K-Klass were formed during the height of the Madchester craze in the back end of the 1980s. They all met in the Hacienda (if you remember it you weren't there...) in 1988 and were pioneers during the start of the techno and house scene.
Their first release was the Wildlife EP and in 1991 they released the classic Rhythm Is A Mystery followed by the equally body grooving Let Me Show You.
The album Universal came out in '93 and led to all manner of collaborations - with the likes of Johnny Marr and Andy Wetherall. The second album K2 was released in 99..and the rest as they say is history...but new stuff is on the horizon!! Hurrah!
K-Klass played at the Fantazia gig Return of a Legend in 1997 at the G-Mex, Manchester.
K-Klass Interview 1993/94
An interview with band members Paul Roberts and Russell Morgan, unfortunately the other two band members Carl Thomas and Andrew Williams were too busy recording next door.
The group have been around for a long time, longer than most are aware, they first got together around 1988, so what do they think has kept them going for so long?
“We seem to have lasted longer than most, when we started you could count the number of British groups doing what we were doing, on one hand: 808 State, Gerald and Adamski, everyone else seemed to fade out. For us making the music has been secondary to going out and loving the music, it’s important to go out and know what makes people dance”.
The members of the band never made a conscious effort to become a band, Paul and Russ are from Chester, Carl and Andy are from Wrexham, traditionally these 2 areas don’t mix. Before K-Klass was formed, Paul lost his job with British Telecom and spent the last of his money on a drum machine, with a small amount of equipment that Russ had they started to play music. One night they went to the Hacienda in Manchester where they met Carl and Andy, who they discovered were also playing music, after the Hacienda into the early hours, and over the next 3 weeks they recorded 4 tracks which they took along to Eastern Block, Manchester for an opinion. They were told they were brilliant, Eastern Bloc wanted to put them out. The group were shocked, they didn’t even have a name for the band, let alone the tracks.
Shortly after this they released ‘The Wild Life EP’, this was more techno compared to the music they are known for releasing today, so why did they make such a change?
“To me Techno is Detroit, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, so the word Techno to me has gone really really wrong. Now the true meaning of the word Techno has been picked up and there are some really good Techno tracks coming out.
At first we were influenced by Techno, you could here it in our music, we didn’t use piano and vocals back then because we were a new band, we had little experience and it is much harder to do, getting chords etc. none of us were musicians before. Everything was trial and error, we are only just starting to feel our way through it now”.
The band have come along way since then, they have had chart success, appeared on Top Of The Pops and live on Radio One. Although they seem to have been influenced by the underground clubs they also seem very commercial, but do they make their music for the commercial market?
“We make our tunes how We like them, if we wouldn’t buy the tune or dance to it in a club, we’d sack it! We make a record that we feel would be the next track we would like to come on if we were on a dance floor on a Saturday night. They do turn out fairly commercial because we like to write songs, if you listen to the rhythms and drums underneath then it goes a bit deeper than that. The dubs that we make are more an underground nature, you can bang them together in four hours, a lot easier to do. To write a song takes a lot longer”.
So what are their plans now, 3 weeks before Christmas they released their album, a difficult time to release as it didn’t really get the shelf space it deserved amongst the Christmas specials, Elton John and alike, even so it did well, selling around 30,000 copies.
Still they feel it deserves more credit and so they plan to release it again on 23rd May, but with new mixed by various well known names. These include à T-Empo mix of ‘Rhythm is a Mystery’, an Evolution Klub mix of ‘Don’t Stop’, a Klassic mix of ‘Let Me Show You’ and to top it all off Graeme Park has remixed one of the heaviest tracks on the album, ‘Underground Express’.
There was a slow track on the album called ‘Show Me Love’, with guest vocalist Jackie Williams, quite Souly and not typically K-Klass, Sub Sub were due to re-mix this track but had to go on a European tour, this is however a hook up they are looking for later.
A week before the album comes out expect the release of their next single, ‘What You’re Missing’ an 8 track CD, 4 track vinyl or 2 track Cassette.
“The piano chords in this track are so nice you get pins and needles up your back. I don’t know why people give us stick for using piano, do people give Dire Straits stick for using guitars?”
K-Klass are continuing to use the piano and vocals they are now well known for, they feel this is what the crowd want, so this is what they are going to give them. But what else are the band’s musical interests?
“We’re into anything really, all different types of House music, as long as its up and happening. I went to London, The Gardening Club on Tuesday, DJ’s seem to have their heads so far up their arse down there, playing monotonous crap. Loads of DJ’s about at the moment are so into themselves, play just what happens to mix well and whatever they got through the post that week, even if its wank”.
The band live are certainly something to be seen, at an appearance at The Ark in Leeds recently the crowd went wild. The live PA has just been changed, previously they used a DAT for the backing, drum and bass, but now the whole set is completely live.
The band feel a classic example of a good club at the moment if Cream in Liverpool, but what do they think about the scene and music overall?
“I do not agree that the scene is coming to an end, people saying its fragmented, splintered and going different ways. This is the best year for a long, long time for records, if not ever, its getting better and better. There are more tracks that have come out in the past 3 months with songs and vocals, playable ones, than in the past 2 years.
We have seen all different forms of House come along, we have been here since the start, it comes and goes and at the end of the day there will be House music still plodding along, we are buying and playing tunes similar to what we were when we first started”.
Get insider tips, offers &
event news. Includes our "Top Ten Best Rave..." series of emails