One of the hallmarks of well-done neuro hop is a squeaky clean stereo spread. The sounds could not be dirtier, but the mix-downs are spacious and sewn up. Kromuh, a versatile young producer from the Midwest, offers just this kind of well-balanced but hard-hitting composition on his new four-track EP Fragments.
Kromuh is the musical identity of Tyler Endicott who hails from Indianapolis, Indiana, although he currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. He plays frequently in both cities and often appears on lineups curated by Notion Presents, a crew that continually offers some of the coldest live bass music in the windy city. Although he's been producing electronic music for over four years, Kromuh used to lean more towards future funk, and psy dub stylings before that, relying on the cultivation of atmospheres. Recently though he's been sharpening his sound design skills and pushing out impressive neuro bass. Fragments is focused on creating moments; wild, cathartic flashes when the lightning strikes the same moment that the thunder claps.
The trappings of vogueing halftime music can be heard on Fragments. Kromuh is not pioneering any arrangements here, but he is slam dunking a sound that is very popular right now. The sound design is precise and not played out. With so much amazing neuro sound filling the airwaves, it's not easy to walk that line. Although it leaves a little to be desired at times in terms of overall impact, the percussion is varied in tempo and detailed. Tiny hi-hats click throughout "Bent" that would be barely audible on earbuds, but which round out the mix in ways that a passive listening may not reveal. The mix is spacious, allowing the sub-frequencies to rise and meet high-end, sine-compressed nastiness in the middle, splitting the listener's cranium.
"Lost" is a particularly large cut. Kromuh mixes a little purple synthesizer - always nice to hear, almost like a throwback - with some syrupy neuro bass. The vocal sample is particularly well chosen and manipulated, and there's a healthy amount of space for each sonic element to breath. Sometimes when producers go for the jugular they end up clogging the mix with too much sound, but again "Lost" eludes this trap. Overall, it's just a really hype track that virtually any crowd would mess with. We wouldn't be surprised to hear some other performers drop this in their sets as summer turns into autumn.
Who's to say Kromuh will stay in the neuro bass and halftime wheelhouse given the winding path of his musical exploration to date. Although with Fragments, his most impressive work to date, he's carved out a small spot for himself in that wheelhouse should he chose to remain there.