FvF Mixtape #117: Krystal Klear
Step into a time machine and enter the New York disco scene, Dublin
Mixtapes > FvF Mixtape #117: Krystal Klear

There’s a timeless allure to disco music. The four-to-the-floor rhythm marched out of the ’70s, into the drum machines of the ’80s and ’90s, and is still thrumming in clubs and keeping bodies moving.

Producer and DJ Dec Lennon, aka Krystal Klear, captures this timelessness and punches it up with the contemporary club in mind. He digs on old school house and disco tracks that never took off, dusting off grooves that have rarely been heard. In the tracks he produces, disco breaks are chopped into loops that can sprawl out for bars and bars before the boogie is worn out on them and melodies you’ll find yourself humming to yourself weeks later without a clue to its origin. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland it took him a while to find his scene, but he’s embedded himself into the international club music scene. He put together a mixtape for us that shows off his well-rounded skills as both a DJ and producer.

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Your musical stylings definitely originate in New York—certainly not Dublin, how did you first catch wind of this style?

I first discovered the NY club scene via books and films I used to watch (and slightly obsess over) when I was younger that showcased the NY graffiti scene—from Style Wars to Beat Street and even FX Crew and Dondi White. But it was a few years later, when I was listening and studying disco that I realized how intertwined all the scenes from that era were and from learning about the artform I discovered a ton about the music. I’m quite OCD so when I want to know something, I end up going into a rabbit hole and wanting to know more and more so I guess that’s how I constantly refined my knowledge of it.

How was it rocking up to clubs in Dublin with a stack of disco and house records?

I never DJ’d properly publicly when I was coming up in Dublin. I felt it was a very hostile scene back then and I didn’t really know anywhere in the city that was playing that kind of music consistently. I moved to NY when I was 19 then moved to LA for a bit then Manchester so I truthfully spent more time learning and refining my skills before my homecoming.

“Club culture has taken over the landscape of things and I feel people take huge pride in going to raves, club nights and promoting the music they like.”

Where do you think this scene of music is thriving the best? The worst?

I’m not sure because to be honest I feel there is enough room for everyone now. Club culture has taken over the landscape of things and I feel people take huge pride in going to raves, club nights and promoting the music they like. I think the only places that are “the worst” are those which are crippled by stupid licensing laws. Personally I would love to see big changes in Dublin and the UK to maybe follow a more European aesthetic but again, there needs to be a balance and differentiation.

What’s more important to you—DJ’ing or producing?

Producing. I love DJ’ing but the creative aspect of all this comes from being in the studio.

Tracklist

  • Krystal Klear – Keith Haring (Downtown Dub)

  • Den Harrow – Tell Me Why

  • Black Spuma – Black Spuma (Original Mix)

  • Fabiolous Barker – Try Me

  • Cowboy Rhythmbox – Fantasma

  • Erodiscotique – Reason For Living (Dubstrumental)

  • Funkinova – Deep 88

  • Hard Ton – Flawless (Snuff Crew Remix)

  • Cappio Bros – Caffeine 4 Daze

  • Redshape – London

  • DJ Qu – Untitled (Hi-Life)

  • Alter Ego – Gate 23 (Tuff City Kids Bonus Beat)

  • Roy Of The Ravers – Emotinium

  • Patrick Cowley – Mind Warp

  • The Bermuda Triangle – Marine Sulpher Green

What does your ideal party look like? Where is it and who is there?

Myself, Gerd Janson, Thomas Hammann, Jackmaster, Virginia, DJ Harvey, Tiger & Woods, Jon K and Chunky on the mic all on rotation for 24hrs at Robert Johnson or maybe Panorama Bar.

If that couldn’t happen then Hoya Hoya at either Under Bron with the whole crew.

How did you go about selecting the tracks for the FvF Mixtape you created?

I decided to make a mixtape of stuff I like but that all (to me) sounds like it’s somewhat NY influenced and reminds me of some Paradise Garage vibes. This would be like the kind of music I would play just to start getting the party going before I went a touch more “euphoric” haha.

Thank you Krystal Klear,

For creating this mixtape for us and speaking to us about your creative process. It’s a powerful mix with some seriously groovy licks on it. It’ll be an endless source of boogie material for time to come.

For more FvF Mixtapes click here.

Text: Kevin Chow
Photography: Selecta Skyla