If you’ve been on the Nottingham scene or kept close track of Geiom’s Berkane Sol imprint, you may already know a little bit about Erra – the cake-loving Sega-playing grime-&-garage-raving producer. If not, while we anticipate his label debut, let us introduce him by presenting his cold and heavy new mix as Erra enters another Special Stage with his music. Stream Erra’s Frijsfo Treat or click the image to download, and listen while you read our Q&A below…
FRIJSFO: You’ve been on our radar for a while now… what have you been up to since the Stax / Jookup 12” came out on Berkane Sol?
ERRA: Yo! Musically not a huge amount in all honesty, I’ve been writing bits on and off since the Berkane Sol 12”, trying to gather a nice lengthy catalogue of finished trax which is still an ongoing process. I guess the stuff I’m writing currently has an aesthetic which has always been present in the stuff I’ve written, only now swinging more heavily towards a clangier, icier, Grime infused sound; music which is kind of lost/unsure of itself in a way, seasick riddims if you like. More recently myself & a couple pals have plans in the works for a new digi label (Special Stage Audio) as an outlet for our own experimental stuff so keep ‘em both peeled for that.
FRIJSFO: What happened to those sweet beats of yours that appeared on DJ Oslek’s 7th Moon Underground podcast??!
ERRA: A few of those got lost/misplaced & won’t be resurfacing sadly. Plenty of fresh material in the pipeline though, watch dis space!
FRIJSFO: Aside from releasing on his label you have also been making music with Geiom. Tell us how you’ve found working with him…
ERRA: He’s a cool and humble guy, as you can probably gather from his numerous collaborations and general involvement with local artists, it’s very encouraging. Props to him for supporting me over the years and putting out the 12” for Berkane Sol. Hopefully some of the newer stuff we’ve been working on will come to surface in the near future…it’s pretty bonkers….
FRIJSFO: Have you always lived in Nottingham? What do you like about the place… any good clubs you can tell us about?
ERRA: Yeah, Nottingham born & raised and currently residing in the city centre. It’s a cool city, pretty jammed together, but overall nice community vibe amongst those involved in the creative fields. It seems to be pretty healthy in terms of music being produced/events being pushed; be it electronic or acoustic or whatever from what I gather, there’s no shortage of good talent in Nottingham.
FRIJSFO: Your sound often draws from grime as well as 2step garage… what else has inspired Erra musically and can you tell us a few artists / groups / labels you’re into?
ERRA: I suppose initially it was always crazy Grime Instros, the darker, grittier side of UKG & early Dubstep stuff which I was psyched for and what lead me to want to start making music in the first place. Trax like this Ice Rink & Eskimo excite me more than a lot of stuff being released today…ha.
These guys (as I’m sure any Grime producer/fan/enthusiast will tell you) set the levels for me – Wiley, Oddz, Jon E Cash, Black Ops, Alias, Big$hot, Youngstar, Ironsoul, Low Deep, Davinche, Rapid.
As far as Garage goes these were always the standout artists for me, record after record they were just on point – Wookie, Sticky, Zed Bias, El-B, Steve Gurley, Groove Chronicles, Narrows, Harry Lime, Zinc.
Present day, Keysound, Lost Codes, Glacial Sound, Coyote Recs are all doing exciting things.
FRIJSFO: What non-musical influences might we be able to hear listening to Erra?
ERRA: I tend to sample retro video games quite often, something which has just become a force of habit… anything from Super Smash Bros to Tekken, Sonic, Mario Kart, Oddworld etc.
FRIJSFO: Finally… Your remix of Sonic The Hedgehog 2’s Special Stage is amazing! What are your favourite levels on Sonic and why?
ERRA: Ah, thanks!
These in descending order, the melodies in them are so nostalgic but yet so classically timeless.
- Special Stage (Sonic 2)
- Spring Yard Zone
- Chemical Plant Zone
- Aquatic Ruin Zone
- Sky Sanctuary
- Mystic Cave Zone 2 Player
Special Stage is just nuts man, it’s just so frantic yet melodic and spaced out, like daydreaming whilst on a sugar rush or some shit…ha, I also remember as a kid, the 3D graphics in that particular level as being a hugely groundbreaking/mind blowing thing!
Out to Geiom, Oslek, Standfast, Littlefoot & Suppressa.
Murlo – Velvet Wall [Glacial Sound]
Secundus – ? [Dub]
Nammy Wams – Job [Dub]
Dellity – Saccharin [Dub]
Sorrow – Coffee Riddim [Shinigrim Recs]
Wiley – It’s Wiley (Mickey Pearce Mix) [Prodigal Entertainment]
Erra – Zinfandel [Dub]
Toyc – Keyframe (Bloom Remix) [Crazy Legs]
All About She – Higher (Brackles Remix) [Dub]
Ra’s Al – Toroto’s Theme (Geiom Mix) [Dub]
Moony – Grand Opening [Gobstopper Records]
Grovestreet – Mook [Dub]
Brackles – Overtime [Rinse]
Erra – Zooked [Frijsfo Beats]