The Freestylers formed in 1996 when DJs and dance music producers Matt Cantor, Aston Harvey and (initially) Andrew Galea joined forces. All three of them had been involved in the British dance music scene since the 1980s. Cantor had recorded both as Cut n' Paste and Strike with Andy Gardner (Plump DJs). Aston Harvey recorded as Blapps! Posse best known for the 1990 breakbeat dance hit "Don't Hold Back" before working with Definition of Sound, Rebel MC and DJ Rap (as DJ Rap and Aston). Harvey joined with Galea under the name Sol Brothers before Cantor was recruited to form the Freestylers. The group took their name from their first sample "Don't Stop The Rock" by Freestyle. This single appeared in the Cadbury's advert in 2009.The trio's first single "Drop The Bomb (AK-48)" on their own Scratch City Records in 1996 became a dancefloor hit in the UK and Miami. The band released the Freestyle EP
in 1996 on Freskanova (Freskanova's parent label, Fresh
, had released Cantor, Galea and Harvey's previous work). Galea left the Freestylers shortly after the release of the Freestyle EP
, and Cantor and Harvey formed an 11-piece band (initially an idea of their record label, Freskanova). This consisted of the two producers (Cantor and Harvey), a scratch DJ Jason Tunbridge (Mad Doctor X), a guitarist (Tony Ayiotou), drummer (Clive Jenner), bass guitarist (Joe Henson), two MCs (MC Navigator and Tenor Fly) and three breakdancers (Coza, Marat, Tim).The band released their first album, We Rock Hard
, in 1998. The single "B-Boy Stance" became a hit in the UK in 1998 featuring the contributions of rapper Tenor Fly. In 1999, the Freestylers enjoyed success in the U.S. with track "Don't Stop" reached number 8 in the Billboard
dance charts and the video for "Here We Go" becoming hit on a MTV . We Rock Hard
sold well in the US, selling over 150,000 and reaching the top 30 of the Billboard Heatseeker chart.Following the success of B-Boy Stance
, the band were asked to remix tracks by Audioweb, Afrika Bambaataa and the Jungle Brothers as well as a big beat compilation album FSUK 2
and a Radio 1 Essential Mix featuring Beenie Man, Public Enemy, Whodini and The Fall.The Freestylers released a mix album, Electro Science
, in 2000. Their second album, Pressure Point
, was released in 2001 with the track "Get Down Massive" featuring Navigator reaching number 16 on the Billboard dance charts in 2002.During 2002 and 2003 the group began releasing singles under the alias Raw As F**k, which then became the title of their third album. Released in 2004, it featured the single "Push Up", which reached the top 30 in the UK and top 3 in Australia. The single previously released before "Push Up", called "Get A Life", was re-released and reached the top 20 in Australia.Released in 2006 album Adventures in Freestyle
experimented with a variety of styles, and saw the Freestylers working with assorted underground vocalists.In 2010 the remixes of "Cracks" (originally from the Past, Present and Future E.P.
) was released through Never Say Die Records. The Flux Pavilion remix was one of the biggest dubstep anthems that year; it has soared past 20 million hits on YouTube.London breakbeat production duo CTRL-Z, individually known as DJ Dash (Tom Petais, currently known as SKisM) & DJ Inch (Nicky D’Silva, currently part of the electronic group Pyramid), have been very involved with The Freestylers' music. In 2009, their remake of "Ruffneck" (renamed "Ruffneck '09") became the first ever release of the Never Say Die Records label. They have also remixed "Security" in 2007 and "Cracks" in 2010. CTRL-Z has also co-produced songs with The Freestylers, such as "Turn to Dust" from the Adventures in Freestyle
album.In 2012 The Freestylers signed with Black Hole Recordings subsidiary Rub-A-Duck Records. Through the label, they have released singles such as "Frozen" and "Over You", as well as their latest album The Coming Storm
in 2013. 2012 also saw new member Chris Bishop (Screwface from Stereo:Type) joining the production team.