There are few people in the Brisbane dance music scene with their fingers in as many pies as Kris Swales (aka Kris-Ko). Street press writer, promoter, publicist, producer, punter – with so many irons in the fire it’s a wonder he actually finds time to..
There are few people in the Brisbane dance music scene with their fingers in as many pies as Kris Swales (aka Kris-Ko). Street press writer, promoter, publicist, producer, punter – with so many irons in the fire it’s a wonder he actually finds time to sleep.
Swales has been an integral part of the Brisbane music landscape since coming to prominence as the man behind the drum kit for veteran genre-smashing live act D-Ko. His previous outfit were a mainstay on the Brisbane scene from their arrival in 2000, supporting Infected Mushroom, Propellerheads, Perry Farrell and The Bird at massive events like Valley Fiesta, Woodford Festival, 4ZZZ Market Day, Earthcore In The Park and 2005’s Earthcore Global Carnival – the latter live set considered by many to be the highlight of the entire festival.
Drummers are usually more of a background presence on stage but percussionist Kris Swales (complete with McEnroe-esque sweatband and Ultra Sonic shout-outs) provides more than just the thumping pulse for this live breaks and d’n’b ensemble - tonight he’s the heart, guts and funny bone too. That’s what Time Off Magazine had to say about one of Swales’ final gigs with D-Ko, but it wasn’t just in the live arena that they shone.
D-Ko’s 2005 long-player The Rule Of Thirds scored national distribution through Earthcore’s record label arm Psytrax, while Swales’ final D-Ko production of the tribal-tech monster ‘Tribal Gathering’ scored massive DJ support on its release through Destroy The Ego (backed with Presslaboys remix) in November 2007. Australian DJ legend Kid Kenobi himself was a card-carrying fan, saying “This track is the bomb. Mental breakdown, crowd loses it everytime!”
Swales parted ways with D-Ko in October 2006 and hit the ground running as a DJ and producer in his own right, using Ableton Live to push a fusion of tribal, prog and tech-house with the same infectious enthusiasm he’s always displayed on stage. Now playing off a traditional CDJ and mixer set-up, Kris-Ko has racked up DJ sets at Future Music Festival, Quantum Relic, DROP, Logic, The Sunday Day Roast, and his own Elements, Sidechain and Boat Party events, supporting the likes of King Unique, Jaytech, Jono Fernandez, Kasey Taylor and Robert Babicz along the way.
In 2007 Kris-Ko jumped back behind the drum kit with young drum’n’bass producer Silent Shadow, scoring headline slots at Roll Deeper, Phat Albeats and Rukus and warm-up duties for legends like Concord Dawn, Black Sun Empire and Pitch Black just 12 months into their union. And he kicked off 2008 with guest percussion duties for Brisbane prog/tech duo Segue in the Big Day Out Boiler Room, pounding out the tribal rhythms to a 5000+ dancefloor.
Whether sweating it out behind the kit, dropping bombs in the DJ booth or pulling the strings behind the scenes at one of his many promotional ventures, if Kris-Ko is involved you can be guaranteed entertainment. And in the end, isn’t that what music is all about?
Selected discography Kris-Ko
D-Ko - Tribal Gathering (Original Mix and Presslaboys Remix) - Destroy The Ego - Nov 2007
Kris-Ko - Begin Again (Original Mix and Segue Remix) - Dektek Records - Apr 2009
Kris-Ko - Revival (Original Mix and Tribal Dub) - Avangardia - May 2009