A conversation with the English duo behind Tibasko
Ken Petalcorin and Andy Bowden, are the English producers behind Tibasko. Having formed in 2017, the duo have already carved their own mark out in the music scene with a unique blend of African and Brazilian influences paired with twisted drums and underground beats. Their curiosity to cross electronic music with a wide range of unexpected genres usually leads them down a path of crate digging discovery that results in an interesting selection of disco, lo-fi, and tribal tracks. All mixed into a canvas of techno and tech-house beats. This ability to showcase the best of hidden gems across various genres is one of the reasons why Ken and Andy’s live show has been so successful.
We were able to speak with Tibasko about their early success, influences and plans for the future.Tibasko – Alma
The New LoFi: Your latest 3-track EP ‘Alma’ has almost 1 million hits on Spotify already. With all that momentum, are there any plans for a full length album release this year?
Ken Petalcorin: It still baffles us to see how successful Alma has become! It was incredible to see how awesome the support has been. The other week we actually received a video from a random guy in North America. He was playing Alma out to a crowd and had a live saxophonist throwing down riffs over the top of it. It was pretty unreal.
No plans for a full-length album release as of yet – we want to ride on the momentum with single and EP releases to get our name out there.
However, we do have an exciting release schedule planned until 2020, with our next single release with “Another Rhythm” around mid-July. We also have plans with some other incredible labels that we can’t wait to announce… but you’ll have to wait and see!
TNLF: Besides having a residency at No Particular Order, you guys have played a lot of festivals across the UK including El Dorado Festival, Percolate, Regression Sessions, Made Festival, Pro-ject Worcester and Seedy Sonics. This also means that you’ve played alongside a range of huge names within the industry: Solardo, Lauren Lo Sung, DJ SKT, Wade & Odyssey, and Klose One. What are the artists you’ve really enjoyed working with so far?
Andy Bowden: We always have a bloody good time with the No Particular Order lads, Kørd, Love From Dave and Nirvan. We’ve gotten very close with them having done a few shows together and they have an impeccable taste in behind the decks.
Raw Silk are also inspirational DJs for both of us, as well as being incredible people. They’ve really been making waves in the industry and have gained the respect of so many people for their ability to find dance floor weapons. We’re glad to see that they’re achieving so much in such a short space of time!
TNLF: Which artists have been the biggest influence on you recently?
KP: We’re both huge fans of Bicep and Hammer – we think their sound is so original and unique. They’ve definitely played a huge part to the direction our music is heading, taking more cinematic and melodic undertones. We’d also say that the likes of Mall Grab, DJ Boring and Ross from Friends have influenced us to move our sound towards a techno-based route. You’ll get to see more of this later this year!
TNLF: Do you prefer playing these big festivals or would you rather play in clubs?
KP: In all honesty, as much as we both enjoy the full fledged production value we see at festivals, we really do love the intimacy of smaller clubs. It’s tough to beat being on the same level and up close with the crowd, in a packed room.
That being said, we’re very excited to return to El Dorado Festival once again this year — it was definitely one of our favourite festivals to date. The vibe and the atmosphere was spot on and that was probably one of our best sets to date last year.
AB: If you guys are about this year, we’ll be showcasing a lot of our unreleased tracks so our set isn’t one to miss if you want to check out what we’re about.
TNLF: We’ll be at El Dorado this year too. Will definitely check out your set while we are there.
So, everyone talks about your signature tribal sound… but from what I can tell, there is quite a lot of disco, lo-fi and other genres mixed in there as well. Where have you been taking your inspiration from lately?
KP: To list some of some of our inspirations: Bicep, DJ Boring, Ross From Friends, Lone.
It’s weird, we never really had particular genres in mind when we produced our tracks – we just went with what we thought sounded good and what we enjoyed. But this year we’ve really been focusing on finding our own original sound.
AB: Like we mentioned earlier, we’ve decided to move towards a melodic techno-based sound. Our most recent Omusaré Records release, Bodhi, is a good example of that. But this doesn’t mean we’re ruling out the existing genres we’ve dabbled in before.
TNLF: I’m loving that Bodhi track.
Ok, now for a couple of random questions. What’s your favorite playlist when you’re on the plane? What do you listen to when you’re stuck on a plane for a few hours and you don’t have anyone bothering you?
KP: If you ever get the chance to, I massively recommend checking out O’Flynn’s ‘Radio O’Flynn’ playlist on Spotify, it’s got a bunch of hidden gems, from more heavier electro all the way to afro-disco. Also really enjoy the range of music on Tom Misch’s playlist ‘real good shit’. Literally has what it says on the tin – real good shit.
TNLF: Haha, I’ll check those out. And finally, what artist or album qualifies as ‘guilty pleasure’ music for each of you?
KP: I’m not even sure this qualifies as ‘guilty pleasure’ music, but I totally used to be obsessed with Jamiroquai, especially their album ‘Travelling Without Moving’. It’s got all sorts of funk to it which I just absolutely love. Proper booty shaking stuff.
AB: We mentioned it earlier but I’m a huge Hans Zimmer geek. Sometimes on the drive home after gigs, we like to put on movie soundtracks as a way to wind down from all the madness. We love how he structures his music out to create a narrative. We just admire how his music takes us on a journey – something we’d hope to replicate in our own productions.
Check out Tibasko live at El Dorado Festival this weekend and keep an ear out for their new single “Another Rhythm,” set to drop later this month.Tibasko – El Dorado Festival Promo Mix
Tibasko – Side Your Trunk