Crookers is the musical project of Italian DJ/producer, Francesco “Phra” Barbaglia. Crookers was
originally a duo consisting of Phra and fellow producer Bot, who worked together from 2003-2012.
When the two artists met, both were trying to branch out of their genre and explore dance music. Their
first collaboration worked. Phra said “It felt natural to team up, seeing that we had the same musical
tastes… which isn’t that easy here in Milan.”
On October 19, 2012, it was announced that Bot had left the group to pursue a new direction and that
Phra would carry on the Crookers name as a solo project. Bot took up the guitar at an early age, later
moving onto synths, turntables and sequencers. Phra had already started DJing by age 11, when he
was introduced to the Italian hip hop scene.
Their first international release was on Berlin’s Man Recordings (Funk Mundial #3), for which Crookers
contributed various remixes. The duo later released three EPs in 2008 (Knobbers, Mad Kidz and
E.P.istola, all containing exclusive original tracks). Their debut album, Tons of Friends, was released
in 2010. Their collaboration with Kid Cudi entitled “Day’N'Nite” entered the UK Singles Chart at
number 2 and is featured on the game Midnight Club: Los Angeles. Crookers work with
producer/remixer Sketch Iz Dead on many of their tracks.
In 2009 they DJed the in-game radio station ElectroChoc in the game Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of
Gay Tony, which is based around the nightclub scene of Liberty City. Also, the group gained
significant attention as the closing song in the final GTAIV game (“The Ballad of Gay Tony”) is “No
Security”. In the same year they remixed ‘Get On Your Boots’ by U2 and confirmed to be one the most
acclaimed dj duo of that period. In November 2010 the duo signed a deal with Interscope Records,
and they released their new single “We Love Animals” under the label as their first single of their
upcoming second studio album.
In May 2011, Crookers released their second album Dr Gonzo on iTunes and Beatport. The album
features Savage Skulls, Neoteric, Wax Motif, His Majesty Andre, Lazy Ants ans Keith & Supabeatz
and has been described as a return to their original style. A related EP titled The Gonzo Anthem was
released on June 27, 2011.
Bot left the group in October 2012. Phra continues to use the Crookers name solo.
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