It’s a great pleasure to introduce two of our hottest new artists to you today, with their debut vinyl sounding so fresh featuring a jazzed out dance floor remix from our boy Oli Furness and a typically next level one from Mr G, we are predicting big things for this new collaboration. They are not new to music in anyway and both bring talent to the mix, and working together as Chris & Antanas things have definitely hit a new level. So without further prattling on let’s see what makes these guys tick;
So how did you guys end up in the studio together?
Antanas Antanelis: Nearly two years ago now, me and my fellow label boss Jean-Robert Saintil had an opportunity to make a party at Vilnius’ infamous Opium club in Lithuania. We sent a list with a dozen relatively well known DJs that we could’ve booked to the promoter and Chris was one of the handful of the chosen ones.
Chris Woodward: Party went off unbelievably well. Best gig I’ve had in a decade. A year later Antanas moved to London and after a couple of gigs and small tours together we started drafting ideas in the studio.
Did you go into the studio with a clear idea of the sound you wanted from the first session, or was it a free flowing jam kind of thing?
C: We had a clear vision of the sound we wanted to achieve before getting going on production. Both of us are diggers so, we dug deep into our record collections, sharing new finds as well as timeless classics and discussing which bits make them stand out.
A: Having some sort of a framework in terms of sound made our sessions more efficient thus enabling us to freely experiment with rhythm and arrangement.
It was exciting for us to get you guys on board the label, from the first second we hear your demo we were like, yes…this is it. Your debut EP ‘Afrikaan Donce’ has just hit the shops and is doing well, how pleased are you with the reactions and support its been getting so far, it being your first ever release…well sort of?
A: The feedback we have got on the record went way above our expectations. Nothing fuels productivity more than seeing people appreciate something you’ve put a lot of love into.
C: Agreed. Having Mr G on the remix duties of our track was truly an unexpected & pleasant surprise too.
So about the Afrikaan Donce, what’s the story behind the title?
A: The phrase got stuck in our heads after listening to Lee Scratch Perry’s Ganja Man whilst taking breaks during studio sessions.
C: Believe it or not – that tune is one of the key inspirations of our collaboration!.
From what we have heard of your output so far, all the tracks have a strong raw and groovy edge to the production and arrangement, warm and full whilst having an intricacy a lot of club music misses without losing any of the drive on the dancefloor. How you are achieving this? Is it a mixdown thing, samples you use? Particular effects etc? Are you quite picky on the quality of samples you use or find when you are digging?
C: It’s all pretty loose. Every production happens in its own unique way. We look through our huge library of samples for neat drum hits, see which ones fit the picture better. No Dough Samples, Loopmasters, Sample Magic are probably the top three in the list.
A: At the end of the day it all comes down to heavy processing. We use tools by Waves, Soundtoys, some Logic built-in effects and just play with them until it crisps up to a desirable level.
Do you take any particular inspirations into the studio with you? Are there any artists that helped you carve this awesome vibe you’ve got going on?
C: Red wine and good memories from our adventures at gigs.
A: That and frequent analysis of dope new digs.
Are you both quite hands on when it comes to the engineering side of things? How does your partnership work in the studio?
C: Same as with the way we achieve our sound – pretty loose.
A: We’re constantly drafting some new ideas as well as digging for bits to sample. When we catch up in the studio, we run through it all and pick up on the ones we both agree are worth putting an effort into. Then we work on getting them sound right and move on to arranging and what-not.
What sort of hardware are you guys dealing with right now? Or are you predominantly in the box?
C: Laptop and a midi keyboard.
A: Although we’ve got some ideas of recording some bits with guitar/bass in the pipeline. We’ll see how that turns out.
You’re both Londoners now, how do you feel the London house scene is What’s exciting you the most?
C: London is huge and so is the array of various happenings. If one digs well – unforgettable parties can be found on a regular basis. Pity that same goes for the rubbish ones…
A: Probably the most exciting things are guys like Millionhands or Trax Couture, who are successfully bending the borders of music, fashion and other industries and deliver exceptional product in anything they get their hands on. C: Yeah, that and Mezcaleria Quiquiriqui.
So looking forward a bit, where do you see Chris & Antanas heading? More dope releases on NDV is a certainty, but what else would you guys like to see happen in 2015 and onwards?
A: We’re working on finishing another EP as well as have some remix duties in the horizon.
C: And we’re really looking forward to seeing some gigs popping up in the nearest future.
Thanks chaps. Now check out their new EP ‘Afrikaan Donce’ and grab your copy from any of the shops below –