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So far in a glittering career he has gained dance music’s top accolades including Best International DJ at the Australian Dance Music Awards, Breakspoll’s Face of Breaks 2003 and Best Breaks DJ at the M8 Ibiza awards 2006, in only his first year as a resident on the white isle. A stunning haul at Breakspoll 2007 saw him claiming Best Album for his debut long player ‘Freakshow’, Best DJ for a record third consecutive year and to cap it off, the richly deserved Outstanding Contribution to Breakbeat award that acknowledged his long journey to the acme of club culture.
Inspired by the hip-hop and electro sounds that were rocking his world, Martin first stepped behind a pair of decks when he entered a DJ competition and incredibly, as a complete novice, he made it all the way to the final. With his love affair for the wheels of steel well and truly cemented, Krafty Kuts set about learning his art, perfecting the cutting and scratching that was to become the core of his DJ sets.
Immersing himself in the music he loved, Martin went on to run one of Brighton’s most popular record shops throughout the 90s. Building an encyclopaedic knowledge of dance music in all its forms, Krafty’s expertise marked him out as a prime supplier of dance-floor bullets to Brighton’s musical elite, including the town’s most famous son Norman Cook. Having built a fearsome DJing reputation for himself across the south-coast, with a string of high-octane gigs it was during 1996 that Martin took the next logical step, transferring his dance-floor knowledge to the studio, creating his own tracks to take his sets to the next level.
His first big break came when a dubplate of Krafty Kuts’ ‘Gimme The Funk’ found its way to Norman Cook who immediately snapped it up for his Southern Fried label, releasing it to huge club approval. Suitably impressed Ministry of Sound offshoot FSUK took on Krafty unleashing a string of classic singles; ‘Funky Elements’, ‘Wild In the Aisles’ (a tribute to Martin’s legendary appearance on Supermarket Sweep!) and ‘Return of the Elements’.
With his own tracks elevating his profile across the globe Martin mixed his first compilation ‘Slam On The Breaks’ which gathered the cream of the breaks scene into a mercurial mix, further enhancing his notoriety as a devastating deck technician and selling by the bucket-load. At about the same time, Krafty hooked up with Skool of Thought to establish the SuperCharged club night. Home to his longest standing residency, the night continues to pull in huge crowds and after 8 years of all encompassing party action on a Wednesday night, it is now one of Breakbeat’s most globally revered nights.
With the club world at his mercy the demand for Krafty’s studio abilities reached new heights. Becoming the remixer du jour, Krafty transformed numerous tracks in to serious party bangers for the likes of Jurassic 5, Arthur Baker, Eric B & Rakim, Stakker Humanoid and Afrika Bambaataa’s Funky Heroes’, for which he won a Best Remix award.
By 1999, with his all-encompassing club style, blending beats and breaks across the board, honed to perfection, Martin entered the studio with Freddy Fresh, long standing studio partner Ed Solo and NY’s own Dr Luke. Together they produced a series of beats and skits that were destined to become the backbone of Finger Lickin’s legendary Finger Lickin Funk release.
The following two years saw Martin’s star rise still further, creating music for a Coca Cola advert, PlayStation 2 and Guy Richie’s ‘Mean Machine’ as well as mixing one of Mixmag’s most popular cover mount CDs. With DJing and music making taking up all of his time, Krafty decided it was time to leave music sales behind and left the record shop that had proved pivotal in his early career. Free to concentrate fully on his creative side Martin launched both the Against The Grain and SuperCharged labels with club partner Skool of Thought and began releasing a series of smart-bombs that would hake the foundations of the Breaks scene. The ‘Lost Plates EP’, ‘Lock The Hype’ and ‘Sound Check’ proved beyond any doubt that Krafty Kuts was now established as a force to be reckoned with in dance music.
Having conquered the Breaks scene, Martin turned his attentions to a different groove and returned to his Hip-Hop roots. Following up on a contact made during his record shop days, he began a studio collaboration with up and coming DJ A-Skillz, that resulted in the stunning Hip-Hop and Party Breaks album Trickatechnology. Critically lauded on it’s release, the album saw the pair collaborating with rhyming behemoth Kurtis Blow, Dr Luke and Freakpower’s Ashley Slater on a series of superlative turntable compositions that demonstrated Martin’s fathomless knowledge of old skool breaks.
With the demand for his records and club sets showing no sign of slowing down, Martin took a backseat with the labels and club promotion and flung himself headlong into non-stop touring and recording. Working solidly throughout 2006 Krafty completed his debut solo album, Freak Show. Once again the tracks featured a stellar cast of collaborators from the Scratch Perverts, Tim Deluxe and Dynamite MC, to long term associates A-Skillz, Ashley Slater and Dr Luke. Mirroring Krafty Kuts’ universal approach to partying and the dance-floor, the album moved through myriad tempos, taking in Acid, Breaks, Booty Bass and Funk with a consummate ease. Again the plaudits flooded in, with Freak Show gaining album of the month in DJ magazine and top marks across the board. The album’s lead single ‘Bass Phenomenon' was a ubiquitous feel good anthem of the summer and its popularity proved such that it won DJ Magazine single of the year 2006. Still played world-wide the track has recently spawned its own remix competition. Following hard on its heels a Fabriclive compilation proved to be one of the series’ most popular instalments with Martin’s trademark eclectic nature shining through.
From humble beginnings Krafty Kuts is now one of the big players on the world’s club scene DJing alongside The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim and even the Rolling Stones. Continuing his residency at SuperCharged (which will be free before 11pm as of January 2008) Martin is unequivocally one of the hardest working DJs around. With his forthcoming Back To Mine already raising the bar for the well established series it appears there is no end in sight to the meteoric rise of Krafty Kuts.