By UK/Indonesia 2016-18 team

27 November 2018 - 15:21

If the late great Shakespeare proclaims music as the food of love then Chris Massey must be constantly insatiable. In his second year of being involved with UK/ID Festival, the Manchester musician picks up where he left off with with Indonesian electronic duo Kimokal. “My involvement with UK/ID Festival this year feels like a natural development from my collaboration with Kimokal, who came to Manchester earlier this year to do tracks with me,” he says, following their joint set at Hotel Monopoli Jakarta for The Other Festival. Pleased with the results of their collaborative efforts last year, the deck spinners decided to carry on working together well past the original plans. “At first, I didn’t know what we’d get done. We initially did remixes, but we ended up doing brand new tracks. And it went well. It was a really good, fruitful, interesting collaboration,” notes Massey.

Key to its success, according to Massey, is Kimokal’s impressive musicianship and their shared vision on music making. “In the past, whenever I was in the studio with someone else, I would be the experienced one; but with Kimokal, it was all of us who brought in all these different experiences into the project,” he observes. During the duo’s time in Manchester, they started writing new songs that were not part of the collaboration. “It truly was a highlight just being able to work with really good and talented musicians and the ongoing friendship that came out of it,” he enthuses, while expressing his interest to work with more Indonesian artists.

His enjoyment of playing with Kimokal was evident during their joint set, which saw both acts taking turns filling the dancefloor, bringing together their respective sounds. Although claiming to notice a good deal of similarities in the UK dance scene and its Indonesian counterpart, Massey says the traditional Indonesian sound weaved into Kimokal’s repertoire is what makes it unique. “That’s what I’m looking forward to when working other artists, being able to have a different influence and see what can stem from there,” he concludes.

His rapport with Kimokal is positively looking like it will extend well beyond the UK/ID context. “Aside from working on our collaborative tracks and planning new releases on my Sprechen label, we’re currently trying to find a label for Kimokal as well,” he divulges, adding that the decision not to recruit the duo to his own label is out of his belief that they deserve a bigger label that would ensure greater exposure to the UK dance scene. 

When asked about his takeaway from his UK/ID experience, Massey says that this year’s theme of breaking boundaries is especially apropos. “Sometimes you worry about doing something new or going somewhere far, or you get self-conscious about it, about what people on the side might be like or how they think. But I’ve learned that there’s no need for that, because what matters is to be able to hook in with like-minded people.”