Taking a three year stroll from hardcore thrash to house fuelled electronica, Ali Renault is the multi-talented DJ/producer working with the most industrious collectives to spearhead new ways of mixing, making and releasing music.
Download Ali’s exclusive mix for i-D Online here.
Putting out his first official release back in ’95 via Human Shield, Manchester born Ali doesn’t describe himself as a musician. But he does make music. Paying a fastidious amount of attention to his mixes, this now London based lad is always on the hunt for fresh meat to sign, celebrate and deliver via his work at independent record labels Cyber Dance and Human Shield. Moving on from the slower, disco-paced productions he released in the earlier stages of his career, Ali’s focus now is on harder, electro-inspired tracks, collaborating with vocalists Fred Ventura and Marika Gauci on two of the tracks on his first album. His dream collaborators include Andy Oppenheimer, Kate Bush, Alden Tyrell, Mark Du Mosch and Steve Vai, but his foremost life-ambition is to appear on Come Dine With Me! Cooking up a feast of wholesome beats with this latest platter of proper good tunes, i-D online filled its face with some funky, fidgety morsels of Renault reggae raga. ‘Ear me now.
You were originally into metal, when did you make the leap from thrash to electronic? It wasn’t so much a leap as a three year stroll. I was into a lot of other genres in between and naturally as a metal fan I was anti-electronic for quite a while. How could anyone dare to make music with computers? But then I started listening to bands like Ozric Tentacles, FSOL and Orbital and explored a new timbre of musical sounds, which were new and exciting to me.
Can you tell us about the differences between Cyber Dance Records and Human Shield Records? Cyber Dance caters for people with an open heart. Human Shield is more sinister and violent in approach. People have said it sounds like cats.
What keeps you inspired? Jorja Chalmers.
What are your favourite venues and clubs to play? I played a gig in Newcastle called Face Your Fate last weekend in a pub called The Tanners on a pool table. That was pretty nice. I don’t have any favourites as such but I’m not a fan of ‘mega clubs’ really. As long as the atmosphere is ok then I’m happy.
Which collectives and underground D.I.Y initiatives are you tipping for big things? There’s a dude called Brassica, you should watch out for him. Also Serious Lover who’s playing guitar for Tom Vek at the moment, his productions are nice too.
Which artists would you like to see remixing some of your own originals? Jeff Mills, DJ Funk, Com Truise, Gatto Fritto.
Where should we go now? Come to our next Magic Waves party of course. End of September.
And where are you off to? Going to Spain on the 26th August to play at the Mind Nexus Machine party, a couple of local gigs here in London then off to the U.S at the end of October to play some gigs there.
Text: Milly McMahon