The Polish duo Handra have been in D&B since the ’90s, and both their differing, individualistic takes have combined into something now gaining serious, compelling momentum. They are Marek AKA Screwball, from Poznań, and Filip AKA RanyJulian, who’s from Warsaw. Got it?
How would you describe the certain ‘something’ that makes Handra unique?
Marek: I think our secret is a different look on music.
My origins are rave culture: I like hardcore beats, twisted sounds and over-driven fart-basses.
Filip is more into deep and minimal stuff. I also love the power of rock music, but Filip is more into rap, grime, etc. When we combine it, we can create Captain Planet or Handra
I know of some Polish producers, but not many, what’s the scene like?
Marek: I seriously love the scene in this country.
The scene is growing, and I think right now it’s the best it’s ever been. So many talented producers lot’s of great events.
I love your choice of sounds and the way sounds are filtered too. What inspires your work in the studio? New sounds/old sounds, technology… what?
Filip: I love to mix classic and techy D&B sounds with minimalistic, modern noises and add a kind of emotional touch to this mixture. Marek always adds rolling vibes to it. This is pretty much how we work.
Marek: It was never only about D&B, but D&B is definitely our cup of tea. We love to use varied sounds from different kinds of music or even just ambient sounds.
Filip is filtering my rave attitude, and I’m trying to draw his sense of taste and convert it into notes.
How did you come to select these two works for Addictive Behaviour?
Filip: First of all I would like to say that AB is one of the most artist friendly labels we have worked with and we have worked with many labels over the last decade. Big thanks to Clay Baker and the crew!
‘Coat of Dust’ is the track we did for AB, ‘Stay Away’ was finished before we were signed to the label, but the track fitted the release perfectly so the selection went pretty smoothly.
Also many titles of yours from the past imply various emotional states of being… you’re very deep! To contrast, some D&B is just party music, simple as. An example is ‘Hidden Anxiety’. What gets you into your particular mode?
Marek: From my experience a hangover provides the best mood to make deep music. But seriously, we both love nature, forests, mountains. I guess you don’t even need to listen to our music to figure that out. Our artwork is obvious. But yeah, nature is our thing and it inspires us very much.
Filip: Yeah, nature is the thing that connects us for sure. I’m also a very nostalgic kind of person and I always look for emotional content in music. I love pulling the listeners deep into our tracks.
Do you watch a lot of films? What sort of ‘non music’ material inspires?
Filip: I’m very much into off cinema – non commercial movies – especially the Scandinavian ones. Besides that, I take inspiration from nature and minimalism in every form.
Marek: Yes, I watch tons of movies and series all the time. I love good and bad, old and new pictures, and like to talk about them. Of course it’s very inspirational.
Who does your very nice artwork?
Filip: A friend of mine, highly gifted artist and casual miner Adam Chro.
Handra play with High Contrast on November 14.
Apart from the release of ‘Furia’ included on a Fokuz vinyl box set and CD (watch out for this!), Addictive Behaviour will drop a new Handra release next year. It will feature a collab with Polish artist Mortem and a ‘Coat of Dust’ remix by a very special producer. WATCH this space. They have also appeared on Avantgarde’s Cosmos compilation.