Next up on Heist is the fast-fingered synth wizard Crackazat for an EP full of crunchy chords, tight grooves and a remix by Detroit house royalty Rick Wade.
Crackazat’s fusion of jazz and house are a perfect match with the upbeat sound we dig over here at Heist HQ. So after his recent outing on Freerange with the brilliant “Valentine EP” and his regular work on Local Talk, we’re happy to have Crackazat feature on Heist.
The Alfa EP kicks off with the title track: A track full of bouncing piano riffs and skipping hihats for a serious dose of high energy house music. The frantic keys and drums are countered by a lead and dreamy pads with an almost ethereal vibe to it. But don’t be misled, this track is pure dancefloor heat and is exactly what we love about house music.
“Class one” goes into a more mellow direction, with warm fuzzy chords on the 1 and an eyes-shut lead solo with so much space it seems to be coming from a different galaxy. The whole track has such a comforting feeling; Like a thick blanket of chords warming you up and crystalline synth hits telling you everything will be all right. The energy does pick up around the 3 minute mark with another showcase of Crackazat’s excellent feel for chords, when he introduces another lovely loop to accompany the solo. Pure class.
Class One is out 01/22/20 on Heist Recordings
Title: Class One
Label: Heist Recordings
Release Date: 2021-01-22
Interview with Crackazat
1.) Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. So you’re originally from Bristol, UK. Where are you based now? What took you there? How are things for the good people of your home town/ city right now?
I now live in Uppsala Sweden. I moved here 10 years ago after meeting my wife who is from Stockholm
As for the good people of Bristol, I hope they are all doing well. I have my parents plus many good friends there and I hope they are all coping with life during this pandemic.
2.) Great to see you releasing your Alfa Ep over on Heist. Is this your first on the label? How did you hook up with Maarten and Lars?
I am thrilled to release on Heist. I have been a huge fan of both Dam Swindle and Heist since their formation.
Releasing on Heist as been a wish of mine for some time. I believe we started discussion a year or two ago, after I released my third and final album on Local Talk Records.
3.) You’re known for your fast fingered wizardry on the on the keyboards. What is your background in music? Are you classically trained? What instruments do you play?
My background in music begins in my teen years playing and writing in rock bands, and ends with a university degree in Jazz performance and composition in 2009. The story in between spans my discovery of hip hop, jazz, funk and soul music. I play Bass, Guitar and keyboards. I am not classically trained, however I am academically trained in Jazz theory.
4.) As well as fast fingers, I read you had fast feet when you were a kid. You were a dancer right?
Yes! My mother is a tap dancer and I grew up tap dancing and helping her teach tap. We danced and learnt the rhythms of jazz and swing.
5.) Can you tell us about your live performance pre Covid? You supported Bonobo and Floating Points. Does it get any better than that?
Those two shows were some of my very first gigs some 10 years ago. I was am unknown artist to the crowd with a very primitive live set up. That said, I remember a positive response from the audience and feeling that what I was doing really worked. Does it get any better? I can’t speak for anyone else but I think my live show has improved significantly since then!
6.) Your music is a fusion of house and jazz. Who are your musical inspirations? Are there some house or jazz masters styles that you admire and you channel in your productions?
Herbie Hancock, Jamiroqui, James Brown, Miles Davis, George Duke, Chick Corea, Bobby Hutcherson..the list goes on. As for House, Kerri Chandler, Floating Points, Leon Vynehall, and Lone.
7.) Can you highlight a favourite Heist release from their catalog?
Ooh there are so many! I would say Frits Wentink’s Rising Sun, Falling Coconut EP if I have to pick one. To be honest I love all Dam Swindle and Fouks EP’s.
8.) Tell us about the Alfa EP. Can you give a brief run through of the tracks?
The Alfa EP is my own interpretation of what I like about the Heist Sound, and what I think defines it. The first track Alfa is high energy, Class One is low energy and Tiger’s Eyes is experimental.
9.) Rick Wade is a pretty heavy remixer to have onboard. How did you make that happen?
We have Dam Swindle to thank for that!
10.) What’s up next for Crackazat? What should we look out for?
You can look out for my most involving, personal and expansive project yet, which will be released later in 2021.
11.) 2020 is a year we all want to put behind us. What is your mantra for 2021?
I don’t know the exact words, but it will be something to do with telling my kids that their grandparents are coming to visit.
Turn it up & enjoy!