Handra spoke to us about their slick, stylish new ep up alongside guests Eastcolors and Mortem. And took us waaaaay into the mix in the process: check at end.
First off I believe you’ve been off to play the Audioriver festival, was it good?
Filip: It was our second time being invited to play at Audioriver Festival and it’s always good to be there and not only when we play. Great event, great venue and last but not least great people.
This year’s lineup was massive and we’re talking not just about the bass scene. We were proud to be part of the lineup.
So what did you draw live and was it a typical Handra set? How long did you play for and would you actually like to play longer?
Marek: A two hour set is our standard. We could play for longer no problem but we prefer a more “tighter” set. We would’ve played longer at the festival except for the weather.
So can you take us through ‘Far Away’? Beautiful track, makes me think how you can so explore the D&B template in ways such as this…
Filip: We love to expand our musical universe. We wanted to make something a bit different. ‘Far Away’ is special, maybe a little bit experimental for the D&B scene but it still has that unique D&B feeling with a Handra touch as well.
Random one: what’s a studio tip that you would share, something about the world of producing D&B that it’s easy to get lost in, and that you would talk to us about?
Marek: The sub always in mono! OK, that was obvious but we like to layer our basses leaving space in the mid range to fill with melody and sfx. We like to keep it simple and minimal, we also use many samples, but we try not to use it in an obvious way and from obvious sources.
For example, the resampling process can give you a nice bassline from a kickdrum.
Where’s the vocals on ‘Far Away’ from? Love the layering.
Filip: I guess it’s from an old VA compilation. Not sure where I got it from, to be honest.
‘Eyes on You’ is killer and made me think of D&B from 2009-11 which is a massive compliment.
Marek: First of all, we would like to thank Mortem for his contribution. It was a great experience to work with this acclaimed producer. We wanted to make a deep and fat roller, hope we’ve achieved that.
Filip: Yeah, big up mate! I always love to mix classic D&B sounds with modern noises. When I say classic I mean techy sounds older than 2010, I think that 1999-2000 is my favourite period in D&B history.
Still spinning a lot of vinyl from those times and older. Sure you can hear those influences in ‘Eyes on You’ and our other productions.
So I’m thinking that you have loads of material about… maybe an album to come?
Marek: Album? To be honest, we’re not thinking about it right now because we need to finish a few projects first, some big names included as well.
Filip: Yeah, fresh collabs in progress!
Who did the wicked artwork and is there a concept behind it? I imagine this as huge slides behind you when you play live, with loads of angles and abstract shafts of lighting.
Filip: Same guy from the beginning, Adam Chro, thanks Adam! Handra is more than just music, it’s a whole concept seated deeply in nature and minimalism.
Music and graphic design are inseparable components.
Actually what’s something visual you recently saw? A painting, billboard, grafitti, film, documentary…
Marek: I saw a great article about the techno scene lately, mainly it was about the French techno scene.
I would like to see something similar about the bass scene.
Filip: An amazing and dark movie titled Snowtown. Really felt this one!
Marek: Oh yeah, Snowtown that was mindburning. There’s some kind of magic in Australian cinematography.
Tell us about the linkup with Eastcolors on the ep.
Filip: We love Andrey’s style – deep and rolling at the same time. I remember that we had a chat with the guys from Addictive Behaviour and we both agreed that EastColors would be the perfect candidate to re-lick ‘Coat of Dust’.
What’s a tune in your heads right now and why?
Marek: ‘Mirror’ by Subwave. Absolutely loving it.
Filip: Manu Shrine ‘Abuse’ and Ghetts, ‘Crudd Central’! Completely different, but both sick tunes!
Thanks Handra any last words?
Marek: At the moment we are taking a little vacation and we’ll be going back in the scene in a couple of weeks. Check out our fb page for more details. Also, last time I was trying to say hello to my mom, but you didnt publish it so I’ll try again: HI MOM!.
Also love goes to my Dad, Brother and my lovely wife Sylwia.
Filip: Kisses to Kasia and my parents, big shout to all D&B heads in Poland!
Eyes On You / Coat Of Dust / Far Away