On Friday 15th July, British Drum n Bass duo Technimatic release their second album ‘Better Perspective’ on Shogun Audio. A continuation of the lush, deep cinematic sounds the pair unleashed on the world with 2015’s DnB album of the year ‘Desire Paths,’ the new set features more vocal collaborations and a slight switch from leaning heavily on samples, but all still with the same depth of production and songwriting the guys have become known for. Huwston caught up with them to get a better perspective himself.
If you haven’t heard ‘Desire Paths’ – get familiar.
Thanks for your time guys and congrats on the new album. How on earth did you have time to write and record it given how busy you have been touring ‘Desire Paths’?
Well, it’s just one of those things we have always done and always accepted. Sure there are times when it feels as though we are on a crazy treadmill but at the same time it is massively rewarding when we manage to pull it off! For us, writing music and performing is something we have both had a deep obsession with from very early on so to us it’s just something that we do, we have a need to do it. As a result we make it work and that constant juggle can actually be very positive in giving us a greater perspective on it all.
Not to sound like a knob, but ‘how has your life changed since releasing ‘Desire Paths’?
To be honest, life hasn’t changed a huge amount other than we felt immensely proud and quite overwhelmed as to the response that album got. It seemed to strike a chord with a lot of people that we were’t really expecting. Our lives have changed in the sense that we are massively lucky now to play more shows and to receive the messages of support that we do. In that sense our lives have become greatly enriched.
It feels like quite a short time between albums, was it a conscious decision to keep active and did you have to force yourself back in to the studio or are you guys just workhorses?
Well, there were a few factors haha! The label were very keen for us to put out another record such was the success of the first album and we also didn’t want to leave it too long before we did some new music. We are so passionate about what we do that writing music is our form of escape from everyday life and all that goes with it. Sure it was tricky initially to get back in and start writing again because doing an album takes out so much of you creatively. But we still love what we do and so once we got cracking it was really easy to plough on.
The last time I interviewed you guys you put together an amazing playlist of influences including jazz, soundtracks, ambient and classical. Do these influences, that you where quite proudly on your sleeve, make you somewhat outsiders in the DnB scene?
The DnB scene is a massive melting pot of genres anyway so we definitely don’t feel as though we are outsiders in the DnB scene. Whether other people think that or not, we don’t ever really think about it that way. As long as we are staying true to ourselves and knowing we’ve done the best we possibly can, that matters to us more than anything else.
Similarly, Shogun releases your music and guys like Rockwell, which was pretty much a Punk record, does that make them stand out from typical Drum n Bass labels?
As a label they are definitely not too concerned with going against the grain, Ed (Friction) makes sure that the music is free to move in whatever direction it wants to and is supportive of whatever we, as artists, want to do. There is quality control, of course, but the freedom is there. Difficult to say whether that makes them stand out from ‘typical’ Drum and Bass labels because we’ve only ever worked on big projects with them but it’s certainly something that gives us a lot of creative freedom.
So, on to ‘Better Perspective’ - what does the title refer to? What do you have a better perspective on?
When you listen to the album itself, the opening is a recording of us walking through the car park to the studio door, up the stairs and then as the door closes we invite you into our world, our escape. It’s an expression of how we use our music, it allows us to get away from everyday life and channel our thoughts and feelings into music. So the ‘Better Perspective’ is exactly that, by tuning into music and immersing ourselves fully it allows us to gain a better perspective on what is happening around us, in our lives and in the world.
You have more vocals on this record. How did this come about? Consciously or by accident?
Definitely a conscious decision. We wanted to really explore crafting more songs and seeing what route that would take us down. It is a much longer working process overall, but one that ultimately is more satisfying when you’ve crafted it all the way from the inception. It also allows for more freedom because you can change a line, change words, alter melodies. Samples just don’t give you that same luxury. All of the vocalists on this album absolutely delivered and we are extremely pleased with the end results.
You had a play with House style tempos on 'Mucky Jeff' and now on ‘Problems’ - would you consider cutting a non Drum n Bass album in the future?
Never say never! We just think it’s important that we challenge ourselves and it helps keep the DnB palette fresh. Ultimately we just write whatever feels good at the time and try not to think about it all too much. It needs to tick the right boxes for us first and foremost, whatever the tempo is. As long as we capture and create the vibe we want, that’s the most important for us.
The album also seems to feature samples less prominently. Am I wrong? To your credit, the samples seem to be more textural than forming the structure of the songs, overall. Have you been focused more on your writing and original production in order to dodge the sample police?
We have made much more of an effort this time round to re-create samples and be more creative with them. This album is definitely predominantly less samples. At the same time, it is a big part of our process so its trying to get a good balance without loosing our sound completely.
You’re still the masters of the cinematic melodies with all the feels but aren’t shy of an absolute tearer. ‘Trigger Warning’ comes with almost double the impact as anything you’ve released before but the kind of ferocity is not referred to anywhere else on the album. Have you got more bangers like that hidden away?
Haha that you will have to wait and see! With that track, we really wanted to create something that nobody else had. Something that we could just drop as a hand grenade on dancefloors. People have responded to it in exactly the way we hoped and we are extremely pleased with the outcome.
Any final shout outs? Anything we have missed about the album that you would like to talk about?
We would love to shout out to all the people who support us and our music and send us overwhelming messages of support. You have no idea how much it spurs us on and how much it means to us both. We would also like to give a sincere thank you to our partners, families, friends and everyone at Shogun HQ. Without their support and trust in us it just wouldn’t be possible to do what we do.
Interview conducted by the homie Huwston for Cool Accidents.