Growing up with his dad's deep collection of jazz records, an obsessive interest in anime soundtracks and video game music, alongside an early introduction into sound system culture, its easy to see how Kidkanevil (real name Gerard Roberts) came to be one of the most interesting producers in the world today. As a teen, the young Leeds lad would spend his pocket money buying vinyl, listening to Wu-Tang Clan and trying to emulate Timbaland's beats using a a pair of cheap turntables and an MPC that he convinced his mum to buy for him. Apparently the money was meant for Roberts' college fund, but in hindsight, those tools probably provided him with more valuable education than school ever could.
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From his start at First World Records (a modern soul imprint based out of Yorkshire) to his stint at Red Bull Music Academy to his glorious production work with Ninja Tune and Project Mooncircle, Kidkanevil has always garnered respect and admiration as an innovative beatsmith who's proud to wear his geeky influences on his sleeve. Straddling hip-hop, broken beat and downtempo with an artisans' finesse, Roberts' output - ranging from his solo beat tapes to his memorable team-ups with Daisuke Tanabe as Kidsuke - has always been experimental, dazzling, and ultimately, inspiring. We caught up with Kidkanevil ahead of his Singapore: Inside Out showcases this weekend to find what his 10 most essential hip-hop records were. He gave us 14.
Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
RZA - Ghost Dog OST
J Dilla - Donuts / Slum Village - Fantastic Vol. 2
KanKick - Acid Massive Musical
Company Flow - Funcrusher Plus
Missy Elliott - Supa Dupa Fly
Quasimoto - The Unseen
A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders / Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Outkast - Aquemini / Stankonia
You can catch Kidkanevil at two different Singapore: Inside Out showcases this weekend.
On Friday, 4 December 2015, Kidkanevil plays a DJ set at Velvet Underground, Zouk. Click here for more details.
On Saturday, 5 December 2015, Kidkanevil plays a live set at Tan Quee Lan Street alongside .gif and NADA. Click here for more details.