Drum & bass is back, but listening to Krakota’s productions will have even the fairest-weather fan yellin’, “It never left!”
We named him one of our 5 Essential Artists to watch for August, and we’d be fools not to. He scored an exclusive deal with Hospital Records in damn near no time. Definitely listen to “Everything Changes” and “Spin the Bottle” from the label’s We Are 18 compilation.
His sound is perfectly exemplified by the 40-minute mix he shared with us (check out fellow essential artist Motez’s mix while you’re at it). It’s a sound born in the ‘90s and fast-forwarded to now that packs enough ultra-modern flash to be light-years ahead.
“I was inquisitive, used to sneak in and play records when he wasn’t there… and set about finding out as much as I could about the artists.”
Who is Krakota?
I’m a music producer and DJ from Bournemouth (on the south coast of the UK). I’ve been making music for almost eight years now and mixing records for as long as I can remember.
The name came after I’d messed around making some music for fun and needed some sort of pseudonym to brand them with. It kinda stuck!
I’ve released on quite a few smaller labels in the past, but recently I’ve signed exclusively to Hospital Records, which I’m really happy about. It’s one of the labels I’ve followed from day one.
Where and when were you when you first heard drum & bass? What was your initial reaction?
My brother used to play it in his room a lot when I was young, maybe nine or 10. I was inquisitive, used to sneak in and play records when he wasn’t there. I was completely obsessed with the music and set about finding out as much as I could about the artists involved and sifting through all the different styles it had to offer.
What drew you to drum & bass, and what keeps you coming back?
The energy it offers. No other music can touch it, in my opinion. I find that no matter what genre I listen to (and I listen to a lot of other music), after a while, I’ll get bored and end up getting drawn back toward D&B.
What is the current state of drum & bass in the UK and globally?
There’s no doubt that it’s the strongest it’s ever been. It’s a genre with such depth. There’s a style or sub-genre to suit everyone. In the UK, you’ll hear it in the charts or the main stage of festivals—but at the same time, the deeper and darker styles are thriving, too.
“It’s good fun to write music that people find hard to pin a genre on. That’s what I’m most interested in.”
What will it take for US audiences to finally accept drum & bass? Does it need to go more pop-centric?
Time and quality music. I think it’s certainly growing at a fast pace. A conscious decision to make it more “pop” would be a bad idea. People should just make what they feel is right. If it captures a large audience, that’s just a bonus!
What is the future of drum & bass?
A hard one to predict for sure—in terms of style, who knows. I’ll often sit and listen through a bunch of promos. Every now and again, you’ll find one of those tunes that is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before or even imagined could be done with the genre. That’s the stuff that keeps it fresh and exciting. I hope the future brings more of that!
Who, in your opinion, is driving drum & bass forward today? Who are some acts we should be watching?
In no particular order, here are some of my favorites at the moment:
Mefjus, Frankee, Emperor, Logistics, Fred V & Grafix, Ulterior Motive, Keeno, Break, Wilkinson.
Might you experiment with future sounds and genres one day? If so, what would it be, and what would it sound like?
Absolutely, it’s a key part of bettering yourself. If I get tired of writing drum & bass, I might be like “fuck it” and write a hip-hop tune, or a downtempo track—something else weird. It’s good fun to write music that people find hard to pin a genre on. That’s what I’m most interested in.
What’s next for Krakota?
I’ve been working really hard on my first single for Hospital Records, which will be out in the next few months. I’m very excited for people to hear it!