Producer/DJ Kaytranada pulls 10 records while beatdigging at New York’s A-1 Records

At only 21 years old, his sold-out DJ sets around the globe showcase a musical selection that seems a bit beyond his years.



Photo by Martin Pariseau

If you’ve ever bore witness to one of Montreal beatmaker Kaytranada’s DJ sets, you’ve likely been shuttled through an aural history of Black popular music from the past three decades. From Kashif and Indeep to Flying Lotus and Three 6 Mafia, Kaytranada finds the common thread between these multi-textured genres and makes them groove seamlessly. At only 21 years old, his sold-out DJ sets around the globe showcase a musical selection that seems a bit beyond his years. Growing up in a household where the likes of Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Bob Marley, and Pink Floyd wafted through the air definitely buttressed his knowledge base. But even while combing meticulously through the bins at A-1 Records, a popular New York City digging spot, Kaytranada also admits that digital digging played a big role in supplementing his sets.

“Honestly, it has been just me going through blogs and YouTube suggestions,” he admits. “I’ll discover something that makes me want to put it into my sets or sample.” Being that crate-digging is a culture that prides itself on unearthing rare goods by the sweat of the brow, this admission may come off as a blemish on his budding reputation as a DJ and producer. But Kaytranada sees it as simply as the product of a generational shift in spurred on by technology. “It’s not that my generation is too lazy to search through bins. But we don’t want to listen to every album. We don’t have time for that. But we’ll go buy the record if we’ve already downloaded it and just want a copy of it. It sucks that it’s that way. But at the same time, this generation lives on the Internet. So now we crate-dig online.”

Citing Madlib as a big influence, he digitally digs across a wide spectrum of sounds, including Brazilian funk and Japanese psych rock. But for now, he’s fawning over vinyl albums by the likes of Barbara Mason, Jackson 5, and Marvin Gaye. Here’s  ten picks from A-1’s bins by Kaytranada, who is featured in Wax Poetics Issue 59.

Listen to the Spotify Playlist and continue on to the “Record Rundown”:

Record: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11


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One Response

  1. Moog as a bass….reminds me a certain Hancock……..

    – Jp

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