An-Ten-Nae, an artist synonymous with many things. Acid crunk, 1015 Folsom, California, West Coast bass, low end tastes. He is a staple in West Coast festival culture and the larger bass music community across North America. His acid crunk series is a well known foray into his signature sound, and his project with DJ Laura and Auberon from Beats Antique, LowRIDERz, is equally well-known as his solo productions. An-Ten-Nae’s appreciation for visual arts is often apparent through his projects, whether through videos or the use of performance artists during his sets. Recently releasing Raindrops on Roses, an EP previewing his full length coming out on April 1 on Muti Music, An-Ten-Nae has been busy hitting the studio, and hitting the road with equal zeal.
On a recent trip to Calgary, I got a chance to meet An-Ten-Nae for a one on one. After a crazy night at 1015 Folsom, the San Francisco club that houses An-Ten-Nae’s musical picks, we met for some over-priced water and a discussion about all of his upcoming work. Preparing himself for that evening’s charity based event which would include a choregraphed performance from Mousai (a Calgary and Vancouver based performance group), An-ten-nae and I discussed his anticipated full length album, his first attempt at lyricism, what’s in store for LowRIDERz and his work at 1015 Folsom, San Francisco’s number one destination for up and coming artists and exclusive events.
K. Lea: Acid crunk is the name that you came up with for your signature sound. Would you say that Raindrops on Roses fits into the acid crunk sound?
An-Ten-Nae: There’s things that I kind of push independent of my stuff, but generally a lot of the stuff, you know, they have that unifying 808 or low end bass type bottom drums and stuff.
I just want to make sure I’m straight on something here. Raindrops on Roses is the name of an EP that just came out, but it’s also the name of your full length that’s coming out?
An-Ten-Nae: Yeah, it’s one of the tracks off the album, and I called the whole album Raindrops on Roses. I released a remix EP just to tease it.
About the full length, that’s coming out on April 1 right?
How long have you been working on that for?
An-Ten-Nae: Quite a few months. You know there’s been tracks and ideas, but it really just came together in the last couple months. Something clicked and…
It’s coming out on Muti Music?
Is there anything else you can tell us about it? I know you’ve done some of the vocals.
[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]I incorporated also using my mouth to create synthesis and going through synthesizers. So, some of the lines have this organic texture to it while still maintaining a heavy electronic presence.[/quote] An-Ten-Nae: Yeah, it’s the first time really pushing out into something … quite a few more tracks have my vocals in there, a lot of it processed, some of it not as processed, but yeah. Really excited about that. I incorporated also using my mouth to create synthesis and going through synthesizers. So, some of the lines have this organic texture to it while still maintaining a heavy electronic presence.
I saw that your EP you just released had some remixes done by Ooah. Can we expect some more collaborations from you two guys in the future?
An-Ten-Nae: I mean he’s done a lot of stuff in support of the Acid Crunk Series before. I asked him, I didn’t want a million remixes.
K. Lea: Yeah, I love his production.
An-Ten-Nae: Yeah, I like them. They’re good. He has this good vibe and this good stuff. It’s quality and it doesn’t fit into any pigeonhole, it’s just him you know?
It seems like you’ve been pushing the envelope in your productions. I was just wondering if working so much on your solo projects right now is impacting your project with DJ Laura at all?
An-Ten-Nae: Well, we have a full seven tracks coming out, so I’m releasing like 25 tracks in the next month, so it’s pretty crazy.
K. Lea: Yeah, that is really super crazy! So these are LowRIDERz tracks you’re releasing with Laura?
An-Ten-Nae: Yeah they’re LowRIDERz tracks, me and her and Auberon.
K. Lea: Is that coming out on Muti Music as well?
An-Ten-Nae: That one’s going to go out on our own label LowRIDERz Recordings.
K. Lea: Cool, I didn’t know you guys had started a label. Is that something that’s fairly new?
An-Ten-Nae: It’s pretty recent. The first EP we ended up giving out for free for a while through our Facebook and then we decided we should just get it out on all the regular channels as well. So, we just decided let’s just put out our own stuff.
K. Lea: Do you guys have plans to put out music for other people on the label?
An-Ten-Nae: It’s going to be pretty much just LowRIDERz. At least at this moment. We have a bunch of new songs and we’re really excited.
Is Auberon still doing Beats Antique stuff, or is she strictly LowRIDERz?
