February 26, 2010

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 2009 was a huge year for Anti-Social Entertainment with “Silkie’s City Limits Volume 1dropping to critical acclaim on Mala’s Deep Medi records and Kromestar’s “My Sound” making a heavy impact in London’s streets. Last week, Sach O spoke to crew representative, badman DJ and all around nice guy Razor Rekta about Anti-Social’s origins, the crew’s forthcoming releases, Dubstep and UK Funky, Canadian donut houses and just what is up with that crew name.

First up, who in the world is Razor Rekta and what kind of sounds are you bringing to the table?

I’m a 28-year-old underground DJ from Ealing in West London whose origin lies in Garage music, which has now evolved into my main forte Dubstep. I’m someone who’s always looking to push the boundaries as well as discovering new music, across the globe.

I generally play everything from the harder stuff such as Benny Page and Skream to the mellow sounds of Silkie and Quest, which is home to me. I mix it up, touching on every style and each side of the spectrum in my sets.

For a lot of listeners in North America, Anti Social is still pretty low profile: tell us a little about how the crew came together and how you came to DJing personally?

I started off working in Razor Records just buying records as a hobby and mixing in my bedroom really. Then I started working with [seminal UK Garage MC collective] So Solid on their radio station back in 2002. Since then I’ve been concentrating on pushing my own people’s music and spinning at radio stations where I could push all styles of forthcoming garage music and break new artists and talent.

Anti-Social started off as a collective just having a similar taste in music and direction in what we wanted to do. We produced together and did radio showcases pushing our own music and started from there really, we are all trying to push the boundaries, try new things and hopefully make a change somehow by bringing about ‘good’ music or stuff that is generally outside the box as opposed to the other forms of dubstep which are ‘ahem’ “commercially known”!

What do you guys have planned for 2010? Any releases on the horizon?

Quest and Vivek have forthcoming albums on Deep Medi and Kromestar has another album coming as well. We’re all moving into the production side more as well as djing at events so it’s a lot more hands on I would say!

Right now I’m running the label, pushing our music in addition to signing new talent to the Anti Social circle. The label Cloqworq is a foundation for us to get our music heard and I have a number of releases on the horizon but mainly I’m just getting the label under way before I put anything out. I have collaborations planned with most of the team but I’m just waiting for now… the calm before the storm maybe? {Laughs}

Collectively we’re just trying to get our music out and hit different places that aren’t that exposed to underground music. Anti-Social has forthcoming tour dates around Europe and America and we’re hosting nights in Amsterdam at the end of the month, Estonia in March, and Sweden in April. We’re also working on setting one up in America for the end of the year. Silkie has been to Australia, New Zealand and a bunch of other places and I’m heading out to Venezuela, Singapore and Japan in the summer so hopefully it should be a good year!

You’ve kept a pretty low profile online and your Myspace doesn’t feature any press photos apart from flyers. Is this a deliberate decision to keep the focus on the music?

{Laughs} Nah, It’s probably laziness to be honest, I’ll try to put more things out there from now on but its been such a busy year that things like Myspace get neglected which I’m sorry to say. Radio, events and networking seem like the main thing at the moment and we seem to be doing ok so I guess all in good time really. In terms of focusing on the music side, it is very true though.

For that matter, are Anti-Social Ent members actually Anti-Social? You seem like a chill guy.

Haha, the big question actually! Well, we are most definitely the opposite, we’re probably anti social in the sense of what we are trying to do musically, that’s where the name came from: anti social as in socially excluded musically, different from the norm, outside the circle…however it can be thought of. But yeah, the guys are chilled and we are pretty normal, most of the time anyway…

In the past 365, UK Funky has really taken London by storm. What’s your take on it?

For sure, I think UK Funky is just like dubstep in the sense that it probably draws on every single musical influence in the world; it’s just slower and less noisy in some cases. I think it’s a good thing that a new form of music has taken off, just like Garage music took over when Jungle/dnb went global and no doubt, UK Funky will blow up and something else will take its place afterwards.

I think its healthy, because there’s a lot of room for progression and also breaking new talent…I don’t really see it as any threat to what we already know, it’s just a branch of garage, that’s the way I see it… and the kids have latched on to it really well.

What were some of your favorite tunes from last year?

There are a lot to be honest, outside of {crew members} Silkie, Quest and Kromestar, I really like stuff from El Wiz and other European producers. I appreciate all sides so people from Benny Page and Kryptic Minds to people like 2562 and Martyn all hit the right places. With the likes of Mala and other headliners, I’m not such a fan of the wobbly stuff but I will still play one or two I like or if they fit the mood when I’m playing.

Dubstep is such a London-centric sound but paradoxically it’s also blown up across the world faster than any other UK sound since Jungle: how does it feel to Rinse tunes so far out in the world?

It’s awesome, more so because a lot of these sounds I didn’t even think were accepted in other countries and to be fair, they’re probably more known overseas. London is saturated and I think the clubbers are often ‘spoilt’ for choice if I may say so. People abroad, especially Europe and America’s know more about the music than even Londoners do! They know the tracks, they know the producers and are really taking a firm hold on things.

Is this your first time out in North America?

This is my first time and I’m loving it…Tim Hortons all the way! {Laughs} I can’t wait for Montreal, Toronto last night was sick: people were forthcoming and it was quite a crazy night, two thumbs up!

Last but not least, I have to ask: Where’d you get the name Razor Rekta? Is it a Wu-Tang/Rza tribute?

Haha, Razor Records in London is where the name started. There were a group of us, Richie Razor, Razor Dean and Big Razor Kid so that’s it came into it.

Download:
MP3: Kromestar – “Kalawanji”
MP3: Razor Rekta – “Live on Rinse FM”

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