Akinsa have steadily been capturing the attention of the Drum & Bass community with a series of original works and redubs. It's about time that Organic found out more.
Music and notably Drum & Bass is deeply cyclic. Be it the fundamental nature of rhythm or the continual dissapearance and reemergence of certain sounds, the music has a way of rediscovering it's zero point and reassessing it's origins. Enter Akinsa, until recently a peripheral outfit that has found notoriety through reimagining 170 BPM masterpieces from the latter part of the 90s. Carving out a spot between bootlegging but not as official remixers, they have captured the adoration previously held for tracks like Codename John's 'The Warning'. Bad Company's 'The Nine' and Jonny L's 'Piper' and rechanelled them into a left of centre redubbed mould.
In modern music production, especially after 30 years of sampling, permissions become very vaige and in the name of art maybe irrelevant. What is found? what is stolen? And what is homage? We live in a environment where a bootleg, remix or redub can just as easily be Duchamp's 'Fountain'. And who decides? Probably you, the listener. Lets meet Akinsa.
First off I think it's important to say, you guys are pretty illusive. There isn't a single photo of you guys online. Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
We are two brothers from Cambridge, I live in Brighton and do the production, my younger brother takes care of the performance side. It works out best for us that way. I prefer no photos as a producer, I like using art, imagery, and symbols to represent my ideas and themes.
There seems to be a strong nod to heritage in your work. Both in your original productions and explicitly in your reworks of late '90s classics like Bad Company's 'The Nine' and Todd Terry's 'Blackout'. How much of your output finds inspiration from the roots of 170 music?
With the redub series, I wanted to pay homage to the tracks I used to play out when I was DJing back in the 90s. Tracks that I loved to rinse out, that some of the new generation might not of heard and others that they would of, but give them a different edge, in the kind of sound I'm into. My original work is really inspired by years of music across different genres, but it was on hearing Ruffhouse, and The Untouchables, a few years back that I started to feel like I wanted to make Drum & Bass again, as I had been making Ambient and Techno under another alias for several years.
You recently put together the first Echo.Drop podcast for the AMLF online community. Might it be fair to say that the platform has been a good way to access your most natural audience? You seem to have grown alongside the group?
They have been a great support, not only in the podcast, but also in promoting my debut album. I've been lucky to be asked to do several podcasts and mixes, and really appreciate all the support. I did the Alignment series for a while, and might start another series soon. I'm really just about trying to create output for others input. I'm keen on getting feelings and thoughts across to people through music and trying to explore new ideas and places with music.
"With the redub series, I wanted to pay homage to the tracks I used to play out when I was DJing back in the 90s." - Akinsa
What is next for Akinsa?
I'm working on a special project for Dust Audio, Dan was the first guy to sign my work. This project about the Moon is something I wanted to work on for a while. It's a concept piece so it's going to take some time and may evolve as I go. That said though, if I can get it right it should be special. I'm hoping to get a vocalist I've been talking to, the lovely Mica, to add some texture and vocals to some of that project. I have a track that I want to put out myself called Sanctuary. This is inspired by a wonderful woman out in New Zealand "JAK" who is so compelling to me as an individual. I'm using an image of her for the artwork. I also have an experimental project, I don't want to say too much about, but it's called 'Self Medicating Frequencies'. I have forthcoming tracks on several labels, The next two being on Onset.
I would love to say thanks to the following for all their support - Concealed Identity, Antagonist, Come Meditate and all their crew... Seth at Onset, Dan at Dust, Gremlinz, Homemade Weapons, Hanna Wiggins, Mica, Ahmad, Om Unit, Loxy, Shiken Hanzo, Vaughn, Djinn, and everyone who has bought, played and supported my work. And mostly to my wonderful partner Cass and my daughters Storm, and Phoenix. Thanks.