Krafty Kuts – Live

Sound Control, Manchester 17/04/2010

By Emma Roy-Williams

Best known for spinning Breakbeat, Krafty Kuts has had a long and successful career, as a DJ, promoter and producer. From Brighton, his career took off when Norman Cook signed his record ‘Gimme the Funk’ to his Southern Fried label. He has lived the DJ dream, playing to audiences around the globe, who pray at the altar of the superstar DJ.

As Krafty Kuts has been around for a while, I cynically expected the club to be half full with jaded clubbers, while all the cool kids were down the road dancing to Dubstep. But that is not the case, Sound Control is full to the brim and the crowd is really mixed. There are the old guard, who have been going to clubs like Tangled for years, and the youngsters who just go where the party is.

Krafty Kuts set is seamless, he doesn’t put a beat wrong, what his set does lack though, is originality. There is hardly any deviation away from the ‘hands in the air’ Breakbeat formula of waiting for the beat to ‘drop’. Granted, most forms of dance music function on where and when the beat will drop, but Breakbeat’s appeal seems to lie solely in this. It becomes a little tired, knowing, that every song will follow the same structure, particularly after four hours of dancing. At one point Krafty Kuts says “every body to the left, everybody to the right, put your hands in the air, and make some noise!” to which the guy next to me says, without any hint of irony, “God this is so 93”.

To be fair Krafty does deviate from Breakbeat a little, playing, Perfection by Princess Superstar, which sounds amazing on the crystal clear sound system, as does Krafty Kuts re-working of the classic Bigger Than Hip Hop by Dead Prez. Also, towards the end of his set, he plays some more Dubstep influenced tunes, which adds some texture to the night and allows everyone to have a good dance, without throwing the obligatory shapes.

There is no denying that there is a really good party atmosphere at Sound Control, with people smiling at the person next to them and having fun. But after waiting for the 55th beat to drop I become a bit grumpy and start chatting to the guy next to me. He too, finds it a bit tedious.

We start bitching about the state of dance music and I espouse the theory that gone is the ‘one love’ idealism of the early 90’s, the hands in the air experience is a clique, and dance culture has finally acknowledged its selfish side, hence the emergence of head down Dubstep. He laughed and said that our conversation reminded him of the scene in Human Traffic where, two guys are at a club, talking about the death of dance culture, whilst everyone else around them is having fun. So, I decide to put my cynicism to one side and get on with the more pressing business of throwing shapes, leaving the analysis until I get home.

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