Ndeko and Imbratura want to take you on a trip…
Following the release of their debut EP in March, and this exceptional VA EP on their own label Cutcrxss last month, this weekend sees Sicaria Sound launch another exciting project as they celebrate their last year together as a musical duo.
Introducing EX R1D3, a curated A/V feast for the senses comprising monthly mixes from some of their closest friends and kindred spirits in the game. Supported by funding received from MOBO Help Musicians and the Metallic Fund andconjured through the lockdown-inspired idea of taking a trip to nowhere, EX R1D3 is animated by 3D maestro Mungo and features the likes of Re:ni, Anna Morgan, Boofy, Cimm and EMA with a finale from Sicaria Sound themselves. The conceptual mix series is heavily themed by travelling, which is a thread that runs through the whole Sicaria Sound story, and taps into their long established love for radio.
It runs until October and will feature various easter eggs and references for fans who’ve been with them on this journey. Read on to find out more… And what happens at the end of the year when Ndeko and Imbratura say goodbye to their Sicaria Sound project.
What inspired EX R1D3?
The series is themed around ‘taking a trip to nowhere’ as it was created when a lot of the world was locked down as a result of the pandemic, but it also reflects on our sonic and personal journey so far as Sicaria Sound. The whole show occurs within a drive-through setting which 3D animator Mungo has created and includes objects based around our personalities as well as our guests’. Although we’ve loved and appreciated working with some amazing platforms over the years, ultimately we really value our independence as artists so this was also about creating and hosting a project completely on our own terms. We’d never worked with visuals properly before so this was the chance to try something new by shaking up our previous strictly audio format.
Wicked Any unforeseen challenges along the way?
We knew from the get-go we were not in a financial position to execute this project as we wanted to properly pay everyone involved, so in July last year we submitted two funding applications and were lucky enough to receive them both (big s/o to MOBO Help Musicians & the Metallic Fund). However, our bookings income always used to support any output we did as Sicaria Sound, so having been stripped of that during the pandemic EX R1D3 ultimately became a passion project that took up a lot of our time but didn’t help our financial situation. So we made some important decisions to be able to keep working on it. In September last year we ended our radio residency to free up more creative time and energy. We also pushed back the launch date of EX R1D3 by several months so it could be executed properly, and we prioritised taking care of ourselves and our wellbeing.
Yeah that’s always priority! Please take care of Mungo and big him up. He’s a sick artist!
Damn straight he is! We’ve actually known Mungo since before we even got started as Sicaria Sound as we all used to work together. His brain is on a next level. His thought process behind his work is incredible and we’re so gassed for him to share what he’s been making.
The concept seems like a celebration; of yourselves and what you love/what makes you you… but also of the music and its creators and the whole musical experience. Is that right?
You’ve summarised that so nicely, big up! Yes, this project is fundamentally about celebrating music, including spotlighting underground artists which is something we’ve always done as Sicaria Sound. We also wanted to show a more personal side to us and our guests through EX R1D3, which is why it’s sick to be working with Mungo to create more of an “experience”. Hopefully you’ll understand what we’re getting at once the first episode launches!
What can we expect?
From our end as Sicaria, we always play recently made tunes pitched around 140/70BPM so each show we’re gonna bring different approaches to this ethos from both ourselves and our guests: you’ll catch modern day takes on dubstep, twostep, hip-hop and other unclassifiable sounds that are heavy on bass and percs. Re:ni kicks off the series with a dark and hypnotic mix – then we’ve got mixes incoming from Anna Morgan, Boofy, Cimm and EMA before a finale episode. Both us and Mungo will be hiding little easter eggs within the show so we can’t give too much away now!
Right now you’re ramping things up and will be all year but we already know you’re parting ways at the end of the year. This doesn’t happen in our music very often. How is this whole experience for you both?
For us this is one of the most important – but not easiest by any means – decisions we’ve made together. We wanted to be as transparent as we could with everyone who has been kind enough to support us as Sicaria Sound instead of hitting them off-guard with the news at the end of the year. Importantly, the pandemic-induced step down from living in the fast lane meant we have been able to properly put more effort towards our physical and mental health as well as other things that really matter to us.
You’re going out with a bang. This is a case of it not being the end of the book and it being more like the end of the chapter isn’t it?
You’ve absolutely hit the nail on the head here – this feels like a sick chapter we’ve had in our friendship but it’s now time for whatever else life has in store for us, both together and as individuals. Ndeko is carrying on making music as Mia Koden and we have a couple joint non-music related projects we’re thinking about. And we’re really hoping to go travelling together once the pandemic is over; EX R1D3 is about virtual trips, but you better believe as soon as it’s safe we’ll be doing them in real life!