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Technijkal Interview - By Justin Sane (Oct 2004)

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
edited January 2023 in General Chat
Technikal Interview
By Justin Sane (October 2004)

I caught up with Alf Bamford (aka Technikal) prior to his Australasian Tour to find out a little bit more about him and exactly what he has in-store for us at Fragile on Friday 5th November 2004.

So how did you first get into hard dance production?

My older brother was a trance/garage DJ and I never used to really like either of the styles, until he done a mix tape for me one day and I picked it up to listen to when I was doing my paper round. I must have only been about 13 at the time, so was quite impressionable, and I got really into the trance sound. Next time I went up to my brothers I started playing about on his decks, and I loved the whole DJ image and lifestyle and knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. I started dabbling with production around this time, on simple software such as Music 2000 and eJay, and made the jump to my sequencer of choice 'Fruityloops' around two years ago now. I'm currently learning Cubase SX 2.0 however, if it seems more functional I may make the change!

Where does the name Technikal come from?

When 'Annihilation' was signed to Mohawk Records, it was required of me to change my artist name from Alf Bamford (which isn't very catchy in all fairness), so I spent a few days thinking of something new. In the middle of playing Command & Conquer, I noticed a vehicle unit called a 'Technical'. A little bit of restructuring of some letters and I was done! Simple as that.

What has been your favourite release (self made and other)?

My favourite release which I have been involved in so far is "Mission Accomplished" (Mohawk) with Gaz West. I'm just really fond of the track and it always creates carnage on the floor. Real big room hard trance. I've also got a special place for Darkside (Dynamix), with Pierre... we made it quite a while ago now and it still sounds fresh!!

How did you get into production with Pierre Pienaar (ReBirth/PHATT)?

Me and Pierre were both members of an online music community called Samplecity. I didn't really take production seriously at the time and was just writing the odd melodic trance track when me and Pierre starting talking about collaborating on a remix of Signum's 'Coming On Strong'. Pierre's 'ReBirth' sound interested me greatly, and I wrote my trance melodies and riffs to his hard percussion and basslines. If you listen to a Pienaar & Bamford track, they are always tougher and usually harder than my solo Technikal tracks, and that is Pierres influence coming through. After we finished the remix, we wrote 'Darkside' (Dynamix), followed by 'Stratosphere' (Dynamix), and have collaborated on various remixes ('Zulu Nation', 'Twisted', 'Differences') and original tracks since ('Overdrive', 'Global Panic').

What kind of studio set up do you have at home?

Like many dance producers of today I am purely software based. I am running a PC with Pentium 4 processor (3.4Ghz), with Dual Monitors, HD 25s and am investing in the coming month in some Mackie Monitors. I sequence on Fruityloops 4 Studio but am currently learning Cubase SX 2.0.

Your a member of the Masif DJ Collective, what can you tell us about

'Masif DJs' is the name for the close collective producers of the Masif/Voltswagen label, working extensively on new material for them. For instance when you look at MASIF1 (Steve Hill Vs James Lawson - Inside of Me), it has a Masif DJs remix. This can be a remix made up of people from the collective, in this case the Masif DJs were Steve Hill & Guyver. I have been involved in the Masif DJ productions "No Good For Me" and "Lex's Theme".

Do you have any aspiring words of wisdom for upcoming producers out there?

It seems the biggest struggle for aspiring producers when trying to break into the scene, is that nobody is listening to your music and giving it a chance. You also have to realise you could be the best producer in the world... but if the right people aren't hearing your tracks you're not going to get anything noticed!! The best thing to do is join a community of producers like Genero Project (www.generoproject.com), or the production section of the Tidy board (www.tidy.com/board). These places are full of honest people and will tell you if your track is good. Once you start getting regular positive feedback for your tracks your first stop is to get copies to DJ play out. This is also a good way to make contacts in the scene, get to know a few people etc. Once the DJs are playing your track out, you can present the track to labels, with a little write up on who's playing it, and what they think of it. Best of luck!

With recent signings to Tidy, Masif and Nukleuz amongst others what else do you still want to achieve as a producer?

I would like to continue the way I am at the moment for the next year or so, to help build my profile. I would like to branch out and make more commercial tipped tracks under my 'Elemental' alias, and also produce some Hardcore tracks. Apart from these genre tangents I would like to get stuck into writing an album at some point.

Having launched Kompression Digital, what are your feelings about the
digital revolution and mp3 sales online?

It's still unknown for me at the moment. Launching Kompression Digital was not just a way for people to download exclusive tracks but also an experiment to see how well a digital label could do in a fiercely competitive market. I believe that with a bit more promotion and with the prices of vinyl firmly stuck at their huge retail prices, that digital could well take off in the next year or two. We just need to convince the consumers that it is better to spend money on an mp3 than to simply download it, and for this I believe bigger incentives are needed. Simply telling people that they are destroying the scene is not enough, one person does not bring a whole scene down. Its millions of people together that do.

Can you see yourself following the route of becoming a LIVE ACT further down the track?

I'm really not too sure as of yet. I am only just beginning to venture into the DJ aspect of the music scene, but maybe a live act would be a good way to integrate my production into my sets.

What DJ/Producers do you really rate at the moment and who would you most like to work with?

I still really rate Guyver, his sound has always been a huge inspiration for me. Going a bit more european I'd have to say Alphazone have also had a good year so far, have been a more quiet recently so I'm hoping its the calm before the storm. Finally I'd say for the hard house sound Nick Rowland has not let me down. I would like to work with any of the producers mentioned here!

Which venue would you most like to play in the world? And what would
your ideal the lineup be?

In London I would have to say Brixton Academy. It's such a classic venue and the atmosphere there is electric. I love everything about the main room, it's an epic place. Worldwide I wouldn't really know, I haven't been to any big clubs out of the UK before, but I've heard good things about the ID&T venues!! The ideal lineup would probably have to be Alphazone, S.H.O.K.K, Lee Haslam, Marc French, Spencer Freeland, Steve Hill, P.H.A.T.T and I'd have an hour on the decks too I reckon.

What direction do you see your music going in the future?

I can see it getting more uplifting, trying to bring back the euphoria of 1998-99 trance. Of course there will still be room for tough acid lines and big basslines. I just want to make the hairs on peoples necks stand up again!

Is this your first tour of australasia?

It is indeed.

What do the people who come to Fragile have to look forward to?

Lots of new material, remixes of familiar classics, the new Technikal track, 'Global Panic' theme, and a friendly, happy, and great looking DJ in the booth!! And I'm just talking about Pierre!!
Post edited by JustV on
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