It seems everywhere we turn lately – and by everywhere, we mean the weird corners of the internet that normal people don’t have the time to look at because they have real jobs – we come across Becoming Real. Oh, and he’s been in the NME too.
Real name Toby Ridler, Becoming Real hails from London and makes idiosyncratic mutant soul music, full of wild colour and weird textures. Described to us by Ramp Recordings, who will soon be putting out his debut EP, as “grime meets Gang Gang Dance”, we recently premiered the video for Ridler’s ‘Jen’s Clock’, and we now bring you a full stream of his debut EP, which features a remix by Rinse FM’s Scratcha DVA.
We also caught up with Toby to talk about where he’s coming from, and where he’s going. He talked a lot about haunting, London and oil spills – which is alright by us. If you want to gain more insight into what Ridler does, check out some of his visual art here.
Becoming Real – who are you? Where do you come from?
“I am just some guy being creative, I come from the suburbs of nowhere in South London, I move around a lot but for now this is my base.”
How would you describe your music to the uninitiated?
“Haunted, like oil flooding the sea, or tar slowly coating a forest, the music I’ve been making recently is solely beatless, weird rhythmical soundscapes that fold in and out on themselves. They’re mainly really dark and lucid, taking elements of grime and some of the insistency of footwurk and turning it into a an animal, something that has no regards to formula, something that slowly drips and oozes out of your stereo and enters your listening space in a much more personal way.
“I like the idea that in parts of my stuff, the music has almost become conscious, the tones and patterns start to turn on you, and what might at first appear strange and mutant – even hostile – with the piece, it starts to unfold any preconceived ideas or expectations you might have had about what music from a certain genre, or just in general is allowed to do.”
What inspires on a regular – or irregular – basis, music and otherwise?
“Images, ideas, walking, London, Samurai films, lots of things, recently walking through London at night has spawned a lot of ideas. Youtube clips of oil spills, texture, cassettes, analogue hiss. I’ve also been listening to loads of footwurk like DJ Nate, Spinn, Elmoe etc. I think it’s incredible.”
Tell us about your new single, and the video.
“Yeah the single is out pretty soon, end of June or something like that [PR addition – June 21!] it’s two songs I made a while ago, on some weird eski tip, feel like there is a daytime / night time vibe going on between the two tracks, they are channelling some weird haunted vibe which is what my friend Matt went for with the video. I love how haunted it is, all these faceless estates collected of Youtube somehow muster up an unbearable horror, the images being so distorted and fractured morph from being familiar places into future memories of a dystopian or neo-London.”
How did you hook up with Ramp?
“Tom [Kerridge] just got in touch with me, asked to hear some more music and then just signed me up pretty much, he’s pretty cool and happy for me to make whatever I want so yeah, I’ve had a lot of room to expand my own musical language.”
What can we expect in the future?
“Loads, split with Pictureplane , working on a 12″ with Trim, my EP will be out on Ramp around September which is what I’ve been focusing on recently, it’s gonna be solely beatless. I’ve done a remix for Warp , my live show is up and running finally, which I’m doing with a friend. We played our first show the other day, I think the best way to describe it is a cross between Zomby / Mount Eerie and Fugazi or something along those lines, it ain’t just me with laptop fam.”