Welcome to the weird and wonderful of Ras G. The experimental hip-hop producer is a member of the tight knit family that is Brainfeeder, the record label founded by Flying Lotus back in 2008.

Ras G, real name Gregory Shorter, Jr., first made his way into the scene with his Day & Night EP in 2005, which was a release he split with Black Monk. Together, they run Poo-Bah Records along with Ron Stivers.

Naturally, what with the Brainfeeder connection, the Los Angeles producer's music is hip-hop of the most 'out there' nature - that draws influence from all across the board including jazz, classical music and just about everything else you can imagine.

The 405 spoke to Ras G about his musical roots, how Los Angeles informs his work and the 'Spacebase'. Prepare yourselves…


Hi Ras, how are you?

All Is Well.... Life Still... Creation Still...

What are you doing right now?

In Spacebase smoking a blunt listening to Live From Spacebase Vol.2, which is a mix I do of stuff I listen to at Spacebase. Pretty random.

You're described as an 'instrumental hip-hop' artist, did your musical roots start in hip-hop?

Yes... hip-hop music which encompasses many different styles of music. Thank you Baba BAM.

You're associated with the record label Brainfeeder that is based in Los Angeles, which is where you're based too. Do you think your location has had an influence on the music you make and the person you are?

On my music yes - Los Angeles is an easy-going, open, encouraging and creative place (a stony ass place) which is why the music is the way it is. The Brainfeeder camp is a crazy cast of creative 'don't-give-a-fuckers' - we do what we do in terms of creative music.

How did you come to meet Flying Lotus?

I met Flying Lotus at Lil Sci, aka John Robinson's house, when Lil Sci stayed in South Los Angeles. He (Lotus) had brought over a stack of ill Impulse Records promos: Alice Coltrane, Michael White etc - and I was like damn these are all classics and he said yeah that's my Aunt. I can't remember much but weed smoke and maybe a little conversation of how he should come down to sketchbook, but I can't remember.

All I really remember after that is him showing up to Sketchbook in that Focus making the pavement shake... and I remember the first Sketchbook Beat Showcase on the SP-505 and laptop. He pretty much showed everybody who was there (not many people) what was to come... I do remember hearing 'Massage Situation' (demo version) that night as well as well as 'Pet Monster Shotglass'.

You've released quite a lot of albums in a short space of time, do you believe in releasing LPs quite frequently or did that just happen organically?

Well if it was up to me, and I had the right financial backing, I would/could release a record or an EP every season... It's just how I work, I am a slave (literally) to my creation, it's all I do. I've had ex-girlfriends tell me I'm "selfish" or "on this alone thing" because I'm so zoned out.

For you, what should an album represent? Should it be a snapshot of a time and place or do you not tend to think about it too much?

Well... everybody has their own idea of what an album is supposed to be. I want my albums to be like Sun Ra's records: always dope but always different with a familiar feeling and style. Kinda like going to your favourite restaurant where all the food is good and is served on the same kinda dishes, feel me? And I would want the listener of my music to witness my growth with every release. They only get better.

What were you hoping to achieve with Back on the Planet? Does the name suggest a return to something after being away?

Yes that's what I tell myself everyday, I wake up Back on the Planet here to serve this creation. Here to demonstrate the alternate destiny in life, music and art.

What are you most proud of where the album is concerned?

I can hear my spiritual and physical self in this record - it's a well-balanced Ras G record and it represents the highs and lows during the process of creating this record. It's pretty balanced. I met my ex when I made 'Find Ya Self(ANU WRLD)' and was in the pits of depression after we broke up when I made '_G Spot Connection'. This record is like the story of "Ausar, Auset, Heru and Set..." I was born... tricked... killed.... was reborn and avenged my death Back on the Planet!.

Apart from Brotha There on 'Out There…' the album doesn't tend to have many collaborations, is that how you prefer to work?

Sun Ra's on the record. I will just give this away now, I am Brotha There! But yes I usually work alone and pretty fast, so when it's done, it's done. But as of late I really been into Holy Smoke (Zeroh and Jeremiah Jae). So whenever something comes up the first voices I hear is Holy Smoke. They're the dopest group. You will hear all about them soon trust. _G and my sis Eagle Nebula - we just knocked an experimental folkways kinda record I'm excited about that will be out next year!

Finally, do you have any gigs/festivals/live dates on the horizon where we can come and see you play?

Headed to UK/Europe in September and Australia/NZ in December, but until then I'm in Spacebase with a blunt working on a new album...


Ras G's new album Back on the Planet is out now on Brainfeeder / Ninja Tune.