August 2017: Officially the biggest month of Kryptomedic’s career so far…
This week sees him commandeering his heaviest Let It Roll schedule to date with key hosting duties with Titan, Methlab, Eatbrain and the festival’s daily drum & bass workout sessions, but it’s what follows release-wise that really galvanises the hype…
Next week sees three key releases from the Columbia-born, US-raised, Germany-based MC. On Eatbrain he’ll be dropping his debut artist EP with five slices of future-fused collabos with the likes of Akov, Disphonia, Fragz and State Of Mind. Meanwhile on Mainframe he’ll be appearing on the Vienna label’s Bass Infection EP with Nakwan. And if that’s not enough, he’s also marking the start of a strong relationship with A.M.C’s Titan by way of a killer collaboration with Tobax and Anatomix called Decibel Savage.
This accelerated activity is enough reason to check in with him and document his current manoeuvres alone. But dig a little deeper to learn his story and it’s remarkable how he even got here in the first place. A true soldier of good fortune (literally), Kryptomedic came into the game in the most unique and humbling of ways and if circumstances went another way his life would be incredible different.
Get to know…
So, going back to your very early releases on labels such as IM:LTD, you started on quite a deep tip…
I did man, and I’d love to get back to that stuff. I think a lot of people assume I’m only working in the neuro world but I love it all. I got some stuff coming soon on Free Love Digital with Quentin Hiatus. I love doing deep stuff and liquid. That’s where a lot of us started.
Not everyone started as a soldier though. As you tell it in your tune with Fragz, your backstory is one of a kind!
Thanks man, I wrote those lyrics in 2005. It’s taken me 12 years to get them out there. It’s everything I went through.
They must have been your earliest bars?
No I started rhyming when I was 15 doing hip-hop back home. I never even heard drum & bass until I landed in Germany as a soldier. I went out with some German friends and a few soldiers and we saw Rawhill Cru live. It was 2003 and all the guys were representing; Daddy Freddy, Navigator, Ragga Twins, Spyda that crew changed my life.
What an introducing to MCing!
It fucking was man! Mo Fire was a big hit at the time and it was live in a theatre. Not your classic rave environment but a theatre. They threw it down, man. It was one of those moments I’ll never forget. I was bitten from that moment.
How did you make that leap from fan to actually MCing?
I started going to local parties as often as I could. Sometimes two a weekend. I’d meet some of the MCs and get smoking and talking. I can’t remember the specific incident but there was a lot of bar trading going on. I’d teach guys how to do a more hip-hop style and they’d teach me how to skip MC-style. Mannheim had some really talented MCs.
You could have been stationed anywhere in the world but Mannheim. Like Afghanistan or Iraq!
This is the craziest thing. At the end of my training I went through jump school to become an airborne solider. You have to do five jumps and on my fourth I didn’t land quite correctly. On the day before our last jumps the officers called me and a friend in. They took our papers, switched the orders and gave them back. He went where I was meant to go – Fort Bragg, where he’d be dispatched to Bagdad. I was sent where he was meant to go; Mannheim.
So you never went to war?
No! This was the luck. No explanation, they switched our orders and I did my out of country service in Manheim. It was a very random twist of fate. I must have been a good cat in my last life.
The gods of drum & bass were looking down and shifting some game pieces on the table!
It’s funny, the longer I get into this game and do what I do I look back on certain moments and wonder how the fuck this can all happen from such randomness. Like I was meant to be here, doing what I do. Something happened to make sure of it, so I’ve got to do this. The way everything comes together, you know?
You mean some things are too good to be a coincidence?
For sure. Go even further back and I’m adopted from Columbia and grew up in America. How the fuck did I end up here? The randomness of my journey is so humbling. And the harder I work and more I achieve I feel like this is meant to be. I’m getting more used to that and more confident in myself as an artist.
I think that’s coming through in your stage style, too. I haven’t seen many MCs as energetic as you!
