Crookers – Bot and Phra – are set to play at Camden Town’s Koko on Saturday
Published: 7 June, 2012
by ROISIN GADELRAB
BOT – one half of ultra-cool Italian production duo Crookers – has taken a break from his studio to give a lesson in dance music and the art of the remix.
He should know what he’s talking about. As well as their own original work, Bot and Phra – who completes Crookers – are responsible for some of the biggest remixes to hit our airwaves in the past few years, having put their spin on works by The Chemical Brothers, AC/DC, Timbaland, Snoop Dogg, U2 and Britney Spears.
Their biggest hit to date was their version of Kid Cudi’s Day ’n’ Nite, which was an international success in 2009.
For Bot, there are two elements to making a good remix. “It has great parts and you can rearrange them and make the song a bit more yours,” he tells Grooves.
“The other thing that makes a song great to remix is nobody telling you how. When you ask someone to remix a song you’re supposed to know what they do, trust them, so when they say, ‘can you remix it but do it like this, this and that’, it then starts wrong.
“It’s really frustrating but we just decided not to do them like that so we say before, ‘if we accept it we want to do it our way and if it’s fine we do it’. If not we prefer not to waste time on doing something we don’t really feel.”
He is particularly proud of Crookers’ version of The Chemical Brothers’ Salmon Dance.
“I think we did eight versions because we were really excited,” says Bot. “They really liked it. Surprisingly, in some countries, it went on the radio when the original didn’t go. In Australia it was really big and for us it was a new experience.”
Crookers play their only London show at Koko on Saturday (June 9), alongside Alex Metric, Haezer, Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom aka Nadastrom for a night of electro and Moombahton (a slower Dutch-pioneered fusion of house + reggaeton) presented by The Playground and Mad Decent.
Bot, who lives in west London, was recently inadvertently reminded of working with one of his favourite singers – Róisín Murphy – by his neighbours.
Recalling recording with the Moloko singer, he said: “I’m like an amateur with her, she didn’t have any song prepared and when we arrived she was already writing and listening to beats. We had two days of studio, she did this song I really liked, we were wrapped and we were thinking let’s have a beer and celebrate.
“But she was like, ‘Oh no, we’ve got two hours left, let’s do another song’. So we did another (Royal T) and it turned out it’s my favourite song of the album. Yesterday I came home and the neighbours were listening to it. I don’t think they have any idea who I am. I kind of wanted to knock and say, ‘hey I did that song’.”
Crookers have been responsible for some huge beats but it seems they are looking to incorporate some calm into their sets.
Bot says: “I think something radical has to come. I think now what’s coming back is a lot of confusion because going back it went a little bit too crazy and everyone was a bit crazier and made bigger build-ups and nastier drops and now it’s come to a part where it can’t go bigger.
“We reached the limit, it’s ridiculous it’s almost funny how big it became so something has to come and it has to be really soon.
“We’re trying to do something less crazy in a sense of bringing back a little bit of fun and elements from other genres. I’m confident we’re getting there. In one or two years it will be exciting again as it was.”