In dKRYPT’s new record eMonsters, club beats and industrialized melodies are plentiful, and from the very start of the tracklist in “Like This,” it’s made more than clear to us that this is one artist who isn’t going to be content to use a lone channel of communication in their music. “Like This” immediately strikes out from beneath a subtle bassline and forces a reaction out of anyone who is even somewhat close to the speakers, and though the title track that soon follows its brief introduction to the EP is a bit more immersive compositionally, I wouldn’t have altered the arrangement of these songs at all.
The title cut in eMonsters is what I would anticipate it being – a single-caliber encapsulation of everything that makes this record a keeper for both club-goers and EDM fans in general, and it sets the stage for the deviously entrancing “Split” like no other song here could have. There’s a progressive flow to the music in this release that keeps us gripping the edge of our seats from start to finish, but even if you’re listening to the EP on shuffle, there’s a better chance than not that you’re going to feel just as inclined to play it all the way through the same as you would otherwise.
“Decompress” brings some reggae flavor into the midsection of eMonsters before turning the controls over to a blinding dance track in “Never See Me” that might be the most elaborately cutting song that the tracklist has to offer up. dKRYPT is careful to avoid repeating the same formula seven different ways in this latest extended play, and if you ask me, their younger peers could definitely stand to learn a thing or two from the diverse approach taken to every composition here. It’s not unlike a page-turning novel – once you’ve gotten involved with this disc, you really can’t stop engaging with it until you’ve come full-circle with its narrative.
“Turn Up” had me shaking and grooving on repeat the first time I heard eMonsters, and while it could have used a little more bass, it makes sense to me why dKRYPT would go with this middle-heavy equalization scheme instead. There’s no debating whether or not the electronic underground is overflowing with tons of bass-driven music at the moment, and to some extent, this record swings all the harder because of its super-efficient mix. It’s generous in rhythm but conservative in the colorful backend it employs, which is a nice change of pace for me as a critic.
eMonsters comes to an end with the jugular-slicing “Opto,” which after about three minutes or so retreats into the darkness that the extended play originally came crawling out of some seventeen minutes earlier. dKRYPT’s new record is a short but bittersweet treat that asks virtually nothing out of its audience in exchange for some of the sexiest beats you’re going to hear on this side of the Atlantic, and while it can’t be said for everyone, its anti-establishment stylization and boldness in freeform grooving makes it more than a winner in my book. This is great listening for both electronica buffs and pop fans around the globe right now, and I hope it’s only a sample of what dKRYPT is going to release throughout the 2020s.