Rwina Records Showcase feat. KRAMPFHAFT – AKKACHAR – JAMESZOO
Krampfhaft hails from Utrecht. His name means something like “convulsive,” which fits his erratic, constantly moving tracks to a tee. The producer, known to friends as Joris van Grunsven, debuted on the label Saturate Records with the “Brightly Colored Candy Teardrops” EP, a title which describes it as well as anything ever will. He also released the fantastic 7″ “Spit Thunder,” on which he layered bold synths over speed-‐addled drums and syrup-‐drenched vocals. It was a hint to where he’d go in the near future, mincing 8-‐bit with futurist sound design and all kinds of alien structures. But it was on his first release for Rwina, the freshly-‐baked Makin’ Magic EP, where Krampfhaft’s genius really comes to light, as he incorporates footwork influences in a manner much smoother than many of his cohorts. On tracks like “I Needed You”, he takes the hyperactivity of his debut and turns it into hyper-‐focus, laser-‐guided footwork destruction, and on the EP’s title track he constructs a megalomaniac synth eruption complete with overblown pronouncements of grandiosity.
It would seem as if Amsterdam-based DJ, producer, and above-all, Rwina Records overlord Chafik Chennouf — better known as Akka — has the Midas Touch, because everything he touches turns to, if not gold, brilliantly neon explosions of colour and exuberance. After moving away from involvement in the Conflict nights at Amsterdam’s legendary Melkweg, Akkachar founded Rwina, which pretty much nailed it from the beginning: cherry-picking Starkey for the label’s debut, he nailed down a lasting connection with an inspiring artist and an association with a DJ who would quickly become an international sensation in the bass music scene. Releases like Starkey s -Just a Million- and especially -Rain City- put the label in 2009 on the map, both locally and internationally. Other releases came from grime godfather and legend Terror Danjah, EPs from the UK’s hottest and most experimental new wave of grime producers in Swindle and SRC, and sludgy beats contortions from L.A.’s EPROM.
Akka’s musical talent extends beyond A&R, however. He knows his way around a music studio, and his own productions have received attention and play from DJ’s like Mistajam, Starkey and DJ Wonder, to name just a few. He‘s had airplay on radio stations such as BBC1, BBC1 Xtra, Rinse FM and Kiss FM, and Subway, Rotterdam-based dubstep-institution, released his debut solo single of rainbow-flecked low-frequency oscillations back in 2011. His latest release; -Synergy- on the Rwina imprint, a collab with longtime friend Taz, went through the roof and gained a lot of support from DJ’s like DJ Shadow and Mary Anne Hobbs to name a few and loads of international press. In 2014 Akka will debut with his first solo EP Rwina and its tracks are already in circulation playlists of jocks like Mark Pritchard, DJ Shadow, Kutmah and GLK. He’s also competent behind the decks, revealing a diverse taste that extends beyond the breadth of both his label output and his own productions. With residencies at the Subway parties in Rotterdam, Cable in Amsterdam and gigs spread all over Holland and Europe, he’s a formidable DJ whose varied but impeccable taste makes him dependable for a great set every time. His sets are loaded with dubplates from the scene’s hottest (or up-and- coming slow-burning) producers, and he always delivers the dancefloor gold, because after all, he does have the Midas Touch.
A committed crate-‐digger and cognoscente of avant-‐garde jazz recently moved into production work on the acclaimed Kindred Spirits label, Rwina Records and a first little thing on Warp. His releases join the dots between influences like Hermeto Pascoal, Soft Machine, and the leftfield electronic music of the LA and Europe scenes, creating a sound that’s as colourful and forward-‐thinking as it is chaotic and experimental. He has remixed artists like Shlohmo, Nightmares on wax collaborated with Thundercat, Coultrain and recently convinced legendary Brazilian guitarist Arthur Verocai to hit the studio for a few sessions. With ancient-‐to-‐future power moves like these already under his belt, it’s safe to say that this zookeeper is a unique breed of astral animal.