US born DJ/producer/vocalist Kevin Knapp is a triple threat whose presence on the global house music scene has been steadily growing over the past few years. Releasing choice tracks and collaborations on labels including Hot Creations, Dirtybird, OFF, Leftroom and ViVA Music, he’s built his rep for a hard-hitting, floor-filling sound that bridges the gap between old and new school.
Just before Miami Music Week kicked into high gear Knapp made his debut on Crosstown Rebels’ sub label Rebellion courtesy of Find Me EP. It’s a fiery four-tracker packed with a zillion volts of energy as well as beats and bass for days.
We asked the Berlin resident to share five tracks currently in heavy rotation, and he was more than happy to comply.
Ricoshëi – “If Ever” (Radio Edit) (What’s That?)
My homies over at Ricoshëi have been doing amazing music ever since their release a few years ago on Koze’s Pampa, which catapulted their careers to new heights. Because of the direction my sets usually take, their tunes often end up being special, textural moments for me (often at the end) which offsets the rough-and-tumble, funk imperative that usually pervades. This is what beauty sounds like to me.
Justin Martin – “The Feels” (Walker & Royce Remix) (Dirtybird)
These two are just murdering everything they touch right now in my opinion. I’ve played 95 percent of the tunes Walker & Royce have released over the last 18 months. Their sound just really speaks to me (as does Justin Martin’s). Whenever explaining to someone the kind of cuts I prefer I always tell folks “ass on bottom and head on top.” What I mean is you need that low-end bump that dares someone not to shake it, while engaging people’s minds with cerebral and/or dissonant melodies and sound palettes in the higher frequency ranges. These guys are doing this better than most everyone else to me at the moment.
The Mekanism – “Traverse” (Play It Say It)
This track from The Mekanism was released earlier this month on Seth Troxler’s Play It Say It label. It’s another good example of a tool track that helps break the relentless presence of an 808 or 909 kick in a set, while maintaining appropriate levels of funk. One of those tracks you pick up in promo thinking to yourself “maybe it’ll work for me” that ends up in every set for the next three months.
Lui Maldonado – “Hammer” (Playmobil)
This cut typifies the type of track I’m usually really drawn to. Dope, straight to the point, and all business vibes.
Ride – “The Relative Zero” (Faceless Recordings)
One of the things I love about living in Berlin is that you’re always rubbing shoulders with inspirational people. From wily industry vets to energetic young novice producers, we are all here mixing it up with each other here everyday. On a recent trip back from America my friends threw a party for me and this track was the talk of said event. This is the first track Matt’s (The Relative Zero) ever signed to a label and based on the level of dope. I have every confidence we’ve only just begun to hear from him.