Krafty Kuts: People get down

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There are few DJs as well-practised in Australian summers as Krafty Kuts. The broken beat authority is synonymous with our festival season, and he’s back for the New Year’s circuit to usher in 2013. As he told inthemix with typical enthusiasm, the last 12 months have possibly been “the most incredible” in his career so far. This summer visit sees Krafty joined by his regular offsider A-Skillz, and with the tenth anniversary of their dancefloor-burning Tricka Technology approaching, you can bet they’re planning something special for this trip. Take it away, Krafty…

I’ve noticed that when you tour Australia you are often booked for clubs and festivals you haven’t played before. Do you purposely try to do this or is it just the luck of the draw?
I think it’s just the luck of the draw, to be honest. I think it’s the way things unfold. I love doing all of the small shows but the big festivals are also really good. You kind of have to do two sets. In the club you get to play for longer so you can work in a lot of different styles and sounds and on the big stages at Field Day, Summafieldayze and Rhythm and Vines in New Zealand, you have certainly got to make sure that your set has a few big hits. I’m really excited about playing Breakfest. It’s just going to be crazy. It’s just one of those places which are like nowhere else.

Unlike most other high profile DJs, you have really made an effort in the past to visit some of the more regional areas such as Magnetic Island in far North Queensland, Wollongong, Newcastle and Cairns. What were these places like to play at?
You know, I’m really glad you asked that because I was really excited to play at these places and I’ve got to say, they were all awesome. Wollongong was just unbelievable! I’ve never seen so many people crammed into one place at the one time. The crowd was absolutely nuts. I’ve never met women who are that crazy in my life. They’d be throwing bras at you and screaming and grabbing you – it was just insane.

As for Magnetic Island, I remember that so well. It was so much of a rush. I had all of my luggage with me and I was on this ferry with all of the people going to Magnetic Island. They were looking at me thinking, “Hey, that’s Krafty Kuts! He’s the DJ!” It just felt strange that we were all heading to this one venue where I’d be performing. That was a crazy party! It’s really nice to play in unusual places around the world and get the opportunity to build a new fan-base.

If you were to live anywhere in Australia, where would it be and why?
I do love Sydney. It was my first experience of Australia and I’ve had so many memorable moments but if I had to make one choice it would be Byron Bay. There’s something special about Byron Bay.

Can you tell us a little bit about the music scene in your home town of Brighton?
It’s always very vibrant. It has always been about drum & bass. When I had my record store we used to sell heaps of drum & bass music. Dubstep is also very popular. It’s also very house-y. There are a lot of big artists there like Fatboy Slim, Dave Clarke, Carl Cox – these guys have all come from Brighton. It’s one of those places. It’s a little bit like Byron Bay and it is quite an inspiring place to live.

Do you think promoters such as Fuzzy have helped make a difference to the demand for breakbeat music in Australia today?
I think at the end of the day people like listening to that sort of music. You know as well as I do, it’s one of those types of sounds. When a DJ is throwing down a big breakbeat set anywhere, whether it’s in a club or a festival, people can get down. In Australia, when the weather is good and you’ve got a beer in your hand and you’re with your mates, I don’t think there’s any better music to enjoy. When you can add drum & bass, a bit of electro, some funky sort of stuff, all in the one set – it’s memorable. I definitely think that Fuzzy have helped cement the breakbeat sound into people across Australia to make everyone aware of it. I think that some of the most memorable parties from over the years have included a lot of breakbeat.

On your upcoming Australian tour you will be playing special versus sets with A-Skillz. How will these shows differ from your usual solo gig?
Good question! It’s going to be a continuation of what we’ve done originally but it’ll be a lot more diverse. We’ve been working very hard over the last six months at big festivals across the UK to develop something fresh and exciting. I just love DJing with him. Our sets will feature lots of different styles, lots of different flavours and lots of new and exclusive tracks. If I was a punter, this would be exactly what I’d want to hear. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

Who are some of your favourite DJs of all time?
Oh, too many to mention: Jazzy Jeff, Ca$h Money, Mixmaster Mike, Andy C, Jaguar Skills. These DJs are so inspiring. There are just so many great DJs out there that I’d love to see. It’s quite frustrating because sometimes I’ve really wanted to see them at a festival and then I’d have to leave to go to another gig. Watching Skrillex perform is quite inspiring, just to see how people get down to his music.

In 2008, you compiled an album for the Back To Mine series. Can you give us some songs you have listened to this year to wind down after a night out?
Sometimes when I’m travelling to the studio I like to listen to some funk or some jazz, soul or some older hip hop stuff. James Brown has also been a big inspiration. I loved being a part of Back To Mine. It was great to be able to share all of my favourite records with people.

Lastly, what are your plans for 2013?
Well, I’ll tell you what – this year has possibly been the most incredible year for me. I’ve done an enormous amount of travelling and I’ve made loads of new friends. This year has definitely exceeded my expectations. Next year, it’s going to be ten years for Tricka Technology so we’ve got some new music coming out. We’ll probably do a few more shows and some festival dates. I really want to go to Japan and India and test the waters with some new places. I’d just like to continue from where I left off and keep up the pace, keep fresh, keep making new music and keep performing good DJ sets.