Cryptochrome Interview + New Hip Hop LP

CRYPTO band photo 2017 copy


If you’re gonna release an album nowadays, you have to make something really damn special to let it stand out.

Cryptochrome, a three-member electro soul-rap band from Reykjavík, Iceland, have done exactly that, and then some. Eleven tracks, eleven music videos, with sonic and visual quality to drop the jaws of the most demanding targets, and all done in their spare time on next to zero budget. It really does leave you wondering, ‘what kind of sorcery are these guys using!?’

Now, with nominations, awards, and Iceland music export funding to their name, Cryptochrome are finally ready to release their album ‘more human’ to an unexpecting world. Melodic but heavy, light-hearted but powerful, relaxing and equally danceable, this is an album that transcends boundaries and welcomes the listener in with open

Melodic but heavy, light-hearted but powerful, relaxing and equally danceable, this is an album that transcends boundaries and welcomes the listener in with open arms and sends them away with an enriched experience. Cryptochrome are clearly here to make a serious impression.

Read on for an interview with Cryptochrome c/o Alex Beats

1. Whats your name and where are you from?

We are called Cryptochrome and we operate from Iceland, we all have our independent reasons for living here I (Una) am from Reykjavik. I also lived in Germany where s.o.n is from. Anik is the craziest European New Zealander mix and is born in England and also spent some years close to Hamburg, so we speak a mix of these three languages between the three of us and our music does that too, a play around on borders and mixing things up a bit. not intentionally but because that is who we are. 

2. Who is your biggest music influence?

I think I speak for all of us when I say any kind of music as long as it is good music. Which narrows it down quite nicely to not very much for me personally and I like Anik’s metaphor of the painter’s studio, not wanting to be hung full of other artists’ work. But of course, there are bands we have always loved and listen to. We continue to check out what’s going on in the music world but if you want to have a satisfying output of music you have to let it take a significant space in your life.

3. Your debut album ‘More Human’ has just been released. How does it feel to get it out there?

It is wonderful to see this project fully formed in front of us, it’s a heck of a cv as a production company and as a band. We put out and co-produced with various people we admire, one music video a month for a whole year. I can’t get over how smoothly and wonderfully it all went. Directors got first pick of the song needing videos and it all neatly aligned itself as we went along, everybody happy, it was humbling. Now the big wide world! with this package hitting the UK and other well-chosen spots we are of course thrilled.

Anik adds: We have all released a number of records, together and independently, starting with dark circle on the labels DefCon and Jazz Fudge, so this is not so much a new experience, but definitely a new experience. we put the most work into this one, that’s for sure, and it’s great to have wrapped it up and neatly packaged.

4.What musical projects have you worked on before CRYPTOCHROME

Anik and s.o.n. used to form the underground UK hip hop crew Dark Circle with their friend Hoyx who’s now big in Jamaica, and producer Pats and DJ Hysteria. Una and Anik had a band/art-affiliation called Hey calypso!, We produced a hand-made album and worked as an artist duo creating everything from conceptual art shows to this very lo-fi folk rap. This is where cryptochrome came from, and friendships dating back to the 90´s. You will note one name cropping up a lot and that name is Anik, our main man behind it all.

5.What made you want to collaborate and make an album together?

Once again I claim to be speaking on behalf of all of us, there is a need to create, and music is our chosen medium. it is better than art in a way that it makes itself available to you and it engulfs you like no other medium we have had the privilege of being able to work in.

Anik: I wanted to make music with Una from the first time I heard her voice, super cliché stuff but it’s been that way ever since. and with son and me it’s just kinda second nature.

6. In what genre do you see CRYPTOCHROME’s album fitting? It’s a real mixture of sounds. Do you even care about genres?


Our music reflects our taste in music, of any genre really as long as it is good. we like surprises, we don’t look for music through typing in a genre, but for the business its good to carry a label. I would tongue in cheek say Alternative power pop. Glitch hop with soul. electro trip hop. Ice pop electronica. Here by coined.

7.What’s next for CRYPTOCHROME after the album?

Next album and new concept for it. After a long time of making videos, we are very happy to have started work on our next album. We can’t say anything about it at this stage but we know what we want to do differently this time and loosen up on a lot of the production. Life seem to always bring us situations that abide to that thesis/antithesis/synthesis setup, where you basically find yourself in a situation and the next big change from that is a massive contrast and then you move more towards the middle which then grows to become your new thesis situation. We see it as one big whole; our lives, our families, our music, we want it to do well in a farmer sort of way. Knowing it’s all tied together makes everything also slow down, you can’t see it grow but you know it’s flourishing.

8. If you had to pick just one track to play live from the album, which one would it be?

Clappo because it’s quite a weird one and I always like it when people dare to be weird. It’s kinda what you come to a gig for. We love seeing others being alive, it’s like candy to your imagination. Anik’s killer on the verses.

9. If you’re in the studio late night, and you ordered food. What would it be and why?

Mmmm we love food. We would order the freshest and best or some greasy vegetable stir fry. cos we like it good.

10.If robots become ‘MORE HUMAN’ do you think it’s a good thing or a bad thing? Will they take over the world or can we live in harmony with our robotic brothers?

I was hoping you would ask that. Maybe a computer possesses the ability to do a lot of the work say doctors and lawyers do now, but that does not take anything away from us, it would simply once again free us up to do other things. We are already living with our robotic brothers and sisters, and biology is super technology anyway. I type on the laptop ready to blow up on your screen in form of an electronic mail, and I think it’s the harmony that is making us smile.

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