Who is Beat Inc? Fabrizio ‘B.Kun’ Pollice and Ed ‘HEM’ Amanti — anyone else?
Beat Inc. as a project was born from another project we used to do called Sound Inc. The idea for Beat Inc. was ‘consolidated’ during Original Cultures’ 2011 production/show, The Formula – which gave the title to the debut EP. It’s a new musical trip by B.Kun (producer, multi instrumentalist) and Hed (drummer).
Where are the two of you located?
We’re both from Emilia Romagna, an Italian region on the eastern coast of the country.
To me, The Formula is a beat album that really brings live instrumentation to the forefront. Does this have an effect on the productions style? Do you start songs with a particular drum beat, a bass line or bpm in mind?
The Formula – as I explained in the intro – was born from an event we did with Original Cultures in 2011. Originally the music was all written for a live show which lasted an hour and went from beats and hip hop to dub and dubstep/electro. The label was set up a few months after the show and the guys at Original Cultures approached us for an EP and we all decided to use some of the tracks from the show for the EP as we all felt it’d been good enough. The four tracks were re-recorded in our studio, but based on the live versions used in the show. We’ve always had a live band approach especially as the previous project – Sound Inc. – was a four man band. We love computers, but only for recording.
Instruments for me always have an element of error/human feeling which even the most advanced CPU just cannot replicate – and I think in this digital era, instruments are sometimes undervalued.
As for recordings, we generally start with a beat from Hed along the lines of a genre or style we want to work on and I just turn on everything in the studio and start playing instrument by instrument, in a freestyle way, and we build from there.
On your bandcamp page it reads “Everything you hear on this EP has been played live – absolutely no computers.” It sounds challenging. How much time do the two of you rehearse your set? Do you ever improvise during a live performance?
Yeah everything was played live on the EP. Of course we use the computer for recordings, but there’s no midi parts playing or VSTs. We spend a lot of time in the studio trying and recording things we have in mind, ideas. For a while we did full immersion sessions, we’d spend the whole day playing in the studio which was more about learning to play together and find an unspoken vibe than anything else.
In terms of live we focus on the dub and dubstep mix mainly, with our own style. There’s a lot of parts in the show where we do improvise and we like real dub so there’s always an element of anything can happen. A good dose of reverb on Hed’s drums and use of the space echo can lead to some interesting moments!
Many of your songs have a dubstep flare with distinct dub-esque drops, but I wouldn’t call Beat Inc. exclusively dubstep. Is there a particular genre that you both had in mind during the making of this EP?
We’re definitely not exclusively dubstep. We like the music and style but we try to interpret in our own way, we mix it with old school dub and even sometimes with elements from rock, especially live rock music. We do believe that live wise, energy is always important both for the artists and the public. On a stage we like to sweat and give out good vibrations.
Daisuke Tanabe did a beautiful remix of the track “Black Tea Morning”. How did you meet Tanabe? Can we expect any Beat Inc. remixes of a Tanabe track in the future, perhaps an instrumental-based composition on Tanabe’s digital-heavy style?
Daisuke’s remix is amazing. It was really nice to hear our stuff through his unique, electronic style. In truth though we’ve never met Daisuke, the remix was arranged by the label (Laurent at Original Cultures A&R’d the remixes). But yeah we’d love to do something in return for him one day.