Over the last few years, one artist in particular has been putting some serious work in.
He’s out gigging nearly every weekend, sharing stages with some of the biggest names in dark DnB. In fact, you will struggle to find a line up or flyer in Europe without his name on it.
To date, he hasn’t had many UK bookings, which is a crying shame because his bars, delivery and work ethic rival some of the best that the UK has to offer.
With all that in mind, it gives me great pleasure to introduce one of the most talented (and underrated) MC’s on the circuit. Ladies and gents, please give a warm #GCB welcome to “our man from Mannheim” … MC Kryptomedic.
GCB … Thanks for taking the time to chat to me today. lets get straight to it.
You’re originally from the US, now you live in Germany. Can you give us a bit of background about yourself and tell us a bit about how you ended up repping DnB so far from home ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … Yeah it’s a bit crazy really, so, I am originally from Chelmsford/Lowell Massachussetts which is outside of Boston on the East Coast. I grew up a typical skater kid playing in various punk bands and listening to ska and metal and also a heavy amount of underground hip hop.
Later I landed in Germany as a soldier in the US Army and it was basically luck that I was stationed in Mannheim where Jungle and Drum and Bass has been alive and well since the early 90s. Almost immediately I was introduced to Drum and Bass and the surrounding scene through friends as we attended a spectrum of events featuring such artists from Black Sun Empire and Concord Dawn, to Marky & Dillinja. I had never imagined myself living in Europe but it was such a blast to be able to attend such events, and also life here in general was just going so well that I ended up staying (against orders from the Army to return stateside) and living 10 years in Mannheim and very recently relocating to Munich at the beginning of the year.
GCB … 95% of your gigs are in Europe. With this in mind, do you think being an “English speaking” MC has had a positive or negative impact on your career, bookings wise ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … I would say my English has had a definite positive impact on my career. Few people know this but I actually started out as a MC over here while attending events and exchanging rap bars with local MCs KillaBee & Cam One who in return would show me double time flows over Jungle in the cellars of the Genisis Club back in 2003-05. Nowadays I am able to use it to write for a number of singers as well as myself. As far as gigs go I think its paramount to understand English correctly in order to make sense with the set and thus correctly supporting and pushing it … At least thats my approach.
GCB … You’re a very positive/proactive person, always smiling and looking for the good in any given situation. There must be occasions when you get pissed off just like the rest of us. How do you manage to remain so positive, whats the secret ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … Haha yeah, I do try to be a super positive person. Honestly, I am surprised how many people not only picked up on that but also how many respond to it. For me, I feel like I have quite good luck and I think somehow we build our own luck, the downer remains down, the doer achieves, etc. This is basically the root of my positivity so there is really no secret to it. We get what we give and we get what we deserve.
GCB … Most artists have a “pre gig ritual”. Whats yours ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … So this varies for me depending on where the show is and where I am, very rarely though does it have anything to do with Drum and Bass. Sometimes You can find me listening to Hip Hop or even classic Sinatra or maybe some Jimi Hendrix my headphones when I am “on tour”
For home shows I do have an actual tradition … I always watch the full concert from THE STREETS @ MELT FESTIVAL 2011 on You Tube. Freaking love that performance. (Anyone who likes good music and has a bit of time should turn that beast on after this interview)
GCB … You’ve collaborated and done some vocal features in your time. Can you name 3 DnB producers who you would like to work with in the future and give us some info as to why you rate them ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … This is a great question because it gets right to what I have been up to lately and the direction I plan on heading, which is of course more releases and making good music. So if I were to just name 3 producers I would like to work with in the future they would be Mefjus & Inside Info (counted as 1 because I’m cheeky) , Billain and Memtrix, all amazing producers and just a great group of dudes honestly, big love for all these guys 😉
GCB … You’re a dedicated skateboarder. I’m sure being a father, writing, gigging and life in general must take up a fair chunk of your leisure time. Do you manage to get out on the board as much as you’d like to ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … Actually I do skate quite often, it is for sure down from a few years ago before I was so active in Drum and Bass but I have been skating far too long to ever stop without doctors orders. Big ups and shoutz to Outsider crew, SBC & Skateboarding München crews.
GCB … Who is your favourite DJ to work with and why ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … Not a fair question, played with too many greats and have too many friends to name one. Instead I would share one moment I often tell people about that I will never forget and always makes me laugh … I was playing in France with Vegas and he threw a rewind. As I started to hype the crowd in front on stage, I looked at him and he shook his head to say no and then he said with just the most insane look in his eyes “Make them wait for it” … It was too funny, and dead on actually, the drop killed.
GCB … You have quite a unique stage name. Can you tell us a bit about why you chose that name and how it relates to you as an artist ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … So this name, haha, geek alert, this name I have had with me since I guess 97/98 … It was given to me from my best friend at the time as we were playing the original Starcraft from Blizzard. Somehow it just stuck 🙂
GCB … Do you think you are paid what you are worth, bookings wise ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … In general yes, I work with so many promoters that were or became friends that I never really worry too much about it.
GCB … Do you miss living in the US and do you have any plans to return there in the future ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … Sometimes I do miss it there, the entire way of living is just totally different but I suppose at this moment I don’t have any plans to return there.
GCB … Name 3 DnB MC’s from the darker/deeper end of the spectrum who inspire you and tell us why you rate them ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … DRS, Coppa, SP:MC, all trend setters and great guys. They all MC in styles I can connect to easily, and I think that goes for a lot of ravers everywhere which would obviously make sense as they are such fan favourites. Flows that make sense and make the brain think just complement the music so well as its not just an underground thumping of bass, its truly much more complex. The music itself is smart, so why shouldn’t the accompanying text be also.
