No-nonsense sounds from Detroit.
In 2010, Kris Wadsworth broke the record for usage of the word "fuck" in an RA article. The piece was Touring Scenes, a first-person account of life on the road, and it summed up the salty, brutally honest attitude he's brought to house and techno since 2008. His personality type is evident in his music. Wadsworth pushes a straightforward brand of deep house and techno that doesn't pull any punches. He's been a mainstay on labels like Morris / Audio, Get Physical and Hypercolour, each of whom have released some of his two-dozen or so 12-inches. There's often a sly sense of humour in Wadsworth's music, which extends to his sample-usage, tracks titles and, more recently, the name of his record label, Uranus. The three hand-stamped white labels that have come out on that imprint so far have been duskier than his usual stuff, and wouldn't sound out of place in a Levon Vincent set. He's also been busy preparing his second album, Popularity, which will see release through Hypercolour this month.
It won't come as a surprise that Wadsworth keeps things bullshit-free when it comes to DJing. His RA mix, which was recorded live from vinyl with no post-processing, is an exact reflection of his club sets—in other words, ballsy house and techno all the way.
What have you been up to recently?
I've been doing a little concept series alone as URANUS, finished another album, playing a few gigs, doing some remixes, record shopping, went to Asia and Australia for the first time; living a pretty nice life, generally speaking.
How and where was the mix recorded?
Same deal as always: me, myself, strictly vinyl and some turntables at home while looking out the window smoking cigarettes.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I did my best to put together something that people might want to hear many times (car, subway, at work, partying at home, etc.), which is one of the purposes of a mix, I guess. The good ones anyhow, right? I play other people's mixes a lot if I like them, they become like soundtracks to my life. This one is nearly two decades of house and techno, including the first remix I ever made. I suppose people could refer to this as a sound I bring to gigs, too. I think it's important to mention about this mix, as well as others of mine, is that I actually sound like this at gigs. So if you like what you hear, it's not false advertising. That's one of the reasons I still stick to wax and refuse to use any special processing or anything like that. It keeps what I do honest. These ideas are what mixes should be in my opinion, so that's what I've tried for.
Tell us about the overall vision—the title, the artwork, the track titles—for the new album.
Popularity is unfortunately a big goal in this music these days. People don't wake up and think: "Fuck yeah, I want to make the music I always wanted to regardless if people like it or not." They wake up and think: "Fuck creativity, how can I be famous?" I'm not a "popular" person compared to some of my peers. I just make music and DJ in my own little world. So to reach out from that world and accomplish some of my own goals as an artist, I satirically expressed some of those thoughts via music, rather than bitching on Facebook or Twitter like everyone else who feels and sees some of these things.
The art is by Zeke Clough. He did an awesome job, as he always does, and in his own way. Hypercolour, Zeke and I are all really happy with how everything has turned out.
You dipped into jungle sounds on the record. Do you have much of a history with the style?
Jungle? I love it. I sort of collect it. I've only released one jungle-ish track before this one. It can be pretty challenging to make, actually the track referenced, "Common Knowledge," was a major pain in the ass. I like that. I tried to push myself on the whole album and within an accessible dance floor context, but this had to go on there. I spent way too much time on it and the label loves it.
What are you up to next?
I am launching a new label very soon called BREED, which is other people's music as well as mine, once I'm done with the last three of URANUS. Otherwise some remixes, some gigs, stuff like that. Staying busy, staying focused and staying happy.