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CRONAM Unleashes 'Decompression': A Pioneering EP in Deep Dubstep

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

Cover art for CRONAM's 'Decompression' EP.
Cover art for CRONAM's 'Decompression' EP.
Berlin-based Artist CRONAM Blends Modular Synths, Turntablism, and Drum Machines in a Riveting New EP

Meet the Innovator: CRONAM

Berlin's music scene has always been a hotbed for innovation, and CRONAM (Criminal Robots On A Mission) is no exception. This turntablist-turned-electronic-music-experimenter is breaking new ground with his latest offering, the 'Decompression' EP.

The Genesis of 'Decompression'

The EP, which sits comfortably in the realm of deep dubstep, is the culmination of intense experimentation with modular synths, drum machines, and turntablism. The project succeeds in merging these diverse elements into a cohesive sound that's not just studio-bound but also geared for live performances.

Promotional shot of CRONAM, the Berlin-based electronic musician.
Promotional shot of CRONAM, the Berlin-based electronic musician.

An Amalgamation of Influences

CRONAM's sound is a complex blend of various genres, drawing inspiration from the likes of Mala, Dj Distance, and Commodo. His integration of different musical crafts, from modular synths to scratching, makes him a standout artist in the contemporary bass music scene.

Beyond Solo Endeavors

CRONAM's collaborative spirit is evident. He is part of "Forms of Entrophy," a band that pushes the boundaries of electronic music even further. This collective combines finger-drumming, keys, and turntablism into a live set that covers everything from deep dubstep to hip-hop.

The Ethos Behind the EP

The 'Decompression' EP is more than just a musical project; it's an ethos. It explores the deep dubstep genre around 140bpm, aiming to combine multiple production techniques into a sound robust enough for live stage performances. The EP is aptly named, encapsulating CRONAM's journey of experimentation and his subsequent 'decompression' into this focused release.

A Revolutionary Live Setup

One of the EP’s most notable aspects was its influence on CRONAM’s live setup. His experimentation led to a bespoke drum machine crafted from various Eurorack modules, enriching his live performances and blending his turntablism skills seamlessly.


"Never stop pushing the boundaries. That's the mantra that guided me through the creation of 'Decompression,' and it's what will keep driving me forward."


How did you come up with the name CRONAM, and what does it stand for?

The name CRONAM is actually an acronym standing for Criminal Robots On A Mission. I got a lot of inspiration from classic Animes such as Akira, Ghost in the Shell etc.. I’m as well a big fan of Blade Runner and in general I like Cyberpunk themes and dystopian visions about the future.

Your EP 'Decompression' is a blend of modular synths, drum machines, and turntablism. Can you walk us through your creative process?

It usually starts with patching on the modular synth, experimenting with sequences, modulations, patterns and melodies. When I work on the drums I try to fit them very well to the sub base lines and make them engaging. Sometimes it helps to start with a drum pattern and then build a patch on the modular.

The structure of patches and sequences on the modular synth voices and drums is evolving and I often just start to jam and record multiple versions of them. I use multi track recordings to ensure that I can do precise post processing and also get the stems of all my recorded sounds. Then I sample some of the recorded sounds and use them in Serato and scratch them which adds the Turntablism bit to the production process.

What inspired you to venture into the realm of deep dubstep, especially at 140bpm?

I’m really addicted to the rhythms of 140bpm halftime beats, especially when I’m Djing and scratching. I explored different genres and experimental electronic productions but wanted to take a step back and concentrate on my roots again. So I wanted to create a release that fits the genre but at the same time pushes its boundaries. It’s very inspiring to me how versatile the realm of 140 bpm can be explored in terms of rhythms, broken drums, breakbeats, scratching and even rap like it is done in Grime.

You've cited influences like Mala and Dj Distance. How have they shaped your sound?

I’m listening to the records of Deep Medi Music (Mala’s Label) since its early days. The sound is deep, raw, meditative and very versatile. Mala is also a very creative Artist who is successfully collaborating with a lot of different Musicians. All those characteristics inspire me a lot. I feel similar about Dj Distance and his Chestplate label. The style is grimy, captivating and has brilliant sound design which can be also cinematic. In my own music I like to play around with a lot of these different attributes and more.

Can you tell us more about your bespoke drum machine crafted from various Eurorack modules?

I used a small euro rack case from Intellijel and added all elements into it a drum machine for my purpose would require. I used modules from Steady State Fate (SSF) and WMD and came up with 6 elements that fit very well together. The Kick Drum (UltraKick Module), different Percussions (UltraPerc & Fracture Modules), Snares (Kraken Module), Hihats, Cymbals (Chimera Module) and simple White Noise. It has an onboard 6 Channel stereo mixer from Paratekorg and distortion from Ritual Electronics. Last but not least a sequencer module from Crosspatch which the brand of one of my fellow modular musicians and Eurorack Module creator Jesus On Ecstasy. The Triggerpad module allows it to use different control surfaces such as Novation Launchpads to control triggers of up to 8 Channels. It makes it very playful to interact with the different modules.

How does being part of "Forms of Entrophy" influence your solo work?

We recently formed the band and we have been inspiring each other to cross over boundaries of bass music genres with Hip Hop influences. Performing live together with like minded Artists opens the mind and pushes my solo work forward as well. It’s refreshing to explore freely without any musical boundaries.

What's the ethos behind the 'Decompression' EP?

My artistic vision behind the Decompression EP was to make a contemporary bass music EP with an experimental edge which paints sonic pictures.

I’m always drawn to the deeper, darker side of music and this EP is a milestone for me as I was able to express exactly what I wanted: A deep, cinematic and intoxicating dubstep flavour.

How do you ensure your music is not just studio-bound but also geared for live performances?

Producing music live is an integral part of my workflow. This leads me to jam and naturally produce music dawless (without the use of Digital Audio Workstation). I actually get much more creative this way as if I would sit in front of the computer while trying to come up with ideas. I only use the DAW for post production, additional arrangements, mixing, mastering. A fun fact is that I’m actually a seasoned Software Engineer by trade and I like to avoid the computer screen when I’m making music.

What challenges did you face while creating this EP, and how did you overcome them?

I did not face much challenges other than lack of time and energy. These challenges are not easy to overcome though, I try to stay focussed and keep pushing forward.

What's next for CRONAM? Any upcoming collaborations or new experimental projects?

I will play couple of shows in Berlin and also planning the next dubstep release. It will likely have a bit more obvious scratching parts. I’m also very excited to work on a collaboration that will add very interesting Raps into the mix.

For Fans Of

  • Experimental Dubstep

  • Modular Synths

  • Turntablism

  • Deep Bass Music

  • Techno and DNB


  • Experimental

  • Edgy

  • Deep

  • Energetic

  • Boundary-Pushing

You can follow them through the links below to never miss a beat

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