Skip to content

These are the breaks

As one neared the festival, it was easy to see where Booms Day got its name.From a distance it looked like there was a small war going on as the…

As one neared the festival, it was easy to see where Booms Day got its name.

From a distance it looked like there was a small war going on as the forest filled with explosions of light and sound.

The electronic music festival was enough to scare away every bird, squirrel and senior citizen for kilometres around.

Unfortunately, the beats weren’t enough to keep the mosquitoes away.

World-renowned DJ Krafty Kuts began swatting at the pests as soon as he arrived at Paradise Ranch, the modestly named location for the party.

Applying bug dope to his entire body, including the fedora on top of his head, he explained his phobia of mosquitoes.

“When I played in Winnipeg I got this massive bump on my head and it was like the size of a golf ball,” he said.

“I thought I’d either got a cyst or I got cancer or something, you know what I mean?”

After patting repellent onto his face like some sort of horrible cologne, Krafty Kuts was able to go on with the brief interview.

But not without a few distractions — Krafty kept swatting at bugs in the air and on me.

This was not his first backwoods rave, he said, mentioning a few of the bigger festivals that he’s played, including Shambhalla, which is held each year deep in the Kootenay Mountains.

“I try not to do the same thing all the time, meet new people and just kind of venture out into the wilderness a little bit,” he said.

“I just kind of get fed up with doing the same old, same old.”

When not playing around in the woods, Krafty Kuts has been known to tour exotic locales throughout the world, playing in Australia, South America and Africa.

Two days before Booms Day, Krafty played a large show in Dubai.

He then returned to his hometown of Brighton, England, for another set.

Krafty Kuts arrived in the Yukon on Saturday, which gave him just enough time for a quick nap before his show.

He was scheduled to fly out again early the next morning.

“That’s why my eyes are so dark, I’ve hardly slept at all,” he said, swatting a mosquito out of the air.

“Sometimes it’s hard to find the energy to do a show, but that’s where Red Bull comes in.”

Krafty got his start as a DJ in the early ‘90s when, as 17-year-old Martin Reeves, he entered a local contest.

Reeves enjoyed dancing to the music but had very little experience prior to the event.

“I had some ideas and just tried it out live,” he said.

“I had a big crowd of my friends there who were all cheering and it just felt really good.

“I just realized that this is a good form of entertaining people, and I just really got into it and found that it was something that I really liked — you know, besides football.”

Despite the lack of experience, Reeves made it to the finals of the competition, and DJ Krafty Kuts was born.

Reeves immersed himself in the music that he loved, and ran a record shop in Brighton throughout the ‘90s.

“Then I made a record, Fatboy Slim singed it and put it out and the rest is just history,” he said.

Krafty Kuts went on to win numerous awards for his scratching and mixing skills, including Breakspoll’s Best DJ three years in a row.

The Yukon’s ravers came out in full force, undeterred by the $40 tickets that it took to fly Krafty Kuts from his home in England.

The fans seemed far less concerned about bug bites as they thrashed and jumped about in T-shirts — some in bathing suits.

A few of the dancers looked intensely serious as they whipped out moves and glow-light trickery that they no doubt practised at home.

Others drunkenly hopped about, occasionally lifting beers to toast the DJ.

While there wasn’t much of the neon clothing that raves are known for, there were many wearing useless sunglasses.

A massive campfire raged behind the dance area, with flames licking the sky high over everyone’s heads, competing with the light show on stage.

During his set, Krafty Kuts pieced together nostalgic tidbits from Kurtis Blow, Daft Punk, the White Stripes and Bob Marley over electro beats.

Everything was creatively mixed and new.

Krafty Kuts seemed to be creating one track on the spot, a mix of the Beatles’ Come Together, and with mixed results.

“If you want to make it you’ve either got to set out your staple and say this is exactly what I’m going to do and I’m not going to change,” said Krafty.

“Or someone like me takes the elements of all the best and makes it sound special.

“People just forget someone so quickly and you can just become so yesterday and I always like to stay one step ahead of the game so that I don’t get stale.”

More than 200 people attended this year’s Booms Day.

Krafty Kuts is by far the biggest performer that’s played in the four years that organizers have been putting on the event.

The DJ hopes that his show will help the festival expand and grow.

“If I play a good set then the next festival might be twice the size — that’s how festivals grow to 20,000 people,” said Krafty Kuts.

“I’ve DJ’d at places where five years ago they only had 250 people and then gone back and there’s been 1,500 and you think, wow, I helped nurture that.

“I’m hoping that someone like me coming here will open up different doors and different avenues to make this do some things that are not, you know….”

Krafty Kuts trailed off.

He was distracted by something and staring over the interviewer’s head.

“Them bugs are loving you,” he said swatting at the air.

“You’ve got them flying all around you.”