It’s time for another Eclectic Minds session: A chance for a DJ who isn’t necessarily associated with drum & bass to share their all-time fave uptempo bangers. Say hello to Krafty Kuts, a man who’s followed D&B since his early days sneaking into raves in Worthing.
“Yeah, I wasn’t even old enough to get in!” he laughs. “It was Sterns, a real rave legend. I got my first big gig there actually. Back then it was hardcore… So many amazing sounds and styles and tempos! I played alongside Lenny D Ice, Shut Up & Dance, Carl Cox, Micky Finn… All the old skool heads. It felt like the beginning of something really special.”
As hardcore morphed into jungle and, later, drum & bass, Krafty was there, plotting every stage and collecting all the right discs. As drum & bass blew up in the 90s he was watching with both his DJ goggles and his record shop goggles.
“I still remember when it all kicked off. Drum & bass blew everyone away – that’s all we talked about!” he grins. “It was the biggest seller every single time. All the Metalheadz and V and Ram stuff? I couldn’t get enough of it! I’d sell 30 or 40 singles of it a day!”
Still keeping a keen ear on things now, Krafty’s sets almost always climax with a section of bangers. And we might even hear some on his forthcoming album too. Out late March/early April, Let’s Ride – released on his own label Instant Vibes – promises an eclectic mix of sounds, styles and inspirations… Including the very first fully sanctioned cover of Edge 1’s quintessential rave classic Compounded.
“It’s mad,” he beams. “We’re the only people to legally cover Edge 1’s classic rave track! Everyone’s done remixes and bootlegs but this is very first legitimate version. The whole album is a step forward. We’re taking it to the next level, it’s a celebration of everything… I’ve got funk, jazz, hip-hop, breaks and of course some drum & bass.”
Watch out for Let’s Ride in coming weeks. In the meantime he’s given us four D&B bangers he just can’t live without…
Prodigy – Voodoo People [Pendulum Remix]
“I love this! I’ve been playing it for years! It’s always in and out of my sets, I find different ways of bringing it in. Recently I’ve been mixing it in with a the drum & bass remix of Hit The Road Jack, it works perfectly… The same key and everything. It’s a guaranteed kick off! Good vibes all round – people go nuts as you tease it in.”
Alex Reece – Pulp Fiction
“This epitomises what’s so good about instrumental drum & bass. All you need is that wobbling bassline and the drums. It just carries such a vibe! It’s untouchable. Here’s a little tip for you; mix it with the acapella of Kosheen’s Hide You. Oh gosh, what a mix – those tracks were made for each other!”
Krafty Kuts – Shake Them Hips [Drumsound & Bassline Smith Remix]
“I can still remember when I first heard this. I was dumbstruck, and honoured to have such talented producers want to remix me. It devastates every single dancefloor – from 150 people to 20,000 – it just works. I love the way so many people picked up on it; from all the big D&B DJs and the radio stations, everyone had nice things to say about it. I know it’s one of my own tunes but I have to big up Drumsound and Bassline Smith on this, I’m very proud of everything to do with this.”
Friction VS Camo & Krooked Featuring Dynamite MC – Stand Up
“I’m gonna have to give you another one sorry, you’re not going away with three tunes today! This is a straight up blinder. From a DJ perspective this is a total monster. It’s sick! Everyone puts their hands up like it’s an order, it’s amazing to watch from behind the decks. Plus it’s got Dynamite MC who is my favourite MC in the whole world. What more do you need?”