This UK-based duo comprises childhood friends Mark Blackburn and Julius Walters, whose quirky sound could be loosely described as mid-tempo dance music, featuring live instrumentation, occasional vocals alongside electronics and samples. Blackburn is also a visual artist, working as part of design team, the Light Surgeons. The duo conceived Kinobe in west London in 1998, quickly assembling enough demo material for an album. As a result of this tape, they were signed to the dance imprint of Jive Records, Pepper. They released two limited edition EPs for the label during 1999, Planet Soup and Good Migrations. The following year’s ‘Slip Into Something...’ single featured a sample from From Here To Eternity, performed by Engelbert Humperdinck. The track became a staple of chillout compilations and was also widely used in television advertisements, notably one for Kronenbourg lager.
Blackburn and Walters’ 2000 debut album, Soundphiles, featured lilting, funky rhythms, infectious bass grooves, epic strings and samples. One track, ‘Theatricks’, featured vocals by dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah. The album drew very favourable comment from all of the UK’s dance music press, including comparisons to Air and soundtrack composer, John Barry. Several critics noted Kinobe’s perhaps quintessential British sound, a fearless juxtapositioning of seemingly disparate styles, carried out with touches of irony and humour. The duo repeated the formula to similar effect on subsequent albums Versebridgechorus? and Wide Open, the latter recorded in an 18th century summer house near Toulouse, France.