Describing Kromestar in a few words is a frustrating affair – as it always seems to result in an inaccurate description of the producer’s grandeur…
South London-bred R. Kalsi (does anyone actually know Kromestar’s first name?!) has made music under several aliases, starting off with grime/ garage productions under the name Iron Soul.
At some point during the early grime days – perhaps even parallel to them – the moniker Kromestar came in play. Kalsi also, early in his career, produced under the artist name Droid. In more recent times, Kromestar’s teamed up with a number of producers to form the Team Starfleet collective and has also produced/ released material with Birmingham’s Jason X as Th7 Immortxlz.
Aliases aside, Kromestar had quickly risen to become one of the defining pillars of dubstep music. His is a grime-inspired, bass-heavy sound that shakes the sound systems as much as the DMZ tunes do. In terms of style, you could place Kromestar bang in the middle between Mala and Coki (especially Coki’s later productions). The Kromestar style dances along the knife edge between tearout and the deeper sounds – but there’s no doubting a Kromestar tune whatever tip it’s on. As well as drawing influence from his time with garage and grime, Kromestar’s love for hip-hop can be seen with the extensive sampling or even just by the general arrangement of a Kromestar composition.
Kromestar and MC/ producer Cessman made a significant amount of music together up until late 2008. It was a partnership which resulted in the legendary MEDi-01 release (Kalawanji backed with Surgery) which had almost Coki-esque basslines. It’s a release which is as fresh today as it was when it was released eight years ago – both are true dubstep anthems that still go off to this day.
You can also, after a certain date in Kromestar’s history, hear an attempt to move towards more melodic productions. The second Deep Medi release highlights this, the melodic beauty of Rainy Dayz (while still retaining that all important sub movement) is something to behold.
Kromestar’s rhythm and productions have always been very diverse, adventurous perhaps. It’s sometimes hard to comprehend (see Mental Universe or Rhythm On My Mind). But that’s definitely part of the producer’s appeal. Looking at the composition of most of his released music, you could say that Kromestar tends to push his dubstep in a triplet direction, slightly more than other producers do. He’s not locked to the 140bpm either, more recently experimenting with around 85bpm with some of his Nebula Music Group releases.
We’d be doing the producer a disservice if we weren’t to mention the extended body of work found in his Kromestar albums. 2008’s My Sound (Dubstar), 2011’s Colourful Vibrations (Deep Heads) and 2013’s mini album Tears of Joy. The final addition to the list is perhaps the most emotive, having been produced following the untimely passing of the Young Lion, Kromestar’s son – but is up there as one of the producer’s best bodies of work. If you’ve not yet purchased, please do so as all proceeds go to charity.
And, let’s not forget, what we’ve got forthcoming. The almighty Mer Shere (forthcoming System Music) has been been tearing up dances for as long as it’s existed and the VIP is even mightier. The future bodes well for Kromestar – which benefits everyone. He’s a pillar standing tall in the dubstep sound and is a worthy addition to our 30 minutes series…
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- Kromestar – A Stroll In The Night [Deep Heads, 2011]
- Kromestar & Jay 5ive – Clearly Distorted [Deep Medi, 2012]
- Kromestar – Surgery [Deep Medi, 2006]
- Kromestar – Radioactive [Nebula Music Group, 2013]
- Kromestar – Straight Error [Dubstep Onslaught, 2011]
- Kromestar – Jabber Jawz [One Gun Salute, 2011]
- Joker – Tron (Kromestar remix) [Kapsize, 2014]
- Kromestar & Dark Tantrums – Circles [Get Darker, 2012]
- Kromestar – Disagree [Deep Heads, 2011]
- Kromestar & Cessman – Kalawanji [Deep Medi, 2006]
- TRUTH & Kromestar – Reality Twist [free, 2012]
- Kromestar & Jay 5ive – Words [Deep Medi, 2012]
- Kromestar – Rhythm On My Mind [Cosmic Bridge, 2013]