Freestylers

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For other uses, see Freestyle (disambiguation).
Freestylers
Also known as Raw as F**k
Origin London, England
Genres Electronica, breakbeat, trip hop, big beat, acid house, electro house, rave
Years active 1996–present
Website FreestylersMusic.co.uk
Members Matt Cantor
Aston Harvey
MC SirReal
Chris Bishop
Past members Andrew Galea
MC Navigator
Tenor Fly
Mad Doctor X

The Freestylers are a British electronic music group, generally fitting into the breakbeat genre.

Career[edit]

The Freestylers formed in 1996 when DJs and dance music producers Matt Cantor, Aston Harvey and (initially) Andrew Galea joined forces.[1] All three of them had been involved in the British dance music scene since the 1980s. Cantor had recorded both as Cut n' Paste and Strike with Andy Gardner (Plump DJs).[2] Aston Harvey recorded as Blapps! Posse best known for the 1990 breakbeat dance hit "Don't Hold Back"[3] before working with Definition of Sound, Rebel MC and DJ Rap (as DJ Rap and Aston).[4] Harvey joined with Galea under the name Sol Brothers[5] before Cantor was recruited to form the Freestylers. The group took their name from their first sample "Don't Stop The Rock" by Freestyle.

The trio's first single "Drop The Bomb (AK-48)" on their own Scratch City Records in 1996 became a dancefloor hit in the UK and Miami. The band released the Freestyle EP in 1996 on Freskanova (Freskanova's parent label, Fresh, had released Cantor, Galea and Harvey's previous work). Galea left the Freestylers shortly after the release of the Freestyle EP, and Cantor and Harvey formed an 11-piece band (initially an idea of their record label, Freskanova). This consisted of the two producers (Cantor and Harvey), a scratch DJ Jason Tunbridge (Mad Doctor X), a guitarist (Tony Ayiotou), drummer (Clive Jenner), bass guitarist (Joe Henson), two MCs (MC Navigator and Tenor Fly) and three breakdancers (Coza, Marat, Lil'Tim).[6]

The band released their first album, We Rock Hard, in 1998. The single "B-Boy Stance" became a hit in the UK in 1998 featuring the contributions of rapper Tenor Fly. In 1999, the Freestylers enjoyed success in the U.S. with track "Don't Stop" reached number 8 in the Billboard dance charts and the video for "Here We Go" becoming hit on a MTV . We Rock Hard sold well in the US, selling over 150,000 and reaching the top 30 of the Billboard Heatseeker chart.

Following the success of B-Boy Stance, the band were asked to remix tracks by Audioweb, Afrika Bambaataa and the Jungle Brothers[7] as well as a big beat compilation album FSUK 2 and a Radio 1 Essential Mix featuring Beenie Man, Public Enemy, Whodini and The Fall.

The Freestylers released a mix album, Electro Science, in 2000. Their second album, Pressure Point, was released in 2001 with the track "Get Down Massive" featuring Navigator reaching number 16 on the Billboard dance charts in 2002.

During 2002 and 2003 the group began releasing singles under the alias Raw As F**k, which later became the title of their third studio album. Released in 2004, it featured the single "Push Up", which reached the top 30 in the UK and top 3 in Australia. The song "Get A Life", which was released as the album's first single, was re-released and reached the top 20 in Australia.

Released in 2006 album Adventures in Freestyle experimented with a variety of styles, and saw the Freestylers working with assorted underground vocalists.

In 2010 the remixes of "Cracks" (originally from the Past, Present and Future E.P.) was released through Never Say Die Records. The Flux Pavilion remix was one of the biggest dubstep anthems that year; it has soared past 25 million hits on YouTube.[8]

London breakbeat production duo CTRL-Z, individually known as DJ Dash (Tom Petais) & DJ Inch (Nicky D’Silva), have been very involved with The Freestylers' music. In 2009, their remake of "Ruffneck" (renamed "Ruffneck '09") became the first ever release of the Never Say Die Records label. They have also remixed "Security" in 2007 and "Cracks" in 2010.[9][10][11] CTRL-Z has also co-produced songs with The Freestylers, such as "Turn to Dust" from the Adventures in Freestyle album.[12]

In 2012 The Freestylers signed with Black Hole Recordings subsidiary Rub-A-Duck Records. Through the label, they have released singles such as "Frozen" and "Over You", as well as their latest album The Coming Storm in 2013. 2012 also saw new member Chris Bishop (Screwface from Stereo:Type) joining the production team.[13]

Band members[edit]

Current[edit]

  • Matt Cantor
  • Aston Harvey
  • Chris Bishop
  • MC SirReal
  • Rich Budgen (guitar)
  • Dave Budgen (bass)
  • Clive Jenner (drums)

Past[edit]

