May 03, 2023News / Tunes / Update
We had the pleasure to chat with Criztoz, also known as 25THC, the creator of this movement, and a man with many hats who also runs a bunch of online events with the Forty Five Kings, and got a fantastic mixtape in the process !
Put your headphones on and get ready for a trip, and read on for Criztoz' interview...
You'd think coordinating hundreds of international DJs' schedule once a year, as well as regular 45 Day associated mixtape series is already intense enough... but Criztoz is an insatiable 45 addict with tons of energy, and also coordinates many regular online events such as his mental health talk show Part of my Journey, the All Back to Mine sessions, as well as the Forty Five Kings' Coffee and Donuts weekly show, and the 45 Kids !
We managed to catch Criztoz in between events and digging sessions and picked his brain on collecting and djing 45s:
- Hi Criztoz, thanks for taking the time to chat with us ! Could you introduce yourself a bit ? When did you start DJing ? And when did you decide to go all 45s ?
Hey Malong, thank you so much for inviting me to do this interview and also provide you with a mix.
I am Criztoz creator of 45 Day, DJ, live streamer, talk show host, community builder, event organiser and podcaster.
I have been buying records, cassettes and CD's my whole life but I only started DJing around 2004/2005 when I bought myself 2 x technics 1210 MK5 decks and 2 x CDJ800's. I entered a DJ competition which was more for experience than anything and then I started running my own events at bars, clubs, festivals etc. I was DJing with the Jellyfunk Allstars - Toby Kenobi, Big 404 and myself - using Traktor DVS for a few years putting on events, playing at festivals and organising country pubs raves .
Adrian (Big404) did a gig in Hastings and played just 45s and had a great time. He suggested that we do a night playing 45s instead of digital which we did and had a lot of fun playing these little records from our collections. We then decided to do it regularly and started DJing out as the Original 45ers. I started to build my 45s collection and it has grown and grown. We had regular weekly gigs and played at some cool venues and festivals and were having a lot of fun until Covid hit. With live gigs cancelled I then started 45 Day celebrating 7" vinyl in March 2020. I haven't looked back since and am a true 45s addict now only very rarely playing digital sets.
- Why 45s ? What's your take on this being the best format :-) ?
For me 45s are simply the greatest musical format out there no question. When you pick up a 45 you are holding a piece of history. The 45 was recorded and pressed at a certain time and certainly in the old days it was usually the lead or hit single from an accompanying album so the track was usually high quality. A
45 also has two sides and the B-side allows artists to put out a track that may be slightly different to what they usually release or that you expect from them. You can find some real gems on a B-side and it has even garnered its own phrase "B-side for the win".
45s are also so much fun to play. They are fairly short - most 45s only being about 3 or 4 minutes long - so when DJing with 45s you don't have much time to pick out the next record. As a DJ it means you are very much present in the moment and not staring at a laptop. 45s also encourage you to be eclectic as when you are just choosing music on the basis of the format you discover so many different genres and styles and it is again a lot of fun weaving these together into a set.
There are now a number of 45s only labels putting out brilliant music that may not otherwise get released. Although costs have gone up recently it is also possible for artists, producers or labels to put out small runs of their releases on a 45.
It is also a lot of fun going out digging for 45s. You can usually find them fairly cheap at charity shops, boot fairs, record shops and online which means that if you want to start a collection it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. There is also something permanent about 45s. In our current world there is a lot of waste. People very rarely throw records away more often than not passing them down through their family for their kids to discover or being passed onto collectors/record shops etc. It is not the same passing down a hard drive full of mp3s!
Each musical format has its pro's. Albums are a body of work produced by an artist at a particular stage of their career. 12's have alternate mixes, accapellas etc. Digital tracks and streaming allows people to access music that may not otherwise be readily available on vinyl. However for me 45s are the greatest.
- Who are your biggest influences music-wise, any DJs or musicians that inspired you and brought you where you are today ?
