Just a few years back Mike aka Kryptomedic could have been described as one of the more underground-oriented and less widely renowned Drum&Bass vocalists. However, thanks to his hard work and unrelenting diligence he managed in a very short span of time to become the first MC of choice for many of today's most significant labels the likes of Eatbrain or Blackout Music.
Mike has been a part of DnB Portal family for some time now, mainly as an author of reviews and interviews but this time we decided spin it around, sit him down to the guest chair and ask him a few questions ourselves. We talked about his own beginnings as an MC, community projects, skateboarding and also made a short recap of the 2016 and tried to find out what's in store for us from Kryptomedic in the coming year.
Hey Mike. Could you give a brief introduction about yourself and the brands you represent?
Thanks, glad to have the chance. My name is Mike and as an artist I go under the name Kryptomedic. I'm an MC and vocalist and represent Eatbrain, Blackout, Virus and a number of other labels.
All the labels you named are heavily neurofunk-based. Is this the style of Drum&Bass you prefer?
I like to have variety in the sets I host, so as much as it is fun to do a Blackout or Eatbrain night, I have fun doing Hospitality and other such events as well. Really when I had started there were less Neurofunk nights and I held quite a few residencies at Liquid and Deep events.
The influence of Neurofunk has really blown up over the last couple of years. What do you think personally is the prime factor to this?
Yea, there has been an undeniable rise for sure. For me I'm not sure there is a prime factor or one deciding element that made it happen, rather it was a progression somehow through the years. When I tour out on such shows, you get the feeling that it works in the way that punk or metal does. The music is heavy, it's fast, fans thrash out and it becomes such a release that its intoxicating. Someone said to me recently; when a person first goes to a rave, hears the music, sees the people and has the experience, it is liberating. I think that is the spirit behind it in a way.
It seems that with so much neurofunk around everyone is looking towards the more experimental side of production nowadays. Do you think that to stand out from other producers you really have to develop that „signature sound"?
As far as people looking to the experminetal side of production, that is a fair statement. With labels like Methlab winning last year's New Comer Label at the DnBA Awards we see that such sound and forward thinking put them ahead of the pack.
Looking for a signature sound though has always been a thing and not just in Neurofunk. For me personally, everytime someone mentions that notion "signature sound", I literally always think of Skeptical. Every style of dnb has such names, your Mefjus, your Noisia, your Calibre, your Break. They are just artists who know their sound and for sure it is important to find yours. For me it was the same as a vocalist. It wasn't until I gave up trying to fit a sound and style and just being me, that I was able to find success.
What musical influences do you have from growing up? Have you always been passionate about music?
Now that is a question I always love to get into! For me I grew up on a spectrum of things reaching from A Tribe Called Quest on to Rage Against The Machine, Nine Inch Nails or even out to Tricky and such. As I grew up skateboarding, Punk and Hip-Hop were always part of the cutlure and so that left a lasting imprint for sure. Just a month ago or so I went to see Less Than Jake as they toured by. Good fun that was!
I guess I have always been passionate about music for sure, though when I had started writing it was more for fun and there was never a plan to do something with it or from it. I toured for 8 years before ever having a release. It just wasnt in my head to sit down and record until Physical Illusion asked for vocals that ended up on IM:LTd out of Paris. Since then it has become such an outlet for thoughts, principles I want to share, emotions to get out. Just a way to speak and say whatever I want or need to say and a way to enjoy the art of the music in a way. It's nice to know something is written down and out and that is concrete. It was nothing and now it exists. That in itself is rewarding enough so when fans even show reaction to a track or set and big it up or slap hands or whatever, that is just sick!!
I've noticed you do skateboarding workshops in your free time as well. How is that going for you?
As far as the workshops go, they are great! Its fun to be able to skate with the kids and watch them get into it, some really get it right away and stick with it. There have been also workshops for refugees and we run a girls jam here, where we start the day with a workshop. Ive been lucky to be able to be a part of those every time I had the chance, not every city has such a big community and runs things like that, it is one of the reasons I find Munich a special place to live.
Do you have someone you look up to in skateboarding game?
For me as a skater I always looked up to Mike Vallely. I love what he has done with the Elephant brand and his own style. Its inspired inspired a lot of people and we can see it get passed down on into such names as Ben Raybourn now. Also love Evan Smith, this dude is the realness, he went live on my Facebook when we met as he was drawing some art on a poster, afterwards he busted out his credit card and bought another fan a new deck. Great dude there, and such a sick skater.
Back to the music. You've been a lot of places this year as an artist but what has been your favourite party or festival you've performed at over the course of 2016?
Ooof, that is a tough one. There have been so many good ones, I think two festivals that stood out this year were Nu Forms and Let It Roll. The line ups are just so massive and when it came down to the actual festival, the music and the vibe of both was just amazing, I wouldn't want to miss either of these bad boys. For parties that is almost impossible to answer, From England to Serbia I have seriously had just great experiences, everywhere I was lucky enough to go and be invited. Big ups to all the crews in the scene making it really healthy and strong the way its been these last years.
What can we expect from you as an artist in this year?
As last year was relatively quiet from me, I am ready to have a big one in 2017. There are some projects I am working on and things in the pipeline for sure. I wish I could say more on that but I'm limited at the moment on what can be told. I can say though, along with new work with familiar names that I might have already worked with, there are new ones that are going to be a surprise and I think quite well recieved. An example would be Fragz who has already announced we are working together. On the side I am always doing projects and we will see where that goes, I am aware that I will have a single coming where proceeds will go towards Mental Health research, specifically Alzheimers Disease.
Last but not least is there anyone you wanna give a shoutout to?
Sure! Shout out to all the fans and people who dig the music and come to the shows first off! Second big ups to all the brands holding me down; Made In Boston, Label K Clothing, Gorilla, WTF Snowboards, Tom Tom, Luf Sox, and lastly to everyone who I get to travel with, kick it with, and anyone who is showing love. Salute and I hope you all have a killer start into a great new year!