Carasel: All out ambush
Carasel MC is notorious for his lyrical style, positive attitude and sheer passion for drum & bass. Not content with hosting countless sets for d&b luminaries, and releasing an album of his own, he has launched his own label AFT (Ambush Family Tree) Records with long-time buddy Sinai. In light of the labels second release, the Reversion EP, we caught up with the man himself so see how it came together and what’s up next for the label and himself as an artist…
You’ve recently launched label AFT with Sinai- how did you guys meet?
Sinai and i go way back. We used to be old MC partners actually, he has long since retired the mic and has lived in Spain for a while now but we have always remained really great friends and huge fans of the music. In the last couple of years he has really excelled his production and is coming up with some great tracks. Everytime he sends over something new the progression is insane!
What was the motivation behind setting up the label?
We had spoken about it for a long time and the timing just felt right, with Sinai’s production coming on leaps and bounds plus the fact I get sent so much great unsigned music each week for my radio show. I just wanted to provide a platform for great music from good people to be showcased.
Origins of the name Ambush Family Tree?
People who know me will know that I have repped a collective called the Ambush for quite a while now, over 10 years in fact. It started with a party we put on called ‘Ambush’ and over time it turned into more of a family, a group of like minded DJs and MCs that are still close friends today. Stanza, N3gus Phantom, MC Texas, Akespeare, Kaydan & Blacksmith: we are all Ambush. That’s the foundation, the roots. Then you have AFT, the Family Tree: a label to showcase our music and extend out our branches, bringing in new producers with similar ethics and passion for great sounds.
The label recently dropped the 4-track Reversion EP, including the monster Step Back on which you appear on along with Negus & Hunchbak. Tell us about how the EP came together…
We wanted the E.P to be a balance of original fam and brand new talent we were looking to push, and to also provide a solid introduction to the label. You have original Ambush DJs Stanza and N3gus who are already established, having had countless releases on great labels such as Hospital, Spearhead and of course Drum&BassArena, making contributions alongside brand new artists like Sinai and Verdikt who we have full projects coming from later in the year.
The support we have had already has been phenomenal! So many respected DJs have gotten behind the different tracks, and Step Back getting supported on Radio1 & 1Xtra by Friction and Crissy Criss was a really nice touch.
Whats on the cards for the label for the rest of the year?
In June we have an E.P coming from a new producer called Siege, really happy with this one! It has summer written all over it and we need to get it out in time for the festivals. After that a remix E.P from my debut album Progression and a project from UK Hip -Hop artist Blacksmith.
Can we expect another album from you anytime soon?
Absolutely, I am never standing still and actually have lots of music finished! I’m just not sure how I am going to give it to you, whether that be a mixtape, E.P or Album, but you will be getting something this year for sure. I have a few drum & bass tracks with producers popping up on different labels as well so keep your eyes peeled on my Soundcloud page!
You’ve got a weekly radio show on Ujima Radio in Bristol- was a radio show something you were always interested in?
Not really! I have been working with the Run Tingz collective for a while and they used to get me to come fill in for their show when they had a gig, and this progressed to the station manager insisting I had my own show and boom here I am. I love it though, it really gives me better knowledge of the tunes I MC to every week and support the artists I am feeling. It gives me a platform to support other artists in what they do and push the music forward. I’m all about that and that’s why the label has emerged as well.
We also have our own Fire in the Booth style channel that we record on the show in partnership with Bris Live called Ambush the Airwaves featuring the best MCs in the country. Check the videos and all our past shows on our YouTube channel.
Do you still get nervous walking out on stage in front of a massive crowd?
Nah man I get excited, seriously the bigger the better!
Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
Usually involves Cognac or some kind of dark liquor 😉
If you could host a set for any performer in any genre who would it be?
Damn thats a tough one.. I’ve still never done a set with Calibre so that would be great.
Highlight of your career so far?
My biggest achievement would have to be my debut album, so much hard work and effort went into it and so many artists I really look up to came with such strong features, I’m really proud of the project.
I’m so lucky to have performed on so many amazing sets over the years, they start to mould into one but Glastonbury Arcadia stage in front of 30,000 was nuts! With Sigma at Rampage Sportspaleis in Antwerp earlier this year was special as well. Damn, there really are so many great nights I can talk about, how much time have you got? Lets hope there are lots more to come!