What would in most cases be a mildly amusing joke of ‘A Greek and a Northern Irishman walk into a bar’ would at the moment translate into AnD entering a club ready to seduce its inhabitants with their predatory bass lines, sassy percussion and Dave Clarke inspired techno.
The two are yet another faceless and covert production unit to have released on the equally enigmatic Horizontal Ground and Black Sun Records imprints. 2011 has been a year that has garnered them most attention since first releasing on Manchester label Mindset in 2009. With an unstoppable amount of techno seen from the two this year it’s clear that a release-less 2010 was the bi-product of being left to their own devices in an abandoned air raid shelter beneath the streets of Manchester, the city the two currently call home.
The duo entrusted the launch of their vinyl only imprint Inner Surface Music earlier this year with the relatively unknown Wireman aka Andrew Langfield. With rumours of ISM002 being just around the corner, TEA caught up with the unidentified techno objects for talk of hitting the clubs at fourteen, two Australian migrations and one making it through to late Sunday night after opening for Frozen Border’s Berghain Klubnacht in March.
So your both Manchester lads at the moment, a city well known for its music. Tell us a bit about how you guys met and where you both grew up.
We have both lived in Manchester for the past 7 years, but I'm originally from Belfast and Dimitri is originally from Thesaloniki in Greece. We first met each other about six and a half years ago through a mutual friend and we both happened to be studying music production at the School of Sound Recording. We never really started working together until two years after we first met, Dimitri gave me a CD and I said to him we should hook up and do some work together, everything clicked from there really.
Andrew - Growing up in Belfast was cool, it was never really a massive musical city but certain DJ's and certain nights really helped shape the sound that I'm into today. When I was growing up David Holmes was a massive influence for me as he played trip hop and funk one night and then the next time you'd see him he'd be playing acid house and techno. I always found this fascinating and really inspiring even though I didn't DJ or produce at the time. I also made my first trip to Shine in 1997, I shouldn't of been in there as I was only 16, I remember Dave Clarke was playing and as soon as I heard a 2 hour set from one of the masters I was totally hooked and fell in love with the genre that I still love today.
Dimitri - I grew up in a typical city environment. Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and is a lovely place next to the sea with a nice harbour with loads of bars and clubs. There was always a lot of interesting things going on in the city, from art installations and exhibitions to live theatrical performances and full philharmonic bands on the street. I was lucky enough to live a little bit out of the city centre, near forests and parks. It was nice to experience tranquil places like that on a Sunday morning, I used to enjoy taking in the scenery and isolation, left only with my thoughts and music. This only satisfied me so much and I decided to move to the city for some new experiences. It was there that I got some part time work and started going to school which inevitably lead to experiencing the nightlife. After a while I started going out more and more and not long after this I started DJing in a club at the age of 14. From then on I started playing in more clubs across Greece and that's where my musical journey began.
Andrew, you were in Perth, the western part of Australia for a while too?
Yeah I lived in Australia for about 18 months when I was 14, my family decided to emigrate to Perth as we had family living there already. Things didn't go so well first time round so we moved back to Northern Ireland. My family decided to go back when I was 20 so I spent another year in Perth and this time had alot of fun, but it wasn't for me and I eventually moved back to the UK.
How influential has Manchester been on you?
Manchester can be very influencial as it's an industrial city with plenty of old mills and warehouses all over the place. It can also be very grey with a lot of rain, so it can help put you in the right mood to make some dark moody techno (laughs). The music scene here is really good, there tends to be loads of great artists performing here on a regular basis. The thing that makes Manchester what it is, is the amount of really talented young producers all doing their own thing. Manchester never gets the props London does, but there are enough talented people here doing a lot of amazing things at the moment. You can really draw a lot of inspiration from the music that your friends are making, no matter what the genre.
Manchester seems to give off a vibe of being a tight knit community when it comes to techno, is this true?
Manchester is a very tight knight community in the sense that it's not actually that big, so you get to know everybody pretty quickly. I would say it's the same as everywhere, certain groups of people really help to push each others sound, and others don't (laughs).
Is Manchester where you plan to stay?
For the foreseeable future yes, but who's knows what is around the corner. If the opportunity comes up to do something else in a different place we are not the sort of people who would ever say never.
Wireman was the first release on your new label Inner Surface Music. How long have you had plans for ISM and how did it all come together?
We had been in touch with Wireman for about 3 years and we've been holding those tracks tight for a long time. We had always wanted to start a label and the opportunity came up to start one last year with Tom Dicicco, we all felt the time was right to get things moving. We had talked about some ideas and what we felt was going to be the right direction for the label to move in aesthetically and sonically. So we were already on the same page when it came it choosing tracks and artwork etc. We all like very similar styles of music and we all have a very similar ethos when it comes to music so there wasn't too much to work out.
What plans do you have for the label?
As we are all 100% vinyl when we DJ, the label is only going to be vinyl only. The next Inner Surface Music 002 will come from ourselves and should be coming out within the next 2 months, later in the year we will also have an EP coming from Tom Dicicco. We have some great EPs planned for next year already, we want to keep people guessing so watch this space.
Tell us about your relationship with Tom Dicicco.
We met Tom a few years ago through Eastern Bloc Records in Manchester. He gave us a copy of his first EP on Baud and from there we became really good friends. As we said Tom's into very similar music and has a very similar ethos to us when it comes to DJing and production, so we all hit it off very quickly. A very talented guy and an all round nice bloke.
