Exclusive interview with Mak & Pasteman!

MAK & PASTEMAN (Lobster Boy/Naked Naked)

The world of bass is an ever growing void these days, with DJs making themselves known and being able to carve a name for themselves just through the internet – like an underground dance music version of Justin Bieber. Because of this flock of producers and disc jockeys it leaves little to no room for tender few to really make it big and withstand the fickle gaze of club-goers and partiers.

One duo however who’ve managed to cement themselves amongst the herd and gain respect from some of the most prestigious of corners is Mak & Pasteman, heralding from Leeds but currently taking the club scene by storm. No doubt you’ll have heard of them, and no doubt you’ll be able to see them live soon as their booking schedule is heavy and intense; with festivals left, right and centre, and sets around the country. Luckily Stealth managed to get a quick interview before they boarded their flight to Ibiza, the clubbing capital of the world.

So first things first, how did you both meet?

We met in Leeds at a party. Then from there we arranged to meet up for a session in Mak's studio!

Coming from Leeds how did that shape what you two do? Do you think there’s a scene there that you fit into and represent?

It definitely did, you absorb a lot of the vibe and sound of Leeds; mainly from Subdub at the West Indian centre. Hearing early dubstep alongside dub, jungle, and drum & bass right on your doorstep on one of the best soundsystems in the world definitely inspired us to write music. I think now we represent the UK underground scene, with the internet now it really doesn't matter where you are from, all of the underground music is available to hear if you look in right places.


Growing up was there any sub-culture which you both gravitated to? Something that got you into the music you’re into today?

Pasteman - For me 60's soul has always been an influence, but I grew up with everything from reggae to techno and jungle. It's all played a part in our sound. When I was a teenager I was into garage and grime and this was the first music I ever attempted to create...

Mak - The future sounds of jungle and the production of techno have always inspired me to create music.


You’ve got a cult following of fans built up – how does it feel to know your music and what you’re doing is so appreciated? And the fact that this year you’re gaining even more momentum?

It's really humbling, we've always believed that we just write the music that we feel, and enjoy and the fact that people are supporting that and reaching out to us give us the drive to continue doing what we're doing and try to push boundaries with our music. 


Bass is becoming ever more prevalent in the charts and “mainstream” beats, what do you think to this sudden surge and do you think it’s impacted on your own work?

I think we would both agree that we don't really like the term bass, it has become so ubiquitous. I think good music speaks louder than any PR or promo team can, if producers are making good music and people are enjoying it then it will expand from the underground. Breach is a good example with Jack, no-one knew that would blow up and chart the way it did, it just did. I think for someone who has been a part of the scene as long as Ben (Westbeech – Breach), he deserves the recognition that comes with that accolade. It has happened with every genre since disco and will continue to happen, we say embrace it.


Is it difficult working as a duo? Do you have your tiffs and creative differences?

We've been working together for a while now, we both have our traits in and out of the studio but I think we know each other well enough now not to disagree (too much). We're at a point now where we are becoming happier with our music and the production process is happening organically so yeah, we're cool!


How does it feel now to be going to all the festivals and travelling round the world with your work? Did you ever think that this was going to happen?

That has always been an aspiration of ours, to be able to travel and share your music even nationally; let alone internationally is a blessing and one we hope to continue doing in years to come. 


What tracks are you supporting this year and what’re you dropping in DJ sets?

NYTA - 95/Hard Work (the next Lobster Boy release)

Mak & Pasteman - Brown Bread/Drowning (on Breach's Naked Naked label)

Paleman - Handy Clue

Boddika - Heat

M.A.P - North West (next in our white label M.A.P series)

Maison Sky's Debut on Rinse


Your twitter sees an appreciation for the finer home comforts in life… like BBC’s Luther – what do you both do when you’re not behind the decks or making tracks?

We're both pretty passionate about good food and cooking, mainly Thai and Indian. We also like to get stuck into decent American TV shows, Walking Dead, Wire, Game of Thrones etc.


Any possibility of ending up on the @DJsComplaining twitter account? Or do you guys find yourself to be pretty mellow these days (seeing as you’re en route to Ibiza now do you have any RyanAir stories?)

P - I'm not as bad as I used to be but still can get a bit frustrated/stressed with travelling. I try not to whinge though, we're lucky to be able to travel and play over the UK and Europe so a few hours delayed isn't the end of the world.

M - My best tip is not to even join the queue, wait ‘til everyone is on board the plane and get up last!


Mak & Pasteman come to Stealth on Friday 23rd August – for more details see: