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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


Michael Jackson - Thriller

I was 15. I remember seeing an advert on Channel Four saying ‘At nine o'clock we're going to show you the new Michael Jackson video.’ Everybody was at home at nine o'clock that night. And when it dropped, we were like, ‘Oh my fucking god, What had we just saw?’ A 15 minute Movie for a song that completely blows your mind. For a lot of us, Michael was the first superstar who’d come from a superstar group and become a solo superstar. He was black as well, which as a 15-year-old growing up in a predominately white working class environment was so important - in my life there was no one on TV who looked like me, or who was in that position of influence. When as a young black kid you saw what he was able to do and achieve it blew your mind - how can you do that amazing jump and rise to fame?

Fast forward to a decade later when I started to produce and finding out Quincy Jones was the architect of Thriller sent me into a deep dive into Jones and all of the amazing things he’d done across jazz, classical and everything else. It blew my mind that he was already 50 when he made Thriller, it really made me rethink the game and what was open to me and how I really hadn’t even scratched the surface of all the musical possibilities you can explore in your career. Considering where Black Britain was in the early 80s, looking at people like MJ and what was happening in Black America at the time gave us something to strive for, something to admire, something that might even be achievable. I think if you were a person of colour back then you really didn’t see icons that look like you so what Michael achieved was so needed to break the insularity of our culture. The Commonwealth said to all of us - come to the motherland and integrate i.e leave your culture at home and keep your head down. Michael changed all of that for so many of us.