Kinski: First, Last, and Favorite

First, Last, and Favorite is our column where we try to get to know a band through the records they love, and this go-around we’ve got a band that certainly loves them some records! Here to pick their first, last, and favorites are Kinski!

Kinski have been one of Seattle’s most valuable bands for something like two decades now, sharing stages with many of the most exciting and adventurous groups to play our fair city over those years. Their particular brilliance has always come from a marriage of the basic necessities of primal rock and the outward bound impulses of experimental sound. This October 12th will see the release of the band’s 8th (or 9th) full-length Accustomed To Your Face, and what we’ve heard so far is very promising. Let them school you on their sound with ‘Kinski 101’:

Chris and Barrett were kind enough to share with us some thoughts on the records in their lives, and maybe a little insight into the musical DNA that makes Kinski the band it is. And in their picks you can surely see that tension between essential and experimental, here they are:


Chris Martin: Pretenders S/T

The first record that really made an impression on me was Sgt. Pepper when I was 5.  I listened to it constantly and I know every single moment on it.  But the record that got me on the path of driving rock and roll was this one.  Punk had morphed to new wave, etc by the time I heard this and I had always gravitated to the poppier side of things.  This record, to 14 year old me, seemed tough, sexy, inviting and a little scary.  The cover was great too.  I got to see the original line-up open for the Kinks.  They were great! (Though the Kinks were even better.)  Hearing my favorite track on the record, "The Wait" at a laser rock show in Denver really sealed the deal!

Barrett Wilke: The Beatles White Album

As the son of a deep jazz fan, I grew up around jazz. It was all in the air, and I certainly have my favorites, but this was the music that showed my impressionable mind how varied a rock band could be. They sounded so sweet one minute and so fucked up the next. Consider the effect of those fucked up songs to a 9 year old, like Everybody Got Something to Hide But Me and My Monkey, Happiness is a Warm Gun, and Glass Onion. Drugs didn’t make sense to me but this music did.


Chris Martin: Andrew Hill Trio Invitation

I've been a bit bored with listening to rock the last few years and have been playing a lot of Indian classical and Middle Eastern music.  But I've always had a lot of jazz records and like to check out people I don't know.  Kinski were staying at Kid Million's (from Oneida and Man Forever) in NYC one night when he was out of town.  I looked through his record collection and found this one.  I didn't know who Andrew Hill was but the cover caught my eye.  I put it on at 3 am while everyone was winding down and it blew me away.  It’s sort of the “out" side of "in" jazz, if that makes sense.  Hill is a pianist and the closest comparison is probably Monk but this to me goes farther and deeper.  I've been on a quest to track down all his albums.  They are not easy to find but so far they've all been great.

Barrett Wilke: Beak> >>>

Geoff Barrow of Portishead fame has a new band called Beak>, who make hypnotizing music that works in a lot of settings.. Mellow? Artsy? Kraut Groovy? Heavy? Druggy Psych-out Tryyps? Every record they’ve put out since 2012’s “>>” has been captivating, and scrapes out some gnarly pathways of what can be done in rock music.


Chris Martin: The Clean Compilation

I got turned on to this record while working as a college DJ at KGLT in Bozeman, Montana.   Everything on the Flying Nun label at the time was interesting but this record really caught me.  It's a compilation of singles and Ep tracks.  The band never put out a full length their first go round (they broke up but have since reunited and still play).  To me, they're as important as the Velvet Underground and I never get tired of listening to them, especially this album.  Something about the sequencing, not to mention the amazing songs.  Kinski covered a song off this album and we've played quite a few of their songs live as well.  There is a much more comprehensive collection of their stuff on Merge but this is the one I pull out when the party is really getting going!

Barrett Wilke: Wire Pink Flag

At first I was thinking Eno's “Here Come the Warm Jets”, but this is the album that I can always I can come back to. Starting from this debut, the band grabbed punk rock and made the visceral energy about limitless musical directions. This particular record I was introduced to in college, joining some day-drinking friends to bash out covers of their 30 second songs in their dorm room. We played live on the college radio station over the telephone, and called ourselves Wriggling Pupas (that day). This was the style of punk rock that had all the elements that appeal to me, and informs me always!