When Kryptic Minds first came out with music that had a more 140bpm focus, what really stood out about their productions was their use of textures. Tracks sounded like they were pumped through this increasingly gritty monochrome, playing out like miniature film scores set to tough, rigid drum patterns. In a sense the duo haven’t really ever tried to change such a striking formula over the releases that have followed, with their low end loaded productions finding homes on labels like Black Box, early Swamp81 and their own Osiris Music UK, but that staunch dedication to style has only really benefitted them at a time when people around them might’ve been writing more with airplay in mind.
"After completing the 'Lost All Faith' album we felt that a change in direction was needed," explained Si, one half of Kryptic Minds alongside Leon Switch, to Kmag back in 2011. "We'd been making drum and bass for ten years as a partnership, and we'd explored lots of different avenues within the genre. We'd been experimenting with different tempos and styles for a while, but we hadn't previously released anything apart from a few things on 'Lost All Faith."
"For us, age was starting to play a part in our musical tastes," agreed Leon, expanding on the point a bit more to say: "with us not being 18 and wanting to tear out a tune with distorted amen breaks and crazy basses, which we had done for many years and thoroughly enjoyed, the natural progression was to slow down and concentrate more on our sound, and experiment with different grooves."
And that Kryptic Minds trademarked groove experimentation is constantly continuing if this exclusive promo mix is anything to go by. Shunning any kind of defined snare drum, the mix rolls out cloaked with the same kind of ominous tones as their early productions but it wriggles through tracks and on into breakdowns in a much more supple way. In a similar way to how dBridge and Instra:mental opened up the possibilities of the drum & bass tempo with their work as Autonomic, removing the chunk of the snare drum in the early part of the mix opens up the EQ range of the tracks allowing the little trickles of percussion to shine through whilst severely amping up the expectation for any kind of snare drum – which when it does finally come feels like a bit of a spiritual shanking after the listener has invested so much attention in it.
Whilst this mix is provided without a tracklisting it seriously hints at some poignantly interesting music to come from the duo who just announced that their latest EP, Namaste, will be release in March on their own Osiris label. Catch them, most likely playing stuff like this, at the Dub Police hosted Room One on Friday 15th February.