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First there were the parties. Then came the radio shows. Now here’s the record label – Feel the Drive is officially the three-headed beast of the underground.
Szymek Lawik and Martin Lefteri spend their lives digging up the very best Italo, New Beat and EBM delights, so a record label was the next logical move. The perfect distillation of their combined tastes and determination to search the globe for new music, the four-track debut EP features big hitters from Franz Scala (Bahnsteig 23, Tusk Wax, Cocktail d’Amore), Anatolian Weapons (Beats in Space, Dark Entries), Furor Exotica (Bordello a Parigi, Sprechen) and the label bosses themselves under their Ondata guise (Red Laser, Night Noise Music)
We got the privilege to sync up with the Feel the Drive crew, and learn a little bit about the formation of the label and this debut release!
Interview With Feel The Drive
1.) Thanks for talking to us today. You guys are soon to release your exciting new VA ‘FTD4X4-01’on your own label Feel The Drive. You’re a new label to us. What can you tell us about the imprint? Who is FTD?
Feel the Drive is Szymek Lawik and Martin Lefteri. It started off as a party in Brixton and we ended up getting our own sound system and throwing some warehouse parties. At the beginning it was just us playing back to back but we soon started booking some of our favourite DJs both locally and internationally. At the same time we started producing music together under the name Ondata and as time went on we started devoting more and more time to this and less to the events and it felt like a natural thing to start a label.
2.) Do you have a music policy? What is your background?
There is no policy as such but our background comes from Italo, New Beat, Techno, House, Acid, Disco and any solid or obscure Synth Pop music. If your track has any of those influences then it most likely will fit with the label.
3.) What an incredible cast you have on forthcoming collection. Anatolian Weapons in particular. How did you guys hook up?
We know Aggelos through our friend Kirsty Pemberton who was also a guest DJ at our first warehouse party in South London. Furor Exotica are producers Ric Piccolo and partner Viky Oliver. Ric first contacted us a few years ago and our relationship grew from there. Franz is a friend of Szymek who regularly visits Berlin where Franz’s studio is based.
4.) Fat Training – that’s got to be a lockdown anthem surely. Great track! All cuts are quite diverse. What do you feel connects them?
I think all the producers have similar pool of influences which can be quite diverse in sound but without being pigeon holed. I guess we all suckers for chuggy rhythms, driving basslines, and the classic drum machine sound.
5.) Track 4 Kolossos is one from the label heads. What can you tell us about it and your production process?
Kolossos started off with a repetitive bassline that Szymek wrote on an iPad music app. Its basically a soft synth of a very famous mono synth running through a phaser effect. We tried to recreate it on our analog synths in the studio and couldn’t quite get the same feel so we sampled it and left it at that. Martin has a fine collection of 70s and 80s sci-fi cult films. Using some samples from a particular film it began to grow into a minimal but heavy driving retro-forward sounding track. We wanted to keep it very minimal and raw sounding.
6.) Do you guys DJ too? How would you describe your style as a DJs
Our style is to not to stick to genres. If it evokes passion and emotion on the dance floor we’ll play it. We’re called ‘Feel The Drive’ for a reason haha..
7.) Who would you love to hear playing this EP?
8.) There has continued to be a lot of incredible music released during lockdown. Can you tell us a track/ artist that caught your attention?
Kincaid for sure, he’s the son of Neil Arthur from Blancmange. Check out his latest EP ‘Pipe Up’. Brilliant release.
9.) Who do you admire in the scene right now and why?
We admire all the artists on our EP. We believe they have a great work ethic and to us that’s what makes them stand out.
10.) What’s up next for Feel The Drive?
We are already looking for artists for our 2nd release. We are also focussing on our individual solo projects as well as new Ondata material. Parties are on hiatus so they won’t be our focus over the next year unless someone wants to book us
11.) It’s been a pretty dire first half of the year. What is your message?
You’re not alone. Don’t feel you can’t talk to anyone about anything. Mental health is very important to us. This is our time to communicate, discover new interests and passions. Stay focussed and look after yourselves. We’ll bounce back from these times and dance again. Love.
-Feel The Drive
Turn it up & enjoy!