Kutski gets ready to take you to musical heaven @ Tidy & Extreme Euphoria's 1st Birthday Fiesta...
Reported by mostwantedkat
Submitted 06-10-06 21:21
Kutski (n): K-utt-skee ~ alarmingly good dj who blends hard house and evil scratching skills with whatever else takes his fancy, resulting in a sensational musical experience that has clubbers gagging for more. In short, a phenomenon.
Kutski is one of a rare breed among djs. No style is out of bounds for him, no beat too fast, too slow or too unusual. His approach to music is reminiscent of the late, great John Peel who Kutski readily admits is one of his all time heroes. Peel’s belief in the power and diversity of music, and his devotion to smashing down preconceptions and opening minds to new acts and new scenes is clearly something that has had a massive effect on Kutski.
Already a huge star on the UK scene, Kutski is now increasingly making a name for himself on a global level. At the end of this month he plays the massive tidy & Extreme Euphoria 1st Birthday Fiesta at Heaven in London and the tidy Weekender this weekend in Pontins. We managed to grab him before he heads off to the wildest party Wales has ever seen and get the low down on what’s going on with one of the most inspiring young djs this country has produced in a very long time…
2006 has been a massive year so far for you. You’ve played all the festivals, the big clubs, you’ve even toured Hong Kong and China on a ‘mini’ tour — what made it mini?
The size of the clubbers over there compare to me!!! I’m lanky over here so I was like this freakish giant over there!!!
You had a massive billboard with a picture of you on it outside one of the clubs you played out there — how did that make you feel?
Not as big as the clubbers did, lol!! Seriously, it was crazy! We were just walking to the club in the afternoon and I saw that and really had to do a double take. The promoter seemed surprised that I was surprised… like it’s the norm out there! There where smaller adverts for chart acts that are like superstars over here. I think it’s a real developing part of the world for clubbing at the moment!
What was it like clubbing over there? I checked out your MySpace pictures (www.myspace.com/kutski) and it looks like everything was totally non-stop!
It was very different! Those pics where from a club in Guangzhou. I got there and everyone before me was playing house and electro, I don’t think they’d heard anything like I play before! I had quite a bit to drink (Dutch courage) before I went on, and when I played my first track people just kind of stood there looking awkward, so when it got the first break I was just shouting for everyone to put there hands in the air… they all seemed to look at each other, laugh, and then all put their hands in the air and started having it!
I think as it’s a developing area of the world with regards to clubbing, they’re following what the media says is ‘cool’ i.e. house/breaks etc but I think all they wanted was to have fun, not be cool and credible, and that’s what it should be about!
Your style is hard dance but to say you’ve been influenced by hip hop is an understatement! How does it affect your hard style?
I think I have a very different view of dj’ing to a lot of strictly ‘dance’ djs. Like when playing hip hop its good to drop big tunes from other genres, bring the tempo up and down throughout a set, mix out of records half way though, mix into records halfway though…
I personally feel beat matching the last 32 bars can get a bit mundane, so I try and incorporate a lot of different styles in everything I do!
You have a lot of respect for John Peel. What do you think his influence on you personally and on the scene as a whole has been over the years?
Personally, it was awesome to hear some one else that was like a musical black sheep playing all the weird and wonderful music, having absolutely no musical snobbery, and on top of all that, being respected by everyone for it!! He showed that it’s possible to have complete musical integrity, regardless of what other people think, and be successful and respected for it!!
Our scene owes John Peel a hell of a lot! When none of the other Radio One djs would acknowledge our music, Peel was supporting it very vocally! Everything from happy hardcore to gabba, and as a result of this, people couldn’t ignore it!!
How did you feel when you found out he’d passed away?
Devastated!! I was struggling with music a bit at the time, trying to find tracks I was really feeling and generally just on a bit of a downer. I was on my way to meet a friend in Manchester to talk things though about music/dj’ing, and when I turned on the radio to hear that I just felt completely gutted!
When you played the John Peel tribute set at last year’s summer tidy Weekender, what did you want to achieve with your mix?
Two things really. Firstly, I wanted to make people aware of the support Peel gave our scene, and to make sure his legacy lives on. Secondly I wanted to open people’s minds with music, and suggest that just because it’s a hard dance themed event doesn’t mean you can’t party to anything that’s not 4/4, 150bpm with a rolling bassline!
Oh and thirdly, I didn’t particularly want to commit career suicide! Lol!! But the response and open mindedness of the crowd was immense, and just goes to show how educated the hard dance scene is!!
What happened when you dropped ‘Teenage Kicks’?
There was a massive response!! I’m sure a lot of people there probably aren’t the biggest fan of the track, which is all cool, but it showed every one understood the significance of the track!!
It must have been a very emotionally charged set, both for you and the crowd. How did it feel to be asked to do the set? And did you get choked up while you were playing?
I wasn’t actually asked to do the set! I was just booked to play a normal gig, but it was something I felt I had to do!! No one knew before I did it. I didn’t want to tell anyone, ‘cause I knew I was going to play everything from 200bpm speedcore to 80s hip hop, and I didn’t think people would be too happy about me doing this peak time, main room at one of the years biggest hard dance events!! But at the same time, to have that audience and exposure on the weekend anniversary of Peel passing away, it was something I had to do!
