18 Years: InfinitiRock
At just 18 years old, New York’s latest beat protege InfinitiRock has amassed a world of beats that would put many a UK producer to shame. Representing the next generation of beat music aficionado’s, the young producers skills first came to prominence on his ’17Years’ mixtape early last year, as he toyed with 40 tracks of original material that would outline what we now know as the InfinitiRock sound; clipped vocal samples, post-Dilla boom-bap drum programming, low-end pulses and a rich bank of field recordings. All these factors came together on his ‘Apeirophobia’ EP, released in March of this year, which saw the Red Hook native piece together 6 tracks of next level beat production, with vocal input from Nick Lattanzi.
A part of the overwhelmingly talented Guns of Kingston collective alongside Aviator, Starchild, Proper Wolf and Casey Foubert, the New Yorker played his first few European dates last month, as well as an appearance on London’s seminal U-Stream show the Boiler Room. We caught up with the man otherwise known as Chester Anand to chat over his young start in production, current influences and future plans.
Interview/ Josh Thomas
So, would you like to introduce yourself and tell us about the music you make?
Hello world. I have a peanut allergy; it’s something I live with. I remake whatever I have heard to make whatever I hear.
We understand that you first began to dabble with music at the tender age of 6. How did you first get involved with music production and how has it progressed to the stage you are currently at?
Yeh, my brother taught me how to make tunes at that age. It started with silly loops on windows sound recorder. I would make really slow single pattern hip-hop loops and beg my brother to rap on them. I would either imitate the RZA or Aphex Twin at that age. I guess I never lost the habit of imitating whatever it is I’m listen to, I just autograph it with more complexities and experimentation now.
You have an incredibly mature sound for a producer still in their teenage years, can you talk us through who/what influences your music?
Really proud and inspired by the artists in my collective, Guns of Kingston. Lapalux is killing it right now. Currently, I’m really inspired by Prince and James Pants, but my style and taste really drifts around. I was really big on Lukid and Werk Discs for the longest time. Stones Throw has always had my heart. To me, Madlib and Flying Lotus are two producers who I think have left the most important and eternal dent in instrumental music thus far (Dilla goes without saying).
Field recordings feature heavily in your work, what do you feel these elements add to your music?
I think it’s a great directional tool. It helps me navigate the listener to the realm I’m directing the track towards. If I’m making something that sounds cold, I’m going to throw in samples of sleigh bells and teeth chattering. It’s interesting to stimulate neurology with sound.
So both your parents are from India; has classical Indian music had much of an influence on your own work?
Definitely. They always popped in these cassette tapes on long car rides of classical prayer music. The whole tape would play out in one constant, percussive rhythm. I couldn’t understand Hindi at all, so I would just focus on the instrumental. It really embedded the language of loops and repetition in my head as a child. It also explains my fascination towards tapes and weird sounds.
There’s a lot of very interesting beat producers coming through in the UK at the moment. Any one in particular you’ve had your eyes and ears on?
Mount Kimbie. Bullion.
Who’s music are you feeling on your side of the pond and and what do you like about it?
I’ve just been jamming with my friends at my school. Working with my band and my duet project, Slowlight. Knxwledge, James Pants and a lot of jazz at the moment. Astro Nautico Crew is holding it down. Aviator holds it down. Yuuki Matthews and Casey Foubert are hidden gems. Really honoured to have their support and have Casey freshly added to G.O.K.
You recently embarked on your first tour outside of the states, how did it all go?
It was wild. It was such a pleasure and honour meeting Lapalux, Knx. and the Streets of Beige crew. One of the best nights of the whole trip was getting to see Teebs, Jeremiah Jae Lukid and Dimlite. I usually use turntables, but I couldn’t fly them out, so I had to get Live. My laptop fried hours before my flight to London, so doing my first live set at Boiler Room as soon as my plane touched down was cool. Knx. And I are working on a biographical EP of our journey called #MindTheGap. I keep having dreams of going back. Somebody fly me back out. Now.
So you’re currently a biology student – would you like this to co-exist with a career in music?
I just withdrew from Biology. Thank You Based Lord. Hopefully I’ll get into the conservatory of music so I can focus on production.
What does InfinitiRock enjoy outside of music?
Cooking (on the dancefloor as well as in the kitchen). I mess around with film a lot. I love making music videos and documentary type things.
What’s your plan for the rest of 2011?
I’m not sure. I’m planning on making a lot more music with recorded instruments. I’m so inspired by David Axelrod and Galt Macdermot. I think what we need is a new record with that type of sound; a real good smack to the face. My latest releases consist of such old material. A lot of the tracks on them were as old as my freshman year of High School. The process of putting stuff on wax is just lengthy. I don’t really like looking back at my EP and LP. I’m just trying to drift away from beats at the moment and try new things. I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve.
‘Apeirophobia’ is out now on Base Trip Records.