Following the success of ‘Channel Drift’, his previous joint project with RECESS, Brooklyn’s own Mike “Cobrayama” Iannatto does it again, this time flexing his musical dexterity with livetronica duo ILLMNTR.
This latest EP titled ‘Crang‘ features a modest two tracks but, after a quick listen, you’ll find there’s strength in its refinement. The Brooklyn producer has a way of effortlessly forging copious styles and genres into meticulous melodies; a skill of his that often seems more alchemy than application. When combined with fellow former-Exmag member Bryn Austin Bellamy, and John Russell of ILLMNTR, the marriage yields a well-crafted product of future-soul proportions.
‘Crang‘ opens with haunting synths, echoing over sinister bass, until confronted with sharp guitar licks that slice through with ninja precision. The subsequent track, ‘The Grand,’ begins with a piano sample that gets chopped up, and trapped out, before colliding head-first into ominous synths that’ll send chills down your spine. ‘Crang’ is an exercise of genre-melding brilliance that’s both sultry, sexy, and deliciously dark.
We got the opportunity to chat with the artist about his new EP, creative process, and future plans. Check it out below:
TWOW: How did you come up with the name for this project: “Crang”?
C: I got the name ‘Crang’ from the super villain Krang (Ninja Turtles). I think he was the first super villain in the first TMNT comic book from the 80’s: a brain inside a robot’s stomach. He supplied Shredder with technology from Dimension X…It seemed like a good idea to call the track ‘Crang’ – since it has an extraterrestrial super villain vibe to me.
TWOW: I’d say you definitely nailed that dark vibe you were going for. As I follow your career, I’ve learned that you have a very clear & distinct sound that is prominent in every project you’re involved with. How did you come to develop this style and how important do you think that is as an artist?
C: I try to make whatever comes out at the time. I don’t want to have any limitations when I produce, so whatever comes out, comes out. I like to have each project have its own sound, which kind of goes against the idea of “branding.” There’s nothing wrong with branding your sound, that’s a good business/marketing move, but none of that is important to me – I just want to make what I feel at the time. These specific tracks we were trying to have them sound kind of mean, and a little bit evil. Bryn (Illumntr), John (Illumntr, Hair Club) and I made a conscious aesthetic decision about what emotions we wanted these songs to evoke before diving in. ‘The Grand’ started with a sample from a track I did with Recess; the ‘ol boy Ian Gilley left a scratch piano track in the session, so I jacked it and chopped it up. Bryn played lead synths & bass and John played the guitar.
TWOW: So what’s next for Cobrayama? Any new music in the horizon? Where can your fans catch you this summer?
C: I’ll be doing some random all-vinyl sets this summer around Brooklyn and doing a set at F.A.R.M. Fest. I’ve mostly just been working a ton of different records; working with this rapper from Chicago, TZ, as well as a singer from Montreal named Fawna. I also have some more stuff with Illumntr we need to finish and get out there. I still drink with Gibbz and play guitar in an alternative band called NEAUX with some childhood friends.🔸