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19 jun. 2020

Interview met Crunkid

Morgen (20 juni) verschijnt het debuutalbum ¨Extra Terrestrial¨ van de Nijmeegse producer Crunkid op het Nederlandse label Wic Recordings (bekend van de ¨Katana ZERO¨ soundtrack). Met inspiratie van de elektronische muziek uit de jaren ´90 heeft Crunkid hier een eigentijdse draai aan gegeven en een fantastisch album afgeleverd. Check snel de Bandcamp pagina van Crunkid en ga zijn muziek beluisteren. Maar nu tijd voor een interview!

Tomorrow, June 20th, the debut album "Extra Terrestrial" by the Nijmegen producer Crunkid will be released on the Dutch label Wic Recordings (known from the "Katana ZERO" soundtrack). Inspired by electronic music from the 90s, Crunkid has given this a contemporary twist and delivered a fantastic album. Check out the Bandcamp page of Crunkid and listen to his music. But now time for an interview!

Crunkid

Reg, can you please introduce yourself?
I am Reg Verstegen, 21 years old, born in Nijmegen. I am an electronic music producer and signed to Wic Recordings. I started playing the guitar at the age of 10 and for a number of years my interest in synthesizers and electronic music has increased considerably. I am very much at home in 90’s music: breakbeats, acid, rave house and techno.

Congratulations with your new album "Extra Terrestrial". How was it to work on this album?
Extra Terrestrial was originally intended as an EP of approximately five songs. In every project you have a certain angle or style in which you create your songs. I loved writing in this ‘space’ theme and quickly got the feeling I had to make it bigger than just an EP.

The great thing about this album is that it's not just about the songs, but about the whole picture. For example, take the song Invaders Must Die (refers to: The Prodigy). This is not necessarily a track of its own; an ambiance is indicated here to enhance the story of the album. So the answer to the question is: it is very refreshing to be able to write in such a broad way.



You can pre-order the album ¨Extra Terrestrial¨ here!

In your bio I can read that you are obsessed with vintage drum machines like the Roland TR-909. What gear did you use for "Extra Terrestrial"?
I used a TR-909, TR-707, TR-606, BOSS-DR550, Akai-Tom Cat, Yamaha RM1X, TB-03, IK Uno Synth, Eminent Solina P255, Vinyl (samples), electric-, acoustic-, and classical guitar, Arturia Keylab as midi controller. I also recorded djembés and shakers!

Which songs are most special to you on the album?
Of course it remains difficult to choose, but Apollo 303 was the first song I wrote for the album; this remains special because Extra Terrestrial has started from here. The last song I wrote was 2090s. Or rather: I have rewritten. I was not satisfied with the original 2090s and decided to start over. The concept that transports you from the Portal to 2090 had to remain, so a new version had to come. In retrospect I am very happy with this track!

I also like Caught! as one of the songs that make the album strong. It is also more about the atmosphere and the intensity. A feeling is expressed and I personally think that this feeling accentuates the story.

Though ¨Extra Terrestrial¨ sounds very fresh, it also has influences from the 90´s. Which acts or producers from that era were a big influence for you?
The Prodigy comes first. I still think that what Liam Howlett as a producer and musician has managed to put down, is really insane! Artists such as the Chemical Brothers, ProppelerHeads, Front 242, Gessaffelstein, but also Tame Impala and MGMT. I didn't grow up with electronic music alone. I also listened a lot to hardcore/punk, rock and hip hop.

Crunkid - Extra Terrestrial

When you start working on a new song, how do you begin?
I always work from left to right, a kind of freestyle. I never think in advance how the song will be put together. Of course, a bpm gives you a feeling and a vision that you want to work towards. If I feel that the song needs a build-up or drop at some point, then I will try to realize it. However, I always have ideas in my mind about which instruments I want to use. And yes, it happens that some ideas sink a bit in the process and I don't use them. But I also save them and may apply later. Recycling can work very well!

What are you further plans for this year, though life is not normal nowadays due to COVID-19?
I am again busy with new ideas and want to focus more on live performing. I would actually do my first festival show last year, but unfortunately this has been canceled. Performing live takes a lot of time and energy, but it is certainly something I think there’s a future in. I think it would be very cool to control live drum computers and synthesizers. I already do this, in my own studio… unfortunately without an audience, haha!

What is the last movie that you have seen?
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, very heavy, dark film, and Jack Nicholson plays a great role in it! Favorite movie of all time? There is no reigning number one, but The Silence of the Lambs ends high in my list. Anthony Hopkins' screenplay is legendary!

You made a remix of the song ¨Volition¨ of the game soundtrack ¨Katana ZERO¨. What do you think of this soundtrack and the game itself?
I have also played the game myself and found it very entertaining. A 2D game always plays away easily. The game had a cool Japanese design and the music of Ludowic and Bill Killey matched it perfectly! It is therefore an honor to be asked to make a remix for this game.


And finally, any last words to the synthwave community?
I am far from where I want to be and I can still grow a lot in this profession. To readers that are also involved in producing, I would like to say: try to finish projects, dare to end it. In the sense of: now it is really finished! Otherwise, you will continue to struggle with your current projects. Not everything has to be perfect, because later you can look back on that imperfection with a good feeling. I would also like to ask you to grab your headphones and join this journey through time and space: Extra Terrestrial!

You can pre-order the album ¨Extra Terrestrial¨ here!

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