In preparation for what we’ve decided is bar none the most exciting thing going on on the West Coast for NYE 2011/2012, SNOW GLOBE FESTIVAL (Lake Tahoe) we were anxious to speak with one artist that we cannot WAIT to see at the event: Venice Beach, CA-based glitch-hop/future-beats producerKraddy.
Kraddy has had a tremendous year: throwing down maverick performances at Lightning in a Bottle, inadvertently shutting down his own release party, and continuously redefining electronic dance music with the integration of live instrumental aspects in cahoots with particularly legendary heroes in his performances. The follow-up to his highly revered future-music EP, Labyrinth, Kraddy’s latest Anthems of the Hero album release has no doubt demonstrated the next frontier in forward-focused and visionary electronic music production.
As one of the founding members of universally-recognized giants The Glitch Mob, Kraddy parted ways with the crew after they all collectively agreed, Kraddy was definitely, at heart, a solo artist; who needed to pursue the unconventional-seeking wavelength of his own mindful direction of sound. And the outcome of this decision, could not have more tremendous, and incontestably positive as a whole for the underground’s mobilization to the public sphere.
Following his gut and a self-compelled duty to shatter existing genre-confines, his 2008 release of “Android Porn” was not only the result of pent up bravado but evidently, the unheralded ammunition that initiated the rise of a pulsing movement; one that was characterized by a hybridized and (at the time) indecisive family of distinctive sounds. Android Porn became the archetypal anthem of the rapidly attention-reaping and decidedly-monumental “glitch-hop” movement, quickly becoming the soundtrack for various Youtube sensations and almost as immediately, was licensed for several TV shows such as “America’s Best Dance Crew” and “America’s Got Talent.”
While Android Porn seemingly flung open the door of possibilities and presented a space for sonic clarity, Kraddy’s follow-up, his Labyrinth EP was an exploration of new musical foreground, incorporating an overflow of “grandiose symphonics, soulful emotion, pounding rhythm and crunching low end.”
Now with the latest release of his third album, “Anthems of the Hero”, Kraddy is yet again hell bent on keeping both his fans and the world of curious on-lookers guessing – left, right, and one flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, where he will be going next. In a kaleidoscope wide-array of ideas, Kraddy in essence vigorously shakes the tube and twists the viewfinder until he comes across a hybridization of colors and sparkles that he finds pleasing; and presents an accurate summation of his discoveries in audible forms – ones that he knows will cause crowds to absolutely LOSE THEIR SHIT.
Kraddy was kind enough to take some time and talk to me about all the cool things he’s come across this past year and all the awesome things he has planned for both his upcoming performances in Lake Tahoe at Snow Globe Festival and for the EDM world in 2012. The following conversation will give you glimpse at the eccentric inter-workings of Kraddy’s perpetually-stoked approach to creating future-minded music and his ever-inventive, NEVER to be predicted train of thought…
TheMixster: How did the name Kraddy o Daddy come about?
Kraddy: Well my last name is Kratz, so I had a high school friend that started calling me “Kraddy”.. And then you know how nicknames just start catching on, and then grow into other nicknames, so it was Kraddy, Kraddy o Daddy, Fatty Kraddy, pretty much every variation on it possible. SO when I decided to use it as my website name, it was essentially carved in stone.
TheMixster: At your Lightning in a Bottle and your Avalon shows you integrated the use of live percussion – do you plan on building or adding more instrumental elements to your live performances?
Kraddy: Yea I mean I definitely love having the drummer there for the live shows, I’d actually love to play more [personally]! I was thinking about incorporating a keyboard into the show because I can play piano so I could play a little bit… I think those elements are fun, they keep things interesting.
TheMixster: What was it like sharing the stage with legendary drummer Dave Lombardo of Slayer? That’s kinda BIG time…!
Kraddy: It was fucking awesome. It was mind-blowing, I’m still recovering from the fact that I somehow got to meet Henry Rollins and Dave Narvarro and all these great musicians… And Dave Lombardo is just the nicest guy ever. We had a lot of fun rehearsing it and he’s just a total pro. Just today I was scrolling through the contacts on my phone and I thought to myself, “I can’t believe I have Dave Lombardo’s number on my phone.! That is totally cool.”
