The wait is nearly over… In a matter of months Camo & Krooked will be dropping their long-long-long-awaited fourth album Mosaik. Three years in the making, and still being fine-tuned as you read this, if you thought Zeitgeist was special, Mosaik is set to be a whole new level for the Vienna-based duo.
“It’s really exciting,” explains Camo. “It’s better than I thought it would be and we still have time to improve it even more. This is such a great position to be in.”
“We’ve never been so productive,” continues Krooked. “We changed so much, learnt so much and refurbished a lot of the older tracks. The idea is for the album to sound like one big tune, so everything is glued together in a real context and sound. We’ve slept a lot less than we should have done but hopefully it will be worth it.”
One particular development that neither Camo (Reini) or Krooked (Markus) could have possibly predicted during this artistic adventure is in their own songwriting abilities and Markus taking to the mic. In what is becoming something of a tradition in drum & bass, Markus joins the likes of Calibre, TC, Calyx, Fred V and High Contrast as a producer/singer on the next single Honesty.
But before that, there’s the not-so-small matter of a seriously high profile remix that’s set to drop on UKF Drum & Bass very soon: Noisia – The Entangled (Camo & Krooked Remix).
One of the starkest, darkest, most singular tracks on The Outer Edges, the Markus and Reini have given it the cosmic, deep space-funk it deserves. It will be followed by the final single before the album: Honesty / Good Times Bad Times.
Three tracks, all set to drop imminently. Here’s what the duo have to say about them…
Camo & Krooked – Honesty
Besides a few vocodered moments on Zeitgeist and a heavily processed and autotuned vocal on their 2011 Viper release Nothing Is Older Than Yesterday, Markus had never sung on a track… Until now.
Krooked: It’s a big leap and took a bit of courage to do it! The problem was that we had so many troubles getting it right with other singers. They would take things in directions that are too poppy or not in the way that fits the vibe of the whole record. In the end we thought ‘why not to make our vocals more personal, fragile and a little more introverted by writing our own lyrics and trying our own singing?’ Let’s not wait for week for external vocalists to deliver a below average vocal. When they deliver and we don’t like it, we end up not liking the instrumental . It gives everything a bad vibe taste – it’s better to work in the moment and react to the creativity and get something down there and then. It happened that Honesty fit my vocal range so we did it.
Camo: I’m so happy with the outcome – we write together and help each other out with the lyrics. Everyone we’ve played it to has been very surprised it’s him. I’m proud he took the step – it’s a good idea to make the tunes more special to us. Will I sing? I don’t think so… I haven’t found my voice. Never say never though.
Krooked: I still have to lock myself away – I don’t want anyone to hear me or see me do it. Reini and my girlfriend are the only two I would sing in front of. I’m not taking it to the stage quite yet. We spoke to Fred and Josh (Grafix) about it and this happened to them, too – they were waiting for collaborations that didn’t deliver. I think that’s why a lot of us are moving towards writing our own songs. It’s a cool thing – it’s more of a band vibe. You can transfer a feeling so much more directly through singing.
Good Times, Bad Times
A gospel tornado with vocals from an illustrious songwriter and a two-step mid-tempo twist, this has summer stamped all over it…
Camo: This actually began life as a remix of Zedd’s True Colors. But after they brought on Kesha, the label dropped the whole remix package. We had only used Zedd’s vocal, the rest of the track was original so ended up removing it and making it our own. We couldn’t waste it… It has that switch in there which we really loved: the four-to-the-floor, post garage sound really inspires us and we felt it worked well.
Krooked: For the vocals we had a few options for vocalists but in the end it was our friend Sebastian Arman. He’s a songwriter and produced the Eurovision winner Conchita. He’s not a real singer but he came over, we had a few beers, vibed to a tune and he suggested writing some things and recording them with an idea for me or another singer to do it eventually. But the vibe of his lyrics and vocals were so perfect we didn’t want to change them. He sounds like an old blues sample, he’s amazing and it’s great that after all these years we’ve created his first original vocal tune.
Noisia – The Entangled (Camo & Krooked Remix)
One of the most startling tracks from Outer Edges gets an incredible re-interpretation, it’s every bit as unique and special as it sounds on paper…
Krooked: There are a few really good tunes on the album but this was the one we really wanted to remix. We heard we were going to be asked and I said to Reini ‘please let this be The Entangled’ I could imagine us doing something creative with it. It had that minimal vibe we’re aiming for but on a different tempo. Then the parts dropped and we were like ‘hell yeah!’ We knew what we had to do…
Camo: I think we approached it a bit harder than other remixes or productions. The drums are harder hitting than our usual stuff for example But we’ve kept it in the Camo & Krooked world. It was cool that Mefjus was also remixing a track from the album so we were sending each other remix drafts the whole time which helped us a lot. I think Noisia are happy with it – it’s the first single off the remix bundle which is an honour!
Good Times Bad Times / Honesty is out March 3 on Mosaik Music / Ram BMG