In a strict sense, we don’t cover large swaths of the house and techno worlds, partially because our team is too small to cover the entire dance music realm and in part because our taste lies in non-linear club forms and less in the classic four-on-the-floor stomp. To say that house and techno, in their various manifestations, don’t enter the equation would silly though, both in terms of historicity and contemporary influence in ballroom, Bmore, footwork, etc. And recently, we’ve been enamored by a number of disparate elements, particularly in the house music world, ranging from the lof-fi boogie funk and spacey atmospherics of the Mood Hut clique to Public Possession’s polyglot proclivities and dedication to new wave in its various modern incarnations. There are dozens of other labels and artists that merit inclusion, but alas we only have time for brief mentions here in the intro.
Since 2011, French producer Krikor Kouchian has been churning out rough-and-tumble house and acid tunes as Crackboy, a deviation from his long-running project as Krikor, a project first established in wax in 1998. The Crackboy aesthetic is all drum machine texture and direct, club-focused structure, taking influence from Dance Mania’s early years and the classic French filter disco sound alike. Across solo releases and work as POV with Joakim, Krikor has developed something of a following with Crackboy, drawing fans who have disinvested from the form’s glossier side and prefer 303, 909 and RZ-1 workouts. To date, Crackboy’s best work has come on the aforementioned Joakim’s Tigersushi and Cosmo Vitelli‘s excellent I’m A Cliche, the Crackwood EP coming on the latter in 2013 and featuring still poignant jams like “Apes” and “Kiddo”.
And while Crackboy’s reach hasn’t exploded like some of his collaborators and continental contemporaries, his work in the French capitol is indisputable, from collaborations with Joakim and Jean Nipon to remixes for Para One, Blackstrobe and many more. His Astral Plane mix was recorded at Rex Club in Paris and acts as both an example of what a Crackboy club set looks like and a dissolution of his releases and influences into a consumable hour and fifteen minutes. Sparse acid arrangements are the dominant theme in much of Crackboy’s output and they find quite a bit of traction in the mix, only giving way halfway through to an arrangement of vocal performances and strict drum tracks that drive through the hour marker. The Crackboy project has only been running for a few years now, but he’s already latched onto an indelible club sound that fits right in with the rest of our series.