Diplo and ‘N Sync? Deerhoof and Elephant Man? Tricky and Michael Jackson? M.I.A and Thom Yorke? Just one name links up this diverse, groundbreaking posse: forget Kevin Bacon—when it comes to six degrees of the most cutting-edge music production out there, there’s only South Rakkas Crew.
The duo comprised of Dennis “D-Rakkas” Shaw and Alex “Alex G” Greggs, took an unusual path to become the dons of digital funk.
South Rakkas first gained fame for their blazing dancehall riddims (“Clappas,” “Red Alert,” “Bionic Ras,” “Chinkuzi” anyone?), which brought production work for stars like Vybz Kartel, Mr. Vegas, Elephant Man.
SRC can flex from Beenie Man and Bounty Killer one moment, T-Pain the next, and then on to the likes of M.I.A., Lily Allen, Beck, Duran Duran, Justin Timberlake, The Bug, Warrior Queen, Britney Spears, and Shakira—all of whom have been touched by South Rakkas’ edgy studio savvy.
D-Rakkas and Alex G met up while working at a recording studio in Toronto, Canada. Both had roots in the local hip-hop/reggae scene: Alex G created beats for local rap groups and, erm, Barenaked Ladies, while D-Rakkas spent his youth as charismatic, party-starting DJ
The concept for SRC first hatched, though, when the duo moved to Orlando, Florida to become a crucial part of ‘N Sync’s production team.
While South Rakkas kept a foot in the pop game, they’ve also been acclaimed by the underground and critics alike. When beat king Diplo put out South Rakkas’ Mad Again and The Mix Up eps on his Mad Decent label, the blogosphere proved unanimous in its praise: Prefix raved about Mix Up’s “production perfection,” while Thom Yorke was dropping the Boy 8-Bit mix of “Mad Again” while guest DJing on Gilles Peterson’s BBC radio show.
SRC were then chosen to remix hip-hop ledgend Tricky’s entire West Knowle Boy album transforming it into a high-voltage electro and sublime space-disco monster. BBC called it “a collision of exotic and intoxicating rhythms that dance around truly body-rocking beats, hammered and glued into forms that enthrall and excite… Tricky Meets South Rakkas Crew is an electrifying listen, invigorating the parts Tricky can’t usually reach.”
In 2010, D-Rakkas and Alex G dropped what would be their last album together, as the production duo, The Stimulus Package, via Mad Decent. Critics again united in unanimous admiration: The Fader said “South Rakkas Crew wants to start 2010 with energy. The Stimulus Package brims with their brand of rugged ragga that is laced with songs that could be heard at an all-night dance party at some club we’ve never been to in Madrid”
“South Rakkas Crew don’t just throw down the gauntlet in dancehall, but kick open doors in dubstep and electro…South Rakkas Crew do everything on this album short of painting a sign that they are THE experimental force in dancehall music… A superb body of work by superb and veteran producers and remixers.”
Now solely led by D-Rakkas and producing 8 new releases over the past year,South Rakkas Crew is now celebrating 10 years of great music from Reggae/Dancehall to Jamaican flavored Electro, House, Moombahton, Dubstep, Trap, and a decade’s worth of classic releases.
South Rakkas Crew will be celebrating this huge milestone with an international tour hitting AUS/NZ shores in May next year!!
Dont just take our word for it, have a listen to this rare DJ mix of 100% original South Rakkas Crew Electro-Dancehall tracks mixed by South Rakkas CEO and founder DJ D-Rakkas. Now you can see for yourself why SRC were dubbed the godfathers of Electro-Dancehall and how they’ve influenced today’s EDM!!
Stay tuned for tour dates in the new year!!
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