Critical Sound founder Kasra on ’90s punk and the label’s new milestone album
KASRA Mowlavi aka Kasra, the founder of iconic drum and bass label Critical Sound heads to India for a multi-city tour this month. Started in 2002 in a small room in North London, the label has defined the genre of drum and bass and its diverse and experimental subgenres. Artistes such as UK-based Ivy Lab and Sam Binga and Austrian Mefjus are some of the acts associated with the label. We catch up with Kasra as he celebrates his 100th release, a landmark 15 years of the label and an album to mark the anniversary.
The sound of the label is based on your personal taste. What kind of music inspires you?
My main inspirations to start the label were the punk and hardcore labels of the ’90s. That whole movement was a process of making some noise, pressing a record and putting it out there. This, I later found, shared a similar energy with underground dance music. My main inspirations right now continue to be those bands, and labels such as Erased Tapes.
How have the past 15 years been?
They’ve been incredible. Never easy, but always rewarding and challenging. I’m very proud of what we have achieved.
Tell us about the new album (Fifteen Years of Underground Sonics).
The album is a snapshot of the now and the future of the label. It features acts and choice guests from the label, like Break, Hyroglifics and The Upbeats. It is underground drum and bass in all its variants.
What’s next with Critical Sound, and with you personally?
I’m finishing off an EP with my friend and Russia-based producer DJ Enei. I’m also doing a lot of touring and shows. Plus, I’m getting married next year so that’s a nice external distraction.
What will be the setlist of your India gigs?
I like my DJ sets to represent the label and my tastes. There will be a coherent mix of rolling beats, some deep, some heavy, half-time hip-hop-influenced tracks and everything in between.
Rs. 300. August 18, 9 pm. At Church Street Social. Details: 40515253