An-Ten-Nae: She still works with Beats Antique and does dancing and stuff with them. When we don’t have LowrRIDERz shows she’s still an amazing dancer and performer.
K. Lea: You know, that’s something I’ve noticed about you. You respect performance art and dancing in general. I know that tonight you’re going to have the Mousai girls performing with you. I really like that about you…
Now, when you first sat down I brought up 1015 Folsom. As a result of the work you do there, I feel that you really have your ear to the ground for up and coming sounds and artists. Who do you think we should watch out for this year?
An-Ten-Nae: I’m really liking this Canadian guy. He just put out this thing with Lana Del Ray, his name’s Ryan Hemsworth.
K. Lea: Yeah, I know his music, he’s super sick!
An-Ten-Nae: Yeah he’s really good. I want to book him. I actually just posted some of his music. I was upstairs looking for music and posted some of his. Also SOHN has got some stuff coming out right now that’s amazing. But you know, I like a lot of really eclectic music stuff so…
K. Lea: I mean, yeah, you probably like many, many genres even outside of electronic.
[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]I’m going to try working on a different project maybe by the end of this year.[/quote] An-Ten-Nae: Yeah. For electronic I like to do a lot of my own stuff, remixes and stuff. As an artist it’s a different thing for me, like here’s a track I like that I can play on a certain situation. When it comes to the musical thing I just go for beautiful, lush, deep electronic stuff. I’m going to try working on a different project maybe by the end of this year. It’s going to definitely be more in those type of veins. Not going to say anything else because I’m trying to keep it a little more anonymous and separate.
K. Lea: Is it because you don’t want it to be associated with what you already do?
An-Ten-Nae: Yeah, I want it to be its own thing. No preconceptions, no nothing. Its just more about the music and less about the person.
K. Lea: I’ve talked to a few artists that have really struggled with that when they want to do something else. I definitely get why you want to have some separation …
You’re also a bit of a staple on the West Coast festival circuit. Is it too early to ask about summer festivals?
An-ten-nae: I know we’re doing EDC in Chicago, Electric Forest… There’s a bunch of other ones too, like this one called Rock Kansas with some rock bands and hip hop bands and things. There’s a bunch of the regular West Coast things that are happening too.
Ok, let me ask you this. In terms of Rock Kansas, if you were going to choose a rock band to share the stage with who would you choose and why?
An-ten-nae: I don’t think I’d go with a rock band, I think I’d try for more of an indie act.
K. Lea: You wouldn’t do a big blowout like Motley Crue?
An-ten-nae: Well maybe Metallica or something like that.
Tonight we’re heading to a superhero themed party. Do you have a favourite superhero?
An-Ten-Nae: Mighty Mouse. I don’t know, no!
If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
An-Ten-Nae: The power of wish.
Basically just to wrap up, I’m sure you’re focusing on the album, but what’s the next goal after that?
An-Ten-Nae: There’s more videos coming in the works. I just did this whole Final Cut Pro course, so really getting into video.
Do you think you would ever take up doing video yourself and get a camera? You could probably make some pretty good tour videos.
An-Ten-Nae: I might get a camera. I want to get more into that. Really, it’s fun and I want to do more and try to get a couple more videos for the album. I really want to start making more concept songs that’s matched up with video.
Any LowRIDERz videos?
An-Ten-Nae: Yeah, we have a cheeky one but I won’t say what it is right now. But yeah, we have some music videos and stuff in the works.
K. Lea: Well, we are definitely look forward to seeing those.
Watching An-Ten-Nae’s performance that night, his passion for art and music really resonated with me. He even went as far to join the Mousai dancers on the sub wall, miming the act of controlling them with his giant remote. An-Ten-Nae is a true performer, and his work ethic in the studio is unparalleled (as we see from all of his upcoming releases.) He works incredibly hard to improve his art, always labouring on the next big project. An-Ten-Nae has a lot on the horizon, and we look forward to all his upcoming projects.
For more info on An-Ten-Nae:
|Record Labels: Muti Music, LowRIDERz Recordings
Make sure you get your hands on An-Ten-Nae’s Debut Album – Raindrops on Roses
Buy Itunes – itunes.apple.com/us/album/raindro…oses/id613404967
Buy Beatport – www.beatport.com/release/raindrop…on-roses/1053289
Buy Addictech – www.addictech.com/p/124085