Kino Todo on life in Tel Aviv & collaborating with Red Axes on his new Goa Kids EP

Kino Todo by Ben Pelhov blurred

Kino Todo has been keeping busy during the pandemic. The Tel Aviv artist’s new Goa Kids EP on Life and Death Records has been the perfect follow up to last year’s hit ‘Yasmin’ on fellow Israeli producer Moscoman’s Disco Halal label, and his best seller ‘Gidafi Na’ on Blue Shadow – the imprint of the local collective Blue Shadow, of which he is a founding member alongside BPitch Control associate Chaim.

We caught up with Kino to talk about the inspirations behind the new EP, lockdown life in his home city and working with his countrymen Red Axes on the EP track ‘Boom Shaki Boom’…

Hi Kino, what have you been up to lately?

Hi! Most of the time because of the circumstances I’m at home making new music, cooking and meeting my closest friends.

We read in the news that Israel recently had a second lockdown. How has living in isolation been for you so far? How are you coping with the situation and has producing music helped you in any way?

Yes, unfortunately we are in a second lockdown but honestly for me it’s not a big change – it’s been a usual situation for about seven months already, especially for musicians.

Did lockdown change your relationship with creating or listening to music in any way?

Yes, totally. These days I’m working on my first album, that I started at the beginning of the pandemic. The lockdown and Covid changed my music in the album – it became also for home listening and not just for clubs. And I’m doing a lot of different productions in general during Covid.

There’s been a lot of talk about how the electronic music community will change once the pandemic is over. How do you think clubbing will change post-Covid 19? What changes would you like to see?

I believe, and I want to believe, that the scene will not change so much after the pandemic has passed. But I’m sure that the music will change after this long period of lockdown, and I really hope that the people will be more open to new music.

You’re from Tel Aviv, a city is known for its unique sound, vibrant scene and local talent. How has growing up there influenced your creativity?

I’ve been in Tel Aviv since I was eighteen years old, and I’m sure the atmosphere and the people in this city has a great influence on my work today. Every year I find a new good artist in a lot of different genres. It’s fun to live in a city with a lot of respect for art and culture.

What were your early influences? When did you first become passionate about music, and going to clubs & live music venues?

For electronic music it definitely started with Red Axes – they were and still are a big inspiration for me. I also like trance music a lot, plus electro, disco, rock music and many more.

When did you first start DJing and producing? Do you feel as a producer first and then DJ or the other way around?

When I was fifteen, my father bought me my first DJ setup. It was two CD-J 100s and a Behringer mixer. I started DJing at my school parties until I moved to Tel Aviv, then I started to play in clubs. I started to create music at the age of fourteen – it was a whole process of several years to learn music to the core; how to produce, play (piano) and find my sounds.

You broke through with your debut release ‘Gidafi Na’ on Blue Shadow. How did things change for you when it became a successful record?

It all started from a night in my studio with my cousin, without knowing where it was going to take me. After the song was out I started to hear it all around, even on the radio and TV – that was surreal for me. The year of Gidafi was pretty crazy and happy for me: I started playing around the world, did exciting collaborations and had a lot of new experiences. I’m very happy with the impact of this EP.

After last year’s ‘Yasmin’ via Moscoman’s Disco Halal, you’re now making your debut on Life & Death with the ‘Goa Kids’ EP. Please tell us how the EP came about and what the story behind the title is.

I’ve always explored new cultures and languages. Among the cultures I am really attracted to is India. I wanted to mix local sounds with club beats and trance influences. A lot of young people in Israel travel to Goa, which is known as the place for trance parties and clubbing.

The EP features ‘Boom Shaki Boom’, a collaboration with fellow countrymen Red Axes. When was the track produced and what was your creative process for this particular track?

We are friends and share music and ideas, so one night we met and started producing a cool rhythm. A while after we started playing it and we realized it really works in the club.

What’s next for Kino Todo?

A lot of new music and working on my first album…