TheMixster: So if you could do it all over again, if you could choose another live musician you’d like to have on stage with you as well at that Avalon show, who would you choose?
Kraddy: Shit! Let’s mix it up, bring in Ludacris! THAT would be awesome. Why not just like instead of just try to make it like one thing or another, just totally mix it up and do something brand new!?
TheMixster: When composing your tracks in the studio do you keep in mind the huge venues/outdoor festivals you’ll be playing in? How does that affect the way you produce or compose the track?
Kraddy: I’m always thinking about the dance floor and I’m always thinking about the sound system, as far as what’s going to translate over a sound system. Also, what, as far as production goes, like the beat lines and how the bass sounds. And of course about how the crowds react and what really works for crowds. Whenever I’m DJing I’m always paying attention to what works. Even when I’m watching other people perform, I will see what works for them and learn from that as well.
TheMixster: Since you’ve been involved in the game for a while and you’ve been recognized as a pioneer of sound within the EDM realm, who do you think is currently creating the best change or making the greatest impact on bass music?
Kraddy: I hope I still am?! And then other people I admire and I really like what they’re doing – I was touring with Big Gigantic for a while, I feel like they’re really talented. Mim0sa is always really talented, as he’s still bringing in some new sounds. Other people I am digging on…. I LOVE Gaslamp Killer as a DJ. He brings everything from like classic rock to dubstep, and then throws it all together: Just putting together everything that he loves. He DJs the way I have always thought about DJing before I made music. Other people I think are doing game-changing stuff… To be honest the new Drake album, I think is really visionary and it’s pretty amazing. I love the sound of it. Jamie XX is doing some really interesting production stuff that I dig.
TheMixster: If you could choose any three artists to remix your own tracks, who would you choose and why?
Kraddy: Whoa we were just talking about this today! Cause I was talking about Rob Zombie! I love Rob Zombie and I’d love to like work with him one way or another. I just love everything he does. Trent Reznor I would love to like somehow love to be involved with him again, he’s like really visionary and he’s made a lot a of music that’s totally inspired me. Oh, and UNDERWORLD. I love Underworld. I would love them to remix my music, and I’m sure they would kill it.
TheMixster: Looking forward into 2012, what can we expect from you in the way of releases, special projects, collaborations, etc?
Kraddy: I just released Anthems of the Hero, so I have remixes for that. We are going to be releasing one of those a week, starting in the new year. We have some good ones lined up. We’re gonna be introducing some up-and-coming producers whose work I really enjoy, who I asked to do remixes for me. A while ago I did this ‘Labyrinth Project’ with Heavyweight Dub Champion where he remixes my Labyrinth EP in like classic dub style. And I’m just sitting on it, we haven’t found a good place to release it. That has been something I have always wanted to put out. It’s pretty left field, it’s pretty interesting, I really like it.
And then you know, I’m just always writing new songs and I’ve even been working on some stuff that’s “non-Kraddy”; I’ve been working on some other projects that sound like… I don’t even know what to call the style but this slow disco stuff, like ‘chillwave’ type of sound. I’m definitely writing some songs that belong in that world… I’ve also been writing some tracks that are kinda wonky hip hop, off-beat, off-kilter kinda hip-hop sound, and beats… I’ve been getting into all of that. Sooo we’ll see what comes to fruition. We’re also going to be bringing in some productions of live shows, and really revamp all that and do something new.
**Alright so since it’s the last weekish of 2011, and since Kraddy is playing a NYE show, we’re sort of obligated to do a sentimental best of 2011 Q & A I suppose… So I’ve prepared a list of questions for Kraddy, for him to answer with one or more word answers…**
TheMixster: What was your favorite show/performance this year?
Kraddy: Lightning in a Bottle. We were just talking about this today as well! We had flame effects there like pyrotechnics. And the audience LOVED it – but I’m not sure if they knew that I was JUST as absolutely excited as they were to have it! It was so cool.
