With a stellar roster of artists and constant releases that never waiver on quality, Critical Music is forever making waves at the cutting-edge of drum & bass. The label has just put out its newest release, the Deep Fakes EP which is a collaboration between Critical boss Kasra and Enei. We caught up with both of them to hear all about Deep Fakes and it’s creation as well as having a chat with Kasra to talk all things Critical.
You have just released your latest collaborative EP Deep Fakes. Can you tell us about it and it’s creative process?
Kasra: Me and Alex make a lot of music together, we send ideas back and forth then try and get in a room to make the body of the tune. We have similar taste and always find it really easy to work together.
Enei: Particularly this EP was made in a few studio sessions, I think because we wanted to choose the right tracks for building the right dark vibe. I think we made about 10 tracks in total before we got the right ones.
Deep Fakes contains the track King Move featuring Jakes. How was it working with him on the track?
Kasra: We had just come back off tour with Jakes and have also made music with him before. Its always easy and fun to work with him plus the end product is guaranteed killer.
Enei: And also the really cool thing is that his voice is so low so you can even use it for the basslines!
The EP ends with the track Parallax, did you always want to conclude the EP with such a dystopian sounding track?
Kasra: We didn’t plan on it haha!
What has the reaction to Deep Fakes been like so far?
Kasra: Really great, its been strange as we didn’t finish the EP long before release so we didn’t get much time to test the tracks in the club but the reaction has been really nice.
Enei: And also we released it during the pandemic situation so it’s double sad that we couldn’t properly check masters in the rave but I hope after that it will hit the dancefloor with double power.
Have you talked about any further collaborations in the future?
Kasra: Always, we are working on a bigger project right now
"I love playing together because it's something unpredictable, it's always a surprise what tune is gonna be next" - Enei
Would you ever do an album together in the future possibly with other Critical artists, as a full project rather than a compilation?
Kasra: Never say never!
When did you first discover each other’s music in the first place?
Kasra: I first heard Alex’s music back in 2012, a tune called Cracker he made with 2 other producers called Eastcolors and Noel. It was being played a lot by Andy C and other big DJs and was amazed to find it wasn’t signed. We talked and started working together from there.
Enei: Also back in 2010, Kasra released my tune called “10000 Years” on a Critical compilation.
You will hopefully have some sets coming up with both of you back to back. What is it you enjoy most being doing these b2b sets?
Kasra: The vibe and energy you get from the other DJ, Alex in particular plays in a really high energy way and our sets always go in many different directions.
Enei: Agreed. And also I love playing together because it’s something unpredictable, it’s always a surprise what tune is gonna be next!
We also talked to Kasra about the history of the Critical label and some of its many highlights.
"The first ever session in room 3 at fabric is one which will always have a special place in my heart" - Kasra
Have these uncertain times inspired you to create new music at all?
100% yes, I’ve been learning some new techniques and trying to finish projects off that I didn’t have time to do before the lockdown. It isn’t something I can do every day though, its tough at the moment to stay focused and motivated.
Are live dates being rescheduled at the moment?
We are working on it, yes.
Do you feel that the drum & bass community has come together more over all this?
I can feel that for sure, there’s so much uncertainty in every area of our daily lives that it helps that people in general are being more supportive of each other.
Are you discovering/rediscovering any new or old music during all of this?
My wife, my dog and music are the things keeping me sane in the madness. I’m always hunting out new things to listen to.
What’s up next for Critical for the rest of the year?
EPs from Halogenix, Particle, Hyroglifics, Enei and more.
Is it difficult splitting your time between running the label, producing music and playing shows?
Yeah for sure, but like everyone nowadays you have to balance your time and give everything the attention it deserves.
What has been the most memorable Critical Night that you have ever put on and what made it so memorable?
We are lucky to have done many amazing nights across the years, the first ever session in room 3 at fabric is one which will always have a special place in my heart as it was an incredible night of music and energy and put us on our way to starting off the events brand.
What track of your own are you most proud of creating?
What tracks and producers are you feeling at the moment that you could recommend for everyone to check out?
The Critical roster!
What are your proudest moments both as an artist and head of Critical?
Our takeover at Boomtown 2018 was very special. Every release on the label feels like a proud moment for me to be honest, I love it.
Deep Fakes is out now and available to buy via Critical Music’s Bandcamp.
I’m a music journalist based in the U.K. with a love for bass music in many forms from drum & bass and dubstep to hip hop and grime. Always looking to check out new music as well as digging back for the classics and attending as many events as possible.