“An unlikely sound from an unlikely duo from an unlikely place.”
Our Echomatik Q&A reveals an unlikely duo who create techno and house beats. Their sound is funky, deep, dark, acid, melodic and minimal. The duo offers the world a fresh combination of all of these sounds, carefully generated in their secret lab nestled high in the hills above Kingston, Jamaica. They like kick drums, reverb and funky vocals, but most of all they like it when people dance.
Tell us about your musical journey?
A complicated but similar journey for both of us. We’ve both been heavily involved in a variety of aspects of reggae and Caribbean music- production, management, DJing and performing, musicians, business, etc. in a variety of places- Miami, San Francisco, Montreal, Toronto and of course Jamaica.
Echomatik has some roots in this history of course, but arises more from the fact that both of us actually started our musical careers as DJs in university playing electronic music – on college radio, at parties, in clubs, etc. This would be in the early days of house and techno, so we were playing records from people like Frankie Knuckles, Todd Terry, Lil Louis, Inner City, Larry Heard, etc., but because we were also coming out of Jamaica we had an innate love of soul, r&b, disco and funk, plus Caribbean music. We’ve tried to put this all in the pot and mix it up in a way that people hopefully enjoy.
Hopefully the journey is still just beginning though!
Describe the reactions Echomatik gets from fans when you’re performing? How does it make you feel?
You can get a lot of reactions from the audience but the best one is always when you see smiles and bodies moving and hands in the air. The satisfaction from making people dance and enjoy themselves is the same whether it is 10 people in a backyard or 10,000 at a festival.
At Tmrw.Tday, we aim to promote conscious living. For you, what does it mean to live consciously?
Consciousness to us is as much being conscious of the people and world around you as it is of yourself. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you- this kind of behaviour alone on a universal scale would transform the world.
Do you believe music has the power to inspire change? If so, how?
Music is a sonic manifestation of emotion. Positive music inspires positive emotion that transcends the listening moment. This lingering emotion leads to generosity, awareness, concern and consciousness (see above).
How has travelling influenced you?
Some people might think that living on a small island gives you a narrow view of the world but it is the opposite – everyone has relatives and friends and work scattered around the world and so travel is a frequent necessity. It forces you to see the world and literally everywhere you go is a foreign place- you’re not just flying from Memphis to Chicago (two great cities BTW).
Can you share with us your fondest travel memory?
Christopher – My first time jumping in carnival – I went to St. Lucia with a research trip as an undergraduate. It turned out that we had mis-timed the trip and it was Carnival in St. Lucia, so we abandoned the research aspect, joined a band and played mas!
What are hoping to get out of your time at Tmrw.Tday?
We’re hoping to be able to share the diversity of music in Jamaica with the world. Everyone knows reggae and dancehall, but we have a much more diverse musical scene than people realise – house, techno, soul, funk, jazz, classical even heavy metal!