Since the pandemic I have been on Twitch almost non-stop watching some of the greatest DJ's in the World but also I have been introduced to many DJ's from around the World who I would not otherwise have come into contact with but am now able to call friends. There is far too many to name but i'll pick out a few. Firstly there is all the legendary DJ's who I have been able to watch regularly on Twitch - DJ Koco, Jazzy Jeff, Skratch Bastid, Flipout, The Gaff, Mr Thing, Jim Sharp, A-Skillz, Krafty Kutz and many more.
I have to thank Mr Lob head of the 45 Kings for creating an amazing community of 45s head and encouraging me to run with my 45 Day idea. Fatwax 45 for being an amazing inspiring DJ and my co-host on our Saturday morning show Coffee & Donuts. Sam Tweaks for always being full of great ideas/themes for our events and for helping me join the dots to connect with 45s DJ's from around the World.
DJ D and DJ Robert Smith for being great friends and giving me some scratch lessons! DJ Honey for encouraging me to reach out further to include more women DJ's in the community. Double P for inspiring me to start my mental health talk show Part of My Journey. Mark Lancaster for inspiring me to do the 45 Day Uplifting mix project. Sideshow Maule, Scottieboy, Kutclass, Constance K, Danny Bounce, Lady Melza, Tommy T and again many more.
All of the DJ's who have been a guest on one of my talk shows, on one my raid events, submitted a mix, or just followed and supported 45 Day. That's before we even get to the 45 Kids the collective of kids playing 45s from around the World many of which are better DJ's that the adults!
- So, your mix for the Asymetrics is a full on, killer, Slow-Mo joint running 45s at 33 RPM; this seems to be trending among 45 DJs lately, can you tell us a bit about the concept ?
Slo Mo music - playing records at the non-recommended speed - has been around for many many years in different forms. I am slowly starting to learn more about the movement, its origins and how this has been used in many different parts of the world. I was first introduced to the concept when I heard the Dolly Parton slowed down version of "Jolene". I was also inspired by Greg Belson's slowed down "Good feelin' for the darkness" mix and did my own 7x7" 45s at 33 mix under the Original 45ers project at the start of the pandemic when I had lots of time on my hands.
Sam Tweaks then introduced me to Don Champ Sound who was running Slo Mo Monday on Twitch each week with BartyKutz. I loved the sound and vibe of the records that they were playing and we ended up doing events on twitch 33 Raiders and 33 Day where we played 45s at 33. I am now a regular guest on Slo Mo Monday curated by Dr Breasty Cray and BartyKutz.
For me I love that I can play my 45s at 33 and the track takes on a completely different vibe and feel, The bass is usually much deeper likely due to RIAA pressing (i will be researching this more), the beats are heavier and when there is vocals it makes them sound completely different - often like the song has been remixed - especially when slowing down a woman's vocal.
It is very addictive to see what can be produced and it has been interesting to see more and more DJ's embracing 45s at 33 in their mixes or live streams. It is not for everyone but I also quite like that aspect as it creates its own community of Slo Mo lovers.
And now for the dancefloor/DJ questions:
- Favorite 45s to start and close a set?
To start a set I usually play a reggae tune and for a while i used to open my sets with Richie Phoe - Bumpy's Lament:
To close a set I love dropping The Clash - Rock the Casbah feat Ranking Roger:
- Favorite 45 to play to a packed dancefloor ?
DJ Nu-Mark's version of Groove is in the heart:
- The one 45 to rule them all (that you think everyone should have) ?
I am going to go with The Muppets - Mah Na Mah Na. This may seem an odd choice but it is a record that makes me, my daughter, Double P, and many other people smile and laugh as soon as they hear it. Music is about making you happy and this 45 certainly does that so everyone should have a copy.
- OG or repress ?
If i can get the OG pressing at a reasonable price then OG all the way. However sometimes certain records are just out of reach budget wise so re-press is all good provided it is a good quality re-press and not a 128 mp3 rip!
- Favorite place(s) for digging ?
I am very fortunate to be located on the Sunshine Coast in the UK and close to some great record shops. Brighton has one of the UK's best record shops - Rarekind Records - run by Ewan where I buy a lot of old (and new) 45s. If i go the other way I reach Hastings where Mr Thing has his record shop full of amazing and very reasonably priced records. If you are ever in either of these towns make sure you pay these stores a visit...
Stay Fresh, and Keep Diggin'