Not only are K & D back, they’ve got a full album on the way, and that set us thinking….
To say Peter Kruder & Richard Dorfmeister were a massive influence and inspiration to all things Funkdub is a huge understatement. In the mid 90s, both of us had been collecting every remix and release we could lay our hands on – seeking out 12″ singles, CD singles, obscure compilations, anything that had a slice of Viennese dub on it. Ultimately all of those tracks were showcased when the seminal “K & D Sessions” compilation was released in 1998. In 2015 3DJ gathered together all of those original vinyl releases he’d collected from far and wide to put together his own “K & D Sessions Re-Visited” mix – still rightfully our most popular session on Mixcloud. The other towering K & D release was the spectacular session they did for DJ Kicks – still one of the all time great DJ mixes, blending smoked out beats, heavyweight dubs, and sliding into lush drum n bass and electronics – simply unforgettable. GK’s most recent session is roundabout tribute to that mix, featuring recent tracks from both of their solo output and splicing dub, jungle, beats & electronica.
K & D were often given the label “trip hop” – a description rejected by virtually every artist to whom it was applied – understandably so. The plain fact is that the artists who were often tagged with that label were exceptionally diverse – geographically – DJ Krush from Japan, Thievery Corporation & DJ Shadow from the USA, Smith & Mighty and Massive Attack in Bristol, Nightmares on Wax in Leeds, and of course Kruder & Dorfmeister from Austria (to list just a *very* few of the biggest names). More significant, and central to the rejection of the term was the diversity of the music the producers made, which was and is reflected in their DJ styles. If you listen to any of the records or mixes from the above you’ll hear hip hop, dub, drum & bass with shades of electronica and pulsing beats all sitting together – it was a genre that wasn’t a genre at all.
Having said all of that there was definitely a sonic commonality to many of the artists that attracted the “trip hop” label and that was the influence of dub. Dub had always formed a part of the DNA of dance music, (Andrew Weatherall & Adrian Sherwood being obvious examples). Of course the Jungle scene fused fast paced breakbeat music with the spirit and bass of the dancehall. But the flames of Jungle only burned for a few years, but that dub influence was shot through all these artists and throughout the 90s and went on to influence music for years and years to come. For 3DJ & I that diversity of approach & the all pervading influence of dub really changed *everything*, both as music fans back in the day and playing records ever since. We’d strongly recommend Gilles Peterson’s “The 20” from earlier this year – solid gold – also this run down of some classics of the time is great as well, and not forgetting the pretty remarkable “Man From Mo’Wax” documentary.
In a packed field, K & D were right at the very top, but their time as a team was relatively short. For the best part of 20 years, from the end of the 90s onwards, both embarked on a multitude of other ventures and always premium standard productions. Dorfmeister teamed up with Rupert Huber to form Tosca, Kruder embarked on the Peace Orchestra project. Throughout the intervening years there were various other releases and different guises and styles – most notably in the “The Exchange” album in 2018 which saw Richard Dorfmeister and a host of collaborators fusing dub with dance music in the classic style. Meanwhile Peter Kruder turned out a sensational Boiler Room set in 2015, comprising entirely of original productions – the Boxer 100 EP from 2016 featuring 3 of those is an absolute gem.
But for those of us who loved those original productions and DJ sets when they both combined the sightings were few and far between. In 2007 GK took a trip to the Big Chill to see them team up with Earl Zinger for a DJ session, outside of that there was very little. However, in 2019, more than 20 years after “The K & D Sessions” the pair made a comeback, embarking on a huge tour all round Europe. The Funkdub crew made the pilgrimage to the Albert Hall in Manchester, for what was a magnificent and cathartic show – a full 3 hour joint DJ set, taking in all manner of different styles, closing out with a volley of classic cuts and met with a truly rapturous reception. For a flavour of those shows check out this video of the full set they played in Brussels.
In a year bereft of much good news, the emergence in August of a brand new K & D track “Johnson” alongside a mesmerising video was a rare bright spot. Two more singles followed, King Size in September followed up with Swallowed By The Moon. The full album drops on the 13th of November and is aptly titled “1995”, the new material immediately evokes the classic releases, and there’s a good reason for that – this is the debut album that everyone expected but never appeared. The duo rescued the DATs from the original Viennese dub basement and brought them into the light. Here at Funkdub HQ we always like to look forwards, but for Kruder & Dorfmeister we are very happy to make an exception – nobody has ever matched their singular sound and to have it back in 2020 is both a balm and a rare treat.
To celebrate the new record there’s a virtual release party this friday:
“As K&D invite us to get lost in a smoke-laden time capsule to rediscover the contents of a box of unreleased DATs found in a Viennese basement behind the old G-stone studio 2, the Virtual Release Party for the 1995 album offers the opportunity to participate in an immersive musical experience on a different level and in a purely digital world courtesy of creatives Jascha Süß and Yunus Sezer from ’formlos creative studio’.
Each track off 1995 will have its own room and guests will be free to navigate unique audio-visual spaces featuring visualizers, surreal landscapes and more! This is a further expansion on the theory of “K&D Time”, however, let’s not forget the time we find ourselves in now. Therefore, it will also be a social space where one can enjoy the new music from K&D while moving through virtual rooms and interacting with other guests and K&D fans too.”