Ahead of his Camden Assembly gig with A.Skillz, Krafty Kuts reveals the story behind their seminal dance music
06 February, 2020 — By Dan Carrier
A.Skillz and Krafty Kuts are set to play Camden Assembly
THEY are the duo putting a whole new twist on funk and disco – and now producers A.Skillz and Krafty Kuts are bringing their basslines to Camden Town.
The pair, known for such seminal dance music numbers as Tricka Technology, are appearing at the Assembly on February 28, in an exclusive London gig on a global tour.
Here’s the lowdown on what makes Krafty Kuts tick:
How did you two first meet and start working together?
KK: Myself & Mr A.Skillz met in my record shop when he brought in an early version of Tricka Technology. I knew when I first met him, he was a clever chap. I had heard about him as a DJ and we just struck up a great friendship. We chat every week about music and life, and I love him like a brother. He is so talented and I love doing work with him as we always come up with something new fresh and exciting.
With your music often based on samples and funky loops, whose work are you most influenced by?
KK: I have so many musical influences, from DJs to producers to bands, but the ones that helped create my path and inspire me to become who I am today are James Brown, Prince, Kool & The Gang, Egyptian Lover, Twighlight 22, The JB’s, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Cashmoney, Double D & Steinski, Kurtis Mantronik, Fatboy Slim, Freestylers, Coldcut, Hashim, Prodigy, Cybertron, Kraftwerk, Sugarhill Gang, Earth Wind & Fire… Our influences cover all angles, from hip-hop, funk and electronic music.
What was the first album and single you bought?
KK: One Step Beyond by Madness, and The Specials’ Too Much Too Young.
Music you loved as kids?
KK: I loved 2 Tone, ska and electro, and as I slowly got into hip-hop and funk it then was an open door to all things funky. I collected records from about the age of 13 when I first got a record and tape stack unit. I used to make megamixes at home with that as well.
Where did you first go raving and where did you cut your teeth as DJs?
KK: I started raving at a club called Sterns, in Worthing on the south coast. This place was amazing, with four floors and was one of the early dance, rave events that helped develop so many jungle, drum ’n’ bass and Techno DJs today. I got my first DJ gig there and it gave me the passion and inspiration to pursue my career as a DJ and producer.
Favourite places to DJ – club, festival, bedroom?
KK: There are too many to mention, but the obvious ones are Fabric, Cable, Big Day Out Festival (Australia/ NZ), Field Day Festival (Australia), Funky Buddha Lounge Brighton, Glastonbury and Shambala.
How do constant advances in technology help or hinder?
KK: It helps because your music will sound better. Yes, it does take a while to get to grips with new plug-ins and equipment, but after a few days the outcome is much more positive.
Did you play musical instruments as kids? Do you still today?
KK: I don’t, but I wish I had learned to play the piano. I played around with a keyboard but my musical instrument became the turntable.