As is comes to an end, we wrap up the 2019 year with an interview with new and improved producer Cryptic Shadow, formerly known as Kharmelo. To consecrate his transition, the producer released his first EP titled ‘Body’ under the Cryptic Shadow alias in the beginning of December. The fun, new-age, bouncy house sound of the EP really set for the rest of the rest of Cryptic Shadow’s music career.
During his time under the alias Kharmelo, the producer told us that the music that he was primarily creating was more commercial music and centered around future house, however he soon began to realize that he wanted to be doing something quite different. He shared with us on how he saw a lot of his friends doing the same things and decided that he actually wanted to act on creating something different and completely apart from what he had always done. “So, I started making really weird sounds. Like, when Skrillex was starting off in 2011, or something like that. And I started going through my samples and everything I’ve from here being in this scene right now since I’m living in Barcelona (referring to the tech-house scene) and it really came to me.” Thus, was the birth of Cryptic Shadow.
After he mentioned the tech-house scene in Barcelona, I was curious to know if wherever he was living had made a difference in the influences of his sound. He responded by telling us about how during his time as Kharmelo while he was living in Paris there was a big music scene for hip hop, rap, and trap that he had implemented into some of his house tracks. Now, he is surrounded by a huge alternative techno scene that is very vibrant, which he claims to love, so he had to “go with the flow.” The processes of transitioning from Kharmelo to Cryptic Shadow was primarily pursued in hopes of the producer finding his true identity and sound as an artist. “I really had this goal, this challenge for me to not be the same as many others, but really try to stand out.” Much of his influence came from artists such as Kyle Watson Chris Lake from the way they use synths with different grooves and rhythms. “It’s still house music, it’s not like something revolutionary. But it’s more like how they integrate these synths and these different sound affects into this artform. It’s amazing. I love it. And it got me really inspired to change to something like that, and really look for my own thing.”
Cryptic Shadow shared with me that the ‘Body’ EP took approximately six months to produce and was very much a passion project. He also shared with me that the EP is only a very small part of all of the music that is to come in 2020. One sneak peek into these surprises is hints at some work with Kyle Watson’s Box of Cats label. “Many artists usually say something like ‘well, this work that I did like six years ago, I really hate it.’ But the things that you do over time, you see them as better because you go through an evolution and for me with this EP, I really love it with all of my heart. But the things that are coming next year, I mean they are no comparison to be honest.”
Interview by Gabrielle Lasater