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Baker's Dozen

Relentless Education: Krust's 13 Favourite Albums
Neil Kulkarni , September 22nd, 2021 08:20

Drum & bass pioneer Krust takes Neil Kulkarni through the records that shaped him, from the lessons learnt from Public Enemy, Wu-Tang Clan and Yellow Magic Orchestra to the "revelation" of Flying Lotus, via The Beatles, Michael Jackson and more


Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

I remember seeing Public Enemy at Brixton Academy around the time this was about to drop and it was so intense, it was like being in a car crash for an hour. On stage they were like James Brown - so organised, so disciplined, the way the S1Ws moved and danced - you saw a group of people performing at a very high level and that was so rare in live hip hop at the time it was hugely influential to so many of us in those audiences.

Public Enemy were like the unspoken godfathers of breakbeat hardcore and jungle weren’t they?

Well, for a lot of people involved in that first wave of jungle, hip hop absolutely was our musical obsession and Public Enemy was a pinnacle for us. Relentless. It was like everything you’d grown up listening to condensed into three-minute blasts. Relentless beats, relentless education, eloquent poetry based on the world, geography, economics, spirituality, black empowerment. And you HAD to sit up and pay attention, you’d never heard anything like it. Public Enemy were a huge precursor for me in how we approached jungle - they have this WALL of sound and what it did to us psychologically is not leave much room to question what was going on. Public Enemy’s music and ideas happened too quickly to really ‘interpret’ it on first listen, and that’s the way we approached jungle in those early days. It was about not overthinking things but letting your intuition and imagination guide your music. In a live and recorded sense, Public Enemy were massively important to so many of us who would go on to make music in the 90s.

Did you ever meet Chuck D?

Yeah I had the pleasure of interviewing him once and bless him, I had so much I wanted to ask him and I only managed to get one question out before he just schooled me for an hour. It was the most educational hour-long chat I’ve ever had!