GCB … Can you tell us a bit about how you feel with regards to your own situation concerning UK bookings. You play for all the big events in Europe and when labels and DJ’s come over from the UK, you are generally their “go to” guy for hosting etc. Do you find it frustrating that these labels and DJ’s come running when they’re in Europe, yet rarely ask for your services in the UK ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … No not really, I have hosted a few times over there and it was always a blast so it would be great to come back and maybe start doing it more often sometime soon but I have been able to host for really great crowds all over.
GCB … Do you have a 9-5/day job or are you able to live off the money you receive from bookings ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … I left the 9 – 5 system a few years back as it was just impossible to be a part of all of the projects I wanted to do.
GCB … What are your thoughts on Crossbreed ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … I would say personally, its not for everyone, I can get into it at events but don’t generally listen to it during my free time.
GCB … Whats the best event you’ve ever performed at ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … Twisted Sessions Rennes #10 … Hands down the best party residency I have, they went really big on #10 brining out Koven Live, followed by myself and Smooth and then with Chris Renegade.
GCB … Name 3 things you hate about being an MC and tell us a bit about why these specific issues bug you ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … #1 I hate the stigma of the word MC, in this I mean what DRS addressed with the title of his album, “I Don’t Usually Like MCs But” … I think that is dead on, this is something you could hear any average raver saying, even I myself see why and agree.
#2 Hosting without a sound check or even worse, without a sound engineer on hand, when this happens its easy to sound bad and give a weak performance.
#3 Hosting under attended events, its hard to get into a flow when there aren’t many people there and a lot of space on the floor, promoters will want you to host but it feels like you do it for yourself which of course is a bit ridiculous.
GCB … What are your thoughts on award ceremonies in DnB ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … I think they are a good thing, it makes sense that a culture that grew in the underground supports itself in such a way. I never expected to actually attend one but last year I had the honour of the nomination for New Comer MC from DNBA. Even just attending was a blast, a true blast, as I will always consider myself a fan and a raver before an artist as thats how it all started anyways. It was great to be in a room celebrating the music we love drum and bass. In a room with all the faces and heros of the game and at a point where I can call so many friends, it was truly unforgettable.
GCB … If you had to pick 1 DnB event to headline in the UK. Which one would it be and why ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … Thats a tough one honestly, so many great events going these days … Maybe either a Renegade Hardware in Brixton or say a Critical in Fabric. Both venues, labels, and artists are just stellar so choosing one would be too hard.
GCB … You’ve attended DnB events in the US, the UK and the EU. With regards to personal preference. Can you give us some info on which country has the best “scene” and give us some insight as to why that particular country stands out for you ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … Hands down UK. From the events to the artists and even your everyday ravers, I think UK has it on lock. Its great to actually be there and see ravers with true knowledge on current dnb and labels and producers or tunes. The number of events with killer line ups that go down over there is also wicked. Best scene around 😉
GCB … A while ago I wrote a piece regarding the treatment of MC’s in the scene and went into some detail concerning the “inequalities” in DnB. We spoke briefly over Twitter and it was clear that this was an issue that resonated with you as an artist. Could you elaborate on why this particular piece struck a chord with you and give us your thoughts on the subject ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … I think this is an issue that every MC feels strongly about, it was obvious from the response on Twitter, as you said, that it is a topic worth speaking on at the moment. Everyone from DRS & Fokuz to Stapelton, Teebee and more got involved in that discussion, it was great to see that I am not alone in the realization of this inequality. A good DJ can smash for sure, but a DJ MC Combo can be magic, can be unforgettable … Case in point Calibre & DRS, Jubei & SP:MC etc. Those that posses not just bars but the ART of hosting should be valued, that’s my two cents anyways.
GCB … Are you happy with where you’re at, musically speaking ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … I’m thrilled with where I am at musically speaking which even now 10 years in feels like its just the beginning. It took me 8 years to find my sound really. First flowing in a quick double time and jungle flow for years which just isn’t true to my roots. Once I became a bit more comfortable and confident in hosting and with myself I had a bit of a rebirth going back to the old hip hop bars and styles which works really well for me, somehow a mixture of the two styles back and forth keeps everything fresh and true to my voice and the way it works. This allows for better live shows as well as better tunes.
GCB … Finally, what are your plans for 2014 and where do you see yourself in 2015 ?
KRYPTOMEDIC … This year I have been taking a bit of time off from heavy touring, cutting my show load way down to focus on studio time and other projects.
One of my main projects that people should be aware of is my takeover of LOW FREQUENCY RECORDINGS. Previously owned and operated by Psychical Research aka Target1. We are currently in the process of getting the legal paperwork done as I have officially purchased the label and will move it from Brno, Czech Republic to Munich. There are already 5 Eps signed and sealed, coming with some big tunes and nice names attached such as Teddy Killerz and more, so look for great things from the label as we plan to stay true to the roots as well as tap into my network for tunes from such producers as Bone, Tom SMall, Disphonia and more.
As far as my career goes I have been in the studio a lot so expect a flood of tunes to start coming on labels like Eatbrain, Citrus, Icarus, Authentic, True Box, Dissected Culture, Dark Manoeuvers, Machinist Music and even some bigger ones that I can’t discuss yet. Big collabs, good vibes, dark tunes, different genres, fun remixes, more music videos, the works. Finally having a taste for making music people enjoy and songs that will long outlast me, I am ready to and working on carving out my spot in the world of Drum and Bass and have no plans of stopping anytime soon. This is just the start!
GCB … Thanks again for taking the time to chat to me today fella. I wish you all the best for the future. Hopefully some of these labels and promoters will start booking you in the UK in the not too distant future and we can catch up face to face for a couple of cold ones.
Until next time … Peace.