If you’re a drum & bass fan, you may already be familiar with the two chaps in the picture above as the producers Technicolour and Komatic. Although you may have caught one or the other on a solo production, chances are more than likely that you’ve witnessed their more current tunes as a duo. Well, the pair has made it official with their latest release by donning their new compound alias, Technimatic.
As Technimatic, they’ve got a new release, Unfinished Business / She Knows, on the re-launched label SGN:LTD, a tune on Drum & Bass Arena’s Anthology 2, another on Hospital Records’ Sick Music 3, and a brand-new Beatport Mix. Needless to say, these guys have been busy, but they had just enough time for us to slip them some interview questions. Check out what the two halves of Technimatic had to say below.
Can you tell us a little about your background? Where did you guys grow up, and where are you based now?
Technicolour: I am originally from Luton, now living in Wimbledon, southwest London.
Komatic: I grew up in Sunderland and I’m now based and living in Bedford.
What were your first musical obsessions?
Komatic: My first musical obsessions were with The Prodigy, Massive Attack, and other dance acts like Chicane.
Technicolour: Fleetwood Mac (thanks, Dad!), Jamiroquai, and The Prodigy.
How did you guys get started producing?
Komatic: When I was at school doing my GCSEs, I was learning the piano but getting pretty bored of playing classical music. My teacher at the time introduced me to jazz pieces, which refreshed my interest again. But it was all about the first production computer the school bought and installed in its own room with a few bits of outboard. I used to sneak in during lunch when nobody was looking and became completely obsessed.
Technicolour: I started in 2003 when I finally got the money together to buy a computer and a copy of Reason.
Is there any specific track (old or new) whose production amazes you?
Komatic: New, for me it has to be Break ft. Calyx and Teebee’s “Don’t Look Down.” Incredible stuff. Old, it would have to anything from Ed Rush & Optical. They were so ahead of their time and still to this day have scores of people trying to emulate their sound.
Technicolour: Old, it has to be something from Photek. I remember when his stuff used to come into my old record shop in Luton, and it just sounded so far ahead of the competition. He was almost on another planet at that time. A lot of the newest production actually turns me off a little bit. It sounds too clean, too engineered, too removed from the roots of the genre. So someone like Break, I look up to hugely, as he combines that old, rough-round-the-edges ethos with a more contemporary dancefloor muscle.
Was there a point during your producing when you realized that you had settled on your own particular sound and style?
Komatic: I think probably when “Daydreamer” was signed and released on Technique. At that point we were still very much solo artists doing the occasional collaboration, and that was probably the first tune where we really felt we’d found our sound.
Did you have any mentors when you were starting out producing?
Komatic: No mentors at all. We very much were (and still are) teaching ourselves and making plenty of mistakes along the way. It’s the same old cliché with making music, but you never stop learning!
How do you explain your music to your family members?
Komatic: My mum gets it more than my dad, although he’s getting better! I don’t think either of them fully understand it though, only to the point that they are happy I’m not belting beats out in their house anymore!
Technicolour: I think my family still consider me to be at the same stage as when I was playing Bizzy B records really loud in my bedroom with my mates in the early ’90s. They still think it’s a silly hobby. My mum was quite surprised when I showed her a video of me playing to 4000 people in Prague.
When you DJ live, what kind of setup do you guys use? How would you describe your sets?
Komatic: In the studio, Serato SL3 with two SL1210s. For live performances, Pioneer CDJ-2000s or 1000s.
How did each of you get your first signing?
Komatic: My first signing came from a good friend who owns the local record shop in Bedford. I made a bootleg of an old ragga tune which he played down the phone to Tobie at Nu Urban (now part of the Serial Killaz). He loved it, and we put it out!
Technicolour: I had a little release on Ennex Records in 2007 called “Everything Is Everything.”
Are you the type of musicians who know what kind of track you want to write before you sit down to make it, or do you create music more from a process of experimentation, trial, and error?
Komatic: All about experimentation, trial, error, and plenty of mistakes and random accidents that suddenly seem to fit!
When you sit down to make a track, what’s the first thing you do? How long does a track typically take you to make?
Komatic: Generally speaking, we start with a sketch or basic idea that one of us has knocked up. Could be beats, just samples, anything. Or if we are really starting from scratch, we’ll start going through samples and then find a beat to suit the mood.
Where do you record?
Komatic: Home studio setup is where we make everything, as well as passing things backwards and forwards on AIM.
Do you currently have a favorite piece of gear or software?
Komatic: Our trusted sequencer, Reason 3! Also the Ozone 5 and Satson Channel. Both incredible.
Is there any gear that you don’t currently have but have been obsessed with owning?
Komatic: Anything from the vintage Neve range.
Are you a morning person or night owl?
Technicolour: I have always been an early riser. A lot of my best work happens before breakfast!
Komatic: Used to be more a night owl, but actually liking the mornings at the mo!
What’s the latest trend in electronic music that you’ve noticed taking shape?
Komatic: Using the same synth bass out of Massive on everything.
When you’re not listening to electronic music, what do you listen to?
Technicolour: To be honest, I don’t really listen to much contemporary music at all. It’s all old stuff. Jazz, soul, library LPs, new age, Krautrock, weird outsider shit. I like obscure, crusty LPs.
Komatic: A lot of singer-songwriter bits, especially more recently, Lianne Le Havas. Bands-wise, everything from Mumford and Sons to Doves.
When you’re not making or playing music, what’s your preferred pastime?
Komatic: Watching movies and getting out on the bike.
Technicolour: Listening to 5Live on the radio on a Saturday afternoon and cooking.
If you weren’t a musicians, what would you be doing with your lives?
Komatic: Working in radio.
Technicolour: Writing a novel.
Tell us about your upcoming gigs and releases.
Technimatic – “Solace” [Shogun Audio]
Random Movement – “Dropping The Chips” (Technimatic Remix) [Rubik]
Technimatic – The Mirror Image EP [Spearhead]
Nov 30 – Bedlam @ Solus, Cardiff, UK
Dec 7 – Yes Club, Prague, CZ
Dec 7 – Molotov @ GEI, Timelkam, Austria
Dec 15 – InnerSoul @ Plan B, Brixton, London UK
Jan 11 – Flux, Vienna, Austria
Feb 01 – Roxy, Prague, CZ
Feb 08 – Inform @ Plan B, Brixton, London UK
Feb 08 – The Garage, Leeds, UK