Fossil Archive/R.M.K: The ‘Ransom Note’ Mix
Who’d have thought the quiet market town of Hitchin, on the outskirts of London, would be home to a passionate purveyor of riveting techno…
That’s Rob Kirkaldy, or Fossil Archive and R.M.K as he’s known to many.
Like we said, techno is his bread and butter, having first been inspired by its Detroit roots, but rest assured he’s exploring all facets of the genre which brings a distinctive energy to his output.
It’s the many years he’s spent honing his craft that have seen to that, not only through his releases but his DJ and live sets too.
Having shared releases for the likes of NECHTO, Obscure, Fachwerk and ARTS over the years, in 2015 he decided to step into the label world too with his eponymous Fossil Archive imprint, which is powered by the idea of not compromising on his sound. It’s been a home for his own productions first and foremost but also welcomes other artists for collaborations and remixes, including the likes of Trevino, Stephen Brown and Kiara Scuro’s ZaaZaa.
For his ‘Ransom Note’ mix she shares the recording of a special live show performed under his R.M.K moniker at De Helling in Utrecht last year. It’s techno in its purest form – stripped back, room shaking, thunderous – but full of groove and soul. Let him help you shake off those residual cob webs…
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you
My name is Rob Kirkaldy. Some people know me as Fossil Archive and R.M.K. I live just outside London in a quaint market town called Hitchin.
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
To me, my R.M.K side is banging techno, but with grooves, funk and soul. Visually, I think the image below conveys the sound.
Where was the mix recorded?
The mix is a recording from my recent R.M.K live show at De Helling in Utrecht, NL.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
I love to run and workout. This is definitely a mix well suited to activities like that.
What should we be wearing?
A good pair of trainers and breathable workout clothes that will help physically evaporate sweat.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
fabric in London!
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
It’s hard to choose one, but ‘Connect’ is right up there. It was recently released as part of an EP on Nastia’s NECHTO label. The playful vocals always create a really cool atmosphere whenever I play it.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
That’s so hard! There’s two which stick out for me though:
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Sterac! He’s been my favourite DJ for an eternity and is my biggest influence. The way he structures his sets and creates a vibe is unparalleled in my opinion.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
I started off at the turn of the millennium with a pair of KAM belt drive turntables and a 2-channel mixer (also KAM). I saved up my money to buy them when I was 15 by working various part time jobs such as delivering newspapers, washing cars and cutting my neighbour’s lawn.
My current setup is an Allen & Heath Xone 62 mixer, 2x Technics 1210 turntables and 2x Pioneer CDJ 2000 Nexus 2’s. A few years ago I built a studio at the bottom of my garden. I studied Acoustics at university and work full time as an Acoustic Consultant, so I was able to design it myself. The sound insulation is very high, so I can play my music really loud and nobody hears me. It’s like playing in a club!
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
When I DJ or perform live, I spend a lot of time thinking about both. But I always like to finish with something which is emotive and evokes feelings of love.
What were the first and last records you bought?
I grew up in Leicestershire and was exposed to the local DnB scene from a young age. DJ SS ran his Formation Records empire in Leicester and cultivated a strong scene there. He ran a record shop called 5HQ which was in the city centre and had the Formation office next door, along with studios which the label’s artists such as Twisted Individual, Zen and Generation Dub all used. I bought my first records in 5HQ which consisted of music from the Formation catalogue, along with other obscure underground DnB and Jungle.
The last record I bought was Maurizio – M-6. I always wanted a copy on vinyl and finally managed to get it.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Definitely steak and chips. Not complicated, strong flavours and classic ingredients.
If it was an animal what would it be?
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
There’s quite a few of my old Detroit techno records from the late 80’s / early 90’s which were originally edited using tape slicing. They’re a nightmare to mix because they quickly go out of time where the edits were made.
Upcoming in the world of …
Werk it Ep on Fossil Archive out 17th February.
Live show at NECHTO, Berlin – 21st May.
Ep on NECHTO – Tbc
Ep on Odd Even – Tbc
Ep on Fossil Archive – Tbc
2x Ep’s on Goldie’s Headzstate Ep – Tbc
Album on Kneaded Pains – May 2023.