The best advice to any raver who loves drum & bass is learn to become an MC and you get a whole stage to dance on! But seriously, I’ve developed my style over the years and I try and keep as much punk about it as possible because punk is my roots. I love every style of hosting and admire so many MCs and this is my take on things. But to be honest? I couldn’t tell you much about what happens on stage because I blackout during a lot of my sets. I’ve been told I do strange things.
Wow. Okay, like what?
I just freak out and let nature take its course and have no idea what happens. Like last year at Let It Roll I hosted Black Sun Empire on the main stage and I wasn’t even booked for that. I wasn’t ready for it at all. This was day three – I had no idea I’d host for three days at the event and when it happened I went ‘boom’. I came to around 15 minutes before the end of the set. Apparently I climbed down and was high fiving the crowd then jumped on the security to get back up because I’m a fucking short-ass man!
So the Black Sun Empire show was a surprise?
The whole fucking weekend was! I was only booked for EatBrain on the Thursday but then I did a few sets in the Blackout stage the following day. And then yeah, main stage on the last day. It just kept getting better and better. I was so fucking nervous on that main stage one, though. I haven’t felt nerves like that for a long time.
Like since your early shows?
It’s a different type of nerves now, because I know what I’m doing. I’m not overwhelmed by the size of the crowd but the fact that they know who I am. I’m not nameless or background local anymore. In the early days it was a lot more nerves because I was still learning my craft.
Set the scene of those first gigs….
It was mid 2000s and very jungly. Guys like Lemon D and Adam F were still killing it. Marky coming through. Pendulum just conquering and Concorde Dawn coming through. The darkness was really just kicking in. My first bookings were Darren Jay, Dope Ammo and Remarc. MC Darrison and I toured together a few times too. The biggest memory of that time was going back to back with UK Apache while Mampi Swift was playing.
Did you black out during that?
No I absolutely remember every second. I got to meet Mampi at a Renegade night and he remembered it because they’d never been booked together outside the UK. He was super cool about it.
How have you found the UK responds to you? International MCs are only really beginning to make an impression because we’ve had such a strong wealth of talent here since day one.
The UK is a hard market to crack for international MCs for sure. There are some key guys from Europe killing it right now – Fava, Daxta and Mota spring to mind. It’s not an easy game but thanks to Eatbrain and Blackout and all the different things I’ve done it’s finally come together and I feel I’m getting recognition and respect from UK MCs. My first UK show was actually 10 years ago I played at the Rhythm Factory. There’s been years between UK shows but it’s picked up.
Everything’s picked up. Especially on the release front this month…
It’s amazing, Mainframe, Eatbrain stuff, Free Love Digi and Titan releases all coming up. I’m super excited about the Titan connection. It will be myself, Tobax and Anatomix but there’s more in the pipeline. I’ve been talking to AMC about laying down unique vocal versions for DJs – you know when you’d hear those dubs where the MC sings about that particular DJ? We’re talking about laying down a whole bunch of those for DJs so they have those one-off special records again. And of course I’m hosting the Titan stage at Let It Roll.
Speaking of Let It Roll! It’s another heavy schedule for you, right?
My busiest one yet for sure. Thursday I’ll be doing a few sets at The Hangar. Friday midday is the drum & bass workout, Friday evening is the Methlab bus then Titan stage. Then Saturday is the drum & bass workout again and I’ll be hosting the Eatbrain stage. There might be a few more surprises too. Who knows? Three days full power. I’m fucking loaded for it.
I’m loaded for the drum & bass workout!
Crazy right? They asked me if I was up for it. They’ve seen I’m an active MC, like active on stage. They were there last year and saw what I do, I was there last year and saw they do. We knew we could make it work.
Exercise at a rave, though… Surely this is the hardest job as an MC ever?
You’d be surprised man. There was a good turn out last year. People starting their day as wholesome as they can before things get too silly. It’ll be one of the most interesting sets I’ve hosted but I guess you know how I like to rise to the challenge now, right?