DJing a number of different genres since the mid 2000s, and tinkering away in his DAW for well over 10 years, the Plymouth artist is certainly no newbie when it comes to the rave game. But he’s the first to admit he’s never played it at this level before.
“I suppose I do feel like a new artist in a sense. Everything’s come together in the last few years for sure,” says Plasmator real name Alex Roberts. “It’s like everything has built up to this. The vast majority what I was releasing before wasn’t up to the standard of the labels I release on now at all.”
Deep In The Jungle, Grand Theft Audio and GZ-Audio are just some of the labels Alex has released music on this year alone. As of this week you can add Benny V’s long-standing Dance Concept imprint to that list too as Alex links up with Sola on the rave-primed Break Of Dawn EP. “That has a collaboration with Benny himself,” chirps Alex. “That’s quite bonkers, I’d never have expected that even as recently as a year ago!”
Sitting at a pivotal point in his career where the hard work is truly beginning to pay off, Alex is proof that this game is marathon and not a sprint.
“I’ve had some great moments along the way like having a music video being made for one of my tunes around eight years ago, but it’s been a slow journey to where I am now,” explains Alex who had a revelation during the world’s covid-imposed time off raving. “I’d always enjoyed making quite fun music but then I made a conscious decision and said to myself, ‘I wanna make some serious drum & bass.’”
Arriving at this point in time after the end of a relationship and the start of having to work from home, this is where things got real for Alex. “I suddenly had a lot more time on my hands, I needed to be writing music. Constantly.”
His From The Dark EP, released last month, is a great snapshot of how Alex turned around what was ostensibly a very challenging period in his life. From its title alone right the way through to the finale track Hyperion (named after the God of light) it’s a literal document of Alex’s progression and features some of his most brazen fusions to date such as the wild twist-turner Kiss The Ghost (with recent New Artist Of The Week – Anna Key) and Standoff, a guitar-twanging technoid romp.
Another great example of Alex’s fusion landed a few weeks after From The Dark. Pirates (with Guzi) is another wild ride through a maze of genres from synthpop to neuro.
“A lot of my tunes can’t be tied to a subgenre,” he grins. “I’m always in between a load of them and I do worry it’s been detrimental as it makes the music hard to market but I’m trying to become more focused with the releases and theme them a bit more.”
Break Of Dawn captures where Plasmator is at; themed through his and Sola’s love of rave and passion for foundations of this culture, it’s a wide-armed celebration of all things rave and hardcore while remaining resolutely contemporary and future-focused.
“It’s got that piano house, old school jungle, rave kind of vibe all thrown into the mix,” grins Alex, who also hosts a monthly show on DNB Radio. “Sola and I will definitely be collaborating again in the future. We work really well together and I feel we share a similar eclectic range of influences.”
Elsewhere in the future, we can expect plenty more Plasmator platters; he’s got several cheeky bootlegs bubbling away in his persy stash, more music lined up on Guzi’s GZ Audio and releases on Revolution DNB and Sub-liminal, plus a VIP of an earlier release Videodrome on Faction Digital. Looking even further ahead, he’s thinking about a debut Plasmator album.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and I think maybe next year is the year I start to really focus on it,” Alex reveals. “I’ve got a few tracks saved for it already and they won’t all be D&B. One of my favourite albums of all time is Era Of Diversion by Evol Intent. I always loved the IDM / electronica tunes that are in the mix along with the drum & bass tracks. It’s something I’ve always been really inspired by so it’s time I gave it a try myself…”