Dro Carey – ITM-FM exclusive mix

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Back in 2011, we included Sydney’s Dro Carey in our 25 Under 25 list of electronic music’s new stars. His production work – which he shares on his Brain So Soft tumblr or aligns with labels like The Trilogy Tapes, RAMP Recordings and Templar Sound – is powerfully unique. With an off-kilter take on house, hip hop and other corners of electronic music, he’s set to step it up again soon with an album on RAMP.

Dro is candid about his struggle with depression and anxiety and how it has fed into his music. Back in June, he appeared at Astral People’s SANE fundraiser, which brought together a host of acts to raise funds for those affected by mental illness. Despite his reservations about playing live, he will be appearing on the line-up of OutsideIn in November, following a jaunt to the Oslo Contemporary Music Festival. We secured this exclusive mixtape from the prodigiously-talented Sydneysider (scroll down for the tracklist) and put a few questions to him.

It must’ve been a buzz when FACT Mag tapped you for one of its podcasts in 2011. Can you tell us how you went about putting that mix together; what feeling were you going for?
Yeah, I was excited to be in such esteemed company. So many heroes of mine have contributed podcasts to FACT’s series over the years so I was really excited to have the opportunity to do that as well. What I did was more of a mixtape than a dancefloor mix. I went for music that put me in this early morning headspace; not when you’ve been out or anything, but more like when you’ve stayed in but can’t sleep and find yourself crawling deeper and deeper into things that intrigue and excite you. The solitude and haze of tiredness form something quite fertile. So I went for cold and dark and contradictory things when I did that mix.

I see you’re heading over to Oslo for the Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, which is awesome. Are you hoping to hook up more international dates as well?
I’m really thrilled to be a part of the diverse line-up at the Ultima festival in Oslo. While I’ve had offers for other international shows, I just want to do the one booking on this first trip to Europe. As I’ve had health and emotional issues in the past that have prohibited me from playing it’s been important to ease back into gigs gradually, to not sign up for more than I can handle and to deliver the best I can. That being said, there are definitely plans to return to Europe later on and add more dates at a time, once I’ve built up the confidence and familiarity.

You’ve been busy this with collaborations and your own material. What’s next for you production-wise?
I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my debut album for RAMP, which is called Copland. It’s a mix of techno, house, garage and hip hop influences and is hopefully a nice summation of all the approaches I’ve taken on my previous singles and EPs, and with a more mature sound as well. I also have plans to continue the Tuff Sherm, PMM and Fad TMB side projects, which are outlets for more specific stylistic tributes.

Tell us a bit about the great mix that you’ve put together for inthemix…
One of the big projects I’ve been working on is some collaborative beat-making and songwriting stuff with Napolian. As a solo artist he makes kind of leftfield stuff like me and he has an album coming out on Software. Together though we’ve been making rap beats and we’re really pleased with the results. So yeah, there’s a number of beats from our joint-project, Chambray Cartel, featured in this mix. Then also there’s some forthcoming solo stuff of mine as well as some old and new grime and rap heaters.


Jadakiss interview snippet
Dro Carey – Dreadloc
Jammer – Pop No Style
Dro Carey – Romeo
Dro Carey – Commodores
Dro Carey – Kitchen
Chambray Cartel (Napolian and Dro Carey) – Always
OJ Da Juiceman – DJ Screw
Mr Mitch – Out of My Mind
King Louie – On Da Road
Chambray Cartel – Hublot
Chambray Cartel – Prophecy
Chambray Cartel – The Gates
Chambray Cartel – Lox n Eggs
Chambray Cartel – Florentine
Chambray Cartel – Styro
Zdot – Shot in the Neck
The-Dream – This Shit Real Nigga feat. Pharrell
Kanye West – Mercy (Triple 6 Sound Club x Stabber Bootleg)


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