Kryptic Minds – Askum on Tectonic

With origins in the early 2000s drum and bass scene it was their switch into their 140bpm dark dread that cemented the sound and style of Kryptic Minds on the worlds music scene.

Brett Bigden and Simon Shreeve began releasing drum and bass about a decade ago and around the 2008/09 time began slowing their sound down.

Their early dubstep work found homes on Skream’s Disfigured Dubz and Defcom, who’d they’d already released several drum and bass plates with a few years previous. 2009 was a big year for the duo; they first graced Pinch’s Tectonic Recordings with 768 and their label Osiris Music UK shifted to their new bassweight sound. And bassweight sound is something these two do so well.

Their One of Us and Can’t Sleep albums both lay down a fantastic, masterful dubweight darkness on Swamp 81 and Black Box respectively and I strongly recommended picking them up.

Few producers working in the now crowded dubstep scene afford as loyal (and justified in my opinion) a following as Kryptic Minds. In part this is helped by the support of Youngsta; one of a rare breed of DJ’s DJ’s. Youngsta’s tune selection, programming and atmosphere is forever on point.

But this isn’t a piece extolling the massive love I have for Youngsta’s weekly sessions on former pirate now legit Rinse FM. No, it’s about the latest Kryptic Minds release to drop, a 12″ for Tectonic.

The duo follow up The Talisman, released back in March as part of Tectonic Plates Volume 3 with two heavy with dark vibe cuts: Askum and When Two Paths Cross.

Askum is opened up with a tribal rhythm building into a proper roller. Bags of space, deep echoes and a tight as you like acid etched bass rasp, used sparingly rather than all out. The trademark dread atmosphere this duo are known for in the 140bpm sphere of things is all present. This is dubstep as it should be and once was. Big chest rattling stuff with vibe oozing out.

When Two Paths Cross has more of a broken beat thing than the straighter one of Askum. We’ve also got that dubbed out resonated synth adding, well, it’s overused I know, but adding a glacial, ocean deep sheen. When this one drops it’s like a animal growling, contrasted with the deep and lush pads that again are used sparingly. A skip full of atmosphere, part murk part ice cold, all present and correct.

There’s a reason this duo are as revered as much as they are; they produce captivating darkfloor bass. This EP is no different. Utterly engrossing, heavy, deep and essential.


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