KryptamistiK. You are about to hear a lot more about this proudly Brisbane hip hop crew. With an album to drop this year and some upcoming killer live dates with Truth Serum â€“ 2009 is set to be B.I. capital G!
Scene Mag kinda owes KryptamistiK one. When I returned to work at the mag a couple of years back, their EP â€˜The Peasant Uprisingâ€™, had just come out. It was sitting on my desk for ages â€“ amongst a pile that was nutsack high â€“ and months passed before I actually got around to playing it. Silly me! The quality of the tunes was dogâ€™s ball visible right from the get go. Skinsmarkus and Nickskins getting quite a chemistry going with a nice mesh of Australian and Asian influences â€“ and some top-shelf beats and production. More people needed to hear it, which is why we feel we owe them one.
This was also around the time I was discovering The Optimenâ€™s â€˜Boomtownâ€™, Pure Productâ€™s early efforts and relishing in THE voice of Balboa. The KryptamistiK EP was just another example of the incredibly good hip hop coming straight outta B-Town. Then came Pure Productâ€™s debut album â€˜The Eviction Noticeâ€™ and The Coalition Crewâ€™s audacious double EP â€˜Known, Unkownsâ€™. All of a sudden I wasnâ€™t just listening to Australian hip hop; I was just listening to Brisbane hip hop. And if that didnâ€™t get me gooey enough, thereâ€™s the fact that both The Optimen AND KryptamistiK are set to drop albums this year.
Mark Welge â€“ aka Skinz from KryptamistiK â€“ ainâ€™t no gangster but it was still kinda hip hop that his call for this interview was made from a public phonebox with sirens sounding at least twice in the background. Yo yo hip hop fo sho fo shizzle G. Or some ridiculous shit like that. Certainly the opposite end of hip hop from where Mark and his KryptamistiK/Truth Serum thing come from.
Gangster no, in fact thereâ€™s no hip hop affectations about Mark whatsoever. He doesnâ€™t dress up hip hop, he talks like an actual Australian and he even walks properly. The way he lives his hip hop is by creating and performing it.
An interesting connect with the two upcoming Optimen and KryptamistiK releases is that both hip hop acts have been actively pursuing live bands of late. Getting all organic on it.
So I asked Mark whatâ€™s going on with this live instrument thing.
â€œThe hip hop scene in Brisbane - and we isnâ€™t knockingâ€™ it! We love it - has kind of been reserved for pure hip hop, whereas I guess for a lot of people, their understanding of what a live show is, involves a band and just recently over the last couple of years â€“ I know there has been a couple of live hip hop bands â€“ but thereâ€™s becoming more and more all the time in hip hop, people doing the live band thing; and I think thatâ€™s because with the live band thereâ€™s just much more of a vibe for the crowd to get in to.â€
So thereâ€™s a KryptamistiK album to look forward to but right now we have some gigs in the offing. KryptamistiK and Truth Serum. Itâ€™s all a bit of a my-uncle-fucked-my-cousin family type thing that eventuated when Niksman couldnâ€™t gig for a period. Thereâ€™s no holding Mark back so he put together some players (demes and bass) and freestyler some gigs â€“ â€œpeople just seemed to respond to the live thing really wellâ€ - so before long it was a band; sometimes with as many as nine members. But Iâ€™m confused, just how does Truth Serum fit in with Kryptamistik?
â€œKrptamysitiK and Truth Serum work very closely together, most Truth Serum gigs Niksman comes and raps with us and a few KryptamistiK shows that weâ€™ve done weâ€™ve got the Truth Serum crew to come play with us. So sometimes it gets a bit confusing for people to know the difference between the two, especially when we are jumping on stage together,â€ Mark laughs. â€œBut itâ€™s like Truth Serum is a live band and KryptamistiK is me and Niksman doing our production at home, like all the electronic stuff, with samples and sequencing and everything.â€
The Truth Serum live thing is going to be something else this coming weekend â€“ thereâ€™s a mouth harp in the band for fucks sake - and the upcoming KryptamistiK album? Like we said, you are going to be hearing a lot more of these guys. We shit you NOT!
Truth Serum and The Lowdon play at gig is at the Joynt on May 23. â€˜The Peasant Uprisingâ€™ is available now.