Krysko: The ‘Ransom Note’ Mix


Imagine this… You're walking through the beautiful Pennines with your mate, a glass of bitter in hand that you've scarpered from the local pub with. Your new trainers are caked in mud but you don't care much; you've got that fresh countryside breeze on your face and it feels really, really good.

You sigh deeply and say to your mate "I'm pretty sure we've peaked, but you know what could make this situation that little bit better?" He shrugs. "A bit of music."

But what soundtrack could possibly chime with such beautiful surroundings – both sonically and geographically? You ponder for a moment, then suddenly it comes to you… Some traditional Yorkshire folk song would do the trick!

Well, that's what Krysko promised to deliver when we got him on board for this mix but unfortunately he came back with something completely different…

A fully fledged veteran of the dance and a self-proclaimed Rave Dad, the West Yorkshire-born DJ has held residencies at some of Manchester's most important venues, from Sankeys to Tribal Gathering and The Warehouse Project, where he remains the original and longest standing resident. 

His DJ sets navigate the far corners of house and techno, a lineage that he continues for his 'No Yorkshire Folk Songs' mix – his first recording in years. There might not be any 'On Ilkla Moor Baht'At' edits in sight but this two hour mix shows exactly why he's been in the game for so long…

Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you?

Good morning, my name is Matthew and I’m a regionally famous DJ from the EU.

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?

Where was the mix recorded?

One night in late December I broke into a Richer Sounds in South Manchester with my four year old boy. Considering it it was our first ‘breaking and entering’ it was surprisingly easy, he got through the window easily to disable the alarm, and with it being their busiest retail period I was happy they still had all the equipment I needed. It was done in one take in order to avoid the security guard rounds, hence a couple mistakes, but overall I’m happy with it. (The truth is much less interesting).

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

In a local constabulary holding cell, I’d like to think it’d raise a persons spirits. Unless they didn’t like electronic music, then it’d be an awful experience for them, considering their circumstances. Alternatively, maybe for you all in the R$N office, play it loud so you don't have to listen to your editor Wil prattle on. I know how grating he can be. I actually have a lot of respect for you guys for putting up with him day-to-day, although I expect he’s more of an ‘executive editor’ nowadays, not doing much, apart from swanning around the world to different festivals. So hopefully his less than hands-on approach to working is a benefit to you all.

What should we be wearing?

Nonflammable attire and slippers.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

I should apologise, I find it very difficult to do these interview things seriously. I read back over a few from previous mixes and some of the answers have been so astute and meaningful my response is to take the piss, probably because I’m not terribly interesting. Anyway, here’s a serious one. I’d like to record a live set and be happy for it to be posted to be listened to, as I’ve never managed to do it. I think the context between capturing the essence of something live, and planning a home recording are worlds apart. So yeah, doing that in any setting/system/format would be nice. Unlikely, but nice.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

Just like my children, I don’t have a favourite. That wouldn’t be fair and who’d really care what it was anyway?

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

To be contradictory, this ones easy. There’s a 1992 DJ Sy mix tape cassette that I got when I was 11 that I recently tracked down, that was the start of it all for me, I couldn’t believe it when I found it. Nearly 30 years on and I still remember all the MC’s parts… having never really heard this music in the context of a live recording, it completely blew me away. Still does. The bit at 31min onwards gets me quite emotional, actually being able to go back and hear the recorded moment when I thought, fuck me, this is it…

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

None. Because the fantasy would never match the reality, so why ruin the fantasy?

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

Soundlab DLP 1’s and a Technics scratch mixer when I was 12 (jumpers for goalposts and all that). Now it’s 1210’s and a Master Sounds Radius Two. This is genuinely the truth though, I bought some CDJs for the first time before Christmas especially for this mix, so I’m down quite a bit of money having said yes to doing it (completely Wil’s fault, again).

What were the first and last records you bought?

I think 99% of people lie when asked this question, you weren’t cool when you were eight years old so stop pretending. Although having said that, the first record was 'Hangin’ Tough' by New Kids on the Block. I still remember all the lyrics, here, listen… 

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh 

Listen up everybody if you wanna take a chance
Just get on the floor and do the new kids' dance
Don't worry 'bout nothin' 'cause it won't take long
We're gonna put you in a trance with a funky song

'Cause you gotta be hangin' tough
Hangin' tough, hangin' tough,
We're rough

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Everybody's always talkin' 'bout who's on top
Don't cross our path 'cause you're gonna get stomped

We ain't gonna give anybody any slack
And if you try to keep us down we're gonna come right back

And you know we're hangin' tough
Hangin' tough, hangin' tough,
Are you tough enough?
Hangin' tough, Hangin' tough, hangin' tough,

We're rough

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

The last was this absolute belter – Paténipat by Charlotte Adigéry. I’m yet to learn the lyrics.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

I’m sorry, I can’t bring myself to answer this.

If it was an animal what would it be?

Or this one.

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

Nothing is impossible, because you can always just stop and start. I think that’s why if I’m happy with a mix I’ve recorded, but it has some ‘mistakes’ in it like this one does, I don’t see any point in trying again. It is what it is. However ‘perfect’ you think something such as a mix can be, there will always be faults based on personal preference of the listener. I learnt a long time to stop trying to please everyone all of the time, that way madness lies.

Upcoming in the world of Krysko…

Just continuing with the myth that I’ve been able to make a career out of DJing, therefore asking friends if I can play their nights and festivals. So much of the same… I should add though I’ve never enjoyed playing out more than I have done recently, I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s a genuinely amazing scene out there, with so many diverse and inspiring people grafting at what they do, whether it be DJs, producers, promoters, label owners etc. In adverse circumstances it’s thriving out there and long may it continue.

Anything else we need to discuss?

I think that’s enough, don’t you.

Follow Krysko.