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Even when Matthew Kratz was a teenager, he was messing with beat structures and song tempos. Now better known as electronic music pioneer, DJ and composer, Kraddy, he recalls the time when he and his brother were listening to records and put Tears For Fear’s single “Shout” on the turntable. But instead of playing the song at its correct speed—45 revolutions per minute—they slowed it down to 33 RPMs making the chorus “Shout, Shout Let it all out” sound like an twisted funeral dirge. “We couldn’t stop laughing. We thought it was so funny.”

“We did it over and over. We thought that was just the coolest thing,” he said. “That’s something that always stuck out to me was when we would turn the turntable slower, and all of a sudden it was just all weird. That definitely jumped out at me at a really young age,” said Kratz.

Today, as Kraddy, playing with tempos, warping sounds, and distorting basslines, is all par for the course. Throughout his career as a solo artist and as the creative force behind the Glitch Mob (the glitch hop group he co-founded and left in 2009) he’s become an expert in upending electronic dance music’s sometimes genre-confining conventions.

A product of the nineties music scene who came of age during the apex of Lollapalooza and “alternative,” Kratz listened to everything from Jane’s Addition, Nirvana, Public Enemy to Ministry, in addition to his large collection of classic rock, which included records by Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. But it was when Kraddy went to QE2, a hole in the wall club in Albany, New York, that he heard something that turned his musical life upside down.

“On Monday nights at the QE2 they would play stuff like Jane’s Addiction, Helmet, the Pixies and a lot of hip hop, like the Goats and Public Enemy. And we would all just rock out on the dance floor,” Kraddy said. “But I remember when the DJ played ‘James Brown is Dead’ by the techno duo L.A.Style. I’d never heard a song like that – the song blew my mind.” I remember thinking, “Holy shit. This song is entirely electronic. No person played an instrument on this song. That blew my mind.”

That seminal early techno track influenced his musical course, along with KFMDM’s “Godlike.” “I had never heard electronic drums programmed that super tight, and that quantized and that fast. I remember my buddy and I were in his room just bugging out. We turned it up as loud as we could. Looking back, they were the first two electronic songs that I picked up on and thought, ‘OK, this is something different, you know?’”

Now, it’s Kraddy’s turn to make something different with his new EP “Moment of Truth” out September 25. Earlier this year, Kraddy collaborated with music legend Rob Zombie and released of “Anthems of the Hero,”. The single “Black Box,” is shows his heavy metal influences, which serve as the grinding core of the track. But don’t forget the bass; there’s tons of it, burrowing underneath the monster record. “That’s what rock music is missing,” said Kratz. “There’s no sub. You can’t feel the music. Electronic music sounds bigger than rock music. People feel the bass, its physical and they have physical reaction to it, mostly by shaking their asses.”

Born and raised in a quiet suburban area in upstate New York, he has formal and informal musical training. Like many kids from the suburbs he took piano lessons, learned how to play the guitar and was a band geek in high school, playing percussion, usually triangle.

Later, his music-sharing sessions with his friends would form a lasting impression. “We had this really simple four channel mixer, and we’d make mixes with it of all our favorite music. We would make mixes at somebody’s house with CD players and tape players, and we’d each bring a stash of music. Then we just did it on the fly, straight to cassette tape. By the time we made the fourth one, our friends knew we were doing it. So everyone came over to the house while we were making this mix. I didn’t think about it then but it was sort of my first DJ gig.”

In his twenties moved to San Francisco and interned at the famous recording studio, Hyde Street Studios, where seminal artists like the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix recorded. When he wasn’t helping produce other people’s records, he spent his off-hours holed up in another studio teaching himself how to produce by trying to reconstruct drum and bass records. “I realized, ‘I have no interest in mixing someone else’s band.’ I really just wanted to write music. I had had a little four track recorder right after I graduated college. And I would play guitar and just make up little songs with the four-track and record them on there. So I knew I kind of wanted to do something like that, where I could record stuff, and then put stuff on top of it and mix it.”

Kraddy and his DJ friends created the Stress Collective, a DJ crew in San Francisco, spinning drum and bass and hip hop and once again fell in love with shifting genres. Drum and Bass, particularly the hip hop-inspired wing of the genre, with artists like Congo Natty and Aphrodite, was especially appealing to Kratz. “The buildups and intros were always so cool. They have all these scratching bits and little hip hop samples. And the beat would jump between double time and half time with cool fake drops and fake stops and restarts and all this stuff,” he said. “And I remember just loving all that, the hip hop / drum and bass crossover. One of the first mix tapes I ever made was called HipHopJungleHardcore. It was me mixing hip hop, jungle and hardcore records – mixing them together. From hardcore, four-on-the-floor shit into hip hop, into drum and bass.” In a way, that’s an apt description for what he’s doing today from his adopted hometown of Venice Beach in Los Angeles.

Kraddy’s discography is formidable – three EPs, two full-length records, and countless singles and remixes – most notably remixing Rob Zombie’s “Superbeast”. With so many new DJs apearing overnight Krady stands out as a pioneer of electronic music who’s music and sound has stood the test of time.

His most famous single to date, “Android Porn,” has been viewed over eight million times on YouTube, and is the sixtieth most downloaded electronica track on iTunes. With it’s main hook—a stirring string loop churning around a heavy bassline and a thick-as-molasses hip hop beat— the song has become a favorite of gamers (who use it their self-made Machinima gaming videos) and of dance crews around the country: it has been featured on America’s Got Talent and America’s Best Dance Crew and was cherry-picked for the soundtrack of the fourth flick in the Step Up series. Step Up: Revolution. Android Porn has all the hallmarks of a Kraddy track: big beats, bigger bass, and most importantly, an earworm. As Kraddy put it, “My friend told me her five year old son hums Android Porn to himself when he plays with his trucks. That’s gotta be a good sign.”

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