iLLBiLLY HiTEC is a Berlin duo (+ longtime Guest Longfingah) that mixes Reggae and Electronics, blending influences of Dub, Breakbeat, Hiphop and Jungle. Live Drums, electronic Sounds, heavy offbeats and selected Samples chosen from Reggae Classics team up with live vocals, to create a one of it´s kind performance. Their first EP “BadBoyBass”, a few vinyl releases and growing feedback on their concerts in Europe, Asia and Mexico, made iLLBiLLY HiTEC become the most interesting newcomer of it´s genre.
With their upcoming album “Reggaetronics”, they´ll be touring again from February 2013. All shows are going to be performed with Longfingah, one of the most talented reggae singers from Germany.
So we had some questions
TB – So tell me lil bit bout the History of Illbilly Hitec. Where did it all start, who are the Bandmembers.
Alex: We started producing this sounds about 5 years ago. Longfingah and I already met in school when I was playing drums in a ska punk band. He added rap and reggae vocals to the band. We continued making music after moving and met Thomas in Berlin, who was backing Longfingah for some shows. We then had a reggae fusion live project called Rude Riddim, which basicly caused our interest of combining reggae and electronics, the sound Thomas and I produce nowadays with iLLBiLLY HiTEC.
TB – I know that your constantly playing live shows and touring a lot. Where have you played last year.
Alex: Last year was amazing. We had the chance to see so many places… Spain, Greece, Macedonia, Slovakia, Mexico, India, Hong Kong, Thailand and even Japan. We all love to travel and it´s just perfect to combine it with playing music and meeting the scene around the globe.
TB – So the world is getting a small place for you
Longfingah: Yeah, actually that´s one of the most amazing issues that we experienced on tour last year. We met so many lovely people from all around the world, so it is true: Music brings the people together!
TB – What was the most remarkable moments on this tour
Longfingah: Ohh, this is really hard to say. There was so many nice moments on tour, that I will never forget in my life. But in general the experiences we made besides the music was more important for us. I mean it´s not such a huge difference to perform on a stage in Berlin or in Tokyo, as long as you are playing the same tunes. For shure it was a great opportunity to had shows there, but meeting the local people afterwards and having a party or just hanging around with them was the real highlight.
TB – You just released the Reggaetronics Album. Its your first full length Album. Tell me something bout the Album and the collaborations. How did you realize it.
Alex: Yes, Reggaetronics is our first full length album. The idea was to catch the dynamic and energy of our live set on tape. So the structure is almost the same as in our concerts. First time we decided to record the live drums for this release. It was a lot of work, but the sound and feeling of the songs is way different, as we think much better this way.
Since Longfingah is a major part of our performances and the bands history, he is of course featured on most tune. But we also wanted to brighten up the recordings with guest artist like Tribuman or Dactah Chando, that we became friends with.
TB – From the East to the West was the first song I heard from you. How much versions do you now have on the Riddim and wich are your favs.
Alex: We have more 20 versions right now, and there are coming more and more… We wanted this project to be like a classic riddim selection with some artists we met on tour. Since people started to spread the riddim online, we kind of lost control with a positve effect. Now there is even a couple of Mash Ups, Remixes, etc… It´s fun to see, how people from different regions in the world do their interpretation of the tune!
In India it happened, that didn´t know who we are. During our soundcheck they recognized the riddim and were very happy about it, since they knew the Reggae Rajahs version from some commercial. The original they didn´t know, neither we produced it. That´s one of the funny parts about sharing music online nowadays…
So we have very special give-away – 100 Downloads only, so you have to be fast
TB – Plans and Wishes ? What’s coming next ?
Alex: we are focusing on a couple of single release on vinyl right now, and of course have quite some shows scheduled for spring and summer. Next to visiting some places again, we always hope to play some new countries. Latin America is def on top of the list… Fingers crossed!