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A breakbeat revival is snowballing out of control at the moment, and we have Kris Barman to thank for its glorious—albeit contemporized—comeback. Known as Wuki among music circles hip enough to handle his frenetic take on the rave-defining genre from the ‘90s, the Denver-via-Washington, D.C., producer has been spanking the booty-targeted demo with tracks that play by their own rules. The first, and most important, being: “There are no rules.” If you’ve heard anything Barman has put out recently, you’ll agree he lives and dies by this one.

In less than a handful of years, Wuki has managed to secure releases on high-profile labels such as Diplo’s Mad Decent and Skrillex’s OWSLA imprint Nest, among others. “Explosive” is one word you’d rightfully use to describe his work, but it also applies to his ever-growing reach in dance music. When you can pull off the genre-blurring better than most, people are guaranteed to be knocking on your door.

“The whole house revival is awesome. It’s been pretty cool to see stuff go from being so maximized of a track to bringing groove back to the music.”

Wuki has seen his stock skyrocket in 2015, and to mark what’s arguably his best year yet, Wuki is ready to break down his diverse and wide-ranging tastes with his exclusive A Year in Music mix.

What are some of your landmark releases that were turning points in your career?
“Same Damn Sound” on Main Course, November 2013. That was when I started making the booty breaks/booty bass stuff. I convinced myself to switch it up and just go for a sound. You can’t be a copycat these days. You have to make something new.

My first track in this new vein of Wuki was my Framework EP on Nest. This January will be two years since that track came out. My tracks go pretty far back, but I didn’t really have a developed sound. I found my sound with that first Nest release.

“Get Down” came out this last year on Mad Decent. It’s my favorite track I play live, and it’s a good idea of where I want to go with my music, which is aggressive, dancey, Miami bass, big-barreled and energetic drops that would be played in a big room, because that’s where I want to play.

My RL Grime “Kingpin” remix is the biggest track I have, and that came out this year. I definitely got the most support on that track, and it changed things in the sense that it’s a big swing of momentum and got my name out there. The amount of people that come up to me and say, “Dude, that ‘Kingpin’ remix, I play that all the time”—when I play my shows, that’s what most people say, still.

You’ve had releases on all the high-profile labels such as Skrillex’s Nest/OWSLA and Diplo’s Mad Decent, which is impressive; but it’s not a conflict?
The truth is, not every track belongs on a certain label. Different tracks do better in different places. It’s good to keep those doors open, at least for me right now. Why settle for one label? Maybe one day.

It’s a really good time for producers in general; everything’s at your fingertips. If you have the tracks, they will get heard; it doesn’t matter where you are or who you are.

How do you approach getting a track released?
If I have an ideal place where I want to put it out, I’ll definitely send it to that person first. Even if it’s a place like Main Course that doesn’t have a massive reach, if I think it makes sense there and their fans would dig it more, that’s where I’ll start. My management and I, we know people enough to get it heard and get a quick answer. If someone says, it’s not for us right now, whatever, you just move on to the next one. Don’t get frustrated, don’t take it personally, and just keep going. If no one wants it, just put it out for free—who cares, keep moving forward.

“I have a theory that you don’t really get out of dance music. Once it gets you, you just keep digging and digging to see what else you can find.”


What are some of the growths you’ve noticed in EDM in the last year?
The whole house revival is awesome. It’s been pretty cool to see stuff go from being so maximized of a track to bringing groove back to the music. I’m a huge fan of that stuff, so that’s dope. I love the other end, too: stompers and trap music. It’s cool to see an appreciation for that because if the fans are digging it, that means they’ll get into more stuff and become bigger fans of dance music. I have a theory that you don’t really get out of dance music. Once it gets you, you just keep digging and digging to see what else you can find. There’s so much. A lot of people say the bubble might be popping or whatever, but I think it’s not going away; it’s spreading out. People are looking for different stuff. Maybe everything won’t be the hands-up, in-your-face EDM, but it’s still going to be electronic music. It’s still going to be dance music.

