January 29, 2020 | Guest Mixes

#80 Owain K for Deeprhythms

Staying on the UK soil for the 80th guest mix - it's time for Owain Kimber, a DJ, a producer and Innate label head, to take over the controls. A beauty of a mix as was expected - a dreamy and deep house mix of the very finest quality.

Hi there Owain, thanks for taking the time to make a mix for DR! Can you introduce yourself briefly?

Thanks for having me :) 

I’m Owain K (Kimber to friends and family), originally from Bristol but have moved around quite a bit. I’m the main person behind the blog and label - Innate.

You were raised on a diet of soul, jazz, hip hop, punk and reggae and that led to the discovery of electronic music in the early-90’s, can tell us a little about that?

I grew up in house where a lot of music was played (and sung), both my parents learned instruments when they were young, so it was very much passed on. I have quite early memories of dancing around the living room to Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Cream and The Beatles. My sisters were into all things music too so there was a fair bit of Prince, Hendrix, Bowie and The Sex Pistols were thrown in for good measure too.

By the time I was 10, I’d learned to play the violin and saxophone. 

I first stumbled into music/record stores when I was about 11/12 and was immediately hit by the sound of Hip Hop: discovering De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, LL Cool J and Public Enemy. There was something about the energy of the music that really grabbed me (and probably really annoyed my parents at the time). 

At the time, we had moved to just outside Birmingham. My older sister started bringing home mixtapes of this new music called “Hardcore/Jungle” and a whole new world just opened up. Coupled with the fact she was old enough to go to some of the raves that I kept seeing flyers for at the local record shop, the likes of Altern8, Prodigy, Bizarre Inc and The Shamen were on national radio, so I really got into it. 

It was pretty mad when I think about it.

What was the first record or a song that made a lasting impression on you?

I don’t know about the first record or song as such, there are quite a few that have a special place. 

But the most important electronic music record/album that really spoke to me in a BIG way was Aphex Twin’s “Selected Ambient Works 85-92” when I was 13.

I ‘borrowed’ it from my sister at the time (and it’s still on my shelf, sorry sis!). It just spoke to me on every level - so much so I didn’t really bother buying any other Aphex album for quite some time (which I now regret and am still back filling those gaps).

Can you tell us a little about how you started with DJ’ing and what motivated you back then? 

I actually picked up Dj’ing and record buying as a BIG hobby when I moved out of the UK at the age of 14. My Dad got a job in Geneva (Switzerland) and I was really really lucky to have landed there when I did. The city not only had quite a big alternative community and interesting places to hang out. 

The House/Trance/Techno scene was HUGE - you could tune into a mix from one international dj or another on Couleur 3 radio nearly every night. Within a few years, I met some really cool people and we were all immersed in the music via Mental Groove (the main record shop) and all the parties they used to throw, not forgetting Weetamix (which is still going strong!). 

I guess I just got bitten by the bug of listening to music, buying records and getting to go and see great artists play at some really cool small venues.

Did DJ’ing eventually turn your attention into making music or was it always there right from the beginning?

When I got my first set of decks at 15, I actually abandoned my instruments. It was like I’d found my voice. But I think I always knew I wanted to get back into making music, which happened later when I moved back to the UK after I left home. 

In my early 20s, I was lucky enough to start going to a friend’s studio where he had a whole stack of synths and a sampler. We used to jam and talk techno which was always fun.

Out of your own releases, which do you have the strongest bond with and why is that?

That’s quite a tough question to answer, like most people - it takes me a long time to appreciate what I’ve made objectively. 

All the music I’ve helped make and continue to write with Jamie Anderson has taught me a lot (he’s an incredibly gifted musician and producer) - we always have a laugh. Meeting and getting to know the Dirk and Kai at 200 Records has been really cool too (they’re amazing people).

Getting to put ‘Teifi’ out on Innate 003 has been a bit of a personal achievement - it took me nearly 5 years to make from start to finish (to get it really sounding right). Am not the fastest worker sometimes … haha

How did “Teifi” come to be?

I came back from a lovely week’s holiday in Cardiganshire (Wales) where the river Teifi flows. When I got home, I started a jam that really captured the feel of the place and that’s what came out. 

As I like to put tracks aside and then come back to them, it was another year before I re-opened the project and tried working on it again. 

A year or so later, I played it to a friend - they suggested I added an extra hi hat… after that, I took it to Jamie Anderson’s studio a year on and he listened, suggesting a tweak to the mix. And there you go…

How did your online publication Innate evolve into a record label?

Back in 2014, I really wanted to start a label but didn’t have a job or any money. 

As luck had it, someone suggested starting a blog as a way of putting a work portfolio together, as well as putting something on the map that could potentially evolve. As I’d previously written about music, it all made sense. It’s been a great way of reaching out and speaking to a lot of amazing people.

As the blog picked up interest after a few years, it made me think the time was right to try putting a record or two out, and here we are.

Where do you find the music and the artists for Innate? The sound is consistently dreamy, slightly melancholic and deep.

From studying my record collection I guess… that and checking out as much music as possible. 

What has been the most rewarding part of running Innate?


Being able to work with my good friend Gilbert and help him put his first records out. We go back quite a way and have such similar taste in music, it’s uncanny and a pleasure to work closely with him.

Innate is a vinyl only label - why did you choose this path?

Well, it is at the moment but we’re going to be launching on digital platforms soon. I just wanted to test the water with a few vinyl releases first as I’m a big fan of the medium but am certainly not wedded to it … watch this space.

Can you tell us a little more your current musical endeavours? 

I’m just finishing off a whole stack of music I’ve been sat on for a long time and got some new ideas that are ready to roll, that and editing down a stack of jams myself and Jamie recorded a while back.

You are an avid vinyl fan and record collector. Tell us a little about your collection and how you go about finding records to buy?

I try and listen to as many radio shows and dj mixes as I can and then find out what’s what … my discogs wantlist is silly. 

I also love hitting up £1 bins at record fairs and markets pulling out random bits - every now and again, you hit on something quite unexpected.

Please name five records or tracks that are on heavy rotation currently.

Matthew Halsall - Oneness

Sonia - Easier to Love

Ultramarine - Signals in Space


Daisy Moon - Geometry of Curves

Aril Brikha - Dance of a Trillion Stars

Let’s talk about Bristol. There’s always been a steady stream of very forward thinking music coming from the city, genres have been named after it. What makes the scene so fertile there?

It’s a close knit kind of place which has drawn a lot of like minded people together for quite a long time now. Combine that with enough decent smallish venues for people to put gigs, a whole bunch of record shops and I guess it all kinds of adds up. It’s a great place to call home. 

Can you name a few local acts that you follow closely?

A Sagitarriun, Yushh, Zobol, Batu, Ishmael Ensemble, Sean McCabe, Lurch, Anina, Giant Swan, Peverelist, Hodge for starters ...

Obviously you've curated a lot of music for both the label and for your DJ sets, who are the artists and DJ’s you think deserves more attention than they get currently? 

There’s definitely more than few: 

Miles Atmospheric, Eli Verveine, Havantepe, Grimes Adhesif, Joe, Annie Errez, Roberto, Tasha, Richard Sen, Annechoic, Mihail P, Andy Green

So the mix, can you tell us a little something about that? 

I went for a mixture of stuff that’s old and new as I always do when I put music together - I also added in some of my own tracks, which I often forget.

Many thanks Owain!


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Owain K

Location: Bristol, UK
Innate | Soundcloud

Selector, Music Maker & Writer: Crossing the I's and dotting the T's.

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