Ahead of their debut headline show this Wednesday, we decided to catch up with Southampton based electronic duo Telemarkk. The band recently released their third single ‘No Beginnings No Answers No Ends‘ and we were super impressed by it, so we spoke to Telemarkk about the track, their forthcoming Southampton show at Heartbreakers and the future!
Hi there! Firstly, so that our readers can know a bit more about you, please introduce Telemarkk:
Hi, we’re Telemarkk an alternative electronic duo from Southampton who purvey curious electronic soundscapes and cinematic experiences. Max Berg and Asad Siddiqui have been working on song writing and producing for the past 2 years but officially became Telemarkk in September 2019.
We use Max’s pianistic background, singing and producing paired with Asad’s production, bass playing and sound design to enrich their retro electronic productions into cinematic electronic pieces. We draw influence from a wide range of artists and genres for different aspects of our pieces which we believe helps make each of our songs unique against one another. Our favourites include bands such as Radiohead, Tender, Haelos and artists from all genres who enjoy exploring sound as much as we do.
You’ve just released your latest single ‘No Beginnings, No Answers, No Ends’ and we think it’s great! Was it inspired by anything in particular?
Our latest single explores self-reflection in creating, aspiring and wanting to showcase a person’s own ability. The lyrics explore self-doubt in knowing you are able to create what you want to but executing it is a greater obstacle and until commencing the process to form your vision you will never know the extent of its outcome.
Taking aspects of hard electronic bass tones and dreamy arpeggios used in Indie pop combined deeply layered drums we wrote the instrumental. Using the Dave Smith Prophet synth alongside the Novation Bass station 2 we jammed over the various loops to help construct a melody and the lyrical themes whilst also refining the soundscape.
Sonically the track tucks itself away when the lyrics are reflecting on self-doubt but evolves and emerges in parts where the lyrics build on inspiration and clarity. The song highlights a catchy and immersive chorus to compliment the spacious and dreamy verses with high energy integrations in the 2nd verse and solo which follows to the end of the song before catching your breath in the closing outro.
What was the original spark that encouraged you to start creating music together?
We have actually known each other since primary school and performed in school bands together in secondary school. It wasn’t until end of college/beginning of university that we realised we enjoyed the same genres. We didn’t realise at the time, but we were simultaneously picking up music producing in our spare time with Max writing his first songs and Asad exploring sound design with instrumentals and scores.
After chatting a bit sharing our favourite artists and production techniques, we ended up meeting up every few months to write some music. This quickly became every month and after a few sessions we had written a couple songs together. The peak of the early days of making music together was Max releasing an EP where two of the four tracks were collaborative – On these songs we found ourselves talking quite regularly about general issues going on in the world which became the foundation for the lyrics we wrote about then and help inspire our lyrics now.
Telemarkk became the commitment to create music we desired and with the foundations of exploring our sound in the early song writing sessions back in 2017, we felt we had refined our sound and were confident to put out our first tracks as a duo.
You’re playing your debut headline gig on 18th December at Heartbreakers, Southampton. For anyone who hasn’t seen you live before, like ourselves, what can they expect from the gig?
Firstly, we’re very excited for this show as it will be our best one yet having used our previous shows over the last year to allow us to really sharpen our live set and highlight our musicianship and on-stage presence. Our live sound really extends the depth of our songs switching between various instrumentation to highlight the complexities in the tracks.
Taking our self-produced music from our laptops to the stage can be a struggle for most electronic artists so to find the perfect balance between live and track can be hard but with the addition of AKAI’s MPC 40, we are enabled to trigger live clips from Ableton as well as mix in effects and loops as and when we desire to create an immersive live experience.
With a host of different instruments on stage, Asad’s got all the bass, no treble; using the Novation Bass station 2 as well as a bass guitar and a AKAI LPD 8 to trigger samples, whereas Max is in charge of the synths and vocals while using the MPC to alter sounds, samples and atmosphere on stage. While we have a lot of music in our catalogue (released and unreleased) we find it very necessary to connect with audience through tracks we all know and love while applying our techniques and sound. So, expect the sound of 10 people coming from 2!
Finally, have you got anything to share regarding upcoming gigs and what have you got planned for 2020?
We’ve got a whole host to look forward to in 2020! We’re anticipating more shows in Southampton and Brighton, London is definitely a place where we’re looking to start gigging in, as well as the rising scene in Guildford. While we’ll be gigging consistently through the year, our aim this year is to get a few festivals under our belt to experience a different side of performance while also expanding on on-stage visuals that you may see at a Jon Hopkins show.
Regarding releases, our next track ‘What Is Real?’ will be coming out on the 3rd January, and as we keep developing our sound, we look to expand our fan base to wider audiences around the world throughout the year. We have a whole host of demos set to be refined, we have plenty more releases planned in early 2020, so keep your eyes and ears peeled!
We’d like to thank Telemarkk very much for their time! You can catch the band at their debut headline show at Heartbreakers, Southampton this Wednesday (18th Dec) and keep up with them on social media via the links below.