One On One: Kronos Device – Distress Signal

Our One On One feature has been on a slight break over the past year – but our record collections haven’t gotten any smaller. The idea originally started as a means to shine some light on camouflaged gems, rare undiscovered B-sides and decade-old tracks that we thought could slip their way into sets amongst some modern-sounding productions. By no means sticking to one genre, we’ve talked about Norma Jean Bell, Bugz In The Attic and Kim English to Japanese supergroups such as Yellow Magic Orchestra. We’re still going on that vibe but from now on trying to make the revived feature a fortnightly occasion.

Founded in 2001, Kronos Device was the collaborative project of Phil Klein and Simon Brown; two producers from the UK who specialised in all things electro. Phil Klein had already seen major underground success through a string of solo productions under the names Bass Junkie and Cybernet Systems, the latter being his original production alias. “We Are Borg”, a track from his debut release on Panic Trax in 1994, saw him collaborate with Miami bass devotee Dynamix II, combining the two genres and resulting in popular demand on the DJ circuit. Simon Brown’s releases arrived a little later around 1998 as The Dexocirst, though his productions went on to dominate the noughties through labels such as Control Tower, SMB and Klein’s own Battle Trax. Together as Kronos Device they released five EPs and an album, all firmly rooted in crazy 808 electro and 150 BPM dystopian madness. There are two stand-out tracks from their discography that have really done it for me since discovering them – the Dynamik Bass System Remix of “Below The Surface”, and an original production called “Distress Signal” which can be found on the Damage Control EP. Two stinging electro numbers with those seminal 808 kicks and off-planet vocals that would perfectly round off a built up techno set or serve as some higher tempo transitionary tools. Fans of Cybotron, Model 500 and DMX Krew should all take note.

Photo by Riccardo Villella


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