|Also known as||Raw as F**k|
|Genres||Electronica, breakbeat, trip hop, big beat, acid house, electro house|
|Past members||Andrew Galea
Mad Doctor X
The Freestylers are a British electronic music group, consisting of producers Matt Cantor and Aston Harvey. They have released five studio albums and a number of mix compilations for, among others, Fabric and BBC Radio.
The Freestylers formed in 1993 when DJs and dance music producers Matt Cantor, Aston Harvey joined forces. Both of them had been involved in the British dance music scene since the early 1990s. Cantor had recorded both as Cut & Paste and Strike with Andy Gardner (Plump DJs). Aston Harvey recorded as Blapps! Posse best known for their 1990 breakbeat dance hit "Don't Hold Back" before working with Definition of Sound, Rebel MC and DJ Rap (as DJ Rap and Aston). The group took their name from their first sample "Don't Stop The Rock" by the rapper 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 and Harvey's previous works). When playing live, the group consisted of Cantor and Harvey on keyboards and programming, turntablist Jason Tunbridge (Mad Doctor X), guitarist (Tony Ayiotou), drummer Clive Jenner, bass guitarist Joe Henson, MC Navigator and Tenor Fly and three breakdancers (Coza, Marat, Lil'Tim).
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 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.
CTRL-Z, hailing from Hammersmith and 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. CTRL-Z has also co-produced songs with The Freestylers, such as "Turn to Dust" from the Adventures in Freestyle album.
In 2012, 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.
Since the release of their album "The Coming Storm the band have now been releasing their new material on Instant Vibes partially owned by Krafty Kuts. The single "Rude Bwoy" features Jamaican dancehall artist RDX.
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|1998||We Rock Hard||—||—||—||73||33|
|2004||Raw as F**k||66||66||180||44||130|
|2006||Adventures in Freestyle||—||—||—||—||—|
|2013||The Coming Storm||—||—||—||—||—|
- 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)
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
(ft. Tenor Fly)
|—||—||—||—||23||We Rock Hard|
|1999||"Here We Go"
(ft. Definition of Sound)
|2001||"Told You So"
|"Get Down Massive"
(ft. Tenor Fly)
|"Now Is The Time" / "Blowin Ya Brainz"||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004||"Get a Life"||15||60||82||—||66||Raw as F**k|
(ft. Million Dan)
(ft. Pendulum & Sirreal)
|—||—||—||—||117||Adventures in Freestyle|
|"In Love With You"||40||—||—||—||—|
(ft. Bad Manner, Sirreal, Ragman & Ayak)
(with Krafty Kuts and Dynamite MC)
|"Push Up Word Up"||—||—||—||—||—|
(ft. Belle Humble)
(ft. Ami Carmine)
|2013||"The Coming Storm"
(with Stereo:Type ft. Takura)
|—||—||—||—||—||The Coming Storm|
|"You and What Army"||—||—||—||—||—|
(ft. Laura Steel)
(ft. Fast Eddie)
|2015||"Fall Down"||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album singles|
- Bush, John. "Freestylers | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "RA: Freestylers - Biography". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "Strike". The Eurodance Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- Scott, Ben (10 April 2015). "RW/FF: REWIND: Strike - 'U Sure Do'". rwffmusic.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "DJ Hastey". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- We Rock Hard (sleeve notes).
- "Freestylers - Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "Freestylers". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- Sound, Ministry of. "Freestylers". Ministry of Sound. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "Freestylers - Adventures In Freestyle". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "Freestyler Aston Harvey -". The London Word. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "UKFis5 #04: Flux Pavilion". UKF. 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "Freestylers - Security".
- "Freestylers - Cracks Ft Belle Humble (Ctrl Z Remix)". YouTube. Never Say Die Records (wewillneversaydie). 23 Feb 2012.
- "Freestylers - Adventures In Freestyle".
- "Freestylers DJ London | Popular Artists Aston and Matt". The Mr Ben Agency. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "The Freestylers Interview: We've survived this long through counselling!". Skiddle.com. Retrieved 2016-06-17.