THE first interview today is with Kachina...
as they discuss the new single, Eyes of March, and their upcoming E.P. of the same name. They talk about adapting since the loss of their band member Zurcon and what life is like in the group now. The guys talk about their music tastes and what is coming next.
I was keen to know what sort of music inspires them and any rising acts we need to watch; how they unwind away from music and what advice they would offer emerging musicians – they select some great songs to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi. Yeah, great. Interesting times. The last week has been hectic. Just got a Universal Audio Apollo 16 and reorganised the studio around it; makes live recording/jamming a lot easier. We've been recording vocals with Lyndsey Murray for a few days, got some quality music in the works right now.
For those new to your music can you introduce yourselves, please?
Hi. We're Kachina, House and Garage pioneers from the Midlands, U.K.
Eyes of March is your new single. Is there a story behind it?
Rob Sparx: Zurcon named the song. It’s a play on words and I can't say exactly what he meant by it but I would say it’s about the divide, the hidden truth; the half of history that’s covered up to hide an inconvenient truth which is just dying to get out. The truths we take for granted which may actually be lies.
It is from the E.P. of the same name. What sort of inspirations and themes influence the music?
This E.P. is about truth, the moon/night; strife, hope and love!
How did Kachina find one another? When did you meet?
Rob Sparx: I first met Zurcon way back in about 2000 at 5HQ record shop (Formation Records now HQ Recordings) in Leicester. He was painting the place for SS, we were in Twisted Individual’s room checking out his latest beats having a smoke and Zurcs was observing the madness cracking us up with his cheeky banter.
I'd see him M.C. and D.J.-ing around town and at Leicester/DMU University student nights for many years. After that, he then got involved in Dub nights working with a mate of mine, Ash, who suggested Zurcs as vocalist for a Dubstep tune I was writing - which became What U Gonna Do, which was a vinyl release on my label, Migration, back in 2009…
We carried on working together at events for years after that and I eventually ended up living on the same street in the West End of Leicester City. Wigz and I met when I was teaching production workshops at The Core in Corby in 2011. He was one of my first students doing regular production and engineering sessions for many years until we formed Kachina.
Has it been difficult to adapt since the loss of Zurcon? Are you continuing to honour his memory?
Of course, losing any friend is hard as most people know and especially when you've spent many an hour in the studio, on stage and in clubs and have shared many experiences together. Zurcs was such a big character. It’s like the world has gone a bit quieter with him gone. Musically, though, we have continued to grow; we're more determined and focused than ever.
We have made a track in honour of Zurcon titled Zurcon's Prayer which will be out in 2019. Keep an eye on our socials. There will be a celebration for his birthday on 4th Jan in Leicester at both the African Caribbean Centre in Highfields and in the West End at either Music Cafe or Boxed. More info will be available A.S.A.P.
Is there going to be more material next year? How far ahead are you looking?
Yeah. There's plenty in the pipeline; work is nearly finished on many more E.P.s on all our labels - for at least a year into the future - and we have some great remixes from the likes of DJ Q, Osunlade and Miguel Migz out soon. Eyes of March is the last of the music made on our old P.C. to be released: all the new material is made on a faster computer with better sound card hardware, analog synths etc. and you can really tell the difference!
Do you share similar tastes? Who are you inspired by?
Wigz: We do have similar tastes, especially in D&B, UKG; House and everything in between - which is probably why we work well together. Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of MOAD, Dawn Wall and people like that - I love the instrument selection and grooves those two producers can bring
Rob Sparx: I'd be here all day if I start rolling off the many names that influence my music, so I'll just say classic D&B, Jungle and Dub; Tuff Jam-era Garage and '90s-Leftfield Dance music are still huge influences on my production style.
As Christmas is coming; what one present would you each like if you could have anything?
Wigz: A Christmas number-one hit would do nicely then we would be sorted money-wise for life. Haha. Nah, realistically, the main thing I'm looking forward to is the roast! You can't beat a roast with all the trimmings on Christmas Day.
Rob Sparx: Schimdt, Moog One and Macbeth Minimac D!
Do you already have plans for 2019?
Nexgen: Releasing a four-part vinyl album. There'll be twenty tracks and some of our best unreleased music on there. We've been working on the release for over a year now. It’s pretty special! Also, we're finally getting round to making some videos/animations.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Rob Sparx: Kievbass in Ukraine know how to party, that’s all I'm saying!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Wigz: Keep pumping out them bangers! Learning your craft is the most important, whether that be by playing an instrument or being a producer. To get any good at something, you need to put in some work and also just have fun! There's no point in making all this music if you can't have some fun with it!
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
Keep an eye on DeepArtment/RYVM parties in Leicester and Bloop in Leamington. We will be doing some label nights in the Midlands and Washington D.C. next year as well, so keep an eye on our socials.
IN THIS PHOTO: Luthor
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Wigz: Of course you have to; life is all about balance! But, just the standard stuff really...going out doing stuff with friends etc. I also have an off-road motorbike, so I like to take that for a spin on some circuits or green lanes and go tear it up with a few mates!
Rob Sparx: Not much. I'm on this 24/7. Definitely a bit of a lab-rat, especially since getting hardware last year but my kids keep me grounded. I'm often taking them out around town or visiting family and friends. If I do need to get out the lab for a few hours, I usually go down to my mate’s studios at Lock 42 Frog Island or Thyme Bar in Market Bosworth which does some amazing food!
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Wigz: Cassius - Feeling for you
Rob Sparx: Curtis Mayfield – Pusherman