John Peel of course was a lynch pin at Radio One for decades, and now you’re part of that very select family with your own residency slot every second Friday of the month (2am-4am — shameless plug!). How did you swing that one?
Radio One decided they wanted a new show to showcase new djs from different corners of the dance scene. As I was up’n’coming and played the full range of hard dance from hard trance to hardcore/gabba, they asked me down to record a pilot! I’d never done any radio before so I never thought I get anything from it, I just went down so I’d have a story to tell the grandkids about how I went to Radio One once! When they phoned me up and said I’d got the show it was such a surreal feeling!
Your slot must be the perfect opportunity to push not just your sound but those of the people who inspire you. Who, for you, are the most exciting producers out there at the moment?
Yeah I try and keep the show balanced, so it’s a true representation of the hard dance and hardcore scene’s, but it’s also accessible, so as we have such a wide audience, it’s the perfect opportunity to get our scene positive exposure and recruit some new clubbers.
Musically I try and balance the big tunes on the scene with the more creative stuff that needs as much exposure as it can get, and the big artists that everyone knows and loves with the up’n’coming producers, that people will love once they hear there music! It’s all about educating and entertaining!
There are some great new producers about at the mo! On the hardcore scene SMS are doing some awesome stuff at the mo and are still unsigned, Kelly C is doing some wicked vocal stuff! Vandal from South Wales is doing some blinding hard dance!! More established people Vinylgroover & The Red Hed are on fire, and CLSM are always pushing things forward on the hardcore scene.
Would you like to follow in John Peel’s footsteps?
Yes to a certain extent… I have to draw the line at supporting Liverpool FC though (Even the greatest people have their flaws).
You’re a massive fan of scratching. What’s the sickest move you can pull off?
A double click flair! You use the cross fader to cut out the sound twice on each forward and back movement of the record which results in 3 sounds for every stroke of the records… but crabbing is the easy one to impress people!
Which decks do you prefer for mixing and scratching — Vestax or Technics?
1210 innit!! I remember years ago in 2000’ish everyone was saying how Vestax are the new 1210 and soon all clubs will have Vestax… haha… how many clubs have you seen with Vestax?? They didn’t see the CD player revolution right under their noses then did they!! Lol!
Have you seen the mental Vestax PVT-e2 pivoting turntables? What kind of tricks do you think you could pull off with those?
Not sure to be honest! I doubt there is very much you can do with them that you couldn’t do with Technics though… like some one in DMC balanced one 1210 on another at 45 degree’s and was rocking doubles! Or DJ David from Germany when he had one deck on top of the other balanced on 4 coke cans!! Crazy Shit!
Who’s your ultimate scratch hero?
There’s so many awesome djs, but I think I’d have to say Spinbad. He’s amazingly tight with his skills, and it’s all musical. He’s probably the best mixtape dj in the world!
Do you think you’re good enough to enter the UK DMC championships?
Yeah I reckon I could do the UK and hold my own, I’m not tight enough to win it though, not by a long shot… those guys practice a six minute routine for eight hours a day for six months on the run up to it!! Crazy dedication! I’m more into using the tricks to compliment the music i.e. tricks that will work on the dance floor rather than solid tricks in front of hardcore hip hop purists that will lynch you if you fuck up lol!
There are loads of really random records that turntablists love because of the sounds on them. Titles I found included ‘TV Hits From The 50s and 60s’, ‘Peter Pan’ (in French I might add), ‘Bird Songs From UK Bushes’, and ‘Sounds Of Trains From Around Britain’. What’s the most random record you use for scratching?
One of my fave sounds for scratching (kinda like a whiplash aahhhhh) that lots of djs use on battle weapons is originally from the 80s chart hit by Shannon called ‘Let the Music Play’. I use that a lot! It is actually a great record too. Check it out if you haven’t heard it! “We started dancing and love put us into the groove…”
If DJ Shadow was to take on Yoda in Celebrity Deathmatch, who would win and what moves would they bust on each other?
Oh no! You can’t ask me that! Shadow is like my all time favourite dj/producer, but Yoda is awesome and has given me loads of support with my hip hop stuff… I’d probably have to say Yoda though, beating Shadow with a Rick Astley record after pinning him to the floor with Ortofons!
Talking of heroes (Shadow is another of yours), you’re playing at TWX in Prestatyn this weekend, where the theme is superheroes of dance. Are you looking forward to it?
Yeah it should be wicked, but unfortunately I’m not gonna be there for too long! I’m just playing in the Queen Vic on Friday afternoon, then I’ve gotta fly out to Russia later (Ohhh, get me!) I’ll have to make up for it at tidy & Extreme Euphoria London!
What do you think the secret behind the success of tidy is?
Haha… if I knew that I’d be off setting up my own business right now!! I think it’s probably they stay very current, and are flexible with what they offer, i.e. embracing the digital revolution with mp3 downloads, offering the biggest hard dance events in the country, merchandise, etc!! They’ve built they’re own empire and community. They have also always had great branding. That’s very important.
