The term ‘melting pot’ gets thrown around all the time in music. Quite rightfully, too; the best music is a product of all kinds of influences and ingredients. If it wasn’t, it would be nothing but formulaic and just a copy of what’s happened before.
But for some artists a mere melting pot isn’t enough. For their chosen range of influences and ingredients they require an industrial vat so big you need to climb scaffolding to add and stir the ingredients. Industrial vats like the one being brewed by Israel-born/LA-based ALRT. Currently at the forefront of one of US bass music’s most exciting new fusions, his beats are a noxious hybrid of hard dance, rave, bass house, hardcore, dubstep, riddim, breaks, moombahton and every imaginable flavour in between.
It’s been this way since he emerged in 2018 with an assault of monthly self-released bangers, but his latest EP NRG Vol 1 (released on Kayzo’s Welcome Records) is perhaps the most acute reflection of ALRT’s industrial melting vat. Across five tracks he leaves no sonic stone unturned as each cut bombards you with twists, turns and 150BPM surprises. Feel My NRG with UK hard dance newcomer Callum Higby is a great snapshot of the whole EP and his approach.
Often spotted rolling with bass house baron Joyryde, supported by the likes of Gammer and DJ Snake and laying down mental sets like this one earlier this year at the legendary Space Yacht we called up ALRT (real name Irad Brant) to learn more about where he’s at, what he has planned and his previous chapter in a whole other world of dance music…
Hard times call for hard dance!
I guess, but hard dance has always a thing for me and I feel these days the new generation of ravers enjoy everything you play them as long as they can tell that you believe in it enough yourself.
Yeah totally. People pick up on authenticity. I first became aware of you with the Nitepunk collaboration last year, but you’ve been on this for a bit now…
Yeah I started releasing as ALRT in March 2018. I’m actually from Israel, I’m 34 so I grew up in the 90s when all of the sounds I’m making now were a big thing. I grew up to a lot of The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers and hard house. I feel like I’m repeating what I knew as a kid.
We’re all products of our influences!
We live our influences, right? I grew up enjoying that music and that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing now.
What were you doing before?
I had a few projects before this, too. I travelled the world as a member of the psytrance act Coming Soon. It’s been important for me to start this from zero, though. I didn’t want to use the fanbase I had for Coming Soon to promote the ALRT project.
Your musical journey makes complete sense now!
Yeah, I’d been doing psytrance for the last 14 years. It was a big thing in Israel and in England too, right?
Yeah totally. Things like Tribe Of Frog…
Exactly! And the Luminosity parties. Europe, Brazil, Israel and England were the main places I went to with that type of thing. But I found the genre kinda stays the same. People are older and they’re very stuck in their ways and I wanted to do something else. I was always into lots of other styles of music, so I could never just do psytrance all my life.
There are no rules in the vibe you’re on now. This is probably an explosion of ideas you’ve been storing up for during your years in the psytrance realm?
Exactly! I just love it. I’m not trying to make it as a big huge artist in this, I’m jut very happy sitting in the studio and doing what I do. It’s a very interesting chapter in my life right now.
I know you’re friends with Joyryde and he came from that corner of music, too…
Oh man, me and Johnny have known each other 17 years basically. He’s been my best friend since forever and we’ve been through a lot of shows together. Long before Joyryde and ALRT we’ve hung out and we have similar tastes in music.
Was it inspiring to see him break away with the Joyryde project?
I’ve always loved what he does. He’s an inspiration no doubt. He’s always been there to give me advice. When I moved to the States I had to move here to figure out the scene and understand what’s going on. I couldn’t really catch the vibe and understand it all properly from Israel.
When did you move over?
Four years ago.
So you’ve been soaking it up before rushing in with releases….
Exactly. I wanted to write a tonne of tracks before I even released anything. And even with my first one I just had to get something out. After that I released a whole load of things. I set myself a goal of making and releasing a track a month and did that for a year.
That’s a good exercise in finishing tracks and not sitting in a big pile of WIPs!
That’s very important. Sometimes you can work and work and work on something, changing all these things that people don’t actually care about. So now I set schedules for myself and that’s when things get done.
And that explains why the recent NRG EP is so broad in its styles and range…
Exactly. I feel there are no boundaries to what I’m able to release. If I like it, I just do it. I want to show people you can’t expect anything from my releases, it can be different every time. If I’m happy with it, I’ll release it. It’s already expected of me to not stick in one lane and I’m very happy about this.
We uploaded Feel My NRG which is a collaboration with Callum Higby. Tell us about Callum…
He’s a very talented producer. I fell in love with his music, it reminds me of good times. I used to be a kid and go to clubs and go crazy to that music. he’s young and he’s got that vibe about him. He’s very talented, he’ll go far definitely. He’s only 18.
The new generation of artists are killing it in all fields.
It’s amazing. It keeps things moving and developing.
How are you moving and developing in the future?
There’ll be a lot more releases, a lot more collabs, a lot more styles and some different labels, too. Watch this space!