KRUST
CODED LANGUAGE
ALBUM MERCURY, UNIVERSAL RELEASE: OCTOBER 25, 1999 REVIEW: JANUARY 7, 2000


Safely on the other side of the millennial border, you can start listening to the music of the nineties with more clarity without distracting hype and marketing in the way. This is especially valid as applied to drum'n'bass, the primary musical novelty of the past decennium.
Roni Size's Reprazent project was arguably the last drum'n'bass phenomenon of the nineties to have a significant commercial and critical impact. Krust was part of that project, and without doubt it benefited greatly from his skills of conjuring up clean, minimal and raw soundscapes.
This, his first full length solo effort is less focused, more diverse, and seemingly aimed at the home listener rather than a club audience. It consists of Krust's trademark breakbeats, a rather anonymous chanteuse named Morgan, a surprising amount of classical string arrangements and, on title track is assisted by the undisputed master of spoken word Saul Williams. Of course Williams steals the show hurling out his afrofuturist manifestos, and the "Coded Language" track leaves the rest of the record in something of a haze.
Krust is hard to pin down. His tracks can be almost soulful and lush, but a hardness always remains in the background, forcing the track to maintain a clinical quality. I find myself thinking of Photek, until "One Moment" starts, devoid of drums, all wistfully lingering strings going nowhere but beautifully so.
I donít really understand Morgan's contributions. Her voice is frankly not doing anything to improve the tracks and it doesnít stand very well on it's own. All in all, I hear Krust trying out different approaches, as if to determine which one of them seems to be working. My hopes are that the next record will benefit from that experiment and be a bit more mind-blowing.

MATTIAS HUSS