Mak & Pasteman have been big on the bass music scene for a while now; they are masters of minimalist repetitive percussion, with beat patterns that would have you dancing for hours. Every piece of music they make oozes funk, with songs at all ends of the BPM spectrum that share one common factor: ounces and ounces of groove. The first M&P tune that really caught my eye was ‘Rack City’, a revamp of an older hip hop tune, and has been a personal favourite for a long time.
Their recent Lobster Boy release has seen them branching into the more techy side of bass music, but has still retained their rhythmic style, which has seen them featuring heavily in Loefah and Klose One’s abstract house sets. LOB008 features 3 tracks, 1 vinyl and 1 digital exclusive. The vinyl exclusive ‘Outer Control’ sees Mak & Pasteman bringing modified vocals to the table, a small selection of spoken word has been repeated, looped and mal-formed into a synth like –bass driven vocal. This works perfectly with the light tapping percussion, which builds from bar to bar to create a really spacey piece of music.
‘Dither‘ features on both releases, and its heavily bass driven loops make it stand out from the crowd instantly. One part of this tune that deserves a special mention is build up for each drop, 4 bars of 80s sounding drums, whether this is a sample they have brought in or made themselves, it’s a further example of their ability to manipulate percussion effectively, creating a very professional sound. On the drop, we are treated to a deep, growling synth, with a contrasting 3 note ensemble at the end of each 4 bar loop, making the song flow start to finish. Just before the second drop, we are treated to another drum attack, this time in the form of echoing bongos, giving a real haunting feel before the bass pounds back into play.
The last piece I had been hearing in swampy sets for months, before realising that it was M&P. I would not have guessed either, as ‘Dancing Kicks’ moves even further away from their traditional style of bass music and begins to incorporate more of scattered bass patterns and complex drum designs we have been seeing from of Swamp’s more alternative beat makers. Here modified female vocals have been used to contrast the deep bass which is scatted throughout the production. This one is a real ‘hands in the air’ piece of music, staying well clear of any 4×4 patterns but still keeping that Mak and Pasteman groove. Its abstract, but it is a real pleasure to see the direction M&P are headed in.
Most of their tunes seem to take influence from early house and garage, but their percussion is really what makes this pair standout artists to watch. We caught up with them recently and asked, what got them doing what they’re doing, and what to watch for in the future:
Spectrum: What were your original influences when getting into music? And what made you take matters into your own hands and start producing?
M&P: With Matt he was brought up on a heavy soul influence from his dad and Craig had the northern style of soul from his mother! Both of us got into electronic music at a young age. Matt came via the garage route and Craig from jungle.
Spectrum: Were you friends before music then, or did you become friends through your mutual love for tunes?
M&P: Through music. Both hanging out and playing at similar events in Leeds. Leading to hooking up in the studio and working on a track to where we are now.
Spectrum: To both of you, what are your favourite songs and what genres would you say have most heavily influenced your own production?
M&P: Jungle, Garage, House and Techno are all influences that we like to bring into our style.
Spectrum: Everyone knows Redlight is a huge fan of bootlegs of 90’s classics, heavily bass driven music and technical percussion, but how did it come about him noticing your tunes?
M&P: Just sending them out to people for their radio shows mainly. We were really into what Redlight played on his rinse show and felt he was a great person to target with our tracks.
Spectrum: What has been your favourite ever gig out, and why?
M&P: Ibiza Rocks last year, our debut after Skream and Benga had the place fired up we jumped on for the final slot!
Spectrum: Which of all the songs you have made so far, released and unreleased, would you say is your personal favourite?
M&P: At the moment Dirk Diggler!!
Spectrum: What does the future hold for Mak & Pasteman?
M&P: EP for Naked Naked, Gigs at Ibiza Rocks and a big fat plate of Jerk Chicken!!!!
Get the EP from all good record stores:
Check out Mak & Pasteman:
Written By Michael Thomas