Killawatt vs Kryptic Minds

Osiris Music bosses Kryptic Minds chew the fat with stablemate Killawatt off the back of their March releases on the label.

As the duo Kryptic Minds, Brett Bigden and Simon Shreeve have gone from darkside DnB soldiers to dubstep elite. Since their 2009 Swamp81 album ‘One Of Us’ the pair have featured on labels such as Tectonic and Black Box, and held an unwavering torch for the halfstep sound throughout dubstep’s many turbulences. Similarly, their label Osiris Music has become a standard bearer for the dark, minimalist approach, playing host to the likes of Youngsta, DJ Madd, Biome and Thelem. Kryptic Minds release their ‘Namaste’ EP through the label on March 18th.

Another notable Osiris alumnus is Killawatt, the South Coast producer whose impressive discography over the past two years takes in Wheel & Deal, Boka Records, Black Box and Subway. He recently dropped his third release on Osiris, the 2-track ‘Press On’/’Tantra’, an EP that defines both producer and label’s dark, percussive take on the dubstep/techno crossover domain.

Kryptic Minds and Killawatt take on the ‘vs’ challenge, discussing Osiris, aspirations, techno and ‘live’ sets…


When and what was your first experience in music?

Thats a pretty tough one, I don’t really have a solid memory of my first experience of music. I think it’d have to be either listening to Pink Floyd with my dad when I was very young, or Rage Against the Machine. My parents have always had a pretty eclectic taste in music so no one style ever dominated the stereo’s in our house.

Where would you like to be musically in five years?

Making gabba in my pants.

Nah only joking. I’d like to be about 2 or 3 albums old. I’m just at the first stages of a first album now so I think that’s a reasonable goal! I’d also like to have full creative freedom on whatever label I’m on. There’s too much creative stifling nowadays due to some labels forcing their artists to write in a particular, sometimes altogether unrelated style. This is a big, big no-go for me.

Also at this time I will have a super awesome studio with a wall of modulars and will employ Ipman to operate them.

If you could be born in any year, what year would it be?

Probably 1970, then I’d at the perfect age to dive head first into the acid house/rave era. Growing up listening to old skool house/hardcore and jungle, and writing a series of essays on this era at university, it’s a time that I’ve always wished I’d experienced first hand.

Money no object, what studio set up would you have?

Haha well you’ve just opened up a whole can of worms with that question. I’ll try not to go too over the top though. Firstly, a purpose built studio, complete sound proof and treatment. Little kitchen too, gotta keep that tea coming!

Secondly, Adam A77X monitors, fully spec’d out Mac tower with 2 cinema screens.

– Mackie 1640i desk
– Dave Smith Tempest
– Dave Smith Prophet 12
– Nord Wave
– Moog Minimoog Voyager XL
– MFB Urzwerg Pro MKII
– Some Make Noise modules
– Full Buchla series 200e system
– Evetide Space / Eclipse
– Strymon Timeline
– Roland Space Echo
– Probably a load of Manley or Neve processors/pre-amps
– Thermonic culture distortion unit
– A various selection of microphones/guitars and stuff.

and so on…

Who has been your biggest inspiration since you have been making music?

Again this is a fairly tough question. There isn’t one producer/musician/composer that has inspired me most. I think most of all it’d be people like Ipman, DJ L.A.B., Matthew Sansom (my personal tutor/lecturer at university), Jack Sparrow and of course, Kryptic Minds 😉

I tend to find the people who inspire me most are the people I work with, talk to and learn from regularly. Of course there are other big artists who have inspired me, but not to the extents that the aforementioned people have.

Killawatt interviews Kryptic Minds

Over the last year or so, you’ve really stepped up the release schedule on your label, Osiris Music UK. With the new look roster, where would you like to see the label, and it’s roster in a years time?

My vision for the label is for each artist to feel like they have complete artist freedom to make the music they want to make; and for them to progress onto recording albums, when they feel it’s the right time. I made a conscious decision in the early days of setting up the label; that the roster would be tight, that way I can offer more in terms of time and opportunity, and to give each artist the amount of releases they deserve.

With your recent excursions into more traditional techno, do you intend to produce and release more in the future?

Not many people know this; but my first track was engineered by techno producer Paul Mac, so for me techno has always been around me. It’s only been the past two years where I have felt the urge to make it, I have always been busy/consumed in making music Kryptic Minds are predominantly known for, and not always found the time. I’m sure there will be more at some point.

With this in mind, how do you feel about the mass emigration of producers from the 140 tempo, to the 125-130 tempo range?

I think it’s a healthy thing for producers to make music out side of what they are known for; it gives a different fresh taste. And I’m sure it gives a new outlook and approach to the artists who have been making the same music for a while.

A lot of producers and DJ’s are now venturing into the world of ‘Live’ sets. Is this something you have considered?

At some point this is something I would like to do… I have a slight problem with the term ‘live’; for me live isn’t just a laptop and controller, this is why I have stayed away from any ‘live’ billings. I’m all up for using a laptop and controller to show case your music, but for me that is what it is a show case. Live is putting on a performance, like what Amon Tobin is doing with the 3D stage. I went to the roundhouse in London to see this, it was truly amazing, and I’ve heard he has added even more visual elements to the show. So when the time is right it’s something we will look into.

And finally, what music are you currently listening to and enjoying the most?

“I listen to all kinds of music; but I always find myself going back to the same albums, Trentemoller ‘The Last Resort’, LuLu Rouge ‘bless You’, Kangding Ray’s albums springs to mind.