Martin “Krafty Kuts” Reeves is kicking off his year by looking back, touring with a special double set that includes tributes to the Golden Era of hip-hop and breakbeats.
Hailing from Brighton, UK, the international DJ, producer, and manager of Instant Vibes Records reminisces with BeatRoute about his early days and how he began his long-standing career at 17 in a DJ competition.
“I got through four heats over a few weeks and went up against my best friend in the final round. He beat me, but I learned so much from it and got obsessed with the art,” Reeves recalls. “My career blossomed once I started releasing music. I was travelling the world before I knew it. It was brilliant. People were so excited to hear new music.”
Reeves’ latest EP, Wandering, highlights his recent love affair with slower grooves. “The title track has a jazz chord structure. You listen to it in your car and just bob your head. And then ‘Speaker Buster’ is a really grimy, dirty, club tune.”
As a DJ, Reeves’ ability to seamlessly blend together disparate genres is a natural part of his production process. “I put them in a melting pot and stir them up,” he says. “That’s why I made my Fresh Ingredients EP on the Canadian label, Westwood Recordings, the Funk Hunters’ label. That encompasses what Krafty Kuts is all about: you can’t categorize me. You can’t say, ‘He’s this, he’s that.’”
For his upcoming tour, Reeves’ is unveiling a Golden Era Of series, featuring hip-hop, funk and breakbeats, as well as a tribute to James Brown, which includes brief interviews with some of the industry’s greats.
“I’ve always been a fan of the classics,” explains Reeves. “I could listen to these mixes day in day out, so I’m hoping others can too.”
Krafty Kuts performs at The Hifi Club (Calgary) on Friday, Jan 31, 2020.