I love our tribute mix series which, like the website, covers a wide range of genres from house masters to jazz legends back to more experimental beats. This is one that has been on my mind for some time.
Kenlo Craqnuques is one of our homegrown heroes (grew up in Quebec City and now lives in Montreal) and one of the most unique, daring, prolific yet criminally underrated producers. Ask the younger generation of Montreal beatsmiths like Kaytranada and Shash’U and they’ll tell you Kenlo is the godfather of the beat scene.
I often trade music with international guests I bring to Montreal for a show and I’m always surprised to hear that many of those guys (like El-B, Jay Daniel, Onra) are already huge fans of Kenlo. Outside of his solo output, he’s released a few projects with Quebec’s VLooper and also as part of rap supergroup Alaclair Ensemble.
Active since the mid-2000’s (Myspace days) his beat tapes rank up there in the premier league with Dilla’s Donuts, Shadow, Kankick, Onra’s Chinoiseries, Knxledge, Madlib… it’s just that most people don’t know it. For the biggest part of his career he has given away all of his music for free, although now he does sell his releases 5$ (worth every penny).
Also, there is a documentary coming out which chronicles a day in the life of Kenlo.