Black Sun Records 002 recently dropped. Tell us about those 3 productions and how your involvement came about with BSR.
We had our first Horizontal Ground release in August last year and had been sending loads of material to Jeff, the label owner. He wanted to take quite a few of the tracks off us but he felt like these productions were too hard for the Horizontal Ground label. So he asked us if he could pass them on to Black Sun Records on our behalf, so everything stemmed from that. The A side and B1 on that record are alot more traditional techno than some of our other deeper chord driven tracks, but they are essentially us making techno similar to the styles we grew up listening and dancing too in the club.
Do you guys have more plans for work with BSR?
There has been nothing planned as yet, but we will certainly hope to have some new material out with them in the future.
How is the dynamic between you two in the studio.
We work well as a duo, as one of us is extremely calm and relaxed and the other is very impatient, this tends to work very well. (laughs) We spend alot of time writing together and we also write a lot individually, we always throw all of our ideas into the one pot, that way you are always twice as creative. Plus it's always nice having someone else to bounce ideas around rather than getting stuck in rut, when you've listened to a set of elements on loop for 20 hours it's very easy to lose the plot. The best thing about working as a duo though is that you get to share the experiences with someone else who also happens to be your best friend.
Do the two of you work on any solo material.
You opened proceedings for Frozen Borders Klubnacht at Berghain in March of this year. How was it and how did you go about opening Berghain? That set time can allow for quite a bit of experimentation.
Playing at Berghain was the best experience we've ever had DJing! The club, the staff, the crowd and of course the sound system are all amazing, it was very special and something we really hope that we have the opportunity to do again. There was no plan, we packed two record bags worth of tracks that we love and from there it was all working completely off the vibe that we got from the crowd. We don't think you can plan for a gig like Berghain as the place has a life of its own and you just have to go with what feels right at the time.
Did you make it to the end Sunday?
One did, one didn't. Long story! (laughs)
In may of last year FACT Magazine interviewed Frozen Border, a label shrouded in secrecy in which it made a statement about its roster “At the moment it’s 6 artists and I have never met one of them in person, so I would say it’s quite a loose collective” How is it to work with mysterious labels such as Frozen Border and Black Sun Records?
The reason why we first contacted Frozen Border / Horizontal Ground was because we loved the music that they had released. I think the one thing a lot of people forget these days is that if the music is good who cares who releases it, makes it or plays it. If the music is good enough it will stand up by itself. Too many DJ's and producers are only interested in being superstars whenactually they aren't, they are just ordinary people who happen to write music or play other peoples tracks. We think Frozen Border, Horizontal Ground and Black Sun Records all work as mysterious labels because the music is good. If it wasn't, no body would care.
Dubstep seems to influence British techno producers most. You have just released on Project Squared which dabbles in stepped styles, should we be expecting anything different to what you have previously produced?
Our first release back in 2009 was actually a dubstep and techno influenced track on Mindset Recordings, so we have actually been writing dubstep and techno for a while now. The release on Project Squared does lean more towards dubstep, but what people perceive as dubstep and what we perceive as dubstep can be two completely different things. We are really happy with the EP and have been getting some great support from people like Surgeon, Lucy and Forward Strategy Group. It also features a great remix from Tom Dicicco as well.
Whats next for AnD?
We have some great EPs lined up for the rest of the year with Inner Surface Music, Sect, Hidden Hawaii Ltd, Idle Hands, Krill and more. Apart from that we will be working hard in the studio on some new material and playing lots of great parties.
What is you favourite tea?
- AnD - Intro
- Forward Strategy Group - Inside The Shadows (Dadub Metropolis remix) [Stroboscopic Artefacts]
- Tom Dicicco - Night Erosion [Stockholm Ltd]
- AnD - Transparent [Forthcoming Krill]
- Iori - Lapis One [Prologue]
- Peter Van Hoesen - Defense Against the Self (Lucy remix) [Time To Express]
- Handahofi - Tioni - Untitled A - Forthcoming Handahofi [Tioni Musik]
- Sigha - Politics of Dying (James Ruskin remix) [Our Circula Sound]
- Pfirter - Vasodilatador [Stockholm Ltd]
- Shifted - B2 [Avian]
- Truncate - Truncate 16 [Enemy]
- Unknown - A1 - [Horizontal Ground]
- Giorgio Gigli - Indifferent Sight (Terrence Dixon remix) [M_Rec] (Forthcoming)
- Delta Funktionen - Miss Communication [Ann Aimee]
- Sandwell District - Grey Cut Out [Sandwell District]
- AnD - Non Compliant - [Inner Surface Music] (Forthcoming)
- Coefficient - Vacuum Instability [M_Rec]
- Shifted - Control [Mote Evolver]
- Cosmin Trg - De Dans [50 Weapons]
- Objekt - Clk Recovery [Objekt]
- Sigha - I am Apathy, I am Submission [Blueprint]
- Phase - Dome Argus [Token]
- Traversable Wormhole - Exiting the Milkyway (Surgeon remix) [CLR]
- Tommy Four Seven - Sevals [CLR]
- Surgeon - Those Who Do Not [Dynamic Tension]
- Henning Baer - B2 [K209]
- O/V/R - Post Traumatic Son (MDR Version) [Blueprint]
- Albert Van Abbe - NCS 0007121210 (Sleeparchive remodel) [No Comment]
- Truncate - Focus V2 [Truncate]
- DVS1 - Departure [enemy]
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