These days you can’t move for good heavy techno about the place and one act leading the charge in the scene is Manchester’s AnD. The last few years has seen them make a name for themselves with their blistering records and even more savage live shows. Having put out releases on revered labels such as Horizontal Ground, Black Sun Records and Repitch, they have been dark, industrial, make no apologies for it and goes down an absolute treat in a sweaty warehouse. Along with Tom Dicicco (whose Under The Aquadome Pt. 1 E.P. blew my mind last year), they also found time to establish Inner Surface Music, which has seen the likes of Regis, Surgeon, Lucy, Norman Nodge and DVS1 championing the label.
Their latest release Kundalini dropped on Speedy J‘s Electric Deluxe on Monday and as you’d expect it’s balls out techno from start to finish. It’s only the 3rd week into 2014 and its already a contender for release of the year. I sent a few questions their way to find out more about the E.P. and life in the AnD camp.
How did you both meet?
We both met through mutual friends whenever we both moved to Manchester 9 years ago. We were both really into similar music and got talking and the rest has just happened.
You guys are based in Manchester. How do you find the city to be creatively?
The city is a real melting pot of talented musicians of all musical genres, so it has a real healthy feel to it creatively. Each person sort of just does their own thing but we all inspire each other.
Kundalini came out on Electric Deluxe on Monday. How did the relationship with the label come about? It’s put out some wicked stuff throughout the years.
We had been sending Speedy J some of our releases for about the last year or two and he was really digging what we were doing. So after a while he asked us if we’d be interested in releasing with the label, much to our surprise! And the relationship has grown from there.
How long a process was Kundalini to write? Do you collaborate together in the studio or do you come up with pieces individually and bring them to the table?
We do a little of both really, sometimes we start an idea together or individually and then we tend to finish a lot of material together in the studio. The Kundalini E.P. was written over a couple of months. We tend to write our tracks fast so in one session, but then we’ll put a track to one side for a while.
What gear are you guys predominantly using in the studio?
We use Ableton for sequencing and then we’ve recently just purchased some modular gear, sequencer and Korg MS20. We have also been getting into guitar effects pedals at the minute too, you can find some really crazy little effects boxes. We’ve worked with the computer for a while now and we love VST’s like Reaktor, but were starting to move more towards analog gear and have a more hands on approach.
Andrew, I believe you lived in Australia for a while. Whats the electronic music scene like there? Any prpducers/DJ’s/labels to keep an eye out for?
Yes, I lived in Perth for 4 years when I was younger so I wasn’t clubbing a lot when I lived there. The scene in Perth was always quite small, but you would of got a bigger name dj’s over maybe once a month or for bigger festivals. At the minute there is one Australian producer who really impresses us, a guy called Angus Tarnawsky. He’s now based in New York, he’s making some really interesting leftfield electronics! We are looking to release some music from him on our label Inner Surface Music later in the year.
Tell us more about the label. Whats the ethos behind it? What releases have you coming up?
The ethos of the label is to release music from artists that we respect and love. We haven’t been releasing so quickly as we like to try and make each release as high a quality as possible. We have a great roster of artists coming together now after a couple of years, and we have some really amazing stuff planned for 2014. So keep your eyes peeled for what we have coming up, we are really excited about it!
I know you both dabbled in other music before the current techno sound of AnD. What was it that drew you to the sound?
We have both always been into techno since the mid 90’s, We grew up listening to people like Aphex Twin, LFO, Autechre, Dave Clarke, Jeff Mills, Richie Hawtin and the list goes on.
You’ve released on the likes of Black Sun Records, Project Squared and Repitch Recordings . What’s important to you when working with a label?
The most important thing when you’re working with a label is that your music suits and represents what you as an artist and what the label are both about.
How does your live show work?
The live show at the minute consists of us both controlling complete separate elements of the tracks. One controls and sequences all the drums, and the other will control and sequence all of the synth’s and textures. We generally cut up all the parts and sequence through Ableton, using external effect pedals and midi controllers.
What is your favourite venue to play?
I think that’s a hard one because every club has it’s own vibe and atmospheres and you always enjoy different gigs for different reasons. Corsica Studios in London is always good and of course Berghain too are both up there.
The harder side of techno has been going through a resurgance the past couple of years. What producers/DJ’s are doing it for you at the moment?
People like Truss, Perc, the Repitch crew (Ascion, D Carbone and Shapednoise), Container, Pete Swanson, Metasplice, Sunil Sharpe and a lot more…
What are the next few shows you have coming up?
What does 2014 hold for AnD?
2014 for AnD holds a lot of exciting gigs, some big plans for our record label, some really great releases and a lot of fun, bring it on.
Big up to the AnD boys for the interview!
The Kundalini E.P. is out now on 12″ and Digital. You can pick up your copy from the Electric Deluxe store. Highly recommended!
CHECK OUT THEIR LATEST MIX FOR RA ALSO BELOW.