Junglist Network meets.....Izachar & Rekovery Records
Junglist Network meets….Izachar & Rekovery Records
Junglist Network talks to A&R man for the new Jungle label Rekovery Records, Producer and all round nice guy, Izachar about the healing power of music, his new EP Shaolin Jungle Style and a surprise drop at the Printworks.
“Rekovery Records is a musical healing revolution of sound in a time when we are struggling with many issues like Addiction….Mental & Physical health…and general related symptoms…Musik is a HEALER and it’s time for the solutions. The society we live in tends to magnify the problem and give little to the solution. REKOVERY RECORDS will be releasing a set of SELF HEALING MUSIK to uplift ya MIND, BODY & SOUL”– Congo Natty 2022
JN: You have a new EP out on March 7th?
Izachar: Yes, it’s my debut EP.
JN: How long has that been in the making?
Izachar: I think it was about the end of August (2021) and I did a first festival I’d been to in about 2 years. Coming away from that festival I was so filled with inspiration, I went down to see my family for a few days after the festival and I was just burning with inspiration so I started cooking up about 4 tunes in a couple of days and 3 of them made it on to the project.
JN: Its good when you suddenly get that creative inspiration.
Izachar: Yeah man, it came about as a concept taking those Wu-tang samples and repurposing them into the Jungle sound.
JN: 36 Chambers is a quality album, there’s a lot to draw on from that.
Izachar: Well I used to be a hip hop producer way before I started making Jungle, there my roots so I’ve got to pay respect to that and all them old school, you know the boom bap era, that’s what I grew up on.
The Rza is one of my biggest inspirations in life, you know what I’m saying, I had the idea before I ever even made jungle. I only started making Jungle music about a year and a half ago and about 2 and a half years ago I had the idea making a project called Shaolin Jungle Style where I was going to flip these Wu-Tang samples into some Jungle, even before I ever made any Jungle, I knew I had the concept and it was nice that I came back from the festival filled with inspiration and everything just clicked and it was time to start making it.
JN: You don’t hear so many hip hop samples in Jungle any more
Izachar: No, you don’t, not these days, I mean like, it’s almost like people have forgotten the roots of it. Jungle came from hip hop and from Reggae, as well as acid house in that era but you can hear in the original Junglist, they used to always clip the hip hop samples and that’s the thing, one of the first Jungle tunes I ever heard was Congo’s Junglist with that Method Man sample, it’s almost like I was destined to flip some of these Wu-Tang samples, it’s almost like a rite of passage, it’s weird like, I’m never going to forget that we’re standing on the shoulders of giants, us Nu wave Junglist and drum and bass producers. You really have to pay respect to the elders who created this genre because really, they laid the foundations for us and really, we’re just using the same formula they gave to us.
JN: These elders effectively invented a completely new genre, its mind blowing really
Izachar: Yes, seriously! I think about it all the time, it’s beautiful that I’m in such a blessed position to be working so close to Congo, one of the OG OG’s. He would never say that himself, he would never call himself a pioneer because he’s just too humble for that but he’s really, truly one of a handful that pioneered this thing.
JN: It’s hard to think of Jungle music and not think of Congo Natty. He embodies it really, not just the music, the whole culture
Izachar: Yes, the whole essence of it. I give thanks to my blessings every day, its madness, I have to pinch myself and think, is this really happening? Am I really working with Congo. He was always that guy, that one name where we’d say, ‘We’ve got to go and see Congo again, always the maddest sets like’ and now I’m working with him. Madness.
JN: It must be fantastic. So tell us more about your EP Shaolin Jungle Style, what format is it on?
Izachar: It will come out on digital. Maybe, dependant on how well it does, we could bring it out on Vinyl. The initial release will be digital.
JN: Where will people be able to find that?
Izachar: So, I believe it’s going out on Beatport but will be available on all of the streaming services, Spotify and iTunes.
JN: Are you planning a launch party?
Izachar: We’ve got this event called Jungle Town which we can talk about, which is on April 2nd at Oval Space (London E2) it’s a month later and will be my first proper set so that will go hand in hand with launching the EP as well and giving some shine for the label as we’ve only been around a year.
JN: So you’re doing A&R for Rekovery Records at the moment, tell me what’s the philosophy behind Rekovery?
