We had the pleasure of catching up with Andy Powell, one half of the drum & base duo Technimatic. The artist begins our conversation by explaining how it all started at the young age of 15. Still at school, he found himself surrounded by older students who started bringing in mixtapes of a rave scene that was slowly starting to build in the UK. Ranging from from illegal raves & pirate radio. A showcase of 80’s transition towards futuristic and exciting music homegrown within the UK.
“I remember hearing these tapes and thinking ‘what IS this music??’. It sounded so forward thinking and completely different to anything else we’d had in this country before. You’ve got to also remember that this music was coming from a pretty bleak time in the economy from the 80s, music technology was only just starting to change how we thought about music writing and performing and creatives were rebelling.”
Blast from the Past
Andy highlights how everything felt like it was new, fresh, and “a generation pissed off and fed up with the manufactured popcharts we were being fed on the radio.” Having spent the best part of 20 years doing what he loves , and loving every second of it, we caught up with Andy to find out more about their newest release LAKOTA. A song produced just before the pandemic hit in collaboration with Abbie [A Little Sound]; formed through seeing the artist [Abbie] post covers of their tracks Parallel on Youtube. On getting into the studio the duo realized that due to the immensely incredible vocals being voiced by the female artist, they had to rewrite the song so it could support her vocal, instead of the other way round.
“Personally for us, it helped us grow a lot. It made us realise that we shouldn’t be afraid to change things if the vibe isn’thappening, that sometimes it’s fine to keep the raw soul of something and just completely clear the decks and start again.And of course, this song was finished just before the pandemic, so our world completely turned upside down at that verymoment before the release.”
The duo’s music is best described as musical, deep and emotive, with an energetic edge for the dancefloor. Powell explains how they try and capture the emotive vibe and blend it with energy for their fans. Powell’s favourite tune to date has been ‘Parallel’ ft. Zara Kershaw, due to the very reason on how well people responded upon its release.
Holding nothing Back!
When it comes to their fans, the duo are keen to lay everything all out, with nothing held back, so their listeners experience and capture every possible emotion the duo are seeking to deliver with their music. Powell highlights how his father has ingrained a strong ethic from a very young age, and as such points out that you do not get anywhere unless you put in the effort and graft. Further explaining how it makes it more special when you get there. With special reference to his wife, who has been through all of the “madness” as he poetically puts it.
“I get a lot of inspiration from the other artists in our scene. We are all constantly pushing each other to make the best music we can, and I think for me because I always dreamt I’d be doing it, being able to now have conversations with my hero’s in the scene is surreal. ”
In the beginning, Powell notes the importance of finding people in the music industry that are a kin to material being produced. Looking to other up and coming producers that they could share experiences and knowledge with; learning and ultimately figuring the journey out together, from brand creation to music production. Powell highlights the importance of staying true to yourself, and to be prepared to work extremely hard for what you want. To not beat yourself up about rejection
and failures. “If you can go at something with passion and truth,other people will pick up on it and it’ll resonate with them.”
The duo’s biggest challenge to date has been avoiding being caught up in all the noise, and not comparing themselves with everyone else. Since lockdown, the duo have gone into “creative frenzy”, starting an online music tech teaching school http://first-hand.co.uk; which both thoroughly enjoy. Having had the pleasure of teaching students from all walks of life and from all over the world. In addition to having written 25 new tunes in addition to a great deal of collaborations with vocalists. Having just remixed 2 tunes from LSB’s & DRS’s Blue Hour album which will be dropping soon. The artist are steamrolling ahead and look forward to sharing their new releases!