Residing in Brighton the south of England come 2 funky beatsmiths whose love for the breaks & beats will replicate any of the top producers; A. Skillz & Krafty Kuts are the names to which this fantastic album would look excellent on anyone’s CV.
A. Skillz & Krafty Kuts namely Adam Mills & Martin Reeves are the brainchildren of an LP that was released on one of the capitals breakbeat labels towards the latter stages 2003.
Tricka Technology is the funkiest, Jazziest reminder of the early Hip-Hop years that I've heard for ages, great riffs & samples laced with some intricate Drum patterns is only half of what the album cradles.
The Emcees featured throughout are unquestionably party Emcees, but not to the irritational degree that the efforts of That FatMan they call Scoop or to the pointless barkin' of DMX (who correct me if I'm wrong still ain't found his Dogz yet) accomplish. Fortunately No cursing, unfortunately no inspiring or lengthy rhymes that the Nas', Percee P's, J-Live's or Cise Starr's of the world would deliver but with Afrika Bambaataa’s seed TC Izlam (who I've seen at several Drum'n'Bass raves) Delivers some classic 70-80's rhymes to the table. He appears on the track(s) "Tricka Technology" & "Ill Type Sound". The "12" release of "Tricka Technology" features a nice B-Side “Ain’t It Funky” also featuring TC Izlam.
As the album progresses I notice a name on in the CD Sleeve.....Dr.Luke. He appears several times & I believe had a heavy hand in the production of the album. Dr. Luke (birth name Lukasz Gottwald), A New York-based producer who in his spare time plays the guitar for The Saturday Night Live band co-wrote, arranged & produced 7 of the 16 tracks available. He Wrote & Played the guitar and bass riffs.
Here’s 5 tracks for you to sample before you go shopping
Gimme the Breaks:
Dedicated to the forefront of a great musical art, the track is accompanied by the legendary Kurtis Blow (One of the forefathers), I found myself steadily increasing the volume throughout as the Sweet West Coast Bassline filtered through the monitors, a classic track leaving the reminiscence of the early years of Hip-Hop.
A "thesis" on a classic summer scenario of "Juicy Voluptuous woman filled with Sweetness" brings a track called Peaches in which to be honest is fairly self-explanatory in regards to what the lyrical content - The production houses a sweet guitar riff (as is much of the album) & some slack drums that only have your fingers ready to press repeat, a Jazzy track that can accompany a more than welcomed Indian summer. Droop Capone an LA Emcee that I'm not particularly familiar with delivers a series of welcoming verse's, with the beautiful vocals of a Yolanda. Backed with a sublime sample, of the Late Great James Brown (RIP).
Roll Over Baby:
Nicely done with the funky 70's Bassline, Funky Drums & the assistance of a nice synth with the occasional Sax riff dropped into a very nice equation; a recipe of which success is surely the only outcome. Ashley Slater a feature on the track provides the vocals which sounds similar to Latryx / Quannum. Ashley Slater known predominately for his work in Freakpower with Fatboy Slim.
Give You That:
A Slack Soulful track which caters the best flows on the album, the appearances from Obi & The Real Elements blend sublimely with the grimey Soulful production. Perhaps it was my mood I dunno, normally I can tolerate singing but the singing on this track to me is a little to whiney but throughout the album that is my only criticism, & that’s some serious nit-picking, 'cause the album appears flawless.
A Modern Breakers track in its purest form, After the 1st break every element is assisting the other, you can't help but nod back'n'forth to the bassline, as the 2nd break enters your given a nice guitar riff & some sweet vocals to leave your neck embracing the sound. Another track for the summer.
Remember to check the links for more info & of course to order the album
Enjoy or Endeavour
A Bit about the artists
Adam ‘A.Skillz’ is one of the country’s most funky beatmeisters. His fierce production skills and turntable dexterity has seen him explode onto the scene, collaborating with hip-hop legends and making music for worldwide brands.
At only 24 years old his incredible deck talents involve fusing funk, hip-hop and breaks with his unique style of scratching and mixing. His reputation as a true party rocker has won him prime-time slots across the UK at FabricLive, Spectrum, Chew The Fat, Supercharged, The Boutique and Sugarbeat as well as gigs around the world at major events, festivals and music industry parties such as The Hit Factory (New York), WMC (Miami) and Field Day (Sydney).
In 2003 A.Skillz released his debut album “TrickaTechnology” alongside Finger Lickin's very own Krafty Kuts. The album was a nod towards musical influences like De La Soul, James Brown and Jurassic 5, true Finger Lickin' Funk that enlisted the talents of some of the world's best hip-hop and funk artists including Kurtis Blow, Real Elements and Ashley “Freakpower” Slater.
