Influences 20: KrustInfluences 20: Krust

A young Kirk Thompson began his musical adventures from a council estate called Knowle West in northern Bristol. While in school, he’d familiarize himself with underground music culture through “Wild Style,” an American hip-hop film, and through pirated radio. Through the late ’80s, he would sneak into warehouse parties, exposing himself to an assortment of sounds. It was a rich time for musical discovery.

As part of collective Fresh 4, Thompson made his recording debut in 1989, with “Wishing On A Star,” which paved the way for a collaboration with Roni Size for Full Cycle Records, a legendary label. He became Krust in 1993 and began the most prolific period of his career; over the next 15 years, Thompson created many essential solo works, collaborations, and remixes, gaining recognition as an envelope-pushing artist with an expansive sonic repertoire centred on long, drawn out bass textures.

Alongside his Krust output, Thompson has released as Gang Related, Glamour Gold, and Kamanchi, ranging from deeper, jazzier tunes to more serious bangers. As part of Reprazent alongside Roni Size, Die, Suv, and MC Dynamite, he won the 1997 Mercury Music Prize for New Forms, out on Giles Peterson’s Talkin’ Loud. He departed music in 2008, suffering a breakdown.

In November, Thompson unveiled The Edge Of Everything, his first solo long-player in 14 years. Helming the record is a reinvigorated producer brimming with ideas. Having informed himself about consciousness and creativity, he zoned in on his time in Bristol to make a record shaped by his immersion in it. In this month’s Influences mix, he takes a moment to reflect on the key records that have shaped him over his life, from Gary Numan and The Beatles to Ghost Face Killah and Public Enemy.

This mix reflects my experiences growing up in Bristol, going to house parties, warehouse parties, cellar parties, and blues jams, and feeling for the first what it was like to experience those records. I grew up in a time when eclectic music was the norm; we’d listen to anything from punk rock and classical to funk breaks, jazz, and experimental pop. This is what made me into the artist I am is today. It has shaped my musical landscape, and opened up a prism in my mind with a kaleidoscope of textures and velocity. It set fire to a young boy’s imagination with curiosity and wonder.

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01. Ghost Face Killah “Iron Maiden” (Epic Records)
02. King Crimson “21st Century Schizoid Man” (Island)
03. Liquid Liquid “Cavern” (Mo’ Wax)
04. Fatback Band “Wicki Wacky” (Polydor)
05. Led Zeppelin “Dazed and Confused” (Atlantic)
06. Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force “Planet Rock” (Tommy Boy)
07. T La Rock “It’s Yours” (Def Jam)
08. Gary Numan “Films” (Remastered 2009) (The First Recordings)
09. Liquid Liquid “Optimo EP” (99 Records)
10. ESG “UFO” (99 Records)
11. Cerrone “Rocket In The Pocket” (Extended Breaks) (Breaks & Beats)
12. The S.O.S. Band “Just Be Good to Me” (Taboo Records)
13. Talking Heads “Once In a Lifetime” (Sire)
14. Kraftwerk “Tour de France” (2009 Remaster) (Parlophone)
15. Yellow Magic Orchestra “Firecracker (1978) (Alfa)
16. Ghost Face Killah “Incarcerated Scarfaces” (Loud Records)
17. Wally Badarou “Mambo” (Island)
18. Gary Numan “Cars” (Remastered 2009) (The First Recordings)
19. Nitro Deluxe “This Brutal House” (Cooltempo)
20. Hashim “Al-Naafyish” (The Soul) [It’s Time!] (Cutting Records)
21. Section Vingt Cinq “Oyo Achel Ada” (Factory Benelux)
22. ESG “Moody” (99 Records)
23. Nicolette “The Dove Song” (Shut Up And Dance)
24. Adamski & Seal “Killer” (MCA)
25. Carlton “Do You Dream” (Acapella) (FFRR)
26. Adonis ‎”No Way Back” (Vocal Mix) (TRAX Records)
27. Fingers Inc. “Can You Feel It” (Jack Tracks)
28. Philip Glass “Facades” (CBS)
29. Mtume “Tie Me Up” (Epic)
30. Section 25 “Hit” (Factory)
31. Public Enemy “Rebel Without a Pause” (Def Jam)
32. Death Grips “Inanimate Sensation” (Harvest)
33. Suicide “Ghost Rider” (1977) (Red Star Records)
34. The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby” (Parlophone)
35. Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” (Are Made of This) (RCA)
36. Boney M “Rasputin” (Hansa)
37. Wu Tang Clan “Triumph” (feat. CappaDonna) (BMG)
38. The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows” (Apple Records)
39. ESG “Dance” (99 Records)

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