Set to coincide with Mayan Audio‘s one-year anniversary, the recently released ‘All of Me’ EP from the new-school duo known as Kritix has not only caught the eyes and ears of the international drum & bass massive but also served as proof that the ever-impressive Essex crew is here to stay!
As they continue to move from strength to strength and deliver some of their strongest work to date we thought we’d check in for a quick glimpse into the past, present, and future of the duo before they hit us with a firing guest mix.
First off, introduce yourselves, where you’re hailing from in the world and what kind of vibe/style you see yourselves representing.
We are Kritix, two producers creating upfront drum and bass straight out of Essex. We mainly focus on producing more techy/neuro beats however we can be known to emit a more commercial sound. We do pride ourselves on being versatile producers and can turn our hands to pretty much anything.
Talk about how you two first crossed paths and how the topic came around to music.
A mutual friend of ours introduced us on a night out, being so passionate about music naturally the conversation turned there. We went back to our friends and started to go through bits we had been working on.
You both seem to come from wildly different backgrounds musically – tell us a bit about your own backgrounds and then how you saw that as a stength as your thoughts turned towards a production partnership.
(Phil): At the time Alex was doing well as a DJ and I had long since completed a Music Diploma and was basically writing tracks for my own benefit! Alex liked a few of the tracks and played them out on his coming sets, which led to Alex wanting to learn more about production so we decided after a long chat and several beers to join forces.
(Alex): I was originally working at an IT support company whilst trying to make a name for myself as a DJ. I knew I needed to start producing for this to happen so I decided to quit my job and go to college to get a qualification in music production, to give myself the knowledge I needed to feed my career as a musician. Naturally the addition of Phil boosted this for me as Phil was already a very talented producer.
Why drum & bass and not some other more financially viable form like say, house or electro or something?
We both love drum and bass and have always had a crazy passion for it, that’s why we choose to produce it. Don’t get me wrong we could be producing house or electro and earn more money but for us, you need to enjoy what you are working on, you need to be passionate about it so you push yourself. If you’re not passionate about what you are writing you won’t give it 100% and you won’t get that satisfaction we get from our work. At the end of the day we didn’t start making music for the money its for the love all day long!
The learning curve of those first tunes and releases was no doubt high – remind folks of what kind of fine-tuning to your sound and process you were doing during this phase and
Regardless of if you’ve just started or you’re a veteran, music production is always a learning curve. As software and technology progresses, there’s always new things and new techniques to learn. For us back then it was a lot of experimenting and finding stuff that we liked and sounded good and a lot of hours spent in the studio playing around with synths and sounds.
At what point were you able to get something to Mind Vortex for feedback? Do you remember exactly what kind of advice he gave?
Phil went to college with Stef [from Mind Vortex] and knows him well. We’ve always sent them stuff and two years ago they dropped our tune on a guest mix for Crissy Criss on Radio 1xtra and have been fully supporting us since. Its nice to get good feedback from someone doing well in the game.
This was the impulse for the birth of Kritix proper I imagine – what were you guys calling yourselves before that?
Before Kritix we had an alias called Ill Haze. We had a few jump up releases and even some dubstep ones. We were starting to get noticed at the time and felt things were heading in the right direction but we needed a name to suit our evolving sound and we wanted to be taken seriously by label owners and wanted a name that was more commercially viable, so the name Kritix was born!!
Now you seem to have found a home and an ally with Mayan Audio – give us a quick glimpse into your relationship with the imprint, how you first linked up with the crew, and your own sense of what kind of vision the imprint hopes to represent as it continues to move forward.
We love being a part of Mayan Audio. They are such a good bunch of guys and they really look after us. We first linked up with Mayan long before they had launched and despite the fact they hadn’t even established the label at that point, they impressed us so much with their energy and ideas for the label and for us so we went with it, and we’re so glad we did as they have absolutely smashed their first year in business, and we’ve got loads planned for the coming year!
Let’s talk about this “All of Me” EP – some big tunes on here that span quite a number of styles. Walk us briefly through the EP and introduce the vibes and styles you see each tune sort of representing. Hit us with any memories you have of putting it together.
“All of Me” Working on was really refreshing for us as its just so different to the style we usually write. We feel that Jenny [Jones] totally compliments the track and lifted it to a whole new level. Initially we sent off a rough idea to Jenny and within the hour she’d replied with a raw demo recorded on her phone. As soon as we heard it, we knew she was the one for the track. We then began sculpting the track to what it is today. (Alex) It still cracks me up when I remember one of the snares was from me recording phil hitting his tobacco tin with a drum stick… sick!
“We Are Here” This track is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum and is the style we really have passion for. We are here is kind of letting people know we haven’t sold out and Kritix are still here writing gritty, heavy drum and bass!! With tear out drums and distorted bass, and some really good feedback across the board already this is sure to be a dance floor destroyer.
“Into The Deep” This one leads the listener into a more ambient/reflective vibe, when we were writing this track it literally just fell together, everything we tried out on it just seemed to work and it really didn’t take long to finish, I guess it balances out those tracks that can take hours and hours of tweaking to finish off.
“Pogo” This one is hard to describe as its a really different sound, really bouncy, and phil’s apprentice said it sounded like a crazy rabbit on a pogo stick so the name Pogo stuck from there!! We love playing this track out it always gets us hyped.
Last but not least you’ve got a monster mix for us but before we jump into the beats let us know what else you’ve got cooking in the lab that we should be looking out for in the coming months/year.
We’ve always got bits cooking in the lab! We’re working on two new tracks at the moment both a bit more on the heavy side. Can’t wait to finish them off! We’re also working on a follow up to “All Of Me” i.e. a nice vocal, radio-friendly track as well so definitely watch this space on that.
KRITIX GUEST MIX TRACKLISTING:
Against the grain – Mind Vortex
Whip Slap – Dimension
Polaroid – Kritix
Nerve – The Clamps
Edges – Ulterior Motive
Kidney Punch – Hybris
Spin – Posij
Passed Up – Emporer
Lean on – Bootleg
Deep Search – Break and Die
We Are Here – Kritix
Step Three – Hamilton Remix
Pull Me Under – Dimension
Into The Deep – Kritix
Music Club – Chase and Status
U-R-A-R – Chris Su
Follow Me – Document One
Headlock – Rene Lavice
Breach – Tuff Touch
All Of Me – Kritix
Lunar Bass – Commix remix
Freaks – June Miller
Strangulate – Cod3x
Screamers – Original Sin
Need You – Frankee remix
Link to the past – Loadstar
War Drive – Disprove
Deadline – Dub Phizik remix
Protocol Vip – RECS
Let it loose – Emperor
Mantra – AKOV
Traction Vip – Kritix
Greed – Enei and Kasra
Circuit – Double Helix
No Reality – Noisia remix
Asteroids – Noisia and Prolix
Congo – Jubei
Dreaming – Need for mirrors remix
Pogo – Kritix
Alien Girl – Ed Rush, Optical and Fierce
Magic Man – Original Sin
Full Melt Vip – Kritix
Lust – Break remix
The Shadows – Tantrum Desire, Matrix and Futurebound
Dreadnaught – Phace remix
Ruffest Gun Ark – Chase and Status