Krafty Kuts, real name Martin Reeves, is the multi-award winning DJ/producer and the undisputed King of breaks. Acclaimed in the UK, adored in Australia, admired in North America, Krafty is a living legend of electronic music. His multi-genre sets, dexterity on the decks and dedication to dancefloor hedonism have earned him hierarchy status in every genre of electronic music. 2013 sees Krafty set to release the latest single ‘Feel Like Jumpin’ from his aptly titled new album “Lets Ride’’ – which is a veritable journey into the eclectic and energetic world of Krafty Kuts. Spanning genre to generation ‘’Lets Ride’’ features everything from Funk, Soul, HipHop, Jazz, Electro, Dubstep to Drum and Bass. Krafty is still making waves in the dance music scene after more than a decade with his new label ‘Instant Vibes,’ which gives him full creative control over the music. With Krafty in the driving seat, he continues his love affair with breaks by bringing through new talent from the likes of Marten Hoerger, Calvertron, Jay Robinson. He has also reunited with long time collaboration partner A Skillz for 10 years of Trickatechnology. They are working on a new remix and new video, and their ‘50 years of James Bond’ mega-mix was supported by Annie Mac and Radio 1.
About the new album with Chali and he was just telling me about the collaborating artists… what about the musicality and the kind of vibe you were going for?
We kind of went back to the origins of hip hop and also bringing back the funk and also… a bit more of a fun side of it, too. We’ve always done that me and Chali — we’ve always tried to bring a good fun element to hip hop. We just bring that golden-era sound back in a new style in our own way and we use fusions of funk, jazz, hip hop… there’s some really crazy stuff in there. There are sounds we didn’t believe existed. We just found these sounds digging for samples and by working with artists we’re big fans of like Omar from the UK soul scene. We’re literally buzzing about it and are very proud of it.
That sounds wonderful — like you guys are in the business of ‘bringing the funk back’. Since you’re at Shindig Weekender this weekend in the UK and you also play the Shambhala Music Festival in Canada — both hubs for funk & electronic music — how do you guys bring the funk back?
If you look at Jurassic 5, the origins of their sound is predominently funk-based with Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark and obviously the boys — it’s a big part of what they do is finding really good samples, rapping over it, and making it sound like what real hip hop is about. And that’s what we want to continue is that cool jazzy, funky vibe in our own way with a modern twist.
Nice, and going off of the adjective “funky” — people tend to describe things in this world as “funky”, which sometimes has little to do with actual funk music. How would you guys describe “funk” or “funky”?
It’s like a tree with loads of different fruits, because loads of different things come out of it. And it can spawn loads of unique styles and sounds … it can take it down drum n’ bass, it can take it down house, it can take it down hip hop, and it can take it down a more latin route, too. So it just has these elements that are…. big. For me, it personifies everything I love about music. If it’s got a funky beat, then I am all about it.
Considering where you guys are now, could you describe a moment or phase that perfectly circled you, affected you, and that’s now in your picture?
I think the first moment we worked together and we really felt like we created something really unique. Everything just fell into place from there.
It’s so awesome to see artists from two nations currently going through “uncertain” political times come together to make some awesome art. Does this message of unity play a part in your shows?
We are forever sending out positive vibes with our performances and music. We are both very honoured to have such great jobs and are very passionate about what we do. It definitely plays a big part in our shows with a lean towards creating a vibe, energy and good times with our style. We both love to travel and experience new countries and cultures. This is such a great part of the job. Chali also loves to paint and often tries to do a piece – depending on the time – when we are on tour.
Tell us something juicy about it that no one else knows?
There are some incredible collaborations like Omar and Skye, The Nextmen and plenty more. The LP takes a trip down memory lane but also encompasses new flavours and crosses paths with our origins but still remains very funky!
What’s a hip-hop lyric you think is so powerful you wish you’d written it yourself?
Dance wit the speaker ’til you hear it blow, then plug in the headphone ’cause here it go.” To be honest, the whole song ‘I Know You Got Soul’ by Eric B & Rakim is a personal favourite.
So what do you think surprises fans most about your collaboration?
That we keep it funky and there is a good time energy in our show that is all about bringing a party to the dance floor.
There are some massive hip-hop artists on tour in the UK this year. Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z & Beyoncé, Eminem. Which concerts are on your must-see list?
Watched the Beyonce performance and Coachella, which was insane. I think all the above are definitely worth checking out. Unfortunately, I have been so busy writing music and DJ-ing, it’s really hard to get out and about to make time for other shows.