Interview: Krafty Kuts
Music is an ever-unfurling, passion-driven affair for Brighton, UK's producer Martin Reeves AKA Krafty Kuts. His road to success is anything but short starting out in a burgeoning scene of technical turntablism and breaks in the UK. Today, his unwavering drive and momentum has built a scene that's stronger than ever.
He came through heavily in 2019 with a golden-era hip hop milestone Adventures of a Reluctant Superhero alongside Jurassic 5's Chali 2na and many others. As if that wasn't enough for the year, Krafty went one further to close out 2019 proper. Krafty keeps The Funk burning strong into 2020 with his EP Wandering, turns up the heat for a humid climate of electrified funk and disco.
We got some words from the ever-evolving producer on his work ethic, his influences, and his plans for the start of the Golden 20s. Stream Wandering EP below while you give the interview a read:
Hey Martin, it’s great to catch up again. You had a pretty busy 2019. How would you sum it up?
It certainly has been a hectic one for sure, touring with Chali 2na and in between writing other electronic stuff and then trying to find some time to put my DJ mixes together. There is just not enough hours in the day. To sum up this year I would say a very productive one with the release of my LP with Chali 2na. Some remixes for some amazing artists such as Haywyre, Stretch & Vern, Opiuo, Freestylers & Deekline. My EP with Bombstrikes and a couple of Golden Era Mixes, so I would say pretty happy with that. Next year I have even more music to release so I have been extremely busy in the studio.
Last time we spoke, it was at Shindig 2018 and you were finishing up full collaborative album with Chali 2na entitled Adventures of a Reluctant Superhero. Now some months following, how’s it been since its release?
Amazing, the response has been wicked, shows are so much fun. Chali is an incredible person to work with and just so awesome on stage. We have toured across Europe recently and all the shows were pretty much sold out and the audience response was great. We did some in-stores and record shops which was fun, up close and personal and a great way to interact with the fans, which we both enjoyed.
You’re a non-stop worker, practically… You just released a high energy EP on Bombstrikes Records Wandering. Tell me more about this one came together.
I wanted to try something more downtempo and funky with a jazzy feel. I think the EP reflected those vibes perfectly. All the tracks I play in my sets and on Wandering has been something I have wanted to release for ages. Bombstrikes is a great little label so well run, very professional and a hard working team who did a great job. I have been playing around again with more downtempo beats for a while, as you know, and was sitting on so much music. So I finally got around to finishing these tracks and, hey, presto! this EP just worked.
As a seasoned producer, who’s put out diverse projects, what qualities of music make you excited to listen to and produce it?
I have never been so pumped about writing music at the moment, I feel like I’m on a roll. I am sitting on so much good music it’s unreal. I have this project of unreleased Hip Hop beats called Access Granted 20 Instrumental tunes to release early next year. Plus another 10 on the way. A remix for Sharam Jay & Kolombo, another Westwood EP plus some more hip hop stuff with Chali so it’s very exciting times in the Krafty studio. I love listening to all types of music from Bass House, Disco, Funk, Breaks, Hip Hop and acts like GRiZ, The Funk Hunters, Gramatik, Wuki, Plump DJ’s, Freestylers, Opiuo, Dr. Fresch and so much more is inspiring me to get in the studio.
You come from one of the most respected lands for electronic music. What was it like coming up in the UK? What makes it unique in your eyes?
The UK is very competitive and always moving fast with genres and sub genres of music appearing so quickly. It makes it interesting and fun. We are blessed with so many icons such as Chemical Bros, Fatboy Slim, Andy C, EZ, The Prodigy the list is endless all coming from a broken beat background. That is why for me break beats are such a great sound. I have been lucky to take this sound around the world and build a big following in vibrant countries such as Canada, Australia, Hungary, Asia & New Zealand. We have so many amazing drum n' bass acts which is unique and we set trends across the world. I loved the early period around 2007 - 2012 when anything goes and breaks was so popular in the UK. It was an amazing time.
You’ve been across the world playing your tunes out. Which places have been especially inspiring for you?
Australia, USA, Canada really have been incredible. Playing to 40,000 people in Sydney was special and meeting some of my idols like Grandmaster Flash, Jazzy Jeff, etc. was pretty amazing. Without doubt though Oz was a hotspot for Krafty Kuts and doing the Big Day Out tour with Rage Against The Machine, Björk, Carl Cox, etc. was mind blowing. I got to play so many cool festivals which really helped promote my sound.
What’s 2020 looking like for Mr. Krafty Kuts?
I think another productive year in the studio with loads more music and DJ mixes already in the pipeline. Some cool collaborations and again loads of touring. Another busy Krafty is looking extremely likely.
Stream/Buy the new EP by Krafty Kuts via Bombstrikes here.