Op-art

Inspired by the collaborations and the drum programming techniques of drum n bass Kirk introduced a more jazz influenced element to his techno blueprint and his album ‘In With Their Arps & Moogs & Jazz & Things’ on Clear caught the ear of James Lavelle who asked Kirk for a track for the ‘Headz 2’ compilation on his Mo Wax label. Kirk also relaunched the ART label but renamed it Op-Art – after his love of Vasarely and optical art – and the releases by Photek, Autocreation, 4th World (Steve Paton), Paul W. Teebrooke (Stasis) and Sensurreal (Gerd) reflected a more diverse musical direction incorporating drum n bass, techno ,breaks, ambient and trip hop. Again due to increased workload this label ceased after 2 years.

With no progress being made with his R&S project, Kirk signed his As One pseudonym to Mo Wax on the strength of two extraordinary demos he played to James Lavelle. ‘Soul Soul Soul’ and ‘The Path of Most Resistance’ merged modal jazz with hard funk breaks, techno basslines and drum n bass programming techniques. With a decent recording budget for the first time in his career Kirk hired in session musicians and invested in rare analog synthesisers. Carl Craig and Ian O’Brien also guested on the album which was titled ‘Planetary Folklore’ and sold over 20,000 copies to become Kirk’s best selling release to date.

Further success followed when Planetary Folklore attracted advertising companies and with post production engineer Rohan Young, Kirk composed music for two worldwide Adidas TV ad campaigns, and two more for Fanta and others. In 1999 Kirk also produced the indie-rock outfit Brothers In Sound for Parlophone subsiduary Regal. Kirk’s DJing was now taking him worldwide and saw him controversially introducing rare funk, disco and jazz amongst the latest techno. In 1997 he got a residency at Mo Wax’s night ‘Dusted’, followed by a residency in the various alternative rooms at the ‘Lost/Burundi’ events up to 2001.