Lots of DJs nowadays create an “I don’t give a damn”, too self-assured and self-important act, acting out on their decadent music lives with great trimmings by showing exteriors that pool in the money, the fans, and a packed DJ console, which is more about “look how popular I am and look at what comes along with me.” For Cream, it’s the reverse. Here’s a guy who has been around long enough to tell you things like it is, and make music that matters, and also paint a showcase full of technicolor dreams at will – conceptually and sonically.
One half of Deep Fog, Cream, also known as Krzysztof Kupczakiewicz, was born in Krakow and living the icy dream, he has played at some of the best clubs in the city while holding one helluva long residency at Reno, one of the top spots.
He is also slated to drop his own record label – “Kikton Records” soon which will release and promote music styles such as Progressive House and Melodic Techno. Currently, Cream is a resident of the Rzeszów Runway Music Club in which since May, he has reactivated a series of events with electronic music in the Podkarpacie region.
A sound engineer, DJ/Producer whose releases on labels of the likes of Particles, Electronic Tree, Soundteller Records, Stellar Fountain Records, Massive Harmony, Evocative, BQ Recordings, Revelation Records, 3rd Avenue, Superordinate Music, Yang, OLD SQL Recordings, BC2 Records, Inmost Records to name some, now embarks on his great journey with FRISKY with his very own show – Odyssey. It’s only pleasure to give you listeners a sneak peek into the mind of this latest entrant before he gets into the FRISKY airwaves.
Hi there, thanks a lot for taking time out to chat with us at FRISKY. Excited to host your own show slated to start in February, after a great Artist Of The Week mix?
Thank you very much for your kind words, of course, I’m really excited about my program on Frisky Radio. Without doubt, it’s one of the best radio stations in the world and being there with your own mixshow is definitely a great distinction.
Tell us a bit of your formative years: how did the initial interest in dance music take shape? Any early influences with DJs that got you hooked – you know the feeling that I want to play music just like that performer?
I don’t even know where to start, it was such a long time ago that I can’t really remember everything anymore, but my father obviously had a huge impact on my taste in music as he was the one that played me the best songs in those times, so I started with The Beatles and then there was a period of my growing up where I began to discover electronic music myself when listening to the likes of Kitaro, Tangerine Dream or Jean Michel Jarre at the head. I played my first gig back in 1984 – a very long time ago. It was then that I realized that it was something I will always want to do, it’s an amazing feeling to play the music you love for various people and to be the creator of that something you want them to dance to. I’ve been playing for 35 years and I dare say there’ve been millions of hours spent on playing in clubs, at festivals and many other events. At the time when I started playing gigs, there was no access to the Internet, so I didn’t know anything about how other DJ’s played, so I had to learn myself to play and create my own style. I have my own mixing techniques. I always do live sets and I never use the synchro function while playing.
Was Poland a fertile ground for clubbing and DJs performing while you were growing up?
I’ll only add that it was very difficult to obtain good music in a country with a socialist government – vinyl records that we used then were available only from commodity exchanges situated in few cities in Poland.
Aside from your residency in Jaroslaw, which must have been a great platform for dance music and your role in it, what made you veer toward sound engineering – how did the interest come about? Also, you are one half of Deep Fog, how did the project start? What were the ideas or music sensibilities that you wanted to showcase from under this moniker?
Sound engineering was a total coincidence. I was working for a local radio station then and was offered a job as an acoustician, and this was how I began my 8 years long adventure with sound engineering. Krzysztof Kotlinski, because that’s Deep Fog’s real name, is my neighbor and friend. Our common passion for electronic music has resulted in a joint project that we’ve been creating for 5 years now. Within 2 months our album will be released, so we may say it’s really soon, and what’s more, so far in our collection we’ve had several solo projects as well as remixes for such artists as: Derek Howell, GusGus, Fernando Ferreyra, GMJ & Matter, Huminal, Jos & Eli, Marcelo Vasami, Kastis Torrau & Donatello, Sebastian Busto, Andre Sobota.
As Cream you are a resident of the Rzeszów Runway Music Club in which since May you’ve reactivated a series of events with electronic music in the Podkarpacie region. Can you tell us more about this initiative?
It’s a relatively small club, but with great potential and for that we’re going to invite and host artists from Poland and abroad in there from a wide spectrum of electronic music.
Having been in the music scene for so many years, do you feel that dance music is at a good place world-wide?
Having had a great body of experience, I’m able to give a subjective assessment taking Poland as an example. Unfortunately, we aren’t going in the right direction, there is cronyism, systems, jealousy, pseudo DJ’s with no skills playing only with the synchro function, lacking the skills to choose the right tracks in order to combine them into one coherent whole. People playing at big events without even having any of their own productions, but unfortunately, for many people being a DJ isn’t something they can call passion or a lifestyle, it’s only a time to show off. Of course, I’m not talking about all artists here, because most of them are obviously 100% professionals and I know many who show love for music and great talent. The positive aspect is definitely the fact that we have more and more good music, young producers and DJ’s who show promise to improve the club’s image.
Would you call yourself a DJ or producer first?
I am definitely a DJ and playing live events is my whole life.
Which is your favorite label currently?
I can’t say that there’s particularly one label I consider as my favorite. I get promotional material from over 140 labels and each of them is equally important and valuable to me. I play tunes that achieve 100% concerning my taste in music and I also have my favorite artists with whom I’ve been in constant contact and they’re very nice people. At this point, I should mention all the labels’ owners and artists, but certainly, there wouldn’t be enough space for all the thanks, so I’ll just write that I am very grateful to everyone for the promotional material.
What are your hobbies apart from music?
Apart from music, my biggest hobby is reading books – I love reading and I could do it all the time. Seriously, books provide me with many ideas and broaden my horizons and take me to distant places, they also give me inspiration for my sets, which are actually my books written in music.
You are about to start your own Odyssey show on Frisky Radio, what is the aesthetics, what style or soundscapes will you be consciously presenting on it?
Yes, this very Monday I start my own program called “Odyssey” on Frisky Radio. Well, thanks to music, I will definitely want to take the listener on a journey to my world of sound.
What plans for this New Year, any music projects or undertakings you are excited about?
As to my plans, I’ve already mentioned that Cream & Deep Fog’s album is about to come out really soon, also the startup of my own label: “Kikton Records”. Besides, a few new music projects on the way and of course a lot of events to play at. There are certainly other ventures too, but I’d prefer not to talk about them just to keep them undercover.