We had the chance to take some time with JADE and MC KRYPTOMEDIC (MIKE) during the last Twisted Sessions in Rennes. We talked about their respective beginnings in the scene, how they grew stronger, EATBRAIN and what is to be expected from them in the near future.
Could you introduce yourselves briefly ?
JADE : Hi, I’m JADE and I’m addicted to basslines (laughs). I’ve been on this downhill track since 98. I started producing in 2000 and my first tune came out 4 years later. Three years later(2007) I played here in Rennes at Twisted Sessions.
MIKE : I’m Kryptomedic and I MC to DnB, breakbeat and electronic music since 2003. I do a lot of live shows, touring Europe, and also host Twisted Sessions here (Rennes), in England and in Germany where we have thrown other Twisted Sessions in the past. My first release as an MC after years of touring came out in 2012. That was a single on ‘The Aftermath LP’ from IMLTD with Physical Illusion called “We feelin what we doing”.
JADE : That’s a good one !
What was your first contact with DnB ? How did you get involved with the scene in the first place ?
JADE : I first encoutered dnb purely by chance. There was big rain, we were looking for shelter and we found this club where one of my friends was spinning vinyl. Really heavy dnb. At that time, I couldn’t even make the difference between the tunes. Turns out he was playing Bad Company and Konflict: that was love at first sight. I started to collect dnb first. I knew every release that came out. Then I started to make my own sounds, I wanted to be part of it. It was a scene in Hungary as well, it was stronger that it is ever going to be. It was enough to book a big name playing dnb and it was guaranteed 2000 / 3000 people would show up. It was unbelievable, such a big thing.
MIKE : It’s the same in Germany !
JADE : We had this warehouse outside Budapest, you had to travel at least like an hour to get there, but no one complained, even in the winter, everybody was heading out there and everybody was there. Today, we have good parties but if people have to lift their finger to do something for it, its not interesting anymore. I can’t even imagine something like that now, going outside of the city to a warehouse. That was a blooming scene, and that obviously had an affect on me.
In what way did it affect you ? Was it a “golden age” ?
JADE : Well, it was the begining, it’s very different now, we still have big parties, but we do not have this initial hype that surrounded the style back then. It was a nice begining. After that I started promoting. I had some nice years, and after we started to get stronger, we also started to be a bit of an obstacle for the bigger promoters. After that it was only producing for me.
It took 4 Years for me to have my first release, because at that time I was working, also at the university, studying architecture. I’m not even doing that anymore, I stopped being an architect in 2008.
MIKE : My first contact with dnb was actually from Americans I was with in the army. We were all stationed in Germany at the time and on the weekends they would go to really old raves like Rawhill Crew with Ragga Twins and take me with them. Litterally like really old shit like SAS (Skibba and Shabba) and shit – the Hype years, the early 2000’s. Then I was just MCing because these people knew I was american, and said I could rap. So I traded skills with a few German MCs who showed me how to do double time to DnB and I Showed him how to rap. Eventually I just kept with it and it kept going and going, snowballing over the years somehow …
JADE : who was this MC ?
MIKE : It was KillerBee and Cam-One. KillerBee was pretty big in the game then with Rawhill crew and Cam-one was a local. We used to do gigs in a basement club in Mannheim called the Genesis Club and I’d MC at events from Steppasoundz Records and shit with like Krasqn, Royce and Freesteppa and just all the locals. I would never be booked, just freestyle for fun. That’s how it started. Eventually years later I took up a residency at Basskantine (Soho Club) with the Baesse.de Crew and really developed my style at that time.
(to JADE) Your first release went on Black Sun Empire Recordings in 2007. How did you see the genre evolve since then, from your own perspective ? How did you see the music evolve and the people react to it ?
JADE : The music obviously evolved technically. Just simply new production techniques and better quality. Harware quipment is not neccessare any more, it’s computer music. It’s not even catching up, it caught up a long time ago to hardware. That changed things a lot… Genre wise, I don’t really know ; it’s, always something new, but the tempo is the same, more or less. Sometimes a bit faster, but in the end it’s still that big old 175 BPM.
JADE : In Hungary it changed a lot, it normalized to good club nights but we don’t have those super hype crazy warehouse events anymore. . . Outside Hungary, it’s different in every city. Sometimes even for one city, different promoters have different nights. But definitely every city has their own vibe. It doesn’t have to do much with the country.
You travelled a lot ?
JADE : Not really, I had my decent share of travels …
MIKE : I think you travel a lot when i see your pictures man ! [laughs]
What was your best memories / place / vibes ?
JADE : I love Hong Kong, I love these big Metropolitan vibes. Hong Kong was intriguing and also the party was in a skyscrapper so …
Canada was really nice as well; they took me to the Rocky Montains, rode a quad.. It was good fun. New-Zealand was great, can be a bit isolated but I liked the vibe, I liked their winter. It’s like european autumn: it barely goes below like 10 degrees. But of course my number one favorite destination is in France and its called Rennes – you probably haven’t heard about it. [laughs] It’s small but nice town .
