The first of our recent Reverbnation competition winners is Philadelphia based hip-hop, electro funk collective R@ts Music. Consisting of three members Connor Hansell (synths & production), Keith Wadsworth (lead guitar & synthesizer) and Gralin Hughes (live digital art).
Their track ‘Straight Ballin’ , caught the Free Breaks teams ears from the get go, with the initial funked up riff an instant head nodder. As the track progresses Connors exquisite synth work and production bring the track into firm dancefloor material with hefty beats and crazy, off the wall FX . Just past the one minute mark we get served an insanely funky, electro riff that just makes you want to move those feet. After the first break Keith jumps in with some sick guitar solo action that takes the track up another notch into loose your s**t territory. This is one of those tracks where every element just works so well and these guys blend everything into a stand out party track.
As if this wasn’t enough we wanted to make this a really special package and after hearing the track for the first time we knew the mighty Funkanomics would make perfect remixers to round of the release. They very kindly agreed and managed to fit it into their busy schedule and the results are expectedly massive. Taking the original sample they layer a deceiving disco-funk / 4×4 intro into the sounds before dropping into a chunky, glitched out bass wobble with slick percussion and hard hitting beats. The Funkanomics crew really are at the top of their game at the moment and this remix is yet another example of their production prowess. Currently working hard on their next Adapted Records release, you can check out all their previous tracks over at Juno & Beatport. Be sure to follow them over at Soundcloud for all their latest music.
Enough words, check out the tracks for yourselves below and read through our feature with R@s Music. We will be holding another Reverbnation competition soon so keep ‘em peeled.
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1. Congrats on being picked as winners. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, for those that don’t know please tell us, who are you, what do you do and what style(s) of music do you play?
2. Tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment, any releases on the horizon?
We’ve been in the studio crafting our debut full length for sometime, not shying away from the single and remix hustle for certain though… We have a glitchy R@S look at our homies Maggs Bruchez’s single “Whole House” and you can grab a sample of that at www.soundcloud.com/embymusic look for a digital release via iTunes and Spotify within the next couple weeks. Honestly Emby Records is curating some phenomenal nu disco and proper house tracks, we were so excited to get an opportunity to show some love with the remix!
3. Do you DJ? Any residencies or regular slots we can catch you at?
Currently we do not have any residencies but we play frequently at many Philadelphia venues. Check out our website if you would like to catch any of our upcoming shows. www.ratsphilly.com
4. What are your best/worst DJ/Performance experiences?
Playing an illegitimate renegade set at Farm Fest this year out front of a vendor was absolutely bonkers, I learned you can bring a punk rock attitude to dance music for certain, following that up a with our official set keeping the party moving in silent disco after Space Jesus was surreal, we definitely dig in and had a blast at our first festival appearance. Worst performance for me was outside of electronic music, I played a six flags in a different state, it was easily 100 degrees and we were our own roadies, we did get to ride roller coasters after but I promise that it was not enough consolation. It was a living spinal tap moment.
5. What got you into electronic music? What made you choose your current style and sound?
We all come from very different musical backgrounds. I don’t think any of us really ever thought we would be working with electronic music before this project. I (connor the producer) have always loved working with hip hop and I have always worked with hip hop production outside of the many projects that I have worked on, but I never really new how to bring it to the stage. So this project really formed a little over a year ago when I started listening to acts that are very hip hop influenced like gramatik and pretty lights that perform awesome live shows. Next thing I know Im on a 22 hour long ride with Keith and the homies to basslights Miami and R@S was officially born.
6. Which other artists past and present have inspired you?
For guitar it’s always been Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Paul Gilbert. I’m a product of tech guitar, which I feel is refreshing to provide in the dance music realm. Presently I’m enamored with the nu funk cats like Opiou and Koan Sound, I’ve heard it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.
We are all about family and friends!
8. What do you think it means to be a successful DJ or producer?
It means your digging in and providing fresh ideas consistently, and that you’re connecting with your fans and consistently engaging them through new content
9. What can we expect from you over the course of 2015 and beyond?
We have plans to play festivals and a lot of shows this coming year as we continue to grow the R@S culture and fan base. Its really all about making music that we love and reaching fans who can enjoy and experience it with us. We also plan on dropping a full length album in 2015. A lot of big things up ahead and we get excited every time we think about it!
10. Anything else you would like to add?
Just that you have an absolutely phenomenal thing going here at Free Breaks, We appreciate the opportunity and that you can keep up with R@S music at the links below. Keep it fresh and keep it moving! Enjoy the tunes yall!