One To Watch Interview // Harry Craze
Credit:Deep Medi Musik
DEEP MEDi artist and Anti-Social Entertainment co – founder Harry Craze is currently in the studio effortlessly crafting deep layered bass riddims doused in the realms of soul and hip hop. Whilst upholding the underground preserve via jungle, garage and house (to name a few) Quite simply the fella is a don. He rarely does interviews but I managed to find out more about the method behind the madness (as it were) As one half of production duo Craze and Hoax, he’s worked on remixes and created for homegrown artists such as Wiley, Tinie Tempah and Jamie T.I talk to him about his talented West London collective, fondness for the late J Dilla and why the ubiquity of the mainstream can be a double-edged sword.
Can you give us some background info for those who aren’t familiar with what you do?
I’m a producer from West London and I’m part of Antisocial along with Quest, Silkie, Mizz Beats, Jay 5ive and Razor. I’m currently making music as part of Craze and Hoax!
How did you assume the moniker Harry Craze?
My dad thought it would be funny to just call me that…so from birth (…its my real name)
What’s your earliest memory of music in a performing or listening capacity?
Leonard Cohen asking my dad to play the tape with the banana man on the front (there was a weird synthy album called “I’m Your Man” he did)
From a listening perspective, I’d say making up a tune on this tiny keyboard i had while playing some mad imaginary game.
Along with Silkie you laid the foundations for the ‘Anti-Social Entertainment’ Crew. What was the main inspiration behind it and what does it personify?
Silks just had this idea to start a crew…of course I was down, I don’t know what it personifies but it’s all love we are a group of friends that make music, whatever it might be.
The first time I heard anything from your discography was on Antisocial’s Copenhagen OHOI! Mix in August ’09 and your track ‘Wa6’ was sombre and seminal respite on the live recording. Do you enjoy the live dominion away from the studio?
I love doing stuff in the live dominion it’s probably my favourite dominion!! 🙂 although my tunes probably work better on a listening level, i think that changes though the more you play out.
What is it like playing in a place like Denmark which has such a strong bass resonance with the likes of 2000F, JKamata and RUF?
It was fantastic, the crowd are hungry for real original music. ‘You Don’t Know What Love Is‘ is a FAV I love that G’d up 808 funk
They appear to be inspired by Zapp and Parliament via pitch-bending synths, and echoey voiceboxs of the early 80’s funk aesthetic. Your style of production has been compared to J Dilla’s harmonious synth riffs; sparse samples and subtle bass. Is Hip- Hop a primary influence on your output?
Yeah that’s crazy someone said that because I love Dilla.
Hip-Hop is a big influence. The approach of sampling getting a loop and perfecting it is definitely a big part of making music. I like listening to all kinds of music though especially weird soundtracks and things i’d like to sample because they have some sick ideas in them and if you only listen to what everyone else is doing it can get a bit boring.
On the Real Love EP, you worked with Anti-Social compatriot Quest on the shuffling Jazz inspired title track. How do you find a medium when collaborating for releases on Breaking The Habit (Anti Social’s record label)? Is there a particular brief running through your heads whilst producing?
I used to live in this house and it was like Antisocial HQ for a bit, a lot of tunes were made there like ‘Head Butt Da Deck’, ‘Eden’ and ‘Real Love’. Quest and I were just vibing out chatting shit and made a tune. There ain’t no brief though…. just making tunes.
How did it feel like signing to a well respected bass label in the form of DEEP MEDi?
I felt very blessed that someone (Deep Medi boss and dubstep pioneer Mala) i respected so much put his faith in me and to be on a label with some amazing people on is very sick.
What’s your production set up like?
My old production set up consisted of mpc samples, triton, fruityloops, guitars and bass.
My current setup is shared with hoax and is logic,triton,mini korg, guitars, percussion and loads of plugins especially kontakt patches. I want stuff to sound like a movie. It’s cool but I want an mpc again though.
Unlike a plethora of genres, Dubstep is impossible to classify with the versatile nature of production having their roots elsewhere. Yet, as per the major labels attempt to homogenise underground music for the mainstream. What are your thoughts on this trending topic?
Wow… I’ll try and keep this short.
We’ve been in this since 2002-3, when what people were calling dubstep was like this weird sort of garage like loads of congas and subs…maybe a wobble if your lucky, it was proper tribal though.
Year after year it gets more successful..it’s just a natural progression.
With all these pop artists battering the sound now, there’s also loads of fresh music coming out inspired by dubstep and the sound is just evolving faaast. As long as we all focus on making honest music it’s all good.
That response was informative and on point like a decimal. Do you have any forthcoming releases or projects lined up?
YES. These days I’m working alongside my long time friend and amazing producer Hoax, we’ve got a tune ‘Wait For Me’ coming out on Break The Habit as Craze and Hoax.
“Jesus Sandal” Weather a.k.a Festival Season is slowly creeping up on us again. Are there any bassweight bangers we should keep an ear out for?
SILKIES album is a Banger…and a new bit he played me the other day…i don’t even know if i can say the name but its the Future. Mizz beats has some 8bit gameboy jazz Bangers. Quest has got some sick tunes…just look out for Antisocial at the festivals we got the remedy.
Shish or Doner?
SHISH all day baby!!!
KA or Ginger Beer?
Ginger beer… R U MAD
Colonel Gaddafi or David Batty?
Danke Schon, Mr Craze.
Craze and Hoax release ‘Wait For Me’ in late July on Break The Habit.
Catch the Anti Social Crew on Rinse FM every Saturday via their new slot from 5 to 7 pm on 106.8 FM.
This entry was posted on July 14, 2011 by adofo1. It was filed under Interviews, One To Watch and was tagged with 2011, Anti Social Entertainment, Break The Habit, Craze and Hoax, David Batty, Deep Medi, Dubstep, Funk, Harry Craze, Interview, J Dilla, Leonard Cohen, Rinse FM, Shish, Silkie, Soul.