  • MC Navigator
  • Tenor Fly
  • Funk Wizard Jay Rock (a.k.a. Mad Doctor X) (scratch DJ)
  • Tony Ayiotou (guitar)
  • Joe Henson (bass guitar)
  • Coza (breakdancer)
  • Marat Khairoullin (breakdancer)
  • Lil'Tim (breakdancer)

Other collaborators[edit]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

DJ mixes/compilations[edit]

  • Essential Mix (BBC Radio 1)(1998)
  • FSUK2 (1998)
  • Rough Technique Vol. 1 (1998)
  • Electro Science (2000)
  • FabricLive.19 (2004)
  • A Different Story Vol. 1 (2007)

Singles/EPs[edit]

  • Freestyle EP (23 December 1996)
  • Adventures In Freestyle EP (1997)
  • Up Rock EP (7 July 1997)
  • "B-Boy Stance" (featuring Tenor Fly) (2 March 1998) #23 UK
  • "Ruffneck" (featuring Navigator) (6 July 1998) #23 UK
  • "Warning" (featuring Navigator) (28 December 1998) #68 UK
  • "Phenomenon One (featuring Tenor Fly)" / "Back To '99" (22 March 1999)
  • "Here We Go" (featuring Definition of Sound) (27 September 1999) #45 UK
  • "Don't Stop" (10 July 2000)
  • "Told You So" (featuring Petra) (2001) #100 Australia
  • "Get Down Massive" (featuring Navigator) (2001)
  • "Weekend Song" (featuring Tenor Fly) (2002)
  • "Now Is The Time" / "Blowin Ya Brainz" (2002)
  • "Punks" / "Demon Beats" (as Raw As F**k) (29 July 2002)
  • "The Slammer" / "Theme From Raw" (as Raw As F**k) (16 December 2002)
  • "No Replica" (Million Dan vs. Raw As F**k) (14 April 2003)
  • "Get A Life" (23 February 2004) #66 UK, #15 Australia
  • "Push Up" (14 June 2004) #22 UK, #2 Australia, #1 Belgium
  • "Boom Blast" (featuring Million Dan) (11 April 2005) #75 UK
  • "Painkiller" (featuring Pendulum & Sirreal) (19 September 2006)
  • "Fasten Your Seatbelts" (with Pendulum) (6 February 2006)
  • "In Love With You" (20 November 2006) #40 Australia
  • "Electrified" (featuring Bad Manner, Sirreal, Ragman and Ayak) (9 April 2007)
  • "House Mixes (23 June 2007)
  • "Security" (7 September 2007)
  • "Dynamite Love" (with Krafty Kuts and Dynamite MC) (4 August 2008)
  • "Push Up Word Up" (18 August 2008)
  • Past, Present and Future E.P. (2009)
  • "Ruffneck '09" (CTRL Z vs. The Freestylers featuring Navigator) (30 November 2009)
  • "Cracks" (featuring Belle Humble) (Remixes) (2 August 2010)
  • "Say Yes" (2 May 2011)
  • "Killasound" (with Wizard) (6 June 2011)
  • "Frozen" (featuring Joshua Steele) (15 August 2011)
  • "Over You" (featuring Ami Carmine) (14 November 2011)
  • "Bounce To This" (Freestylers vs. Erb N Dub featuring Alaska MC)[14] (2 April 2012)
  • "Mount Zion" / "Sunblast" (Freestylers vs. Wizard) (28 May 2012)
  • "The Coming Storm" (with Stereo:Type featuring Takura) (15 April 2013)
  • "You and What Army" (27 May 2013)
  • "Falling" (featuring Laura Steel) (10 February 2014)
  • "The Sound" (featuring Fast Eddie) (12 May 2014)

Interviews[edit]

Radio[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Freestylers-Freestyle-EP/release/61345.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  2. ^ http://www.discogs.com/artist/14803-Matt-Cantor.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  3. ^ "Blapps! Posse interview". https://soundcloud.com/jeromehill/jerome-hill-interviews-and. 
  4. ^ http://www.discogs.com/artist/59565-Aston-Harvey.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  5. ^ http://www.discogs.com/artist/3162-Sol-Brothers.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  6. ^ We Rock Hard (sleeve notes). 
  7. ^ http://www.discogs.com/artist/3163-Freestylers?type=Credits&subtype=Remix.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  8. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1VLaXoRRdk.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  9. ^ "Ruffneck 09 Feat Navigator". YouTube. Never Say Die Records (wewillneversaydie). 21 Feb 2012. 
  10. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Freestylers-Security/release/1031744
  11. ^ "Freestylers - Cracks Ft Belle Humble (Ctrl Z Remix)". YouTube. Never Say Die Records (wewillneversaydie). 23 Feb 2012. 
  12. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Freestylers-Adventures-In-Freestyle/release/809408
  13. ^ http://www.skiddle.com/news/all/The-Freestylers-Interview-Weve-survived-this-long-through-counselling/17032/.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  14. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Erb-N-Dub-Bounce-To-This/release/4460475

External links[edit]