Prototypes _ Interview With Roebin de Freitas

Roebin de Freitas _ Main

RdF returns to subsekt 055 for another mix and conversation..

We last spoke to RdF back in October 2012 when he was doing a mix for subsekt 012 and not long after he had released his superb album ‘Nobody Climbs These Stairs Without Expecting Something Disturbing’. I really enjoyed that album and we’ve kept in touch ever since. He was kind enough to tell me about the Ante-Rasa’s first vinyl release quite a while ago, so it was really exciting to see it making an appearance recently with those really strong remixes from Lakker and Stanislav Tolkachev. It seemed like the right time to do something together again and he was up for a new interview and mix. His previous subsekt mix was fucking insane and is definitely in my top 5 subsekt mixes. Non-stop chaos. It’s not on the subsekt soundcloud atm.. but here it is below as Episode 30 of RdF’s mix series.

In the meantime we have this interview in which we discuss Ante-Rasa; the label that he runs with Rednox, RdF’s recent releases and collaborations with Derlich as Unit81.

I love RdF’s music as he is just as likely to bang it out as he is to make something playful or thoughtful and I always enjoy chatting with him as he has a wicked sense of humour. The man, the music.. They really are one and the same. Hope you enjoy the mix and the chat.

subsekt 055 is now available to DL on soundcloud.

Well, so how are you? We last ‘officially’ spoke in 2012 when you did a mix and interview for us. Can you synopsise everything that’s happened since in an interesting paragraph? An executive summary please – haha

I remember mentioning that I wanted to surface some more during 2013. In retrospect that only partially happened. People like Surgeon played my music some more and there was some (very light) exposure but on the release front it was a lot more quiet then I had hoped for. There was only my EP on Digital Distortions that came out and that even had a (completely) reworked version of one of the tracks on my ‘seminal’ ahem.. album we spoke about during the first interview. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t busy and kept lurking behind the curtain of course. You can still download the Digital Distortions release though. It’s free! There’s some seriously raw business on there that can destroy a dancefloor.

One of the more recent releases you’ve had was the Ante-Rasa 01, with remixes from Lakker and Stanislav Tolkachev. I know that the whole project was in the pipeline for a good while before it saw the light of day. The remixes were excellent.

When some of my personal heroes charted and played the release, it was a real boost. We never will use the whole DJ feedback thread in our promotional campaign. Both Rednox (the better half of Ante-Rasa) and myself yawn at releases stating DJ X said ‘will play!’ or ‘Great stuff!’. The douchiest thing is mentioning ‘Downloaded for Ritchie Hawtin’.

I can’t even grasp why people think that’s a unique selling position. We want them to play it and chart it. That doesn’t change the fact that I like namedropping Surgeon, Inigo Kennedy, Svreca, Exium and Rivet here exactly because they all charted the release.

What was the thinking behind doing a vinyl on Ante-Rasa now? It’s being going since 2007, hasn’t it?

Ante-Rasa has been around the block, yes. It’s nice to see that Rednox’s taste for talent was already oozing back then. When I see that people like Smear, Charlton, Grovskopa, Rory St John and Casual Violence were releasing on Ante-Rasa 5 years ago and that those artists are playing a bigger roll nowadays, then that’s proven.

Rednox was at a point where his life changed quite a bit and balancing everyday (work) life with the label was getting harder. That changed when he bought my ‘seminal’ album and we started talking about music in general. It’s from that conversation that grew the plan to profesionalise Ante-Rasa and getting me on board to help.

I know some parts of it, but would you mind giving us a slight tour through Ante-Rasa’s back-catalog?

A Belgian prodigy has always been Arrestar. He was very promising a couple of years ago and really emerged on Token records but he was first spotted by Rednox. His ‘Prayer EP’ is really amazing and has a very nice Grovskopa remix. After that it got a bit quiet around him.

I heard Arrestar is going to release on fellow Belgian label Plector in the near future. It’s great he’s resurfacing although we wanted him on board again for Ante-Rasa but it just didn’t seem to gel. He’s coming back, that’s the important part of course.

Grovskopa is active under the name of Rivet nowadays. Who knows, maybe he’ll join our ranks again in the future.

The remix Grovskopa made wasn’t his only track on the label. This little IDMish piece is really cool too. The eerie vocals are by his girlfriend from back then and she ended up being a singer for ‘90s hit band Ace of Base when they came back during the whole ‘90s revival. Needless to say she has an amazing voice and Grovskopa’s production was spot on again.

Rory St John is another artist who was given a platform on Ante-Rasa by Rednox. You can already hear his epileptical style of production he has in common with artists like Richard Devine, Kero and such.

Last pick is one by Smear who later turned on to become Bleaching Agent and is part of Forward Strategy Group and Blacknecks. I think I can stop my explanation right there, no?

I genuinely hadn’t realised that you involved with Ante-Rasa until very recently. Have you found yourself slipping into asshole label-boss / ‘head-honcho’ mode yet? 😀

It’s not in our nature to be an asshole label boss. But we have got a clear picture in our mind about how Ante-Rasa sounds and in what way we want to portray it. We often ask artists to redo a track or remix so we get things right the way we want them to be. Maybe other labels simply wouldn’t go for tracks that are not 100% ready but when we really hear where we believe the track needs to be, then we go for it and try to push the artist to their limit.

Music production and history are my biggest passions in life. Though people often say that Techno is faceless and should be about the music blah, blah, blah.. I believe in the need to document the people and stories behind it. Techno is a very small world in reality and I think it needs a proper resource. I hope that everyone who is interested in Techno finds this blog accessible in terms of the way that it is written. I personally prefer to hear the artists voice as loud as the music and never enjoy synopsised and pasteurised versions of old conversation; the sort that's peppered with the occasional quote here and there.

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