Exclusive Interview with Kriss-Kross (Nexus Media)

Kriss-Kross is the progressive project of Cape-Town-dwelling Ross Moore and Christopher Hansen.  The dynamic duo were recently signed by Nexus Media, along with Infectious and D-Sciple, and represent the next-generation of psytrance with their grooving daytime jams, punctuated by 138 BPM. Kriss-Kross is set to perform at Aurora SA this Saturday. We were fortunate enough to have a chat with them.

krisskross

These questions were compiled by Batia Efrat on behalf of Psyked in the City.


Psyked:
Hi guys! Thanks for talking to me today. Kriss-Kross is on the frontier of the psy-prog craze that’s recently swept the scene. Do you think that this style is gaining more popularity than harder-hitting trance genres at the moment? And why?

Kriss-Kross:
Prog is definitely in the lime light at the moment. From our point of view, it has a lot to do with the fact that the scene in Cape Town has exploded over the past few years and most of the internationals that we get to see are prog acts, which has led to the genre’s rising popularity of psyprog, especially among the younger generation. With that being said, we still believe that there is a time and place for everything. We have some of the best full-on producers in the world, right here on our door step, there will always be place for full-on trance in Cape Town.


Psyked:
I’ve heard that you two first met at a Lockdown party. Tell me a bit about why you decided to avoid taking the darker road into psytrance for Kriss-Kross.

Kriss-Kross:
We were both initially into darker full-on psytrance. We used to produce at 145 BPM, nothing slower. But as time went by, we began experimenting with our separate productions. Ross decided to start focussing more on the slower BPM range. At first, it wasn’t easy for Chris because he wasn’t a fan of the slower stuff. Then, after witnessing Captain Hook destroy the dancefloor at Alien Safari, he changed his perspective. That’s when we found our true musical calling. We wanted to do something unique. In Cape Town, the number of prog producers and DJs was relatively low compared to that of the harder-hitting genres, so it was an easy decision to focus on a more progressive style for Kriss-Kross.


Psyked:
What’s it like to be signed by a highly distinguished label such as Nexus Media, alongside “Big Boys” of the psy scene, including sHiFt and Bruce?

Kriss-Kross:
Well, it came unexpectedly. During our teens, all we could talk about was getting signed to a label and playing at parties. Being signed by Nexus Media was a huge milestone for our Kriss-Kross project. It helps a lot when you are backed by a label, especially from a promotional point of view. Because Nexus Media is a highly distinguished label, it’s opened up a lot of great opportunities for us which we are highly grateful for.


Psyked:
You initially received some help from Chris Hoy (aka sHiFt) to master a few of your tracks. As an up-and-coming act, how important is it to have a good mentor?

Kriss-Kross:
It’s very important. We are very lucky to have a mentor like Chris Hoy (sHiFt). When someone with so much knowledge and experience is able to help you, it can only do you well. Writing a track is a lot harder than the average person tends to think, and having a mentor becomes a catalyst for improving your own quality of production. We are constantly learning more and more, and we have been fortunate enough to have a few mentors on our side. Thanks to Chris Hoy, James A. Copeland (aka Broken Toy) and Moran Ben Mein, to mention a few, for always pointing us in the right direction and giving us excellent feedback.


Psyked:
How would you describe Kriss-Kross’s signature style?

Kriss-Kross:
Our signature style definitely leans more towards the minimal side and combines elements of progressive, tech, and electro. We always love a powerful kick and bass whether it’s swinging, offbeat or triplets, we love them all. We try to incorporate catchy melodies with clever tight percussion for that extra groove.  However, we feel there are no boundaries to our music so our style is still pretty experimental.


Psyked:
Tell me a bit about the upsides and downsides of production. What’s the jump like from DJing to producing?

Kriss-Kross:
There is a big difference. Playing a DJ set is a lot of fun. All you need are good tunes and some mixing skills and you’re good to go. Playing a live set is a completely different experience. Showing the world your own perspective on music and not knowing how the crowd will respond is actually quite nerve-racking. But when they respond in a positive way, the feeling is amazing. Words cannot describe it. As we said before, it isn’t as easy as people think. It requires hard work and dedication.  And it does become very time-consuming which is the reason a lot of people aren’t able to fully commit to production. You also tend to become very judgmental about “your own” production as you progress, which can be problematic as a duo if your opinions clash.


Psyked:
Not too long ago, you remixed Captain Hook’s Human Design and are set to release your Osher and Vertigo remixes. Are there plans to release any other remixes in the near future?

Kriss-Kross:
Yeah, we have done quite a few remixes recently. It’s a lot of fun remixing a track but it’s also very challenging. We recently did a remix of Morten Granau’s “New World Older” which is due to be released on his remixed EP. Our remix of Funk Truck (Alchemy Records) “Moonwork”  will be released on our 2nd EP, “Reaction” with Nexus Media. We are currently planning to focus our attention on writing more originals and we have a few more tracks with Liquid Viking lined up, for our new co-lab act.  We also have an exciting new versus track in the pipeline but we won’t spill the beans on that just yet.


Psyked:
How would you gauge the response to your Debut EP, Trouble Maker, which was released in January this year?  And can we expect the full release of your second EP, Reaction v2 anytime soon?

Kriss-Kross:
The response to our debut EP has been amazing. It’s done a lot better than we ever thought was possible. We’d really like to thank all of those who supported us along the way; it gave us a major vote of confidence to continue working hard. We’re very excited about our next EP “Reaction,” which is due to be released within the next few months. It will be a 5-track EP so stay on the look-out for that.


Psyked:
Kriss-Kross performed at various milestone events throughout the season including The Collective – Paradise Beach starring Morten Granau and One World NYE Festival featuring Freedom Fighters and Coming Soon.  What’s on the agenda for Kriss-Kross this winter?

Kriss-Kross:
Studio, studio, studio, prepping for the up-and-coming summer season.  We were lucky enough to play at some amazing events with some incredible artists over the past season and we hope to do it all again next summer. Until then, you can stay up to date with all of our winter gigs via our Facebook page. We’ll be playing at Aurora SA and Nexus Media presents Ruback and Wega at The Side Show on the 28th of June, as well as Retrospectrum ft. Unseen Dimensions. It’s definitely going to be a good indoor season in Cape Town.


Psyked:
Before we wrap things up, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Kriss-Kross:
To everyone that has supported thus far, we are truly grateful.  Thank you. We hope to see everyone on the dance floor again soon!


ENTER NOW to win bartabs and tickets to see Kriss-Kross perform at Aurora SA featuring Wega and Ruback.

10408806_490021357810629_3190430450823874670_n

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s