Astro Unit consists of MC Ash The Author & Producer Alecs DeLarge. The duo have been working together for the past couple of years, originally releasing the single ‘Jungle’ in May 2020, shortly followed by a joint EP Wizards & Sprites. The latest single CYBERPUNK FUNK is the first under the alias ASTRO UNIT – and sets the tune for the forthcoming project! Check out the video below & See what they had to say about the making of the project
So, how did the collaboration come about?
Alecs – We hooked up to make a joint for my album, but that shit came out so ill (Microphone Wizardry) we decided to make another, which eventually turned into an EP.
Ash – the beats were just so insane I couldn’t just write one tune. We decided to crack out a few more and have just been steadily building on stuff ever since then.
Alecs – I first heard Ash on Ded Tebiase’s album (Landspeed) he sold me some neon air max 95’s and told me to check his music! True story.
Haha sick. So that was almost a couple of years ago now, I’m guessing the EP was made over various lockdowns etc. how did that affect the process, were you guys able to link up and record or was it mainly done over email etc
Alecs – We’re based pretty far apart so it was all email and insta for a couple years, we didn’t actually link in person until last year when I was came to London for the Kashmere video shoots. We’ve rocked a few shows together since but still never been in the studio together!
Wizards & Sprites (The EP) dropped right in the middle of the madness in summer 2020. Thankfully we had all the vocals recorded pre pandemic though.
Listening back to the EP now there’s definitely a shift to a more darker tone in the newer joints after the last few years of fuckery. Lockdowns were beneficial in allowing us both to experiment and push into new sonic territories.
Yeah I noticed Cyber Punk Funk sounded darker to tracks from W&S – would you say that’s true of the new project overall, and was it natural progression from general fuckery of the last couple of years, rather than a concious decision?
Ash – I mean the world is getting more and more dystopian as the days go on, so it was definitely gonna have an impact on the music. The pandemic was a weird time, I was getting heavily back into the whole def jux era of rap, and watching far too much anime. But the forthcoming album isn’t all darkness, it has its fun moments too! As the time passes and the projects start rolling out, you’ll see a lot of different concepts and styles at play, we’re not really trying to be pigeonholed with Astro Unit. But from a personal point of view my writing has been going in this direction for a while, trying out new things. I don’t think I’ve ever been sharper than I am right now.
Alecs – We actually made a full LP titled ‘Alter Egos’ that was very much a follow up to W&S stylistically. Shit was dope but I think we both knew we could do better. So for the next project instead of sending me music to inspire the beats he wanted, Ash was sending me shit to watch like Cyber City Oedo 808. Record stores being closed over lockdowns had a lot to do with the production shift too – I couldn’t just dip into the same old spots and head to the jazz section! I prided myself on finding the most obscure, experimental records I could – quadrupled my collection and pretty much fused my brain with the S950. The blunts may have had something to do with it too…
This is the first release under the moniker Astro Unit, Was there any specific reason for doing this rather than releasing under your names as you did with W&S
Alecs – I feel personally the Astro Unit name fits what we’re doing as a team. The old shit was two solo artists collaborating. Plus it fits in thematically with the universe we’ve created; got a giant monster eating your skyscrapers?call the unit.
Ash – Once I came up with the name, it all just seemed to fit into place. Before we were two dudes collaborating. Now we’re running like a well oiled machine, forming like Voltron son! Plus, trying to fit Alecs Delarge & Ash The Author on to a gig flyer was a fucking nightmare, trust me.
Ha! I can imagine! So speaking of gigs, you guys got anything lined up at the moment, now the first singles out when can people expect to hear more from you?
Alecs– We played London & Exeter recently & are in the process of sorting more gigs – that shit takes a lot of logistics planning due to us being so far apart but more dates are coming for sure.
The album is DONE! And believe me when I tell you the shit is insane. Right now we’re looking at a release in Q3/4 – being independent artists we fund and run everything ourselves, so we’re trying to do things right whilst competing with labels.
Ash – we’ve got a couple gigs lined up yeah. The album drops this year and yes , we’ve all ready started number 2! Plus we’ve both got solo rap projects dropping this year as well. The work ethic is strong round here.
Lastly, give us a 2022 hot take for 2022
Godzilla will reign supreme as king of the monsters once more
Purchase CYBERPUNK FUNK here: https://astrounit.bandcamp.com/album/cyberpunk-funk
Follow Astro Unit here: https://www.instagram.com/astrounit9000/