Published Oct 30, 2017Playground, the second LP from Bulgarian DJ Strahil Velchev, aka KiNK, is straight up, old-school house with a dusting of techno, the kind of music that often doesn't have a face attached to it but will keep you up until daybreak. It's the kind of music that would have fit perfectly in Ibiza two decades ago, before hype brought it down.
As is typical of house bangers, Playground is rife with drawn-out, repetitive loops. What really works on the album, though, are the shorter tracks, the ones that sit in the four-to-five-minute range, forgoing the lengthy nine-minute progressions that can start to lag at the halfway mark when the layering has stopped and the mix has hit its peak. "Samodiva," for example, traverses several different landscapes in its four-minute lifespan, employing lithe chimes and the beginnings of a solid beat before suddenly dropping, throwing away thoughts of a club track and instead briefly experimenting with a bit of grime rework. On "Suncatcher" and "Taste of Metal," which also use the shorter song structure, Velchev crafts explosive tracks that pack progression, layers and drops in tight intervals, changing the songs' dynamics before they get too comfortable.
The star of the album, though, is single "Perth," in all its chopped disco and pounding kick drum glory. It peaks on a bright disco-splashed, brass-kissed house high with a rumbling bass line — a dance floor classic through and through. (Running Back)