Ahead of the release of Am Kinem‘s forthcoming 11 track record “Mavi Soul Pt. 1” on 12th September via Damiano Von Erckert‘s Cologne based imprint ava. we caught up with the producer, previously known as Funkycan, to discover more about his roots and background in electronic music plus his relationship with Damiano Von Erckert. He has also compiled 10 of his favourite tracks for a YouTube playlist, featuring tracks from Lee Scratch Perry, RAG, Steve Reich, Aphex Twin, Hype Williams, DJ Rashad, Gang Starr, Zomby and more.
Tell us about Am Kinem, what’s the story behind the name and for how long have you been working under this alias?
“Kîne em” is Kurdish and means “Who are we?”, it’s also a folk song from the Kurds, explaining the origin of my people. For me its the feeling of searching for something that you can’t capture, maybe something mystic. I’m working under this alias from now on.
How did you get involved with ava and Damiano? What was the process like for meeting the crew to releasing music through the imprint?
Damiano and I are from the same hometown and we got to know each other through my brother. At that time I had started DJing and was playing at small parties and had some experience in producing music. He was into that, so we became good friends and we started to make music together. I was there from the very beginning, so it was natural to release on his label. Meeting the crew in Cologne was very cool, I love to hang out with these guys. Before that I didn’t enjoy the vibe in Cologne, but they changed my mind.
You’re about to release your new 11 track record, or is it an album? Tell me about the record, the tracks, how long you’ve been working on it, where you worked on it and what your aim is with the record?
“Mavi Soul“ is an album divided into two parts. Most of the material for the first part is old, the last track for example “Mindfriendrabbit“ I made nearly 10 years ago. But some tracks are quite fresh, it’s like a collection of stuff I made through the years and, which contain some of the vibe from that time. Both parts share the variety of different styles, that’s how my vision on music is, there is no division. I don’t really have an aim with this record, making sound was always like a therapy for me, like writing down your thoughts and feelings, letting go…
What’s your personal musical heritage? Are you classically trained and how did you learn about new music whilst growing up? Did you learn music through friends, record stores, the radio?
I wasn’t classically trained besides from some months of visiting a horrible keyboard course as a kid, haha. I always loved Hip-Hop, my older brothers listened to N.W.A, Snoop Dogg, Wu-Tang, Gang Starr, etc. so I was introduced to that sound as a kid. In these Days we watched a lot to MTV and VIVA. Later i used the Internet obsessively to discover all the other stuff from Soul to Funk, Dub, House and Techno.
When I bacame a teenager, me and my good friend Nicolai, started to produce our first beats with Fruity Loops, smoking a lot of weed. We often hung out with friends and each one of us brought his freshly produced tracks showing them to everybody, that was like a weekly ritual for a couple of years, so much fun. These years were very defining for me and i was introduced to all kinds of music.
Do you have a favourite track?
Listening to the waves at the beach, hehe.
You’ve also got some remixers involved with the record, tell me about your selection process for remixers and why you chose the ones which feature on the record?
We wanted to have a variety of producers with different musical backgrounds. Harmonious Thelonious has an own vision on ethnogrooves, I really liked the raw energy right from his first release. Retrogott and HulkHodn, both from Cologne and well known in the German Hip-Hop Scene, they made great house versions of my tracks, it couldn’t get better than this…It’s really an honour for me to work with all of these guys.
Do you have a particular approach when producing and writing tracks? A tried and tested formula perhaps?
Using samples, that’s something what I did nearly in all my tracks. I like to take things out of the context and work with them.
What’s your experience of London? Have you spent much time in the city?
I’ve never been to London.
Do you have any other musical projects or records coming out in 2014?
I’m working on my first liveset, I will perform it in Heidelberg in the end of September.
Can you go through your mixtape and tell me about the tracks you’ve selected and why?.
Lee Scratch Perry – Super Ape in a good Shape
Lee Perry is one of my favourite musicians, so funny and crazy. Always gets me in a good mood.
RAG – Ragtime
I love the Rap Stuff from the Ruhrgebiet, this track contains all the ingredients that make me love the Sound from that area, the melancholy, the precise choice of words..
113 Clan – Les Princes de la Ville
My cousin from Paris showed me the album from 113, I was imidiately hooked and wanted to learn French to understand the lyrics, i never made it..
Steve Reich – Different Trains
I adore most of the compositions by Steve Reich, so repetative and deep, you can feel the athmosphere changing in the room when the first note is hit.
Aphex Twin – Rhubarb
A good friend of mine showed me this piece from Aphex, when we were completely high in the woods. This was a good day, haha.
Hype Williams – The Throning
This reminds me of a very special girl, and the feeling of being reborn.
DJ Rashad – Ghetto Tekz Runnin It
Rashad was such a talented producer, in this Track he samples my favourite tune by Bobby Caldwell.
Gang Starr – Moment of Truth
Sometimes when i had to make some decisions in Life, i listened to that song. It always helped me to see the things more relative.
Frank Foster – Beautiful People
I get totally lost in the saxophone, one of my favourite pieces of all time.
Zomby – Tears in the Rain
It took me some time to like his album, but I love the feeling that he captured in this pieces, I don’t wanna miss this album.
Photo by Henner Rosenkranz
‘Mavi Soul Pt. 1’ is the third LP from ava. and will follow on from its successful predecessors ‘Mr Pink, what have you been smokin?’ and ‘Love Based Music’. The record is released on 12th September 2014 via ava. – You can pick up a test pressing version of the record on ava.’s web store here.
1. Lee Scratch Perry – Super Ape in a good Shape
2. RAG – Ragtime
3. 113 Clan – Les Princes de la Ville
4. Steve Reich – Different Trains
5. Aphex Twin – Rhubarb
6. Hype Williams – The Throning
7. DJ Rashad – Ghetto Tekz Runnin It
8. Gang Starr – Moment of Truth
9. Frank Foster – Beautiful People
10. Zomby – Tears in the Rain