Drum & bass rocks, no doubt about it. It's the kind of genre where it's not hard to be exposed to its raucous noise and realise that's where things are at.
So what do you do when your dad is one of the industry greats? Obviously you take his lead, just like Crissy Criss did when father Kenny Ken kept throwing him out of his studio.
“Having Kenny's studio next to my bedroom, I had no way of not hearing the music in my room!” Crissy explains. “I'd come home from school and Kenny was in the studio; music was all I knew basically. Then when I got into music, I started recognising tracks and liking them. I would spend time in the studio; I would go in there and wonder what was going on; I saw the decks dad had and of course I knew about his huge record collection. I looked at these turntables and wondered firstly why he had two and not one! Second, he had this crossfader on the mixer and I would jump into his room while he was at work and I would try to copy what he was doing.”
Eventually the great Kenny Ken realised what his son was doing because all of his needles were broken, and eventually Junior was banned.
“Every time I saw a pair of decks I thought ‘I must touch them! I have to practice' I would say to myself. That's really how I got into it; then I finally got my own pair of decks and it was non-stop from there.”
Yet, while he’s grown up in the shadow of one of the genre's greats, he’s pushing his own boundaries and doing things the right way. Not succumbing to simple software setups to play his gigs, he’s all about the three-deck mash-up, taking styles and sounds outside traditional boundaries. “You see things like dubstep and drum & bass going hand in hand at the moment,” he says. “The same thing is happening at events all over the world with DJs from all kinds of genres ending up on the same line-up. Not so many types of music can go like that; it's this brother and sister sort of thing. It's bringing more people into the scene and people can make the connection from where things came from — I think it's only a good thing.”
Crissy has been back in the studio of late, after several months of touring heavily. “I did slow down a little there,” he says about his recent production output. “I was doing a lot of gigs, with things being pretty full on through March and April; I didn't get much done during that time. Since then, I've come back and I've had a couple of studio problems acoustically, so I've gone through a few ideas like moving apartments.”
Laughing, he explains that hasn't held him up much — he's got his groove on and is about to whet appetites again with an EP of seven, maybe eight tracks.
“Some of these tracks, I made three, four years ago. Some of them could actually still work now!” Finally, he adds that he’s getting back to Australia for the second time in as many years. “Last year, I had a great time out there. It's a beautiful country and the crowds are wicked. I had such a good time at the gigs I played. A lot has happened in the time since and I've got my three-deck setup ready to go! I have very fond memories of Australia — last time I was there I remember playing this mad crazy gig on four decks. I've been going through my collection and getting prepared ever since.”
Bring the rewind DJ.
Crissy Criss plays the Arena Friday May 25.