The Senior editor of Passion of the Weiss, Son Raw (previously known as Sach O) was born Sacha Orenstein in Montreal to two loving parents through whom he learned love, compassion and justice. As for his innate funkiness, well that’s anyone’s guess, but his first musical memories involve Sade’s “Smooth Operator” and The Police’s “Roxanne.” A troubled youth growing up far away from the crime side (but occasionally visiting the New York Times side), a 12 year old Sach quickly developed an affinity for both the funky styling’s of Bad Boy and Death Row Records as well as the grunge-punk sounds of The Offspring and Nirvana; all acts that instilled within him a profound appreciation for a rebellious, hardcore musical aesthetic. It was chance exposure to Method Man’s “Bring the Pain” at 14 however that set him off on the path of the hardcore Hip-Hop head and he soon purchased a pair of turntables and a mixer, rocking the occasional house party with a blend of oldschool rap and abstract trip-hop beats as was the style at the time. Yes, he wore a backwards baseball cap.
Sach’s interests soon spilled beyond rap into the original records sampled by his productions heroes DJ Premier and The RZA. While his peers were busy tightening their pants and listening to Bloc Party, Sach dove into music from Stax, Motown, Trojan, Blue Note and more, indentifying with the soulfulness and struggle of the African-Diaspora’s music rather than the ironic detachment and ugly fashion of contemporary indie (give or take a couple of bands.) Determined to influence the course of music and filled with the wide-eyed enthusiasm and spare time of a College Freshman, our hero soon started his own blog “Chungking Express in BK” named after his favorite Wong Kar Wai film and New York borough. A few months later, he’d joined the seminal online snark collective Ohword.com, contributing careful criticism and spot-on parody to the site including his legendary Baduizm pamphlet warning against the perils of intercourse with neo-soul songstresses.
Then…Sach disappeared. Like MF DOOM, Sach vanished into the ether for over a year, communicating only through the occasional cryptic blog post. Some say he won an Elephant race across Thailand blindfolded while playing the mandolin. Others claim he spent his time DJing classic soul in Cambodian dive bars for unemployed Mancunian construction workers. Others still claim his heart was broken in Vietnam by a one eyed prostitute named Uyen-Bui. In any case, his gradual reemergence in North America was punctuated by collaborations with the Mighty Jeff Weiss, eventually culminating with a full time writing gig at this very website. Covering Reggae, French Rap, Canto-Pop, Madchester and electronica, his Digging in the Digital Crates series soon became a marquee attraction at The Passion while his friendship with Jeff was solidified over their shared love of beats and blunts. “Jeff and I are like Red & Meth…or was it Ghost & Rae? Either way we resemble some sort of Wu-Tang related duo” – said Sach.
Today, Sach DJs under the name Son Raw, having fallen in love with London’s newest wave of Bass music, namely Dubstep, Grime and Funky. His All Your Bass are Belong to Us series has been covered by publications such as the Chicago Reader and he’s recently collaborated with underground Noir-Rap duo the 5 ’O Clock Shadowboxers for their Twilight Spoiler mix. With the future looking bright on both the DJing and writing front, Sach expects to achieve singularity with God sometime in the near future, thus precipitating his transformation into absolute energy of the purest kind. He no longer wears a backwards baseball cap.
10 Records that influenced Sach profoundly (in no particular order)
- Raekwon – Only Built for Cuban Linx
- Burial – Untrue
- Portishead – Dummy
- Madvillain – Madvillainy
- Freddie McGregor – Bobby Babylon
- Main Source – Breakin Atoms
- Dizzee Rascal – Boy in Da Corner
- The Bug – London Zoo
- O.V Wright – A Nickle & a Nail
- Tom Waits – Rain Dogs