It came as no surprise to find that James is the product of the dark satanic brickwork and cold streets of Manchester, the same vibe that oozed out of Joy Division’s challenging art attacks also shrouds his stark, subtly nuanced pop statements. But he also channels the twitchy neurosis of New York’s proto-punk melting pot and occasionally the exotic Berlin sleaze that drew the likes of Bowie to embrace it.
Sometimes James expresses himself through warped and dance-edged electronic statements, sometimes through shamanistic folk and there are even classical passages, which seem to be seeping in from a horrific alternate dimension. Always though he keeps you guessing. The influences may dance around openly in the background of his creations but they are only guides, torch-bearers casting light on possibilities and ideas, ideas that he makes his own.
Convention is crucified on the cross of invention, comfort is sacrificed for challenge and the unsettling results may not always be the easiest musical journey, but it is a journey that you certainly won’t have made before. Some music is about pandering to expectation and comfort zones, some is about hacking out new pathways through the jungle of creativity. James Kruman is very much in the latter category and you never know, he may just lead us to the source of the musical Nile.