English DJ and producer Krafty Kuts has been putting out music for well over a decade, but DJing much longer than that. Known for a very skilled, technical DJ, he doesn’t just stick with breakbeat or trip-hop, but will get into just about anything that works at the moment or has been a part of his musical history like funk, soul, disco, hip-hop and more. As someone who knows how to rock the dancefloor, we wanted to go back a bit and see where the inspiration comes from. So we had Krafty Kuts give us a playlist of 10 songs from some of his musical heroes and explain what each of the songs means to him.
1. Roy Ayers - Searching
A beautiful track that will always put me in a good mood no matter how I feel. After watching him live in Brighton at the amazing event called the Jazz Bop a few years back my admiration for him became greater. I have listened to so many of his LP’s, it was so hard pick one track from him but this one is my personal favorite.
2. James Brown - The Popcorn
Probably without a doubt the biggest hero in my life. Simply because his music inspired me to just want to write music and he was the definition of funk. He was involved with so many artists even when not singing on the tracks: Fred Wesley & the JB’s, Marva Whitney, Lyn Collins, Vicki Anderson, Maceo, Bobby Byrd and so many more. My one regret in life was never seeing James Brown live. Anyone who knows me will know my passion for funk and how I love collecting it and my knowledge of this wonderful style of music. Thank you James Brown for the music RIP.
3. Brand Nubian - All For One
Carrying on with the James Brown influenced vibe where they sampled "Can Mind" - this tune blew my mind. Grand Puba, Lord Jamal, Sadat X and DJ’s Alamo and Sincere from New York made so many classic tunes and as DJs they were always on my turntables.
4. Main Source - Looking At The Front Door
My teenage years consisted of so many great hip-hop acts and my humble beginnings as a DJ once again came from Main Source tunes. This tune always got the party started.
5. Kool & The Gang - Jungle Jazz
The early years from 1969 - 1976 saw these guys release so many outstanding tracks that blew my mind. I could pick a stack of their music but this one from the Spirit Of The Boogie LP is a stone wall classic for me. A more instrumental version of Jungle Boogie and the horns and flutes section are always a massive part of their music, which for me is the magic ingredient.
6. Fatboy Slim - Gangsta Trippin’
Norman Cook was one of my biggest inspirations as a DJ & producer - always pushing the boundaries of dance music and making music for the dancefloor. I remember when he came into my record shop in Brighton with a tape recording of Rockafella Skank and played it to me, I was blown away. A very humble guy with so much talent and watching him DJ was always a highlight. A big hero in my life and his music has stood the test of time.
7. Gang Starr - DJ Premier In Deep Concentration
There are so many Gang Starr tunes that are stone wall classics, "Full Clip," "Mass Appeal," "Just To Get A Rep," "You Know My Steez" & of course "DWYCK," but this tune centers around the DJ. Guru and Premier were the dynamic duo when it came to this. Premier loves to scratch in most of their tunes and this was his unique way of sharing his knowledge, skills and ability to make a track stand out amongst others.
8. Hashim - Al-Naafyish (The Soul) [It's Time!]
This tune is my biggest inspiration in my musical production. It changed my life, the drums, synths, energy. When I saw a UK video to this track of break dancing in the London Underground I fell in love with this electro classic. It helped me to discover more about this amazing style of music, plus I also learnt to breakdance and body pop lol!
9. Pete Rock & CL Smooth - They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)
This duo wrote an incredible amount of great tunes and this particular track was noted for its catchy hook and horn riff of Tom Scott’s "Today." A wonderful tune from the Golden era of hip-hop that played a massive part of my life-learning about the elements of the hip-hop form: DJ-ing, graffiti and breakdancing. Without this I would not be doing what I do today.
10. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Live At Union Square
This live set showcased the incredible skills of one of the greatest DJs on the planet, Jazzy Jeff. Cutting up classic disco breaks to the fullest way back in 1986 before anyone knew what the transformer scratch was. Jazzy introduced me to a whole new level of DJing. I once got the chance to spend a week with him at the Redbull 3 style event and learnt more from him and a host of other amazing DJs than I could ever wish for: Skratch Bastid, Z Trip, Q Bert, Shortcut, D Styles. My all-time hero Jazzy Jeff thank you for introducing me to the world of DJing!!