How did you start the Eatbrain Quest ?
JADE : I’ve been thinking about it for a very long time, too long actually. I should have started way before I did. We wanted to do something with Mindscape, a label together, but the first year we were arguing about the name, for a whole year really. He was really busy with his album for Commercial Suicide – The Martian Chronicles – as well. We knew that it wasn’t going to work out. If we cannot agree on one thing in one year, how would we manage a label… We came up with like a hundred ideas at least, and we never liked each others ideas. And he was actually relieved I think. It was ideal for both of us in the end. He’s playing a major role in EATBRAIN still. He’s my best friend, my n°1 Advisor : I never sign anything on EATBRAIN or refuse anything without having him have a decent feedback on the tune. Some say he’s the godfather of EATBRAIN.
How did you come to know Mike ?
JADE : I first heard about Mike when I was Designer for Twisted Sessions; I was sent the line-up for the poster and his name was on it. Next time, Chis Su was working on a tune for EATBRAIN, and Mike was on it. I knew I saw the name before, but it was the first time I actually heard something and I loved it. There was 18 tunes on the album (Tales of the Undead), and Underground Culture was one of the best, if not the best; one of the top 3 for sure, along with Telekinesis “Atlas” and Myself and Mindscape’s “Friday the 13th”.
How did you achieve such a compilation ?
JADE : That was a year of work as well. The first few years of Eatbrain was not much in the way of success, it was a learning curve. The first thing I learned : never trust DnB artists when it comes to deadlines… Starting with myself (I should have known) [Laughs] . It was a few slow years, because litteraly no one can keep a deadline in the scene. I decided to sign more tunes than I could release. This left me with this flow of tunes coming in and getting released, and I didn’t have to wait for tunes. There are some artists who sent me a few tunes that I signed but I couldn’t mold it into a full release. I had many tunes like that, that were really really good, but I was waiting another year for another 3 tunes to make it an EP. I just put those tunes out the whole release, including myself, I had 3 tunes on that album.
Some of the artists like Maztek, Telekinesis, Chris Su as well, have been long time friends of mine and they found time to make something for the album. We didn’t even plan a release with Telekinesis for Eatbrain because they are working for BLACKOUT now but they still managed to have this on tune for the album. I really think it’s an awesome tracklist – Some artists like QO, his tune Killcode …
MIKE : So good !
JADE : Ho my god ! So f#ckin great ! He’s pulling out an EP on Eatbrain in December. All 4 tunes are done and its going to be a killer EP. I just wanted to introduce him to the crowd with this one tune on the album, so the fans can familiarize themselves with the name.
What can we expect on EATBRAIN in the next few months ?
JADE : The next release is actually within weeks, it’s gonna be KUNG – a spanish guy living in London. We started to talk way before Eatbrain. I’m one of the people responsible starting his career ; I was working for Triple Vision – a distribution company – for a long time as an artist and a designer as well. I liked what KUNG was doing and I just didn’t have my own label at that time. I suggested Triple Vision to do something with this guy and they released several singles with him. So when I started my own imprint it was a logical step to find him. There is a collaboration with Aeph as well who is an awesome producer from Italy.
Following QO it will be State of Mind featuring Chris.Su, Mindscape and myself [NDLR : an angel of awe passes … we look at each other, Mike looks amazed] – its going to be a big EP.
JADE : I just wanna mention one more thing : there’s going to be this french trio : SIGNS
JADE : You know them?! I have really strong hopes for these guys; they’re doing really awesome stuff. I’m gonna play at least two tunes from them tonight, It’s going to be an interresting EP and I think It’s almost finished. Probably the next one after State of Mind. So it’s going to be a strict streamroll from now on for the label [laughs] for at least a little while. Big stuff coming out.
Let’s talk about SIGNS
JADE: One of the best newcomers in the scene I think. They have some qualities that are really rare in the dnb scene : their workload is unbelieveable – they make a lot of tunes, and most are really good as well. It’s not easy to make a tune like every week. They started working on this EP like two months ago, and its all done. It’s good to work with them because they actually listen to good advice. They got a lot better since they started, and it hasn’t been even a year! Look at them: they are on C4C, Redlight, Bad Taste, now Eatbrain.
Yeah, I think they can be really big soon, and I’m proud to have them on the label.
You said you are also a designer ?
JADE : Yes, my best work to date: I designed the logo for EATBRAIN. It took me a whole month. It looks really simple : two Xs and a few triangles … but to get the actual proportion and execution, I had like at least a 50 different versions [Laughs] Some of them are really funny like much bigger Xs – whatever. I designed three of the Twisted Sessions flyers/posters as well. I’ve been designing Triple Vision Artworks for four years by now : Citrus, Fokuz, Disturbed, Celsius and more.
How do you manage to have time for all your activities ?