TheMixster: Favorite track by a different artist?
Kraddy: Hmmm… THAT is a really tough one, there are soo many good ones… Hold on I’m going to look at my iPod and look up by “date added” that’s how I know what I’ve listened to…. Man there are too many good ones…
TheMixster: Alright how about just the last track you’ve listened to?
Kraddy: Drake – Hell Yea Fucking Right
Drake – HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right) [feat. Lil Wayne]
TheMixster: Least favorite track by a different artist?
Kraddy: Well I hate to put people down because even if it’s not my taste it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad… The thing is, when I hear terrible tracks I don’t remember the artist, in fact I feel like I try and forget! I was on Beatport the other day previewing some stuff that I thought, “Wow. This is SO fucking bad!” And THIS was a track that was in the Top 10 somehow.. I was just browsing to see what was popular, just out of curiosity. It was a DJ I had never heard of.. And yea, I can get into ANYTHING, but this was just so cheeseball and the vocals…. Ugh, it’s always the vocals that kill it for me.
TheMixster: Coolest thing you bought?
Kraddy: Well I bought a computer this year, that’s pretty cool?!
TheMixster: Coolest iPad app? (music or not)
Kraddy: I am suuuper into my iPad! I play a lot of games on my iPad so I play like “Infinity Blade” which I love. There’s some music apps… But Infinity Blade is so cool, I’m on it ALL the time.
TheMixster: Coolest tumblr you stumbled upon?
Kraddy: The “Girls Who Look Like Skrillex” one is pretty funny. Although I thought it was so stupid and funny… I think it’s amazing that Sonny has become this phenomenon. He started out just like this quirky weird punk rock kid and now he’s like this megastar. I think it’s kinda amazing that there’s a website dedicated to girls who look like Sonny, Skrillex. It’s hilarious.
TheMixster: Best restaurant or thing you’ve eaten in LA?
Kraddy: LA is good! I personally love Hama Sushi, it’s right by my house, I go there all the time. And they always show surf videos so they ‘get me’ there too.
TheMixster: Favorite Surf Movie of all time?
Kraddy: SURF MOVIE?! ummm Point Break. [laughs] Surf videos?! I have a ton of them, but I just watch them, I never remember the names of them. But Point Break is a really cool surf movie. [hahahahahahahahaha]
TheMixster: Favorite Surf spot in LA?
Kraddy: I go down to this place called El Porto a lot. I love Malibu, Malibu is beautiful but it’s always crowded. When we sail a boat to spots people can’t walk to it’s truly the ‘California Dream.’
TheMixster: Something you wish you didn’t do when you were drunk?
Kraddy: O my God… I mean this is a long list too… Ummmmmmm…. None of these I want people to know about…
TheMixster: OK. How about the *COOLEST* thing you did while you were drunk?
Kraddy: [laughs] It’s funny because I think my idea of cool and bad are kinda similar… It’s hard because my job is seen as “cool”… O! Something cool and dumb, I was at an afterparty and I was like “I wanna play!!” and it was like, five in the morning. I had already played, but I wanted to do it again, so everyone was like “yeah yeah yeah go for it!” So I got up there and I started playing all these classic Hip Hop jams that I really love, and everyone just kinda stopped, and the whole place was like, “This is lame..” Like 20 minutes later, I had cleared the floor completely and I finally realized “NOBODY IS FUCKING INTO THIS AT ALL.”… This was in Reno… So that was really cool, and really dumb.
TheMixster: LOL! If your music were a type of animal what would it be and why?
Kraddy: A liger. Because it’s a mix of a couple different… things. And it’s magical.
You can Download the entire “Anthems of the Hero” album on his website, in exchange for yo’ email.
But if you’re gonna download anything, DEFINITELY download this track –>
You can catch KRADDY and his famed sets in Lake Tahoe at Snow Globe Festival (tickets) on Thursday, December 29th between 3:45pm-4:45pm AND also later in the night at the Official After Party along with Dillon Francis & The M Machine at the Horizon Casino Resort hosted by our friends BLAP Productions. (Buy tickets here.)