Izachar: A good question, our mission statement is ‘Music to heal’ hence the name Rekovery Records. It’s a platform and label for artists to heal themselves. Music for us is a form of healing, whatever we’re going though mentally in our day to day lives, we’ve created this music and it heals our souls, all of the experiences I’ve had in my life and all of the things I’ve gone through, it’s an outlet, music, it’s an outlet for all of that.
In one sense its healing for our artists in the other sense, there’s something about the Jungle vibration, I’m sure you can feel it, when you go to a rave, a Jungle night and the energy and everything is so on point, it’s an opportunity for you to just let go and come together with loads of strangers as one so your all unified, we see it as putting out healing music for you, putting out good vibrations, we’re not out here talking nonsense about how this is our ting, no, we want to bring everyone together, trying to put out music that affects people in a positive way.
For us artists on the label, it's ALL about the music. 100%. It’s not about the money or the prestige but the pure love of the vibration.
JN: Is this the first EP on Rekovery?
Izachar: Last year, when we launched, we released a single, it was produced by Congo and the vocalist on it is called Fikir Amlak who’s a respected Dub/Reggae artist from LA. Last year we released the tune and I did a remix on that but this is the first proper project we’re putting out.
JN: How did you come to work at Rekovery Records?
Izachar: That’s a good story. It was one of them mystical alignments, about 7 years ago when I was 17 and I decided to start making music. I didn’t really decide, the universe just told me to drop everything you’re doing and start making music and I willingly accepted my path. That was the beginning of a number of mystical alignments and so one day, towards the end of 2020, I’d only been producing Jungle about 3 months by then and I saw a post on Instagram from Congo saying that he was doing an open mic session in Canterbury. I was at my mates house the next day and I was making breakfast, I cracked an egg and the egg had two yolks and I said I had a feeling Congo was going to sign me. I also had the feeling I needed to drive down to Canterbury, I’m from Luton way so it’s about a 5 hour round trip but I knew and drove all the way down there. I got out of my car and saw him (Congo Natty) and I blessed him and said thank you for your music. He said, “who do you know from around here?” I said, “no-one I’m from Luton area. “
He looked me in the eyes and said “Jah meant you to be here today, seen”
That was the beginning of it. I spat some bars at the open mic session and told him I produce. He gave me his email address and asked me to send him some riddims so I sent him some. Almost 2 weeks had gone by and I hadn’t heard anything back, I thought yeah, maybe he’s listened to them but that was it. I was at work and I got a voicemail from him blessing me up. “Yes Izachar!, that Babylon riddim tuff!” I’m going to sample that on a track, haha. We started talking, he told me about a new label that he’s starting and asked if I wanted to release on it and if I wanted to come work at the label. Handling everything from scouting music, handling socials right now, it’s basically a two man band with me and Congo at the moment. At the moment we’re looking for people to help out.
JN: That’s a really good story!
Izachar: I’ve got a music video coming out too
JN: Are you in it?
Izachar: Congo brought me along to Printworks, it was a mad line up, LTJ Bukem was on after us and Dillinja, it was a mad one to be at. He let me drop 36 chamber in the mix. There’s a few pics by boy took where Congo passed me a CD and I’m a bit confused as I don’t know what’s on it and he points to me that it’s got my track on it and he says, I want you to drop this next. It was mad, firstly I’d never been on a stage like that and second, to do it at Printworks in the main room with a sea of people watching. I’ve got a few clips from that night that I’ve edited into the video.
JN: That must have been nerve wracking!
Izachar: It was one of those where you’re so lost in the moment you don’t quite click how big the situation is, it was a few weeks later when I stopped and thought about it and realised that was the maddest moment of my life.
JN: We really liked the tunes, a lot of people producing either do a copycat of the old sound or are trying to create a new sound. You don’t hear a lot that gets a good balance between the old and the new.
Izachar: That’s what I love, one of my biggest influences was Bladerunner, there are certain sounds of his with rolling reece basslines, I love the way he brings it all together. He’s incredible. I got really into the reece basslines after hearing Jungle Jungle and that Pull Up Remix he did. I don’t know if you know what it’s like producing but when you find a sound, you just do it and do it and do it until you can’t do it anymore, there was a period of a couple of months where I just did reece b-lines proper rolling Jungle sounds.
JN: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us at Junglist Network Izachar, it’s been great.
Izachar: Respect. One Love.
Shaolin Jungle Style EP is out now
with remixes from Congo Natty, FLeCK, Jaguar Paw & ISHEN