The Welsh quartet of C.R.S.T. have made a big impact on us of late. First jumping out with their garage tinged selections in promo mixes, their solo and collected productions started to seep out in the wide world of the internet through releases on perfectly formed labels like Well Rounded and Car Crash Set. Bordering the lines between 2-step, syncopated funky and straight house, their remixes have infiltrated our Hivemind.fm selections completely, seemingly popping up without fail, in the run up to the prep for every show.
With their Good Love EP for London based label No Hats No Hoods, out in shops imminently, plus work forthcoming on label’s like Doc Daneeka’s Ten Thousand Yen and tracks like ‘Cervantis Riddim’ heating up our regularly checked blog network, we caught up with the guys to figure how their formula works with 4 pairs of hands reaching for the mouse at any one time and grab our the 60th mix in our ongoing series.
SR: Can you provide those who may not know you with a bit of background info?
C.R.S.T: C.R.S.T stands for Chesus, Rodski, St.Rowdy & Tony Blitz… We are 4 DJs/Producers from Wales that focus on making garage and house and all the stuff in between, basically we like to make tunes that get you moving in the club. We have been making tunes together and playing out as C.R.S.T for just over a year now and things have been moving pretty quickly. Chesus, St.Rowdy & Tony Blitz are from Barry and we have known each other from a very young age and all have similar interests in music. Rodski is from Ystrad Mynach and met Chesus selling trainers in Size (Cardiff). Chesus & Rodski started playing at a few parties together and became Chesus & Rodski and shortly after, came to Barry and started making beats with St.Rowdy & Tony Blitz so it made sense to all come under one name eventually as we were churning out so many tunes in a short space of time.
Outside of music who are you guys? What do you do on the daily?
Chesus is a part time scrappy and has his own microphone to shout "Rag n Bone" out of the window of his transit tipper.
Rodski is half man half mattress so if he's not making beats or on chat roulette, he's sleeping.
St.Rowdy (aka JDS) works at a heating spares company, if you need to know about a boiler, he's your man! you can usually find him at the back door of his works slyly passing his non ferrous scrap metal to chesus.
Tony Blitz works for a large law firm in Cardiff dealing with selling repossessed houses.
How did you first get into making music? What was it that infected you to do so?
Like we mentioned previously, 3 of us are from sunny Barry and have known each other since our first pube, so as we were interested in the same music and all loved to DJ, it seemed like the obvious choice to start making tunes together. Chesus originally got into music by playing garage in the early years and then went on to focus on hip hop as Metabeats. At the same time Tony Blitz was mainly focusing on producing drum & Bass and St.Rowdy was the scratch master of us all. Rodski started off playing breakbeat as a young student. Over the last year and a half, we have all been bit by the garage bug, some call what we do 'future garage' but its straight garage and that’s what we are trying to bring back, all good vibes!
What’s your production set up like? How does it work with the 4 of you producing? Do you all just make your own shit and merge it... ? You’ve had a lot of releases in a short spurt – do you attribute that to the proficiency of the core quad, spewing out beats?
We don't have a set way of working although we have adopted a 'musical chair' style production system. basically if you are at the helm ,and are not getting any ideas out that are any good, you move over and let someone else take over and have a go. We think it helps get a good idea out quick. Sometimes one of us will start something and bring it to the studio and we will all work on it to get it done and sometimes we will all make our own tunes and put it out under the C.R.S.T name. We like to keep a consistent workflow so these techniques allow us to do so. The current main studio is at Tony Blitz's yard but Chesus' studio is nearly done also so expect even more beats to be flying out!
How would you describe your sound?
That’s a hard one, we have made a few different styles but at the moment I think it’s very 'speed garage' orientated.
What is an inspiration for you?
Hearing good new music, there are a lot of up and coming producers and some of the stuff that’s getting played at the moment is amazing.
Where do you see your sound developing?
As there is 4 of us, there is always going to be a number of styles that are involved in any particular tune so it’s hard to say if it will be more on the housey tip or 2step tip. Who knows, we may even develop our own genre and call it Basrastep!
What’s the scene like in Wales? Any recommended jams?
There are a few good nights in Cardiff, there is a Friday night in Cardiff Arts Institute which always has a good little line up; as well as a new night called Signature which also has some good acts. Martyn was down last week, also Mount Kimbie... To be honest, we are always in the studio if we are not playing out so we don't have time to check out too many nights.
Are there any producers you rate that the world should know about? Any peeps not getting the props you think they deserve?
Well there is a big pool of talent in Cardiff: Monky & Stagga have been killing it for a while now and there is Darkhouse Family which Chesus is one half of. Diverse Concepts has been making great music for a while now and also Didz & Chico. People need to check out the stuff coming out from people like Magenta, Mr Healan, Lung and Dan Marshall too.
Like we said, there is a lot of talent, it’s a shame there are not enough nights to showcase them all.
Your NHNH release is out. What else have you got forthcoming?
We have a track coming out on Ten Thousand Yen (Doc Daneeka's label) called 'Roulette' which is the AA side of Didz & Chico – ‘Something New.’ It's a dancefloor smasher for sure! We have a more techno styled release through Catapult Records with a remix from Cooly G and then we have the 2 part EP (6 tunes) coming out through 'Cheap Thrills' early next year. We also have a number of remixes coming out at various dates in between but we have no idea when, including remixes for Kele (Bloc Party), Diamond Lights, Monarchy, The Drop & Mista Men.
We have also just produced the BBC Radio 1 United Nations Theme track which was a bit weird, they gave us 4 lame records to sample and make a beat out of. we did it and you can download it from our soundcloud for free!
Tell us a little bit about the mix you’ve put together for us…
As you can see we had to cram some garage in. Especially 'Melody' by Masterstepz and the Baffled remix of 'Steppin Through Time'. Another one is the Julio Bashmore remix of Mosca's ‘Tilt Shift.’ Have a listen and you'll see why.
It’s more like an inspirational mix of old and new.
Any words of wisdom, for our readers?
Don't throw away your metal.
DOWNLOAD: C.R.S.T. – Sonic Router Mix #60
01. Behling and Simpson – Stress
02. Jera – Another One
03. Mosca – Tilt Shift(Julio Bashmore Remix)
04. JTRP – You Want It
05. Hackman – Made Up My Mind (Hodge’s Undecided Mix)
06. Zomby – A Forest
07. Midland and Ramadanman – Your Words Matter
08. Somore ft. Damon Truett – What You Want (Industry Standard Mix)
09. Tuff Jam – Need Good Love (Tuff Jam D.I.Y. dub)
10. Jeremy Sylvester – Chunky Beats
11. Phillip Bailey – Steppin’ Through Time (Baffled Remix)
12. Mistamen – What Uou Do (C.R.S.T. Remix)
13. Masterstepz – Melody
14. Tina Moore – Nobody Better (Dem2 Unlimited Dub)
15. Didz & Chico – Can’t Compare
The Good Love EP is out on the 15th November on No Hats No Hoods. It features remixes from Doc Daneeka, Mosca and D Malice; oh and it bangs.