Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek join forces to create a musical journey through the sounds of UK underground dance to the beating heart of Africa
Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek are musical powerhouses in their own right. Both have previously worked on critically acclaimed projects throughout their careers with records like 76:14 and Curvatia. Now working together as duo Africa HiTech they have fused their shared love of underground electronic music and African beats. As a result the eclectic mix of audio delight featured on their debut album, 93 Million Miles, has received high praise from DJs like Gilles Peterson, Rob da Bank and Zane Lowe. The latest single, Out In The Streets, is also creating major buzz with its nostalgic blend of dancehall, juke and a healthy dose of drum n' bass. Africa HiTech sat down with us to discuss the new project and latest single.
Dazed Digital: Describe the new album in a sentence.
Africa HiTech: A subtle blend of Brostep and Eurotrance made by some idiots that don't like Rhythm on Reason in 1 hour.
DD: What is the significance of 93 million miles?
Africa HiTech: Its the distance to the sun from the earth, got it from my Penguin book of science. The title track sounded like some mad space journey so we wanted a track name that had that vibe, then decided that it would work as a album title as well.
DD: How did Africa HiTech come about?
Africa HiTech: Steve and i had met back in the early 2000 via mutual friends. I asked Steve to guest on my Troubleman album around 2003. We both ended up in Sydney Australia around 6 and a half years ago so we started working on tracks and it grew from there. Steve came up the name, we had been talking about what it was that we liked about underground dance music and decided that a lot of the music we love has African Rhythm in its essence so it fitted this project.
DD: What is it like working with each other? What do you both bring to the table creatively?
Africa HiTech: We don't talk much, we just get on with the music really and go off on a journey with it. We both do all aspects of the music process. We both sing on the album as well, dont really argue much at all, in fact i don't think we ever have argued. We both have the same outlook with Music and where we want to go so that helps.
DD: You’re based in Sydney but are from England and reference Africa, Jamaica and Detroit to name a few… how do you blend all these different sounds together?
Africa HiTech: Its something that just happens, its not really a planned out thing, for us we see a lot of musical styles as the same. It seems natural to do that.
DD: What was the appeal of reworking Out In The Streets?
Africa HiTech: It was originally done for a Documentary that Warp are doing they asked me if i had anything for a footwork battle scene and i stayed up all night and did the track. I always liked the original Ini Kamoze track. I was surprised when i played it out the first few times at the reaction it got, people went nuts. I read somewhere that someone said that it wasn't really for clubs, which is weird as that is exactly what its for.