"I make it a mission of mine to keep up with new acts" - Kasra on 15 years of Critical

Drum and Bass | Tuesday 21st February 2017 | Arren

We've spoke to Kasra ahead of his label's 15 year celebrations.

Back in 2002 Kasra established Critical Music, aiming to bring something fresh to the scene. 15 years down the line and now his imprint is one of the most respected in the game. A home for the different, a place to experiment with the sound - Critical Music is THE go to label for drum & bass' progressive styles.

In today's ADHD society, remaining relevant for so long is a remarkable achievement in itself. Humbled by making the milestone, Critical will be taking over Electric Brixton for a very special party. Ahead of that we had a quick chat with Kasra about Critical's story so far.

Describe your current state of mind?
Excited, busy and good!

Lets get to it; 15 years of Critical congratulations!! Did you ever think it'll be in the position it is now back in 2002?
I really didn’t. I started the label as a hobby, it now pretty much consumes my whole entire life.

Why did you want to open a label?
I just wanted to be involved in the D&B scene. I was, and still am, hugely passionate about the music. I wanted to try and do something a bit different, represent new artists and put exciting music out by really talented people.

Since opening you've signed a tonne of huge tracks over the years from a ever growing list of names; Break, Mefjus, Bladerunner, Dub Phizix. What are you looking out for in a Critical track?
Somewhat selfishly it’s just music I like. There’s something that just makes the music speak to me, I can’t explain it really. There’s lots of tracks that we've released that stand out but it would take a long list to cover them all. I’m very proud of our catalogue, it’s a who’s who really.

You've been described by Goldie as 'a gatekeeper to what is under the surface in drum & bass' - no pressure!! How do you keep Critical one step ahead?
Again it’s just about the music that stands out to me, I make it a mission of mine to keep up with new acts and a lot of time I’m recommended by the guys on the label to listen to certain up and coming producers.

What are your thoughts on how drum & bass is doing right now creatively?
I’m finding the music really interesting and diverse right now, and I’m intrigued about the direction the scene is going in. Our position is just to do our thing, it’s important to me that we don’t follow trends and make a point of forging our own path.

To celebrate your labels milestone you've got the party at Electric Brixton - looks huge! How did you go about deciding the line up?
The line up came together really easily, it’s made up of core label crew and close friends. I wanted to represent all the different styles of the label in one space.

What's your plan for the night, any surprises up your sleeve?

Full details for Critical's 15 Years of Underground Sonic party on our listings

Have you anything else planned for Critical to mark the occasion?
There’s going to be a very, very special release… More news soon so keep an eye out.

If you could host a Critical night anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Cuba, it’s a country that fascinates me.

What's got you motivated right now?
The 15 year birthday and beyond!

If you could fill a swimming pool with anything what would that be?
Water, or vinyl pressing machines.

What's your life motto?
Be a nice person and work hard.

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