So here it is Episode 1 of my podcast series - Southwest Dj’s - Crypticz with an Exclusive mix featuring some freshly made, never heard before tracks from the man himself.
Jordan Parsons AKA Crypticz is based in Chardstock near Exeter and is 17 but don’t let that fool you, he has been a Dj/Producer for one and a half years and is making waves in the scene already, he is currently a resident for Hold It Down, on January 14th his Departure EP is being released for free on Good Street Records and under the name of Alura Records he runs a non profit record label.
Crypticz who describe his genre as “Bass music“ became a Dj/Producer after the band he was in went their separate ways inspired by Dubstep and still needing to be musically creative he turned, as many of us do to Virtual Dj and fruity loops, longing for something a more substantial he now uses Traktor and Cubase. Crypticz brings a melodic but tough approach to his mixes, giving the crowd both the type of huge build ups that make them want to hug the person next to them, as well as the forward thinking and groovy breakdowns that will keep you moving right through to the early hours. His productions follow a similar pattern, with tracks varying from deep moody garage to bass heavy trap and lots more. He’s already received a lot of attention on his tracks, with his huge rework of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s ‘Niggas in Paris having been played by the likes of the Deep End’s Mystery on Southwest Underground Radio.
I caught up with him and asked him a few questions read on for the full Interview
Streetside - So Crypticz how did it all begin?
Crypticz - Well musically I began by taking up guitar when I was about 12 or 13 years old. I was self taught and used the internet to learn how to play songs by some of my favourite bands at the time, a lot of these were punk bands, metal bands, old and new! I was in a band from the age of about 14 to 15, maybe just about 16, and over the lengthy last summer holiday of secondary school the band fell apart as we went out separate ways. I wanted to keep my mind active musically and I had always had a love for electronic music due to acts such as The Prodigy and Darude and by this time the initial worldwide explosion of Dubstep was first taking place. So I did some research into what sorts of programs I would need and set about the adventure of learning how to produce music and DJ and this little journey is only just beginning!
Streetside – Crypticz is a good name for you how did you come up with it ?
Crypticz – The story behind the name isn't really that great sadly, around February 2012 my production started to sound that little bit nicer and unique so I decided it was time to start pushing my stuff out under an alias. At the time I was heavily influenced by the very early Dubstep sound, producers such as El-B, Wookie, Hatcha, Artwork, etc. so I wanted a name that sounded a little bit dark and sinister since I was making some quite moody Garage and Dubstep stuff. So I was just using a thesaurus searching through really basic words like 'evil' and I eventually found the word Cryptic. Whack a z on the end for added DJ badman points and there is a somewhat useable name!
Streetside – Tell us about your current DJ / Production setup? What Hardware / Software do you use?
Crypticz – My current DJ set up I have just very recently upgraded and I am really happy with it, I am still getting to grips with it. It is the Traktor Kontrol S2 Controller from Native Instruments running through the Traktor Pro software that comes with it. Both are integrated really tightly together and it makes for a really great mixing experience. Anyone who is looking to take their mixing to a serious level but want to keep all their tunes based on their laptop Traktor is the way to go!
When it comes to production my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) of choice is Cubase and I am currently running the slightly out of date version 4 of that.. I also use Logic Pro 9 at times, it is a very powerful program no question. But there are just some things that really get to me about it, automation being a big one. So yeah, my DAW of choice is Cubase 4 and all the Crypticz material you hear comes from there!
Streetside – What was the first tune/album/vinyl/mp3 you bought?
Crypticz – Wow, I have always loved music so it was something back when I was really, really young. Probably something like Robbie Williams! I used to like him lots when I was younger. But I was also really into stuff like Nirvana, I was quite strange looking back!
Streetside – Out of all the tunes you have, which one 'never fails?'
Crypticz – That would be Ripgroove by Double 99. An absolutely classic tune when it comes to UK Garage/Speed Garage. I try to play it at every gig and every time the place seems to have exploded. The build is intense on that one!
Streetside – What's you favourite tune of all time?
Crypticz – Well that's really impossible to answer. It would depend what day/week/month you asked me. I am really into 80s stuff at the moment so I am going to say my favourite tune at the moment is Blue Monday by New Order. Or maybe True Faith by the same band. I could never choose an all time favourite though!
Streetside – What was the first event you ever played at?
Crypticz – The first event I ever played was supporting Roll Deep and Natty at the Exeter Phoenix in July 2012. The doors opened late and we were on a tight schedule so I had to go on regardless, people weren't coming in until I had about 10 minutes left of my set, however, I somewhat found it helpful, I was really quite nervous being that my very first gig and all and I got to meet a lot of the Hold it Down crew I now continue to play with so it was a nice way to break into live stuff and get to know everyone so I was more comfortable for the future.
Streetside – What's the best event you've played at?
Crypticz – I swear each gig is getting bigger and better at the moment! The Hold it Down crew played an Xmas/End of the World gig in some barn late last year. It was a really up close and personal sort of set and it was great to actually see everyone loving mine and everyone else's set literally right in front of me! I would have to say my favourite gig to have played though, which was also last month, was Hold it Down vs. Jungle Jam at the Exeter Phoenix. A lot of friends from my Sixth Form and elsewhere finally got the chance to see me play and they were really pleasantly surprised I think! It was sick to get so many kind words from them over the few days after too, not only did I seem to enjoy it but most importantly everyone in the audience did too. It was a big night and we are coming back for Round 2 on January 11th at the Phoenix again. Be sure to make it down if you can! A lot of the Hold it Down boys are playing, Marvin Vital, Glot, Myself, etc. Of course Jungle Jam brings their residents to the table too, Subindex, Niros, etc. Going to be a big one for fans of all dance music! 16+, bring ID.
