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Interview: NAPT
by Royce Haven: 09-05-2006

NAPT shot into 2006 after Breakbeat fans worldwide voted them “Best Breakthrough DJ” at The International Breaks Awards, Breakspoll 2006. They have releases on major labels from Sony to Island Def Jam, along with some of the most respected UK underground labels. The NAPT guys remixed the likes of Lumidee, MJ Cole, The Freestylers and made guest DJ appearances on BBC Radio 1 and London’s Kiss FM. We catch up with the guys as they finish up their album and prepare for their forthcoming North American tour:

NAPT how did you come up with the name?

Now that would be telling!

How is the Breakbeat scene in the UK compared to the states?

The scene in the states is different to the UK because it’s concentrated in certain areas much more so than others. In the UK Breaks is pretty much a nationwide movement with nights in every major city all the time. In the US it’s different and you may have a known DJ that you’re into visit your city once every 3 months or so. We’re always amazed by the enthusiasm that people have driving for 4 hours just to go see a show. That’s always a massive bonus. In the UK Breakbeat and dance music in general is more acceptable in the mainstream where you’ll hear it in stores and on national radio stations a lot of the time. Saying this, both sides of the Atlantic have things going for them!

What are some of the craziest things you have witnessed while touring?

Someone put their head in a bassbin once. That was a seriously bad move! We recently saw a man painted red running around completely naked at the Glade festival along with a giant polystyrene hog (very large troll) with a man riding it. In fact festivals generally seem to be the best bet for seeing craziness in all its forms.

Any new original production tracks in the works?

We have an album EP series entitled “Contrast” (four double A-side singles and 8 tracks!) coming out on UK underground label Sub Frequency Funk label. All the tracks are more or less finished and we’ve worked in a lot of variety - been trying to do things a little differently - working with MC’s such as Skibadee (The most popular MC in DnB) and Ken Mac, vocalists and also just doing some straight up funky jacking club bangers!

Tell us a little bit about your studio set up?

Up until last year we were running a split hardware/software setup but recently, because of the great sound quality the latest digital instruments and plugins are capable of delivering, switched everything “In The Box” (ITB), running a PC with Cubase SX. We have a fairly extensive sample library of sound effects and drums along with Native Instruments like the Pro 53, Arturia Moog V and Korg Polysix. As far as engineering tracks goes we use a mixture of digital EQ’s and compressors, switching between Waves, URS, TC Electronics etc. depending on what kind of sound we want to get from a particular element in a track.

Congratulations on winning “ Best Breakthrough DJ” at Breakspoll 2006 – The International Breakbeat Awards. How was that experience?

It was great and it’s always a fantastic feeling to be recognized for what you do of course. Our excitement didn’t last too long though because the first thing we thought when we woke up the next day was that we had to make sure our next few tracks were up to the job!

What is the biggest influence in your music?

Everything! We love most forms of music and we’re always inspired.

Currently who are some of your favorite producers and which ones should we look out for?

There are some great ones out there at the moment - Rogue Element has made everyone sit up and take notice with his fantastic production skills and club rocking tracks. We love the funky techno infused nuttiness of Dopamine and Chris Carter is criminally underrated. He has a great sound, tight and crisp percussion with quirky grooves. Ctrl Z and The Breakfastaz are really reppin our age group and pushing the different sides of Breakbeat with their high quality productions. DJ Mutiny is coming out with some top soul/hip-hop infused Breaks and Groovediggerz are coming through with some great swinging tracks, fantastic for bumping the clubs. Outside of Breaks like most people we’ve been big fans of Trentemoller. He has great depth and space to his production - super tight and clinical yet strangely haunting and wistful.

Is it difficult working together all the time? Small wonder you have some friction...

Tomek: I once bit Ashley and drew blood after an argument about the representation of bassline frequency in a track. Ashley said if we boosted the EQ at 30hz more whales and aquatic life would be able to enjoy our music. I thought he was talking crap but ultimately he was right and we tripled our sales. I had to eat humble pie that day I tell you! Generally though we do tend to get along just fine for the amount of time we spend together and we don’t always do studio time together which makes it easier.

Name one track that will always be in your record bag?

A Breakbeat one? That is tuff. Maybe the DJ Zinc remix of SANTOS’ “Camels” tune since that is one of the tracks that really made us want to write Breaks seriously, great strings and classic rolling Breaks. “Electric Disco” by the Plump DJ’s was another seminal moment and is always with us on our travels. Other than Breakbeat, Cheryl Lyn “Got to be Real”, “Groove is in the Heart” by De-lite, Luther Vandross “Never Too Much”, Salsoul Orchestra “Take Time Out”, Stevie Wonder “I Wish”, Teena Marie “Behind the Groove”, The Whispers “And The Beat Goes On”, Adam F “Circles”. We usually have a CD with those on just in case we accidentally turn up at an old rare groove jam. Hasn’t happened yet but you never know!

Check out NAPT on myspace www.myspace.com/naptuk and www.napt-music.com.

Click < here > to listen to NAPT's BBC Radio 1 Mix

Part 1 of the “Contrast” EP series, released on Sub Frequency Funk will be available from all good record stores from October 2nd 2006.

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