Meet An Avrin, The Bass Music Sensation Championed by Scuffed Recording
Meet An Avrin, The Bass Music Sensation Championed by Scuffed RecordingJanuary 25, 2022
Since its inception in 2017, Scuffed Recordings — Beatport’s Label of the Month for January 2022 — has championed new artists and built up a wicked arsenal of bass-heavy, leftfield club music.
One of their brightest discoveries is South London DJ/producer An Avrin, who first appeared on the label’s V/A Scuffed Presents 003 EP with the track “Cave People.” Since his debut release with Scuffed in 2019, An Avrin has honed his skill for crafting rave-ready, breaks-infused bangers. Between his raucous Clodhopper EP and his most recent four-tracker 08P++ on Slippery Sounds, An Avrin’s unique take on the UK bass and breaks sound is unflinching and bold.
We caught up with An Arvin to learn more about his 2021, the artists who inspire him, his recent trip to Ukraine, what he has planned for 2022, and more.
Thanks for joining us, Ryan! Now that the year is behind us, what was your most significant highlight of 2021?
You’re welcome, thanks so much for having me. 2021 has been a bit of a crazy blur but I’d say one of the things I’m most proud of is my An Ravin’ EP from July of last year that was released to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK and has so far raised £662, which is a totally nuts amount I never thought I’d make on three overpriced club edits, but thankfully people bought the EP! Apart from that, I played my first show (and my first show abroad) and had a digital release with Slippery Sounds along with other tracks here and there.
Tell us about your first rave and some of your all-time favorite electronic music heroes.
Not sure when or where my first rave was, it might have been a Swamp 81 thing in London I’d imagine, I don’t remember it that well. I really fell in love with it in Bristol as it seemed easier to reach diverse music events, whereas London is too big and reaching places that I wanted to go to seemed more difficult. I and my group of friends also attended (and still do) the Love Saves the Day Festival each year in Bristol, where we bond over music and typically meet lots of new people/pick up stragglers on the way as the atmosphere is so friendly. I’m not really sure about all-time favourite heroes; I find the anonymity of electronic music appealing. Like, anyone can make it as long as they have a laptop and a DAW. However, I definitely have had memorable times watching Four Tet, Bradley Zero, Ben UFO and Addison Groove, so maybe there’s your answer!
When did you first get into DJing and producing electronic music? How has your sound and taste evolved since then?
I’ve always loved making music and have been working on electronic music since I was in sixth form college where I did one year of music tech before failing. I loved making things on my own with my own ideas, but didn’t really enjoy the structure and work that the course assigned, but loved the creative freedom that a DAW gives. Through college, I ended up making drum & bass, ambient, sort of weird stuff that didn’t really fit. I think after that I was influenced by that ‘post dubstep’ era and started making more tunes that sounded like Joy O, Boddika and Addison Groove type things. I was never really a DJ, although I would do bits with mates from time to time. I’ve only really taken that more seriously this year, mostly so I have someplace to play my tracks and edits.
When you sit down to create a track, what elements do you like to concentrate on first? Do you have any studio rituals that get you in the right creative headspace?
Well, I don’t have regular studio access, just a laptop. By the time I get to a studio of sorts, everything will be ready apart from the mixdown. In the studio, I just drink loads of coffee and do as much mixing down as possible as I’m very aware that I’m paying for the time. I don’t really start in any particular place when writing, I just sort of begin with an idea (drums, a sound, a sample), then as more ideas come I make the changes then and there until I have an ultra-polished section. One thing I notice is that ideas come and go quickly so I make sure if I have an idea I make the change right then and there, otherwise it’s gone.
You recently took a trip to Ukraine, can you tell us more about that? What’s the scene like in Kyiv?
I feel underqualified to comment on the scene in Kyiv having only been there once. I feel like the Ukrainian DJs I met over there, like Inatist, Jewishmason and Noizar (to name a few), would smash this question. Kyiv was incredible and super interesting. Still insane that I got the opportunity to play there alongside Bailey Ibbs and Aloka too, it feels like there’s an interest in UK artists in Ukraine. My two friends also accompanied me and I was so grateful for the support too. The system at Arsenal XXII was beautiful and the club was pristine. I was lucky enough to play quite a bit over my generous slot allocation so played pretty much everything I wanted to a full house — it was an experience I will never forget.
How did you first get linked up with Scuffed Recordings?
I first sent some music into Ian’s Definite Party Material channel and he came back saying he enjoyed it. I then shared the track “Cave People” with Ian, which was then featured in a Scuffed VA in 2019 alongside Young Muscle, Avernian and Dubrunner. From there I continued with the tunes and released the EP, Clodhopper, in 2020 with them. Since then I’ve also done a remix of Dubrunner’s “Destination Unknown” for them. Working with Scuffed Recordings (Ian and Will) has been an absolute dream — a shining example of how a label should and could be run: always super organised, friendly, and honest.
What are 3 of your all-time favorite Scuffed records?
Jason Code – City 17
The production on this EP is pinpoint, and his is my favourite track from it as it’s so unexpected when the 4/4 kick comes in. Every time I play it people ask what it is, a different vibe!
Ayesha – Ecstatic Descent
The psychedelic rising/falling synth is hypnotic, takes you somewhere different! This is the first track I played in Kyiv and so brings back amazing memories.
Glances, Nikki Nair – Bulwark (Nikki Nair SE Breaks Remix)
The vocal sample is incredible! As soon as you hear those 808s come in at the start, you know it’s gonna be business. Love the break work and mid-bass combo after it drops too.
Can you let us in on what you’ve got coming down the pike for 2022?
One of the most exciting things happening is the vinyl release of my second full EP with Scuffed Recordings called Parisian Pitstop. This will be four tunes with a remix from Sonia Calico. These tracks have been around for a while, but finally, they are getting a release (there have been major vinyl delays!!!) and I’m as proud of them as I was the day I made them, and can’t wait to share. Apart from that, I have a couple of other releases in the pipeline and some shows planned in London, Leeds, and Glasgow for the first part of the year. 2022 should be fun!
Any New Year’s resolutions?
Think less, do more, live in the moment. Eat less crisps.