Ten of the best Asymmetric tracks selected by Inigo Kennedy

Inigo Kennedy is a pioneering and respected techno and electronic music producer and DJ who renowned for the creativity, originality and technical skill he brings to his work. Since releasing his first track 25 years ago, owner of innovative and genre-defying label Asymmetric, Kennedy consistently pushes the boundaries of the electronic music realm. Responsible for a large and diverse back catalogue of releases on a wide variety of highly respected labels and projects around the world, Kennedy’s discography stretches well into triple figures on vinyl, CD, digital and cassette, whilst his DJ schedule has taken him to some of the most esteemed club and festival spaces in the world.

Having gained a huge amount of experience releasing alongside the likes of Karl (Regis) Oconnor’s ZET and UMNEK’s Expire, Inigo Kennedy founded Asymmetric – a label to specifically output his own material and house his personal creations. The agenda was to challenge and introduce new ideas whilst maintaining a distinctive and coherent techno foundation. By 2004, Kennedy started to embrace the electronic music’s digital revolution and Asymmetric halted the pressing of vinyl. Despite the digital transformation the sound of Asymmetric continued to grow and diversify, Kennedy’s productions evolving into directions that covered a far wider breadth of electronic and experimental sounds, his catalogue of steadfast releases maintaining critical and dance floor acclaim worldwide. Check out Inigo Kennedy’s latest release on Asymmetric called Recovery Mode.

Inigo Kennedy: “Here are the top 10 picks from the Asymmetric archives for Dance Wax. It goes in chronological order with four from the vinyl releases (1999-2004) and six from the digital-only releases (2004-2012).

A1′ from ASY001 (‘Preliminary Statements’)

“The one that started it all. A brutally effective and minimalistic assembly from a single looping beat with meticulous filtering and editing. I really approached this one with the aim of creating something different and distinctive and it worked. The result has an insane energy and this track became a bit of an anthem in the right circles. Someone once said to me after a set in Melbourne ‘it’s like you’re sticking needles into my brain’ and I took that as a compliment.

A2′ from ASY005 (‘Five Ways To Move’)

An example of a track built around a delay effect and I would say a perfect example of the IK sound then and now. Pure energy, a slightly unconventional structure and a very dense but purposeful juxtaposition of heavy beats and wistful melody. As is often the case with my music you can hear a song, not just a track.

A2′ from ASY009 (‘Nano Technology’)

An ode to hardcore and rave in my opinion (and also the Yamaha FS1R synth which plays the lead). Also possibly one of the best grooves I’ve ever made and impossible not to move to. The whole thing is built around a happy accident too. Dave Clarke played this one a lot and that always made my day.

A1′ from ASY010 (‘The Power Of Ten’)

This one still gives me goosebumps when I listen to it. So many layers of rhythm and sounds that somehow came together in an amazing way I think. The fundamental beat is quite typical of the scene at the time especially in eastern European countries that were on absolutely on fire like Slovakia, Czech Republic and so on. This was my natural reaction to that.

‘Hope Song’ from ASYMP3005 (‘When Destiny Hides’)

This one is definitely a song and not a track, so much so that the title calls it one. It’s a great example of something built from very few elements but it captures a very evocative feeling I think. I get the sense that this track means a lot to a lot of people too.

‘Neljän Tuulen Hattu’ from ASYMP3006 (‘Chords Depend’)

The ASY MP3 releases really became a reflection of times and places. This one’s title is Finnish (a traditional hat of the Sami people) and the track was a reflection on thinking about Lapland and its alien snow-covered expanse.

‘Drift’ from ASYMP3006 (‘Chords Depend’)

I have rarely had the chance to release ambient music but I was able to do that with the ASY MP3 releases. This was a good example of actually doing that and I think it stands the test of being absolutely timeless and has an emotional impact too and that’s quite hard to do with ambient music.

‘Aching To Get Beneath’ from ASYMP3008 (‘Iceberg Tips’)

This one got played by Surgeon a lot and that was a great compliment. The track is seemingly quite simple in terms of elements but the shuffling hi-hats give it a really nice feel and the melodic element really grew a life of its own. To me, it’s creepy but uplifting at the same time which is an odd but effective combo.

‘Terpsichore’ from ASYMP3012 (‘Twisted Memorabilia’)

I love this track and it absolutely worked on the floor too especially when the longer hats kick in slicing the air. It’s got a lot more of a bassline than I usually use too but its fairly simple FM sound really works well here. The whole of this EP is a bit special to me though and I could just have easily picked three of the other tracks too – Hamingjusamur, Happy Robot Glow or There Is Nothing More.”

‘Speechless’ (feat. Laska) from ASYMP3021 (‘Walls Have Fears’)

The last track that was released on Asymmetric before its long hiatus and a particular haunting and emotive one I think. I’d never worked with vocals before although always loved shoegaze and indie music. This one turned out so well and I love the way the timing shifts as it progresses.

All releases are available on Inigo Kennedy’s Bandcamp.

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