As a born and raised native of NYC's East Village, Beau a.k.a Raw Q has been a truely devoted contributor to underground electronic music and rave culture since the early 90s. We caught up with him to talk about about his recent release on Intrigue Music, I Want Him Dead! and found out more about his style, as well as what's going on over the other side of the pond.
It was very refreshing to search through your SoundCloud and come across tunes like Summer Rain. Where have you been hiding?
I’ve been in the studio working on tunes and keeping busy holding down DJ residencies at Direct Drive, Natural Selection and Driven AM events. I’ve also been supporting and performing at many other d&b events here in NYC and throughout the states.
You’re based in New York City, what’s the reception like for drum & bass there?
Real good! NYC has had a dedicated d&b scene since ‘94 and we’re now in the midst of a resurgence as more new heads discover the genre. Currently we’ve got originators such as Konkrete Jungle, Direct Drive and Camouflage, as well as crews like Natural Selection and Telluric all holding quality d&b events on a regular basis. Just this past year NYC’s been host to; Goldie, LTJ Bukem, Roni Size, Marky, DJ Hype, dBridge, Spy and Calibre to name a few! Plus there’s also a number of healthy weeklies such as; Funked Dub, Remedy and the aforementioned Konkrete Jungle, all of which have dedicated followings and a solid local talent base. So yeah, there’s plenty going on in NYC for lovers of d&b!
You have recently released an EP on Intrigue Music entitled I Want Him Dead! Can you tell us a bit about the story behind the EP?
Sure, I wanted to do an EP for Intrigue for a while after Ben Soundscape heard ‘I Want Him Dead!’ and signed it to the label. That tune was really the conceptual starting point, after which ‘Everyday Soul’ and ‘NY State of Mine’ were selected to compliment the jazz-infused gangster vibe, but with a deeper angle. ‘Sweet Pea’ which has been killing dance floors here in NYC, is the funk side and offers an extra bit of diversity to the overall flavour of the EP.
Many influences can be heard throughout the EP and each track is unique, did you feel it was important to showcase a variety of styles?
Yeah, it’s definitely representative of my musical tastes since I listen to and am influenced by all different styles of music. I feel it’s important not to limit myself with where I can grab a sample or take inspiration from. With me, it’s like no matter what kind of music I’m listening to, I always end up back at that thought: ‘how would this sound in a d&b tune?’ and then I go and try it out. That’s really one of the things I’ve always loved about d&b as a genre, it's never been afraid of crossing the boundaries between different eras or cultures of music and combining them together into something uniquely new and innovative.
The track New York State of Mine beautifully portrays the city through many sounds and gives a sense of locality to the music, how do you do this so well?
Growing up in NYC I’ve always been influenced by the assortment of sounds surrounding me. Police sirens, random street conversations and short samples of music as a car speeds by, all create this constant auditory collage that inspires me all the time as I walk through the city. So I guess you could say the way I incorporate those elements into a track is my way of sharing that NYC experience of mine with others.
What have you got planned for the rest of 2012?
I’m currently working on putting together a follow-up to the I Want Him Dead! EP for Intrigue, as well as some tunes for Amaning’s BIOS label and some collaborations with Ben Soundscape and other artists I respect. There’s also a bit of travel in the near future.
Any shout outs?
Most definitely! Shouts to Ben Soundscape and the Intrigue crew, DJ Seoul (aka: homeboy) and the Direct Drive Crew, Dave Shichman and the Driven AM fam, the Natural Selection crew, Mac and the Konkrete Jungle fam, Christian Bruna and the Camouflage Crew, and to all the NYC D&B crew and stateside junglist family! Peace.
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