The Crystal Method at Miami’s 2005 Winter Conference music festival
Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland met while working at a strip club in Las Vegas — thankfully they were just the DJs! Better known as The Crystal Method, they moved to Los Angeles and made their fame mixing breakbeats into rock riffs. Their arrival in Shanghai later this week — July 16 at La Fabrique — follows an ascension over the last decade to the highest ranks of electronic music.
The Crystal Method‘s style grafts elements of the U.K.’s big beat generation with stomping funk and plenty of American rock and roll. A few of their peers, including Fatboy Slim, DJ Keoki and Adam Freeland, have already been to China and told Scott and Ken stories of good times and enthusiastic audiences. TCM pal DJ Hyper played June 10 at Shanghai’s VIP Room and has recently been warming up for The Prodigy on tour. Scott Kirkland says about performing in China, “It’s something we’ve really wanted to do for a while, we’re excited to come play Beijing and Shanghai.”
The band’s 1997 full-length debut Vegas sealed the band’s worldwide profile. Spawning blockbuster singles like “Trip Like I Do” and “Busy Child,” it’s revered with The Chemical Brothers‘ Exit Planet Dust as a must-own electronica classic. Breakbeat anthem “Keep Hope Alive” features clips of Jesse Jackson saying “There is hope” — we guess he must have played the track when things got rough in 2001. TCM’s subsequent albums Tweekend (2001) and Community Service (2002) scored high marks, and 2004’s Legion of Boom was nominated for the first Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album. The Basement Jaxx won.
Beyond dance floors, The Crystal Method tunes have been featured on Gap adverts, Playstation games and film soundtracks. They’ve also remixed with heavyweights like Smashing Pumpkins, Moby, Rage Against the Machine and even The Doors.
Asked how performing compared to recording, Kirkland remarked, “We’ll adjust the track to fit the live environment, but we don’t mess with the structure.” Jordan remarks of their performances, “One thing that doesn’t change from tour to tour are the audiences — they’re incredibly enthusiastic. We like it to go crazy when we go on. We like them to get into it.”
You too can get “into it” with The Crystal Method’s Exclusive DJ Set on Saturday July 16 at La Fabrique (8-10 Jian Guo Zhong Rd., 建国中路8-10号 5466-7766.) Advance tickets are RMB 150 with free delivery from 6288-1483, and RMB 180 at the door. Doors open at 9:30 PM.