From: London. Tracks played by: L-Vis 1990, Oneman, Hot City
West London’s R1 Ryders – the core of which is the duo of DJ and producer Karnak and MC Skeelo – call their sound Funkitek, and if their DJ sets are anything to go by then that translates to fast, pitch-bent Funky tracks with pummeling basslines and high ends that wildly twist and contort.
Last year’s Burnout EP caused a stir last year, mainly due to the Funkitek remix of ‘Rubberband’, but after seeing them DJ last month, I can tell you they’ve got a serious arsenal behind them – I’m not exaggerating when I say it was one of the best four or five sets I saw all of last year.
Their second EP Full Throttle is out soon, and if the right people pick up on it then ‘Hydraulic’ in particular should be getting reloads at clubs up and down the country.
R1 Ryders, introduce yourselves.
“Boy there are a lot of us in the R1 movement right now, but mainly its [DJ] Karnak and [MC] Skeelo that are pushing the Funkitek sound right now.”
How long have you been making music for?
“Well it’s been about ten years now. Started producing in 2000 after getting hold of a copy of Rebirth and Reason. The lab’s come a long way since then.”
What do you build your tunes on?
“Well where do I start? To make music we think it’s really important to have a good balance between hardware and software. We like to build tunes on Cubase and Reason using a mixture of old hardware modules and new software plug-ins. We mix and record on a Pro Tools HD rig. We like to have a variety of options when it comes to writing tunes and this is reflected in our music.”
You describe your sound as Funkitek – what do you mean by that?
“Funkitek is the new hybrid UK rave sound. It’s an energetic blend of the most exciting UK sounds to come from the underground.”
Tell us about the mix you’ve done for FACT.
“Well the mix we have provided is all strictly hardbody Funkitek R1 plates. Never heard before and a couple on there are not being released.”
You’ve got a proper hard, squealing pitch-bent house sound – it drives me nuts. What sort of stuff are you taking inspiration from, and what are you aiming for when you make tunes?
“Well when we make music we are aiming to please the ravers and provide them with something innovative and unique that packs a punch. I’m glad it drives you nuts [laughs] that’s what we’re looking to achieve, music to keep the rave bubblin’. The hardcore sound of the early 90′s inspires us in terms of what we are doing right now.”
Likewise, when I saw you DJ you used the Funkitek stuff as a template but you also dropped Pangaea, Joy Orbison and other stuff in there. Who else are you rating right now?
“Well Wifey was a lot mate wasn’t it? Big up Ralph and all the crew. Theres a couple guys making some bangers that’s out there and Martyn’s definitely one of them.”
You’re working on some stuff with Mosca, right?
“Watch this space…”
The Burnout EP came out last year – what have you got planned for 2010?
“Full Throttle EP is landing in the first quarter. It features four big bangers, ‘Hydraulic’, ‘Karni4’, ‘Intellitek’ and ‘Karni4 Refix’. Theres something for everyone on there. I heard Mosca dropped ‘Hydraulic’ at the Numbers & Elevator Music launch at Fabric and it went off.
“We also have ‘Aiya Napa Riddim’ dropping which features the original UK Funky MC Dogtaniaun and a talented UK artist called Carly Bond. We’ve also done another track with her called ‘Ain’t Wastin’ No Time’ which you should be hearing by the summer!”
Tell us something we won’t know about R1 Ryders.
“Karnak wears size 11 shoes – Nike send him some one away Dunk SB’s please – and Skeelo’s a badman at poppin wheelies on his R1!”
Download: R1 Ryders – FACT mini-mix
R1 Ryders – Bah Humbug Dub (unreleased)
R1 Ryders – Karni4 Remix (from Full Throttle EP)
R1 Ryders – Skankout Dub (unreleased)
R1 Ryders – Rubberband (from Burnout EP – out now)
Count & Sinden – Strange Things (R1 Ryders Funkitek Mix) (Domino)
R1 Ryders – Intellitek (from Full Throttle EP)
R1 Ryders - Hydraulic (from Full Throttle EP)