What are some of the problems you’ve noticed in EDM in the last year?
Kids dying sucks. That’s the worst thing about it. The fact that people care more about profits over people’s safety…I just want to make music, but this kind of thing will hinder growth in the EDM community. Bad press and people getting the wrong idea of what it’s all about is not the best thing.

What have been some of the highlights of 2015 for you?
I’ve played some pretty amazing shows. EDC Vegas was my first proper festival. That was definitely a big milestone for me. I played a show with DJ Snake in Washington, D.C., at Echo Stage. It was sold out. That was such a good show. The crowd was incredible, and my whole family is from D.C., so they were all there. That was really awesome for me. The show I played in Los Angeles at the Palladium—with K Camp, We Are GTA, Sweater Beats, Jai Wolf, Team EZY—that was pretty crazy. Skrillex was there. Dillon Francis came out at the end and did back-to-back with GTA, which was sick. It was pretty cool to see guys like that digging my music. And my RL Grime remix was my first track to hit over a million plays on SoundCloud. Also, my Mad Decent release “Front2Back,” featuring DJ Funk, OG Miami bass guy.

What are your goals for next year?
I’d like to make a more conceptual EP that’s around a lot of spectrums of music—softer stuff, heavy stuff, very indulgent, kind of like my Framework EP. I’ve got some pretty big collaborations in the works that I can’t really talk about yet, but I hope those come through. More shows—shows are huge. I love playing at big festivals. February is already looking pretty good for me.

I want to learn more with production and honing my craft a bit more. I can always work on that more: thinking outside the box, and get better as a producer. That’s on my mind all the time, to be honest. I also want to learn how to expand my fanbase, get kids more excited. I have some tracks coming out that could be a new genre. People want to hear new genres—whatever’s not the norm.

Wuki’s Year In Music Track List:

Sleepy Tom & Gladiator “Cruise Control” [January]
It’s really cool to see some trap dudes like Gladiator making something on the booty bass side, and of course Sleepy Tom has been killing it. The production is on point and always hits on the floor.

Redlight “9TS” (Taiki Nulight X Grande Remix) [February]
I’m a huge fan of Taiki Nulight; pretty much anything that he puts out, I pay attention to. I really like the low end and sound design in this track.

Spank Rock “Gully” [March]
This tune is incredible because it’s Spank Rock’s first release in a long time, and it’s produced by Kid Kamillion—two of my favorites joining forces to create some great music.

Sly One “Influence” [April]
I love this whole EP from Sly One, new UK producers making really cool, mature bass music. I’m sure we will start seeing their name more.

DJ Icey “Wombat Coming” [May]
This is on Jubilee’s compilation Magic City. Icey is an OG that still cranks out banging tunes. I love that track, and Icey’s the man.

Biggs “Whistle” [June]
This track received a lot of notable support. If you were at a festival this year, you definitely heard it. Be on the lookout for Biggs; he makes some sick music.

Tchami “Afterlife” (DJ Snake & Mercer Remix) [July]
The Parisian boys brought the heat on this one. It’s dope to see guys like Snake & Mercer dabbling in the booty bass.

Dirtyphonics & UZ “Hustle Hard” (Habstrakt Remix) [August]
Habstrakt is every producer’s favorite producer. His sound design and overall production is on another level. No doubt we will be seeing his name more and more.

Keys N Krates “Save Me” (Wuki Remix) [September]
This remix is special to me because I am a huge fan of Keys N Krates. I also feel like this track is a great representation of where my style is going.

Kill the Noise & Dillon Francis “Dolphin on Wheels” [October]
I love this track. A lot of people on SoundCloud and YouTube hate on it, but I love how these guys get together and do whatever the hell they want. They don’t really have boundaries.

4B x Aazar “Pop Dat” [November]
Not much to say here, other than this track straight-up bangs. I dabble in different tempos in my sets, so I wanted to throw this in. 4B killed it this year, and Aazar makes some awesome music.

Taurus Scott & Sphynxx “Karate Class” [December]
This is a forthcoming release on Main Course that I’m digging. I like this trend of wubby/darker dubstep.

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