K not K
DE Berlin/Bucharest – Electropop / Dance / Synthiepop / Balkanbeats / Electro / Melodic / Psychedelic / Experimental Pop / Dance Music / Oriental
K not K


Karpov Not Kasparov - Memory

Live Setup

Fan Base
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Fan Locations
Gig History
31 Dec / 2022 RISE by gigmit Talent Programme Berlin, DE
Label / Release Type Year
Karakter Records
Ab67616d0000b2734cf02976a053806f30139aec Elisabeta Single 2020
Edit-artist-releases-release-placeholder Elisabeta Remix 2019
Disco Halal
Ab67616d0000b273066ece1a4f3e2789ba80639e Memory Single 2021
Ab67616d0000b273a134e5032e50611f316e6f30 Memory EP Single 2021
Local Records
Ab67616d0000b273358592edaa78f4ec03a38619 Soundtrack for a Game of Chess, Pt. Two Single 2013
Disco Halal Disco Halal
Ab67616d0000b273167efc29a95b52b2e04a4ce9 Memory (Remixes) Single 2021
Valeriu Borcos
Ab67616d0000b273b35337aaf32ac2ca68fe6578 Soundtrack for a Game of Chess Album 2015
Karpov Not Kasparov
Ab67616d0000b2735e89701b22f460f96058932b Soundtrack for a Game of Chess (The Vocal Edits) Album 2016
Fleeting Wax
Edit-artist-releases-release-placeholder Gipsy Remixes Remix 2017
Polychrome Sounds
Edit-artist-releases-release-placeholder Soundtrack for a Game of Chess Album 2015
Edit-artist-releases-release-placeholder The Vocal Edits Album 2016
No Agency
No Management
Minds on Fire
Press Text
“The fidgety intensity of early Hot Chip.

Swiss electro-dance oddballs Yello’s take on the dancefloor. The mesmerising, bloopy pulse of year-zero Acid House. Exotic melodies suggesting Turkey as much as Japan.”
Kieron Tyler - Mojo & Guardian journalist (UK)

“Influences from Eastern folk music are mixed with jazz and electro-sounds from the 80s. The whole strongly reminds of the pioneers of electronic music such as Jean Michel Jarre and Klaus Schulze.”
Heyta Melssen - 3vor12 (NL)

Fusion of electronic music, an early 80’s sound and some jazzy-oriental flavours. Like in chess, the drums and the vintage synths take turns on the offensive, wrapping around one another in a psychedelic waltz. Every move the instruments make nudges the track towards a new direction and changes the course of the game. The result is danceable, fluid and favourably inclined towards out-of-consciousness experiences.”
Matei Barbulescu - Europavox (FR)

“This is how Daft Punk would have sounded if they were born in Bukarest, grew beards and watched Soviet films while playing their old analog synthesisers.”
Ilya Bortnyuk - director Stereoleto Festival, St Petersburg (RU)


One of Eastern Europe’s most exciting musical exports, K not K (formally known as Karpov not Kasparov) began making music based on the rules and strategies of chess. It might seem complicated but the output is always a very danceable tune. There are some classical allusions and plenty of Oriental flavours (because chess is an Oriental game) and there’s always a powerful dance-floor bass-driven sound that makes you jump and shout.
And wait! There's more to it than just the music. Chances are you’ll also see ballet dancers on the stage or maybe some sort of theatrical performance. Sometimes the music becomes a live soundtrack for avant-garde silent films or even for chess games played by the audience.
During the past 8 years, the band played in 38 out of 44 European countries on club or cultural stages, and also for festivals like Nuits Sonores, Printemps de Bourges, Fusion, Electric Castle, Untold, Telekom Electronic Beats, Eurosonic, Tallin Music Week, Ment, Sinsal, Stereoleto etc Some of these stages were shared with great bands like GusGus, Underworld, AltinGun, Poni Hoax etc
Debut LP "Soundtrack for a Game of Chess" has been nominated 'album of the month' by Vice Magazine, declared ‘one of the most valuable releases of the year’ by Radio Romania Cultural.
The Vocal Edits (2016) was declared Best Romanian Electronic Release of 2016 by Scena9.ro and stamped "probably the best Romanian album of its genre in the last 30 years" by the journalists of musical blog Muzici&Faze.
Memory EP (2021) was featured on BBC 6 , full album announced for 2022.