There’s a story behind every debut album, but Kryptamistik’s is more involved than most.
In a sense, ‘Emerge N See’ isn’t a debut at all. Brisbane emcees Skinz and Nikzman already had a longplayer signed, sealed and almost delivered last decade, before being taken for a ride by a bunch of local ‘producers’.
“We recorded a whole LP at home in my studio,” Skinz explains. “Then we met these guys who were like, ‘Man, come record with us in the studio. We’ve got world-class skills and gear. We’ll take your demo right into Sony and put it on their desk.’ [It would turn out] they were just talking jive, but at the time we thought, ‘Okay’. We recorded all of it again with these guys in the studio, and then we got it back and it sounded like crap. So we asked them to mix it again, and then they started dodging us and wouldn’t return our calls.”
It was a disheartening experience, but Skinz and Nikzman quickly regrouped and started looking forward to a new record. Skinz approached local producer Yuin Huzami (Coalition Crew) about releasing a potential project on his United Notions imprint. But before they even started talking about a new LP, Yuin was turning back to the old recordings.
“He said, ‘I think you’ve got some really great material on your last LP. You should record that again and then put it out as an EP, and then do an album,’” Skinz says, beginning to laugh. “So we recorded the best songs again from that first album – this was the third time we recorded those songs! – mixed them and put them out.”
The result was ‘Peasant Uprising’ – a fantastic listen, but more importantly an excellent primer for ‘Emerge N See’.
The new record had its initial cuts helmed by Yuin Huzami, but for the most part was once again produced by Skinz and Nikzman themselves. Joined on vocals by Layla, Dubmarine’s Billie Weston, and up-and-coming local talent, MC Brahman, the duo have mixed hip hop with soul against a funk-styled backdrop.
“Yeah, we’re really happy. We’ve got no regrets about taking the songs we have taken. We’re just really happy with the way it came out – we were able to take our time and not stress about anybody’s schedule other than our own, so it was really good. We jumped at the opportunity to go into a more professional recording studio and work with Yuin – someone we respected. And we’ve learnt a lot more during this process than we did on the last EP we put out, so it was really good to put all of that into practice, for sure.
“Our biggest aim was to get this record heard outside of Queensland,” Skinz continues. “Because we’ve played all over South East Queensland, I guess, and people from around here and who are part of the scene know us and know our thing and know we can do it well. But outside of that we’ve been practically unknown, so the whole purpose of this was to break out of that bubble and try to get the rest of the country, and eventually the rest of the world, to hear what we’re doing.”
Having the album out also gives Kryptamistik the opportunity to finally present these songs to a live audience. Skinz chuckles as he talks about the discipline required sitting on so much material for such a long time.
“Some of these songs we started recording immediately after the EP,” he says, “so that’s back in 2008. And some of them we couldn’t help ourselves – they found their way into the set – but for the majority we were disciplined and told ourselves not to perform them live until the LP comes out. We didn’t want people to get sick of it before the album comes out. There’s a whole new set that we’ve been itching to do, and now we get to unleash it, which is exciting.”
And it won’t be just the two of them either, Skinz and Nikzman gathering an intimidating gang together for three dates throughout the South East.
“We’ve got DJ Yagi scratching up and rolling the tracks. Billie will be on vocal duties while she can, in between Dubmarine duties. And then we’ve got Brahman and we’re hoping to bring Mesta from The Mank with us – he’s on a bunch of tracks on the album – and also DCP from the Indigenous Intrudaz. It should be great.”
Kryptamistik Launch ‘Emerge N See’ At Alloneword October 19.