JADE : Barely ! [laughs] It’s especially hard to keep the communication up when you have thousands of friends on Facebook. They’re sending me messages with nice content and it’s really time consuming. To listen to all demos, I’d love to do that but it’s nearly impossible. It’s just too much. I’m trying my best though.
Too much love. Any Last Word ?
JADE : “Merci beaucoup” [Laughs]
Back to you Mike – How is it to be an MC in the DnB scene ?
MIKE : It’s really difficult; MC’s are really not liked that much. So many MC’s come up, and even I agree, destroy a lot of music, a lot of the sets. I think a lot of MC’s are not really fans of the music somehow or have a wrong concept of what the music should be. I often hear MC’s rhyme over vocal tracks, and it’s like “Dude … The producer on the track took hours to get these vocals exactly this way and you just destroy it”. But other than that it’s really fun because I get to tour accross Europe doing shows with great artists. That’s really cool. I wouldn’t get to do that otherwise.
How difficult is it to get yourself known, become popular and accepted by the scene ?
MIKE : I think it’s really hard to do. Last year I got that nomination on the DnB Arena Awards for the best newcoming MC of the year and I was really surprised. I didn’t tell anyone to vote for me, I never would then, I didn’t know anyone had my name in there at all. In the last two years I did more than 250 shows. I think it was doing those shows [that got me nominated]. I only released maybe 5 or 6 songs. Now it’s going more in that direction, less live shows more released tracks : this year it’s like 20 sor far.
JADE : whaow
MIKE : Yeah it’s really crazy. That’s what I’m talking about when someone says “Hey guy I like that tune with so and so” or whatever, I don’t even know who you’re talking about. I can’t keep track of everything that’s gonna come out soon these days but I know its all coming. When I started MCing, someone told me : “In DnB it takes 8 years to get respect as an MC” and I thought “That’s crazy”.
JADE : Why 8 years ?
MIKE : I don’t know, they just said it to me. But maybe it’s right, it’s really hard. MC Kemo once told me “To become a success in DnB the stars have to be just right for you. Everything has to line up just right” and I think that’s true. Somehow I think I just got lucky.
How did that happen ? Was it relationships you had with people ?
MIKE : Yeah, I did a lot of other projects; I was always an MC on the side since the begining, but I was also promoter for five years, I had an agency for 3 years, and I had a radio show for three or four years, and now I have another radio show since 3 years. So I was always involved in the scene. I knew all the agencies, because I had to book and promote their artists leaving me with both good relations with the artists and also the agencies. It’s a lot of networking over many years.
What is coming up in the near future for you ?
MIKE : I have a new single coming for CITRUS with a video, where I rap all of my favorite labels into a song. It says like “I was Breaking before bad existed / I was broken before you knew English / Chilled with Playaz you knew it was True / Critical before Critical even knew” and it is going, it features most every Label in this nod to oldschool hip hop tunes like Last Emperor’s Secret Wars, you know ? So that is coming Soon.
I have a feature on a song on the new Maztek album on Renegade Hardware (My first Renegade Hardware release). And I have lots of collabs everywhere in every direction really, with labels in England, Barcelona, Budapest, Germany, America and so on. So I think it will be more hard not to see it, you know what I mean ? [Laughs]. It’s everywhere. Everywhere I go, like when i was at Let It Roll I always hear people say things like “The first time I heard you it was with Tom Small and now you’re just everywhere” (to quote A-Cray for example). And I think it’s cool, because a lot of MCs try to stay true to one label, but I have friends everywhere, and I like to give my music away different places and help different labels, so … And not every tune is for every label; I’ve got unes for chilled out labels that would never fit by EATBRAIN, so it’s cool to spread it that way.
You said the stars have to be aligned, but it seems to be a lot of work too. What would be your advice to someone interrested in becoming an MC in the scene ?
MIKE : Just don’t ! Get a real job, go to school, become a Banker and enjoy your life ! [Laughs] No I think the important thing is to be Loud, to speak clearly, and just to be nice, never over-do it. Less is more is just so true. Be very carefull how you treat the name “MC”. You wanna represent something good, you don’t wanna be associated with the “bad” MCs. Once that happens, it’s over. Take your time, think about what you’re doing, and “maybe” don’t drink and don’t smoke when you do shows ! Think of it, if you wanna be serious about it, be serious and work. That is the best way I find, it definitely works for me, I stopped “partying” while doing gigs years ago.
One last word ?
MIKE : I don’t know man … Just DnB. All day, everyday, DnB ! That’s my word.
FRENCH PEOPLE !! YOU CAN CATCH MIKE AT THE NEXT TWISTED SESSIONS ON THE 8th OF NOVEMBER ALONGSIDE DC BREAKS, FUNK EFFECT AND DOUCHKA !!
> SOUNDCLOUD : https://soundcloud.com/kryptomedic2000
> FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/SignsHQ
> FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/twistedsessions.rennes