London based production duo 4AM Kru, consisting of Howie & Stu are not new in the music game having cut their craft over the last 10 years. Following a short hiatus, the two have revived their career as the throwback 90s act, lighting up the raves (albeit online for now!) with their feel good jungle tracks. We spoke to the 4am Kru recently to discuss their love for that 90s nostalgic sound, their admiration for Prince and more!
1. With a sound heavily influenced by the 90s rave culture, what inspired you to reference this monumental era in British music?
Last year, we found ourselves spending more time in our studio spinning early 90s rave vinyls than anything else. There’s this positive energy and raw frenetic creativity in the in the music from ’88 – ’96 especially. We both loved that music as kids, particularly the hardcore & jungle sound that found it’s way to us through older siblings, mixtapes, raves and later Discogs and Youtube digging. The deeper we dug the more we discovered and wanted to shine a spotlight on the music for others to discover too.
2. In what ways have you seen the culture re-emerge in the past five or ten years?
Old school events like Raindance and Moondance increasing in popularity, plus younger grassroots promoters throwing day raves in Tottenham and secret parties in Hackney Marshes amongst others.
It feels like the generation coming up has a respect & innate understanding of the worth of the music. In some ways the culture has never left. It’s permanently woven into the DNA of the UK with elements ever present in modern music, fashion and attitudes.
3. If you could pick any artist living or dead to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
Prince. ‘Nuff said.
4. What did you two learn from your previous creative endeavours together, to have helped shape you as 4am Kru?
When we first started writing together we were fortunate to work with some very inspiring people, two of our favourites being Jas Shaw of Simian Mobile Disco and 1970s mega producer Mike Chapman who wrote & produced for Blondie, Tina Turner, and The Knack to name a few – his CV is insane.
Jas taught us how to be sonically strict & keep songs simple. Mike Chapman (now in his 70s!) makes writing a killer hook look as easy as making toast! He really influenced Howie in particular when it comes to writing lyrics & melodies. We can honestly say working with them changed everything for us. Now when we work with artists in our own studio, we find ourselves applying so much of what we learnt with these guys. So if we didn’t say it enough at the time, we’ll say again now… THANK YOU!
5. What have you got coming up for the rest of 2020 and how will you adapt your output in light of the lack of live music opportunities?
With gigging off the table, 2020 is all about releasing tunes! We’re excited to drop new music monthly until the end of the year & beyond. Following on from our last single We Run Things, our latest release is King (Remix). Massive shouts to Josh Kye & the incredibly talented SHANTÉH for getting us involved in that. Big Love.