Chicago footwork meets Brighton bass.
Alan Myson's music often has the illusion of dual tempos. Depending on what you want from it, the sound of Ital Tek is either a swaggered 80 BPM head-nod or a frenetic 160 BPM hop. Nebula Dance, the 2012 album released through Planet Mu, has been his most concrete statement in this regard. Myson processed the rhythmic template of footwork and overlaid the types of fizzing melodies that have long been his speciality. Before the push-pull vibes his recent releases, Myson predominantly produced dubstep. Planet Mu put out the sub-focussed cYCLiCAL full-length in 2008, and he has remained a label regular ever since. Seeds of change were apparent when he returned to the full-length format in 2010 with Midnight Colour, a more contemplative and melodically-driven effort that sat somewhere between Flying Lotus-style experimental hip-hop and UK bass. These sonic shifts can also be traced via Atom River, the label Myson launched in 2009 that has thus far released four 12-inches.
Ital Tek performances could accurately be described as a live show, although he is fond of dropping other producers' tracks, as he does here with aplomb on RA.352. The set comprises 70 percent his own material, with no less than five new and unreleased tracks included alongside the likes of Om Unit and Dawn Day Night.
What have you been up to recently?
Well, I've just released my latest EP, Hyper Real, on Civil Music. They're a label I've been close with for a few years now, doing some remixes for them and knowing the guys personally, so it's good to finally work together on a proper project. I wanted to follow up from the Nebula Dance album quickly and get some new music out straight away in 2013, so I'm really pleased with how it's gone down.
How and where was the mix recorded?
I use Ableton for my live shows and this mix was recorded in much the same way that I perform at gigs. I made it in my home studio, mostly jamming out the mix on my Akai MPD32 and then I've gone back over it to add some atmospherics and effects.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
Well, I wanted to give a fair representation of what people can expect to hear when they come to see me live, while also experimenting with some more ambient passages to give it a sense of narrative. There are five new unreleased tracks of mine in there, which are exclusive to this mix. In fact, I'd barely finished them by the time I recorded the mix. It's about 70 percent my own new tunes and then some unreleased tracks I'm really feeling at the moment by friends and producers who I think are killing it at the moment.
Would it be fair to say that you've undergone a shift in sound in the last 12 months?
Yes, definitely. I feel that my music has had a natural shift into more upbeat dance floor structures. I'm always over-thinking what I do and it's been nice in the last year or so to feel a bit more freedom. I think making music is just as much about what headspace you're in as your technical ability or what gear you use. After releasing records for a few years now, I feel a lot more confident and trust in my vision more so than in the past. It can be tough mentally to keep putting your music out there into the world to be judged, so it's good to get to a point where you can just go for things and let loose.
In a club context, have you recently seen an increased appetite for faster strains of dance music?
I think there's a cycle of what tempos listeners and club-goers have an appetite for. Dubstep was refreshing because of the way people found energy within the gaps. The space was what made it so powerful. Now tempos are creeping up and people are finding the energy in the drums. I've always been a huge jungle fan, and I think footwork and juke tracks appeal to people in Europe in a similar way that jungle does. It's also got the ability to lock people into a half-time groove and I think that slow/fast juxtaposition is a really powerful sound on the dance floor. I always enjoy playing tunes that split the club; you can see people raving and people swaying to the same rhythm.
What are you up to next?
I'm currently working on a couple of new projects that should see the light of day later this year. I've always been reluctant to collaborate with people, as I'm pretty single minded, but recently I've been making a load of tunes with two other guys, which is sounding really promising. We're working out a way of performing it live at the moment. I'm not going to give away too much until the music is ready to be heard properly, but I'm really excited by it. There will definitely be more Ital Tek records this year as I'm just pretty much writing music non-stop. Since my last album, Nebula Dance, came out a few months ago I've got about thirty new tunes.
I've also done a few remixes that are out soon. And more touring! I'm reaching Australia and New Zealand this year for the first time, having wanted to go for years, so that will be great. It will be nice to tick off another continent from the list.