Minko – composer, singer, musician
Minko is a chanteuse and producer from Cornwall who blends folk, bossa, French pop and lo-fi minimalism into a style of her own. She previously had been producing electronic tunes, including some remixes for Rephlex artist Global Goon, but decided it was time to throw away her samplers and synthesisers, and go and live by the sea. In an attic room overlooking the water, she started to write poetry and pop songs. She collected all sorts of acoustic instruments including a Fender Rhodes organ, an old creaky piano, a Kalmiba, various ukuleles and percussion and immersed herself in recording Her personal songs about love and self discovery are sometimes playful and breezy but beneath the surface there is a depth and scale as old and haunting as the Cornish cliffs.
“This is a lovely jewel of an EP from beginning to end. Minko has clearly soaked up her surroundings, and knows how to pour them back into her music..
“For Folk’s Sake review of ‘Songs 1-4 Sybil of Delphi’.
“Minko is obsessed with “amalgamating sounds”, setting a clear, insouciant voice against cool, softly-layered backdrops of multiple instruments.. and her arrangements show a subtle experimental bent reminiscent of Julia Holter, Gainsbourg and Andrew Bird.”
For Folk’s Sake, New Bands Panel.
“With her captivating voice and obvious skill at combining instruments to compliment her desired theme, Minko has brought us a mesmerising record.”
Aurally Yours on ‘Songs 5-8 Creature’.
“‘Songs 1-4 Sybil of Delphi’ – a beautiful thing it is for Minko blends French chanteuse pop through a myriad of dream woven soft psych centred folk mirages, wistfully pastoral and lightly crushed with a becoming sensitivity that’s lilts with a distinctly alluring faraway framing which to these ears at least fixes like a spectral Serge meets Komeda cutie.”
Mark Barton, God is in the TV (former editor of the legendary ‘Losing Today’).
Minko started performing in 2011 as a duo with former Pulp member Steven Havenhand and now performs with various musicians, including Nick Duffy of The Lilac Time on bass and banjo. She likes to explore diverse instrumentation, sometimes combining cello and organ, flute and glockenspiel alongside guitar and ukulele at the core of the sound. And sometimes stripping it down to just a double bass and singing. Her live appearances have included performances at the ICA, Daylight Music at The Union Chapel, Port Eliot, and supports for Jack Rose and the Black Twig Pickers, and Björk’s drummer Chris Corsano’s band Rangda. Jarvis Cocker featured her on his ‘Sunday Service’ on the BBC after crossing paths at Port Eliot last year, and Nick Luscombe has featured her on his show Flomotion several times. Her song ‘Lemon Psyche’ was recently played on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction. Minko also still works periodically with Rephlex/Planet Mu artist Global Goon, recently providing vocals for his avant grade brain dance albums Quonk and Plastic Orchestra.
“People think there is a great divide between techno and folk music. But whether I use live acoustic instruments playing melodies, or samples that I have gathered together, such as a chopped up snippet of an untuned radio with a grasshopper murmur above it, in the end its all about amalgamating sounds and turning them into something I want to listen to. Working with techno and electronica taught me to be a producer, which makes recording an easy part of the acoustic project. I am obsessed with sound, and the dramatic role that recording and arrangements play. For me the emotion comes from the way the sound sits in space, not just from the melody and the lyrics. I am moved by feeling a human presence inside the music. That could be something as simple as a flat note. Niko made an art out of singing slightly flat. It reveals her mood. Or it could be the way instruments are recorded so you can hear the real room around them. Often this is eradicated by excessive production and varnish. Technology gives us scope for perfection but with this comes uniformity. The edges are lost. But it’s always the edges that appeal to me. This is the challenge with recorded sound. Of course playing live, you take your edges with you whether you like it or not.”
“Minko’s music draws its inspiration from a diversity of musical idioms – 1960s psychedelic folk, French pop chanson, music concrete, jazz, minimalism and European folk music – but it is unique in the way it always finds the gaps between the genres, constantly steering off the grid.” Nick Duffy (The The Lilac Time).