INTERVIEW #034 / REDNOX [ANTE RASA RECORDS]
“Doubt is a sign of good health” Great interview with Ante Rasa label founder Rednox about the music industry, the complexity of modern society and the Belgian scene… Enjoy
Hi Ludo, we are very pleased to host you in our project …
You're welcome, thank you for the proposal.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I'm Ludovic Wydouw and running Ante-Rasa records with my friend Sam Destoop aka Roebin de Freitas.
Let’s start this chat with your musical background and influences on both electronics and non electronics?
I listened to a lot of rock, blues, funk and all the combinations you can imagine in this type of music before interesting myself to electronic music and more specifically to Techno. I was caught by the Birmingham sound first and things on 6277, Seico Corp, Emergence, Asymmetric, Pohjola, Materials, Surface, Semantica... which I wanted to add some electronic landscapes in my djset. The idea of the label came later.
In 2007, you’ve founded Ante-Rasa, a label dedicated to underground Techno yet with a strong conceptual and political approach. We can read in the label manifest: “Ante Rasa has the intent to question our seemingly hostile environment reveling in consumerism alienating us from our natural behavior”. Can you first tell us in which context has the Ante Rasa story began?
At that time, the techno that excite my feelings had become rare with labels such as Infrastructure New York, Sandwell District, Emergence, Downwards, Rodz-Konez, Blueprint, Materials or Counterbalance but felt that a renewal was preparing especially with newcomers like Semantica, Token, or Ancient Methods and Pohjola. There were also some netlabels which had emerged as the excellent Funque Droppings or Asymmetric’s Inigo Kennedy (without forgetting later Limetree and Subsist). All these influences have given me the desire to create a netlabel with artists wishing to express immediately. The condition was to be able to do as freely as possible without fretting of market law or deal with intermediary.In 2013, I met Roebin de Freitas through an album that was self-produced and finally we plan to join forces and realize the label physically.
Do you feel that Ante Rasa fans were also sensitive to the philosophical approach in addition to the musical content? And how far do you think this sensitivity is represented in the global techno community?
I hope so because the two are linked. We try to keep a consistency, respect for the artists, in the artwork or the DIY conception of the records. We did our best to keep our integrity, the music remains the central focus and do the minimum concession.
It's the only thing we can promise. I could not speak for others but I believe that these values are intimately connected to the Techno movement.
Is there still a place for activism in the modern techno scene today?
More than ever in a society in search of meaning and it is a great medium to do it. To stay awake about technology and evaluate how the deal is fair between what it gives and what it takes (and what you are agree to give). Doubt is a sign of good health.
What were the main challenges you faced as a label manager?
Since 2013, we are 2 in the boat. This is still not enough but it helps. The main challenge is that there is much administrative task to do before thinking music and sometimes you want throw it all, then the passion takes over.
What do you think about platforms like Bandcamp? Do you believe it could be the future of the distribution in the underground techno scene?
Bandcamp is a great tool, with no frills, ergonomic and not too greedy for artists. Despite his lacks of visibility and that paypal is not your generous uncle, I think it's the best when you offer digital only. On the other hand, if you do vinyl, you need a distributor strike force if you don’t want to stop to Cat 001. Shipping costs are also to be taken into account.
Ante Rasa is also part of Alaska Swimming Gear, which is described as an independent musical holding. Can you tell us a bit more about this collaboration?
ASG cares of our publishing and rights-management so one day be sure we can take a pleasant retreat.
What do you think of the evolution of the Belgian techno scene in the last 5 years?
I've had a little trouble with my patriotism or national awareness (in a good way, if there may be). I have not decided the place where I was born. On the Belgian territory, I do not know very well about the scene particularly the historical side of things, but I see that a lot of artists and promoters are looking for authenticity and make sense by overcoming their influence among other last years. I think particularly of Peter Van Hoesen and Yves de Mey both solo and in their Sendai project, I’m always amazed by the sounds they create. The Belgian-Italian duo Lumisokea is truly unique and innovative. Protesting “Fondation Sonore” for its position and those rave-up "at odds with the conventional protocols musical events" and the documentary work of Amélie Ravalec.
I also think to Kick Back collective from Brussels with his radio show and those parties at Recyclart, Deepheat with these events and his new label and the Fabrik evenings are an example of a multidisciplinary scene, creative and determined.
How do you see the future for Ante Rasa?
RASA03 of Roebin de Freitas will come out in May with a remix of Orphx. This year there is also a project with Imugem Orihasam and Yaporigami remix. Ambareesh ep will come quickly as well.
How did you build this mix for Paradox?
I put the records that I bought in recent months on the table, and kept those who had aged well, I mean who always gave me the same effect as the first listen. Afterwards, I tried to put it all together on the theme of nausea.
What elements would you call paradoxical in the techno world?
Gentrification, stardom/ football player fees, materialism / fetishism around hardware are quite incompatible with my idea of what is Techno. However it is common nowadays.
Which artists or labels have hold your attention in 2016?
Orson Hentschel and S.A.F