Australian duo Ekko & Sidetrack have been exciting our sound systems for a while now with multiple appearances on Viper compilations as well as Viper’s VIP sub label and now it’s time to graduate. Making their solo debut on Viper Recordings with an absolultely wicked new single the lads have kindly dropped us a seriously good guest mix and took some time to talk to me about the single, the scene in Australia and a few other tings…
Hi lads, how are you both?
Great thanks, it’s been a busy month or so finishing off the single, the video clip and some remixes. Plus Jeff has just been in the USA for the last 3 weeks on a holiday.
For anyone who may not be familiar with Ekko & Sidetrack please introduce yourselves and tell us how you ended up working as a duo?
We are Jeff and Jono Hansen – 2 Brothers who both liked drum and bass growing up, and I suppose became a musical duo when we joined our record collections together when we were DJing in the back room.
How is the Drum & Bass scene in Australia at the minute? Is it seeing another growth in popularity as with the US?
We are super lucky in that we live in Perth, on the west coast in Australia. Some cities in Australia seem to have a real ebb and flow with music popularity and attitude but Perth has remained pretty damn strong since the mid 90’s. We have festivals like Origin and Hidden bringing world-class acts to our pretty isolated city and between the promoters, the acts and the punters it really fosters a community that has longevity. It’s not just electronic music either; the list of bands and recording artists that grew up here is massive. Maybe there’s something in the water…
You’re about to make your solo debut on Viper’s main label with your new single – how did you end up working with those guys?
We’ve been sending stuff to Brendan Futurebound for about 2 years now. We had met him through another Viper artist (ShockOne) years ago and always said we’d send stuff through when we were happy with it. The guys at Viper have been great in developing us and giving honest feedback along the way.
Let’s talk about the A side of your single, Burgle, and the video to go with it. So you made the video yourselves? Do you both star in it too?!
Haha, yep – Jeff is in the balaclava and Jono is in the studio. The idea came one night in the studio when we were halfway through the song. We both think very visually (Jeff is a graphic designer and Jono an amateur filmmaker) and come up with images for the music we’re writing. Usually this is just a kickstarter for musical ideas but this time it quickly evolved into a story of a cat-burgler thwarted by an inspirational little monkey .The monkey actually sits in the corner of our studio. Together with Mitch Richards of Aftermath Visuals we started shooting in Jono’s girlfriend’s house. After 6 or 7 nights of hard work (but a lot of fun) we had the clip!
The track itself is absolutely wicked, and definitely a true Viper tune, how has the process been making your first solo single for the label and how has the reaction to the tunes been?
We’ve had releases before this but this one feels really right – that sounds cheesy but it came together really well from an idea that just kept growing. We write lots of music that never leaves the studio but Burgle and One Time are two that we were really excited to play in the club, even as rough mixed demos. We remember playing a rough version of One Time ages ago and thinking “if we get that mix right I think we might be onto a winner”. Hopefully people dig the tunes and the fact there’s a difference between the two.
Did you write these 2 tracks as a package or was there a long A+R process to get the right 2 together?
Typically, tunes get paired up in our heads as we write them – “this would work well with that”, etc – but this came together differently. We had Burgle done and originally it was gonna have Hold It Up on the flip, but we sent an early demo of One Time to Viper and Brendan actually sent us an email asking how soon we could have it finished and if we would be keen to put Hold It Up on the ‘Summer Slammers’ compilation, keeping One Time for the single. Worked perfectly, really.
Who else is smashing it for you at the minute and what are you go to tunes in your sets?
Oh maaaaan, heaps of guys killing it at the moment. UrbanDawn is about to put out what sounds like a really exciting album, Fourward and Noisia just did, Dimension tunes never leave the set – his Strobe Remix was DOPE! 1991 is killing it, Dawnwall and Pola & Bryson is perfect vibes, Flowidus – new guys from Perth are about to put out some great tunes. BMotion’s stuff is sick, Vacuum from Holland, Blaine Stranger on Viper is one to watch and Fatso by Metrik is probably our tune of 2016! That’s a random collection but there you go!
Thanks lads, is there anything else you want to tell us about?
We have a semi regular podcast – The Adventures of Ekko and SideTrack – just search for it wherever you get your podcasts. We get interesting people we know on and just chat, it’s a work in progress and we promise to get more regular with it, too, but it’s something we enjoy doing. Check out our Facebook page for upcoming shows, enjoy the single and the video clip and keep an eye out for a remix coming soon…
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