We have to ask the obligatory superhero question — who would you be and what powers would you have?
Batman is cool, it’d be good to be him, but technically he isn’t a super hero as he doesn’t have any supernatural powers, which makes him a vigilante! If I could have any power I think it would have to be to be able to turn invisible! That could get you in and out of all sort of fun trouble!! And then there is also the perverted aspect of it, but we’ll not go down that road…
Will you be sporting any Lycra or Spandex fashion over the weekend for our entertainment and enjoyment?
I think I might wear jeans and a t-shirt actually, as I normally wear spandex on a regular night out!! Like the scruffy guy in the office that has to wear a shirt and tie on a dress down day… but I might have some lycra on underneath just for my own pleasure.
Have you ever worn your underwear over your trousers?
I used to but skid marks are a lot harder to get out of denim than cotton, so I stopped about 6 months ago!!
When you were a kid did you ever run around the playground with your coat tied up at the top and pretend it was a cape? What other things did you get up to in the playground?
When I was a kid?? I still do it regularly now!! It makes me look ‘ard!! Emmm… nothing really that funny that I can think of… as with all schoolboys I had the invisible machine gun that sounds suspiciously like a forced laugh!
You’re playing the main room at the massive tidy & Extreme Euphoria 1st Birthday Fiesta at Heaven on Friday October 27th. What do you think of Heaven as a venue and how do you rate it from a dj’ing point of view?
From a northern dj’s point of view, it’s a pain in the arse to find driving lol!! But the venue is wicked!! The first time I played there I was on my own, and got chatting to some guy there, he was asking me what “the scene” was like up north!! Oblivious to the fact this is a renowned gay venue, I went on to tell him it’s awesome and everyone is well up for it up there, the conversation took a direction that made it clear I’d been unwittingly chatting up this guy! So then I had to try and tactfully explain that we were not both singing from the same hymn sheet!! He thought it was really funny and we ended up having a good laugh about it!
I think I’ve played every room in there now, but the main room is my fave by far!! There’s a really good atmosphere in there, especially when Tidy & Extreme Euphoria London is there!
The Fiesta will be festooned with life size games, including giant Jenga and Connect 4. If you could have any game from your childhood made in to a man sized version, which one would it be and why?
Lego would be cool!! It’s much easier to build your own home than bricks and mortar and you can have some psychedelic brick work colours… but saying that all the circles on the floor might get annoying when you’re bare footed!! Oh and a giant speak n spell… for no particular reason, I just think it would look mental!!
What can we expect from you musically at the Fiesta? Do you have anything special to pull out of your Sombrero?
Musically, as always, expect the unexpected, and I’m sure I’ll have a trick or two to drop!
Photos courtesy of Kutski and Most Wanted PR. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Tidy Extreme Euphoria, B'day Fiesta!
Friday 27th October 2006
23:00 - 07:00
£15 Advance / MOTD
£15 advance tickets available from www.ticketweb.co.uk //
London ticket outlets - Cyberdog Camden - 0207 482 2842
Maria Never Enough - 07813 684 399
Click here to buy tickets
Hard house senors and senoritas all over the country are gearing up for what is going to be the most colourful birthday celebration in the history of dance music! Grab your sombreros, line up the Tequila shots and be prepared to party fiesta-style!
On Friday October 27th Heaven in London will be rocking to the sounds of the biggest DJs around. The TIDY BOYS and ALPHAZONE will mix it up all over the main stage, providing filthy beats and dirty sounds to a faster generation that loves it! They’re joined by the cream of the UK’s hardest DJs, including AMBER D, LISA PIN-UP, ANDY FARLEY and BK!
In the STAR BAR, PAUL MADDOX, ED REAL and friends are on hand to spin the fiercest selection of tunes you’ve heard in your life! JP & JUKESY, GUYVER, BEN STEVENS, JAMES LAWSON and NICKI S take it in turns to decimate any previous ideas you might have had of a good night out!
Fancy a change of pace? Every good fiesta should have a healthy dose of funk. This time the excellent GROOVE FACTORY take on the beats and twist them into a delicious dance floor experience in the HOUSE ROOM.
LEE HASLAM joins new hosts ADDICTION in the DAKOTA BAR for some of the very best uplifting trance music London has to offer. Both rooms will bring something special to the Fiesta-ivities and we look forward to opening Heaven’s gates up to them!
And if all THAT wasn’t enough, then get your maracas round this – a fifth room that’s full of giant games! Massive Jenga and Connect 4, body-bending Twister, and four Nintendo consoles with huge screens so you and your mates – and everyone else – can see how good you really are!
So to re-cap: the biggest DJs in Hard Dance, the best dance music for miles around, a room filled with mental man-sized games, the only 7AM DRINKS LICENSE in Westminster, and over 2,000 up-for-it clubbers with one thing in mind – PARTY! It really is all going on and as expected, tickets are already selling fast. There are still a number of advance tickets available for £15 at www.ticketweb.co.uk so catch them while you can!
The tidy & Extreme Euphoria 1st Birthday Fiesta – make a wish!
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