Formation are the twin brothers bringing back the cowbell. Here, they chat to Wonderland about their new tracks “Back Then” and “Young Ones”.
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Together since day one, the Formation brothers from South London are making innovative music and new sounds. Their recently released tracks have great head jerking beats and low-key videos with funky animations and a black and white aesthetic, these brothers are tapping into a realm of music that is infectious to say the least. Think a mix between everything you wanted Alphabeat to be twinned with The View. Now those references might be a bit of throwback, but Formation are the young kids creating music that has an undeniable mass appeal. Instrumental and tech in equal measure with lingering vocals that will stick in your mind for weeks to come, these are the tunes to soundtrack your days stomping down the street like you own them. Feel empowered with Formation, and learn some necessary life skills below…

When did Formation form? When did you start making music together?

Formation started two years ago, but as brothers we’ve been making music together since day one.

So it’s all in the family with you two, are you from a musical background? 

We’re not from a particularly musical background, but we do have a family of music lovers.

How would you describe your sound?

It’s what it sounds like to be an adult, but to still feel like a kid.

Who are your musical icons (alive or dead)?

John Coltrane, always. Pelle Almqvist and of course The Choir of New College Oxford… thats a given though.

Tell us about your new song, “Back Then”, what’s the meaning behind it?

You remember back in the day when you got shit done, real shit, like building skate ramps out of pallets with your friends and recording demos of 10 minute psychedelic songs onto an alarm clock/cassette recorder? Growing up together, making mistakes and not having any money; before your parents split up and you realised that a bunch of rich dickheads were actually in charge of this mess. It’s nice to remember the good days.

You’ve got a point. Are you bringing back the cowbell?

Bringing it back?? The cowbell is fundamental. Learn your rhythms, here are a few simple 3-2 afro-claves in 6 that you can practise on your cowbell. Or, if you don’t own a cowbell you can just clap your hands (and look like an idiot for not owning a cowbell).

The crosses are hits and dots are rests, but count them all like this 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + hitting/resting on the appropriate count.

X • X • X • • X • X • •

X • X • • X • X • X • •

X • X • X  X • X • X  X •

You are now a master of the west-african clave, go and show off to your friends.

Thanks, we’ve nailed it in the Wonderland office. So which one of you is chalk, which one is cheese?

I’m chalk, he’s cheese.

What are you looking forward to in 2015?

Kendrick Lamar’s new album, new music from John Maus and of course all of the crazy stuff that we’ve got going on!

It’s an exciting year for you! Where you do you see yourselves in five years time?

I’m not sure, but four of those years better not include David Cameron.

What would be your ultimate festival to perform at?

Coachella always looks really good, but we’re excited to be play at Midi in Toulon and Melt festival in Germany, there’s some great bands that we want to see on those line-ups.

What are you listening to right now? 

The voices in my head…

What would you do if you weren’t working in music?

www.skatepal.co.uk – helping other people be rad.

‘Young Ones’ EP is out on Meno Records this week.


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