Quakers’ Ashley Anderson, AKA Katalyst, sits in his studio much like an astronaut in a space shuttle—except without the no-gravity floating aspect. Everything is within stretching reach, and just past that distance is the full expanse of Sydney, Australia, Anderson’s hometown. He might glance out of the window every once in a while, but Anderson seldom makes it out there—except recently. Anderson’s partner-in-Quakers, Geoff Barrow of Portishead (under his Fuzzface guise), brought his family to beach it in Australia, and Anderson went along for the rare experience.
It was an outing like this that brought Anderson and Barrow together a few years back. An annual escape from cold British winters provided the two with the opportunity to cultivate a working friendship. The association spawned their imprint, Invada Records, and birthed Quakers, which is rounded out by Portishead’s engineer, Stuart Matthews AKA 7-Stu-7.
The trio’s self-titled debut, which follows the music Quakers provided for Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop, is the record that global worshippers of American hip hop wish they could make. Put together like a mixtape are over 40 bite-sized, overlapping, shuffle-resistant tracks of inventive, fresh sounding beats. These are embellished by numerous layers of original and borrowed creatively shaped, scratchy samples giving each number a lot of texture that Anderson refers to as “rugged.”