Streetside – Funniest thing that ever happened at an event?
Crypticz – I supported the local legend and hero Biometrix a few months back at the cavern. Obviously a lot of his fans are all about the in your face wobbles and warping bass lines you hear in his tunes. So I decided to open my set with some really deep Future Garage, was great to try see some of the kids dance to that! I knew they could only put up with so much though so I started reaching for the more dancer tracks after a short while.
Streetside – When you play is this pre planned set?
Crypticz – It used to be strictly pre planned but now its a mixture. At that same Biometrix gig one of the DJs had to leave early due to an emergency which added an extra 20 - 30 minutes to my set. I had to go from my pre planned set into making it up and it helped me realise that I can pull it off! So now I decide on a few tunes I am going to open with and a kind of vibe and direction I want the mix to be going in and we see what happens from there.
Streetside – Who's throwing the best nights at the moment?
Crypticz – Well I am a Hold it Down resident so I am obliged to say them! Not that I would need to be, Hold it Down are seriously bringing some big things to Exeter at the moment. Aside from Hold it Down though The Deep End seem to be bringing some intense shows to Exeter. I am actually not quite old enough (most of their events are 18+) so sadly I miss out on some of their big nights, such as Mala who is coming soon! Mala was one of my biggest early influences and his new album is amazing, pretty devastated I can't catch him now he is playing locally.
Streetside – How does music affect you and the world around you?
Crypticz – It affects me positively and negatively. It's the one thing in life I truly love so as a result I get much pleasure out of it. On the bad side of things though I do put it before what some would consider the more important things in life, perhaps my A Levels if I am honest... But I know I need to really work hard as I want to study a Music related course at Uni. I have the offers now I just need the grades, and I am going to make sure I get them!
Streetside – How is the scene in the SW in your eyes at the moment?
Crypticz – Seems good! I have met a lot of great fans who have a passion for underground music and they are what make these sorts of events truly special. There also seems to be a pretty vast free party scene, which I am not involved in, but its great to see people putting the effort in to share the love! As is the same with promoters organising official events, without their effort the scene would be nothing.
Streetside – Who inspires you musically?
Crypticz – Producers and DJs that influence my sound are vast. Skream, Burial, XXYYXX, Kastle, Ikonika, Koloah and many many more. I take influence from lots more though. As I said 80s Electronic music has been doing a lot for me lately. Electronic music must have sounded like something from another world back then so I took that influence and tried to recreate that feeling with my Departure EP which is being released on Good Street Records on January 14th. It's free too so I really hope some of you check it out!
Streetside – Who's your favourite SW DJ'/producer?
Crypticz – That's hard to choose. As a DJ I have a lot of respect for The Deep End's Resident Mystery. Mystery has been playing out quite a bit of my stuff that I send him and for that I am really grateful. When it comes to Producers I have two. Firstly is Actraiser. He is based in Bristol and I only know of him through finding his stuff online. He has an unbelievable work rate and is pushing out all styles of bass music. Drum & Bass, Dubstep, Garage, Footwork. All the styles he makes he absolutely kills too, he is such a sick producer. Secondly I want to do a shout out to Endlines. Frank (Endlines) is 15 and already making such amazing music and I am pleased to give him my support! He is currently working on an EP for my non profit label Alura Records and I am honoured to have him on board, I love supporting underground musicians to give them the support they deserve. Frank has seen support from the likes of L2S Producer Troy Gunner though so I am sure he would get along fine without me!
Streetside – What are your feelings on the MC's and their role in hiphop/dance music culture?
Crypticz – Yeah MCs are fine. I mean it depends on the MC! I have been lucky enough to have two great guys, who go by the stage names of Mason & Verbo, host my sets when it comes to MCing and they really know how to get a crowd going mad. They are sick at the whole MC thing truthfully! Some other MCs I have come across though maybe aren't so great... haha
Streetside – If you could stage a rave anywhere, where would you choose?
Crypticz – I would have to go for somewhere really stupid I think. How about on some random rooftop or something? That would be pretty cool, until someone slipped and fell of the edge!
Streetside – Do you think video games have affected the rave scene?
Crypticz – I really don't know! Maybe. People should come to events more instead of staying in to get that one new gun on their Call of Duty! hahaha. But more seriously I really don't know.
Streetside – If you had a time machine what year would you go back to and why?
Crypticz – I have kept mentioning the 80s in this interview but I think I would actually choose the 90s. The true roots of the music I make is UK Garage and it must have been amazing to see that scene unfold into 2Step, Grime, Dubstep, etc. and its quite unreal what is has become. Plus Garage wasn't the only cool scene going down in the 90s! The whole culture of raving seemed amazing back then.
Streetside – Very important question this one Ninjas or pirates?
Crypticz – Pirates.
Streetside – Good answer that about wraps it up Thank you and good luck with the coming release any shouts you would like to make?
Crypticz –Shout outs to anyone that supports the music I make and play and the music I release on Alura Records. Shout outs to the whole Hold it Down crew, Aaron, Phrixus, Marvin Vital, Glot, Aimon Alix, Frisky, AngelDust (of course!) and all the others that play with us! I am truly grateful for being on board with those guys, some amazing talents. Big up my whole Alura Crew. We got AKI.AKI, Osa, PlutoDash, Hadda, etc. Shout outs to people that make live music happen, be it the organisers, venues, fans or musicians. Shout out for the new up and coming label Splish Splash Records. If you dig house music go check them out, I am working on some material for them at the moment for release. Special shout out to my favourite man in the mighty US of A, T:M. Ummm I am really concerned I am going to miss someone out... So, shout out to everyone!
You can find more Crypticz here-
Email address: CrypticzMusic@hotmail.co.uk