.

Waveform: Can you tell us a bit about your production technique? Do you have any particular favourites in your studio hardware?

Kincaid: I don’t use any hardware at present, I just use a couple of favourite VSTs, The Oddity 2 being the current love of my life.

Waveform: Who would you cite as being most influential on your sound?

Kincaid: Going to have to be between my Dad and Stephan Bodzin, hahaha!

Waveform: What tracks do you find yourself returning to again and again? 

Kincaid: An all-round one that I love playing out, and also just listening to, has got to be MattheisPR8; I just can’t get enough of it.

Waveform: What does the future hold for Kincaid?

Kincaid: The release of Melancholia on Polymath this February is something I’m massively excited about, but after that I also have a release coming out on Skream‘s Of Unsound Mind imprint. The EP is a collaboration with my good friend Sinàl. We are currently working on a number of EPs that will be coming out throughout 2017.

So, you’ve heard it from the man himself, but now it is time to hear what he sounds like behind the decks. Here’s the latest in our Waveform mix series, Waveform003 (tracklist below).

1. Khamis El Fino – Selection No. 3
2. Architectural – Elastic Matter
3. Caldera – Morning Traveller
4. Tanov – Salicorne
5. Fiberroot – Human Strand
6. Alma Negra – Mageko
7. Oliver Deutschmann – Flangers
8. Black Stone – Future Line
9. Aquiver & DARSE – Cesio
10. Monoloc – Try
11. ? – ?
12. Kincaid – Melancholia
13. Zadig – Tape 1
14. Billy Turner – Should I Get A New Roll Of Tape
15. Roman Poncet – Atome I
17. Kincaid & Sinàl – Day Wasn’t Built In A Rome
18. Dyad – Illumine
19. Dino Lenny – This Is A Love Song
20. Dorisburg – Splade
21. Javi Redondo – Somewhere
22. Unknown – Rave Zehava (Autarkic Edit)
23. Ploy – Iron Lungs
24. Kincaid & Sinàl – Faux Pas
25. Monoloc – Ground Disorder

Author: Ste Knight

Editor at The Waveform Transmitter. Lover of acid basslines, cavernous kick drums, and dark rooms. Cut his teeth to Surgeon's blistering techno assault at T-Funkshun in Liverpool and hasn't stopped for breath since.

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