February 2004 saw A.Skillz and Krafty Kuts team up on the TrickaTechnology Tour with live MC’s from the album playing shows all over the UK. The duo then went on to DJ together leaving audiences and dance floors astounded with their skills on four decks and four CDJ’s, playing at Glastonbury Festival, Pacha (Ibiza) and a live session for Steve Lamaq on BBC Radio 1.
In October 2004 A.Skillz then embarked on his first solo tour of Australia which saw him play to sell out crowds in all major capital cities, gaining new fans and respect from fellow DJ’s along the way. He followed this by extensive gigs in the UK and a busy studio schedule producing music for Channel 4 (Talk Back), Renault (TV advert) and Sony Playstation (Gran Tourismo 4).
A.Skillz kicked off 2005 in January with a mini-mix for Annie Mac that was later voted best mini-mix of the year by Radio 1 listeners, beating industry heavyweights such as Basement Jaxx, Mylo and Scratch Perverts. He followed this with a series of remixes including The Fort Knox Five and a re-rub of his own track Simple Things.
Highlight gigs last year included 10:15 (San Francisco), Snow Bombing (Austria) Mystery Lands Festival (Amsterdam) Homelands (UK), Live 8 After Show Party (London). Since October he has clocked up some serious air miles playing across Australia, Canada, America, Europe and returning to the UK to bring in the New Year at GPO in Ireland.
2006 is shaping up to be his biggest year yet. He is currently working on his first mix album for Finger Lickin Records whilst planning his next artist album which will see him team up with some major names for some seriously hot collaborations!
Krafty Kuts, can truly be recognised as a member of the breakbeat elite. And along with other high profile figures such as Adam Freeland, Rennie Pilgrem, Freq Nasty and the Plump DJs, Krafty Kuts has been instrumental in pushing the breakbeat sound to a world-wide audience.
In 2006 in released the critically acclaimed “Freakshow” album on Against The Grain with massive singles such as “Bass Phenomenon” with Tim Deluxe and “Tell Me How You Feel”.
He has been voted Best International DJ at the Australian Dance Music Awards, the Face Of Breakbeat (2003) and Best DJ (2005 and 2006) at the International Breakspoll Awards, Best Breaks DJ at the M8 awards (2006) in Ibiza, Best Mini Mix on Annie Mac’s radio 1 show. These continue to be great accolades for his efforts. However, this success didn’t come overnight.
Krafty Kuts’ first ventures on the wheels of steel occurred in the mid 80’s when he was bitten by the hip-hop and electro bug. It was during this period that he developed his cutting and scratching skills, which are now a trademark of his party rocking sets.
While Krafty Kuts was smashing it with his DJ skills, he also found time to release his own music. In 1996 he was signed to FSUK, one of the Ministry Of Sound’s offshoot labels. 3 EP’s were released to critical acclaim, as well as ‘Gimme The Funk’; a one-off release for Fatboy Slim’s label Southern Fried that was hammered by every DJ worth their salt.
The success of these releases led to Krafty Kuts becoming one of the most highly demanded remixers within the UK dance music scene. Today, the list of people Krafty Kuts has remixed for reads like an who’s who of the music world, including the likes of Jurassic 5, Utah Saints, Dead Prez, Fatboy Slim, Afrika Bambaata, Arthur Baker, Eric B & Rakim and the Classic ‘Humanoid’ by Stakker Humanoid. His remixing talents were cemented at the 2003 International Breakspoll Awards, where he won Best Remix for Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Funky Heroes’.
As well as dishing out killer remixes, he’s also managed to compile ‘Slam The Breaks On’ 1 & 2, both classic overviews of the breakbeat sound. Look out for his Fabric Live mix CD coming soon.
Whilst producing and remixing, Krafty Kuts also managed to maintain his Djing commitments the world over, playing alongside such luminaries as Fatboy Slim, The Freestylers, Jungle Brothers, Scratch Perverts, Roni Size and Armand Van Helden.
At present, Krafty Kuts is enjoying success in many areas. To date, his music has been used for a Coca-Cola advert, Playstation 2 and PS3 games and for Guy Ritchie’s film ‘Mean Machine’. His club night Supercharged, co-promoted with fellow breakbeat crusader Skool Of Thought, is still rammed every week and is widely regarded by many of the scenes big players as having been instrumental in pushing the breakbeat sound to a wider audience.
2. A.Skillz & Krafty Kuts - Tricka Technology - Gimme The Breaks (Ft. Kurtis Blow)
3. A.Skillz & Krafty Kuts - Tricka Technology - Give You That (Ft. Obi & Real Elements)
4. A.Skillz & Krafty Kuts - Tricka Technology - Peaches (Ft. Droop Capone)
5. A.Skillz & Krafty Kuts - Tricka Technology - Roll Over Baby (Ft. Ashley Slater)
A.Skillz & Krafty Kuts (2003) Tricka Technology (Fast Link - Rapidshare)
A.Skillz & Krafty Kuts (2003) Tricka Technology (Slow Link Z-Share)
Skillz & Krafty on Website