TiD&B Interview: Camo & KrookedPosted by Lady V on Friday, September 30th, 2011
With only hours to go before Hospital Records’ latest signing, Austria’s finest D&B export Camo & Krooked, hit London’s 02 Brixton Academy tonight to deliver their debut live show ‘Cross The Line’, and days to go until their hotly anticipated album of the same title is officially unleashed to fans across the globe, things must be pretty much at an all time high in the C&K camp! But before getting caught up in the buzz and excitement bound to ensue over the next 72 hours, we hollered at the duo last week for a quick chat about all things ‘Cross The Line’…
TiD&B: Hey guys, you’ve been travelling a lot recently promoting your current LP release – where are you today and how are you feeling?
C&K: Today we are at home and feeling fine as we’ve just finished a tune for the next Hospital compilation and looking forward to Hospitality at the Roxy club in Prague tomorrow night, where we will be playing alongside London Elektricity, Nu:Tone and High Contrast.
TiD&B: A lot of artists seem to panic about delivering their sophmore album and take a long time out before doing so, but you’ve dropped ‘Cross The Line’ only a year after your debut and it’s an absolute stinker – when did you start working on it and how quickly/easily did it all come together?
C&K: We’ve been working on ‘Cross The Line’ for almost two years and it’s our biggest project so far. We just love writing new tunes and seeing them getting better and better…that’s what we basically do all day.
TiD&B: Did you have a specific concept in mind when compiling the tracklist? Is this something that you worked closely with Hospital on or did you have a clear idea of which direction you wanted the LP to go?
C&K: The difference to our former album is that with this one, we had a proper plan for it; we wanted it to be very diverse, covering a lot of (sub) genres and having some crossover influences from totally different kinds of electronic music. Hospital was completely open to all our ideas and didn’t restrict us in any way…that’s why our album sounds very different to all the others on the label! A lot of the tunes were originally made for us to use in our DJ sets – high energy with the intention of a huge impact on the dancefloor – there’s nothing better for a DJ than seeing the crowd go mental to one of your own productions! Another pretty new thing for us was working with vocalists, which turned out great, in particular with our favourite singer Ayah Marar.
TiD&B: We heard from London Elektricity that you actually finished the album earlier this year, but have been very good in keeping the tracks on the down-low, refraining from playing them out – how did you manage to keep so patient…particularly with so many interested to hear the new material?
C&K: It was important to us to keep the album content fresh for release so we could surprise our fans. Furthermore we kept writing new tunes and updating the mixdowns all the time, that’s why we now have a 18 track bundle of brilliant tunes – we are very proud of them
TiD&B: You’ve mentioned before that a favourite on the album is ‘Run Riot’, it’s one of ours too, the drop is deadly! How did that track come together?
C&K: It all started with the creepy vintage intro and the catchy breakdown; after the long drum roll was arranged we knew we had to do something really heavy for the drop to keep the energy of the build up, and so the monster was born! We called it ‘Run Riot’ as the impact it had on the dancefloor when we played it, was just unbelievable.
TiD&B: You’re both known for being perfectionists in the studio, so how do you know when a track’s complete? Can making that decision at times be difficult?
C&K: Over time, you get a routine in the studio and you know a tune is finished if A) the CPU is on 100% or B) the tune already has everything it needs. But you keep revisiting your mixdowns till the very last moment before it gets sent to mastering. For the tunes on the album, we probably had about 50 different mixdowns for each one, always improving a tad.
TiD&B: What would you say are each other’s best qualities in the studio?
C&K: Krooked is more responsible for the catchy hook melodies and soundscape writing, while Camo is the guy for the arrangement and mixdowns, but everything basically happens in permanent consulting.
TiD&B: You collaborate with a variety of producers and vocalists on ‘Cross The Line’, were there any specifically memorable moments when working with them that you can share?
C&K: We recorded Ayah Marar´s vocals at the Hospital Studio; she came in to sing on ‘Watch It Burn’ and nailed it right from the beginning, as we had some time left we played her the other tunes from the album and she really loved ‘Cross The Line’. So we had a little chat with our manager and two days later she came back to the studio and nailed that one as well, straight away…unbelievable.
Camo & Krooked feat. Ayah Marar ‘Watch It Burn’
Camo & Krooked feat. Ayah Marar ‘Cross The Line’
TiD&B: We know D&B is your first love, but you also often talk about skateboarding and your penchant for techno beats too, having produced under the moniker Chrome – for newbies to both, can you give us any C&K Recommendations… so we can find out what’s hot in those worlds?
C&K: As working in the studio takes up so much time, we don’t have much time for skateboarding anymore, but we keep ourselves updated through sites like www.skatevideosite.com or www.theberrics.com. We’ve also stopped producing as Chrome since Camo & Krooked has totally taken over and we’re sticking to our first love, D&B. But with regards to other music, we listen a lot to Electro and French House like Wolfgang Gartner, Justice, Sebastian and all those guys. It’s kind of a reinvention of funk, but with more dirt. On the other side, we also dig the melodic side of minimal techno, like Stefan Bodzin, Marc Romboy, Gui Boratto and plenty more.
TiD&B: Do you have any words for those about to pick up a copy of ‘Cross The Line’?
C&K: ‘Cross The Line’ is easily the best thing we have done so far, putting in a lot of work with all the diverse productions. The most important thing for us is that people listen to our tunes; we are not hungry for going platinum or whatever, we just want to be heard. So if you bought/downloaded/listened/rocked to the album, big up your chest!
For all those eager to get their mitts on Camo & Krooked’s ‘Cross the Line’ (released on Monday 3rd October) you can pre-order it here.