In a week where the entire planet has had eyes on Bristol, Episode 11 of the Thekla Isolation Discs Podcasts sees host Chris Arnold joined by one of the city’s own homegrown legends – Krust. Real name Kirk Thompson, Krust has had an extremely varied career, from being inspired to start the hip hop crew Fresh Four after seeing the American film ‘Wild Style’ to being one of the early pioneers of jungle & drum ‘n’ bass, from touring all over the world the with Roni Size & Reprazent to relocating to London and starting his own lifestyle coaching company – Krust has done it all! A fascinating interview this one, as well as Krust’s career the pair discuss the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the impact the Black Lives Matter movement has had and the joys of the early 90s rave scene.
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The co-founder of Bristol’s Full Cycle crew (with Roni Size, DJ Die and Suv), DJ Krust is much noted in the jungle underground for his push-the-envelope productions both alone and in collaboration with Size. Born in Bristol in 1968, Krust was raised on hip-hop and began DJing in the mid-’80s at schools and small clubs around the area. His interests grew to include acid house and rave by the late ’80s, and a stint in the group Fresh 4 landed Krust in the middle of the charts, when “Wishing on a Star” made number nine in late 1989. Fresh 4 signed to Virgin, but never released another record, so Krust returned to DJing and occasional production work (notably for Smith & Mighty with his brother Flynn, later of Flynn & Flora).
After meeting at the 1990 Glastonbury Festival, DJ Krust and Roni Size soon began to produce tracks together, often in collaboration with DJ Die and Suv. The outfit recorded solo and in tandem for Bryan G and Jumpin’ Jack Frost’s V Records during the early ’90s, but then in 1992 formed the Full Cycle label with manager Chris Warton. Along with its sister label Dope Dragon, Full Cycle released several crucial singles and the 1995 label retrospective Music Box, through an agreement with Talkin’ Loud Records. DJ Krust continued to record for V and Full Cycle, and helped out on remixes for Goldie and fellow Bristol crew More Rockers. Size’s debut album New Forms — with considerable production help from Krust — hit the music world like a bomb in 1997, leading to Krust’s own major-label contract the following year (as Krust). His Polygram debut, True Stories, was followed in 1999 by Coded Language. ~ John Bush, Rovi