Krakota’s Debut Album Strange System Is Finally Here
Posted by Snapclicker on 1st September 2016
Krakota, whilst having bountiful youth on his side has in fact been honing his skills from Bournemouth to beyond for many moons now.
This guy can clearly produce – his music at times sounding like a well polished army boot.
He also has that delightful ability to be playful. Previous single ‘Xylo’ shows how absolutely batsh*t crazy he can be, and in such a good way. It’s a great addition to an album for those who may not have previously enjoyed it’s hypnotic effect.
‘Strange System’ begins with ‘North Winds’ and you can hear not only his attention to detail but a 2016 Hospital sound which is finding it’s feet with their new generation. Think vintage Cyantific meets a Nu:Tone retro juggernaut.
Karina Ramage, ILLAMAN, Lifford and Benji Clements all add their featuring vocals throughout the LP to give the textbook ‘it’s an album so it’s got to have singers on’ feel but if i’m completely honest it’s elsewhere that Krakota shines.
Stand out tracks for me include ‘Half Life’, which sounds something like playing a Dimension tune into a set of angry badgers having a tea party and they’re REALLY pretty vexed about it. The intro straddles the line of that gleaming synthy lead based d’n’b which has been over saturating things for a while, but this has got more than enough balls to get the job done in a classy way. It’s a ‘why yes, i will have a second cocktail’ rather than a ‘please remove your hand from my thigh sir’.
‘Powder Coated’ featuring London Elektricity reminds me of my favourite parts from Man Vs Food on the tellybox. Imagine London Elek’s soul soaked sounds being the lovingly balanced steak and cheese sandwich. That’s good, why change it? Well in steps Krakota to dip it into a vat of solid glimmering beefy gravy and then pour chilli flakes on top. Yeah, napkins at the ready.
‘Sea Air’ is placed last on the album, sometimes quite an odd place for a tune to find itself – and it is an odd tune. It sounds like a bout of gloves off fisty cuffs between toppy lead blips, vintage piano chords and squelching water in your wellies bass. Weirdly it works very well indeed. Admittedly it’ll be more of a scenic drive soundtrack than the seasonal slammer but it needn’t be anything more than what it is, good music!
You can tell Krakota really has the ears and support of the Hospital family behind him, most noticeably in the A&R department heard throughout this album as a body of work, not a collection of singles. ‘Turn Of Fate’ is like a glistening acid trip version of an early High Contrast 12″, ‘Elastic’ updates Danny Byrd’s Bristolian rolling flair and ‘Carmine’ has elements of Camo & Krooked electrons fused into a jungly jiggler. (Pretty sure i just invented a sub-genre there, thank me later when MistaJam’s Weekly Jungly Jiggler is a thing radio pluggers desperately clamber for…..)
While comparisons to the old guard may sound negative to some, it really isn’t. This is a debut album from an artist finding his own sound. His influences sound varied yet firmly planted in the era of when Hospital were quite simply an unstoppable force within fast soul music, as their recent compilations have shown. There’s also Culture Shock, Sub Focus and Wilkinson style bleeps, bloops, ting tangs and big synth leads in the melting pot but done in a mature way, not a cringe ‘jheez, he’s ripped that straight off this’ kind of way.
The best thing about ‘Strange System’ is that it’s not strange in the slightest. It shows great talent, a producer with quality sonic delivery and an ability to mould his influences in a coherent direction.
I think what will be most interesting is watching how Krakota builds on this album as an artist. Hospital have a fantastic DJ and producer to usher in the new generation of their roster. I genuinely do believe the sky’s the limit for someone with this much talent and potential. Music is a constant evolution, and in my opinion ‘Strange System’ is a brilliant example of watching someone’s sound evolve. Every inch of the suit may not yet be tailored to perfection, but it looks bloody good.