We catch up with beats master DJ Krafty Kuts ahead of the release of his new collaborative album with Dynamite MC. Read on to find out where it all started for Krafty and more.
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With a career spanning over a decade and endless collaborations, Martin Reeves aka Krafty Kuts is ready to dish out his third studio album All 4 Corners. We talk about his love for Breakbeat, career highlights and of course, the essential bits he can't go on tour without.
Can you tell us a bit more about the musical inspiration behind your new album?
Basically, the LP came about after years of travelling the globe, performing and hearing different styles of music that inspired us. We thought "let's take this sound and put it into a melting pot and create our own masterpiece”. We collaborated with some of our favourite artists from across the world and things just fell into place. We both have always been inspired by Hip Hop, Drum & Bass, Reggae, Breakbeat & Bass orientated music and this LP follows those roots.
How did the collaboration with Dynamite MC come about?
I love writing with other artists, I feel it brings the best out in me. Having written music with A.Skillz, Tim Deluxe, Jungle Brothers, Chali 2Na, Ed Solo, Featurecast, Sporty-O, Calvertron and worked closely with Dynamite, I knew the time was right to put together a collection of songs and the vibe was insane. The music just kept flowing and in the end, we had over 20 tracks to choose from! The collaborations just sounded so fresh and funky that all the tracks just slotted together and hence “All 4 Corners” was Born!
When and how did you become first interested in breakbeat?
I started writing breaks in 1997 and my first release was on Fatboy Slims label Southern Fried. Then I wrote 3 EP's for Ministry Of Sound's FSUK label which really started the ball rolling. Breakbeat from 2000 - 2010 was incredible. All over the globe, the parties were popping especially in Australia where I was playing to crowds of 40,000. There was just something special about Breakbeat that I was drawn to.
It all started when I first got 2 Technics turntables and started cutting up double copies of The Ultimate Breaks & Beats compilations. It was an obsession to cut the breaks from Funk, Disco, Rock and Hip Hop tunes and I just loved the beats and eventually, I started writing music. I used to go to the Big Beat Boutique in Brighton and watch Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, Jon Carter, Freddy Fresh and the music was insane. Uptempo Hip Hop Beats, Drum N Bass, House, Disco, Soul you name it, anything goes.
I was mesmerised by the sounds and vibe. It was mind-blowing watching people go crazy so I just knew that one day I was gonna do my thing. I started a night in Brighton called Supercharged with my buddy Skool Of Thought (Lloyd Seymour) and it was a weekly night which is still going now. We did some incredible parties for over 10 years but Lloyd moved to Australia and my DJ career was taking me around the world so we had to sell it. It’s still successful now after all these years which is a testament to what we created. I set up a breaks label with Lloyd called ‘Against The Grain' and we had some hit records from the Freestylers, Pendulum, Noisia and myself. The whole experience was just a blur but so amazing.
What would you say are the highlights of your career?
The 'Big Day Out' tour of Australia in 2008 with Carl Cox, LCD Soundsystem, Rage Against The Machine, Bjork, Dizzee Rascal and loads more was insane. Dropping Bass Phenomenon at my night Supercharged for the first time and seeing people go crazy was a huge buzz. Playing in Room 1 at fabric for 4 hours for my LP launch of Freakshow was pretty special.
Winning quite a few awards for my achievements has been a very proud experience for me. Knowing that people love what I do is a great feeling. Doing a live version of 'The Breaks' with A.Skillz & Kurtis Blow on New Years Day to 20,000 people in Sydney is probably the biggest thrill and a memory that I will never forget. Watching all those people clap their hands gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I am very lucky to have had so many highlights and to be honest, just doing what I do is a fantastic feeling.
You've played alongside the likes of Fatboy Slim and The Rolling Stones. Are there any collaborations you still dream of?
I still have loads of artists that I dream about and would be wicked to work with, i.e. The Pharcyde, Gorillaz, Redman, Method Man, Pharrell Williams, Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes...to name a few!
You must have packed your fair share of suitcases whilst touring. What are the items of clothing you can't do without?
My Nike Air Max’s, I have so many colours and some pretty crazy styles. I just have to take 3 pairs on tour. Hats, I have hundreds and just love wearing them. I have some pretty dope T-shirts so I am always on the hunt for fresh new styles. My Bose portable speaker and headphones for long flights are a must. Macbook Pro - never leave home without it. It is always a mission when packing as I take way too much shit. The obvious essentials like toothpaste, after shave etc!
Author: Claudia Manca