Splore kicks off at Tapapakanga Regional Park this week and Africa Hitech will be playing the DJ Stage at 10pm-11.30pm this Friday. In anticipation of the performance, David Bell spoke to Mark Pritchard, whose discography reaches far and wide, about his introduction to music, collaborating with Trim and Wiley and what we can expect from a Africa Hitech set.
So before electronic music came along what were your first introductions to music in general? Were you passionate about music from an early age?Yeah, I was lucky that my parents were into music and even before I had my own tastes they used to take me to see gigs and then when I got a bit older and started getting into music myself and choosing the music, I was into 2-tone, I was into The Specials and sort of 2-tone stuff. And then when I got a bit older in the later part of school I got into indie music, so I was into bands like The Smiths, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine and The Pixies. At that time there was really strong indie music. I played guitar, I was into Led Zeppelin… all sorts really.At that time the only electronic music I was exposed to would have been stuff like Kraftwerk, and then around that time with indie music there was a few shows in the UK where they would play indie music but also some electronic stuff. So I’d hear, I suppose more industrial bands really. So I became awar of Throbbing Gristle and bands like The Shamen and the Beat Manifesto and got into that kind of stuff. And it wasn’t till I left school where I was exposed to more actual club music. I used to go to Bristol and Bournemouth, those were the closest two places where you could go to clubs from where I lived. And that’s where I started to hear Chicago House and Detroit Techno… Read the entire article here
Africa Hitech are Mark Pritchard (of Harmonic 313 / Global Communications / countless more psuedonyms' fame) and Steve Spacek (of Spacek fame and notable Dilla collaborator). They began bonding over their shared passion for the seemingly disparate spheres of bubbling Detroit techno, soul
and fierce Jamaican digital dancehall. Africa Hitech is the moniker which represents both Steve and Mark’s love for all things progressive within music, whilst acknowledging that the roots of much of today’s popular music can be traced directly back to Africa.
"93 Million Miles" is an unflinchingly ambitious product of international globe-trotting that carves a new faultline into the rapidly expanding terrain of bass music, or whatever it's being called this week.
The first point of introduction for many will be the Ini Kamoze sampling behemoth "Out In The Streets", played across specialist Radio 1 with Zane, Gilles Peterson and Rob da Bank all loving it. A combination of the ghosts of 1980s Jamaica and the youth culture explosion of juke, it’s a track immediately championed by ModeSelector, Kode9, Seb Chew, Diplo, Tayo, Sinden, Laurent Garnier, Flying Lotus, Untold, Toddla T, Benji B
and Scratcha, amongst others.
93 Million Miles is an unflinchingly ambitious product of international globe-trotting that carves a new faultline into the rapidly expanding terrain of “bass music”…or whatever it’s being called this week.
The first point of introduction for many will be the Ini Kamoze-sampling behemoth Out In The Streets, a combination of the ghosts of 1980s Jamaica and the youth-culture explosion of juke, and a track immediately championed by Flying Lotus, Untold, Toddla T, Benji B, Scratcha DVA and played recently as Gilles Peterson’s first audio punch when battling Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1 (check below).
Africa Hitech is a moniker which not only represents both Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek’s love for all things progressive, but one that also pays homage to the roots of popular music born out of Africa. Mark Pritchard is a musical chameleon, recording a vast variety of styles under just as many pseudonyms, whether it be Global Communication, Jedi Knights, Troubleman, Harmonic 313 or his countless other projects, his dexterity and versatility in music over the past 20 years cannot be understated. Steve Spacek first melted his way into our hearts and souls with the Mos Def championed group Spacek, a group that were called “the Radiohead of Soul” and “the most futuristic soul group of our modern age”, from there he embarked on a solo career in which he moved to LA to work on his solo album with among others the late great J Dilla before finally settling in Australia. Now following a series of releases the duo are about to release their debut album as Africa Hitech, 93 Million Miles and we talk about their musical history and the potential in the future of music.
Get the 12" here
Africa Hitech is more than a name, it is an ideology - one that embodies its members' passions for an eclectic diaspora of electronic styles, from dub and acid to UK garage, grime, techno, house and Jamaican dancehall. Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek stand at the intersection of all these styles (and more) and the result is a bass-fuelled manifesto: the opening salvo being 'Blen'.
Created at Red Bull Music Academy in 2007, Africa Hitech forms part of Mark Pritchardâ€™s MPP Productions collective. MPP is a banner under which all the wide-ranging productions from this prolific producer can co- exist, released through Warp, projects include Africa Hitech, Harmonic 313 and new Reload material, amongst others.
â€˜Blenâ€™ is all oxygen-sucking bass kicks and razor snares, until Spacek comes in over a chorus of insect synths. This is not the smooth Steve Spacek you may know from his eponymous band, this is Steve Spacek as a rudeboy from the future.
As a counterpoint to the paranoid bounce of the title track, the â€˜Blen Remixâ€™ stretches things out for the party. Flipping the vocals over percolating Garage beats and drenching it in swelling synths, it might as well be a masterclass for those trying to regain the sound of London circa 2000.
While the B side â€˜The Sound Of Tomorrowâ€™ may seem at odds, itâ€™s just an inkling of the range that Africa Hitech will cover in the coming months. A deep cut of synth soul full of ricocheting drum machines and vocoder choruses, its title is a fully accurate summary of the Africa Hitech aesthetic.
Tracklisting & Clips: