While All the King’s Men have been making headlines in the past couple of years, with their successes both nationally and internationally, it is easy to overlook the efforts of some of the other groups based in the English capital. Most notably, Imperial College based all-male group The Techtonics have been making real strides in the a cappella world since their formation in 2008. From touring the US to releasing their debut album and everything in between, there really is a lot to be excited about for this literally groundbreaking group.
The Techtonics were formed in 2008 by Christian Carter and Ed Brightman, who both lamented the lack of quality contemporary a cappella at Imperial College, and thus decided to start up an all male group, recruiting ten more boys into a twelve-strong first generation of Techtonics.
During the first year of their inception, The Techtonics quickly established themselves on the music scene at Imperial College, taking part in the Imperial Arts Festival, coming second in Imperial Idol in 2009, and performing alongisde Noel Fielding and Athlete at the Imperial Summer Ball at the end of their first year as a group.
Their second year of action saw them increase their exposure levels as far afield as Cambridge and Edinburgh, as well as solidifying their reputation around Imperial College. They began to perform their own gigs around the university as well as teaming up with other choral groups, and began their tradition of busking at Portobello Market on Saturday mornings. They entered the 2010 Voice Festival competition in the Cambridge Regional, where Christian Carter won the ‘Outstanding Arrangement’ award for Robbie Williams’ Come Undone, before taking a week-long show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and selling out on their final night.
In 2010/11, the group continued to increase their reputation, competing in the inaugural London Regional of the Voice Festival with another award-winning set, this time the ‘Outstanding Performance’ award, and took their music international, competing in the Vocal Marathon competition in Croatia, where they were commended for their ‘fresh and positive energy’. They also hosted the first a cappella night at the ICU Metric, bringing together several groups from the southern areas of the country.
Last year, the group hit their competitive heights, winning two awards at the 2012 London Regional of the Voice Festival, ‘Outstanding Performance’ and ‘Outstanding Soloist’, and performing with renowned American collegiate group, The Brown Derbies.
The summer has been an exciting one for the group. It all began with the announcement that the group’s first full-length album was to be released in early September, just before the group went on tour to the US for the first time to promote the album. The album, entitled “Groundbreaker”, is available on iTunes.
The resulting tour was 13-days long, and involved travelling over 2,000 miles and visiting 8 different states o the East Coast of America. The group teamed up once again with The Brown Derbies, visited the oldest and most established a cappella scene in the world at Yale University, catching a Pentatonix gig and exchanging photos and albums, and performing with The Clefhangers, The Yellow Jackets, several groups at Sycaruse, and hosting workshops for schools almost everywhere they went. The tour was, according to the group, ‘fantastic’, ‘amazing’, ‘unforgettable’ and several other extremely positive adjectives.
To add to all that, it was revealed that week that one of the tracks from the group’s new album, Labrinth’s Earthquake has been selected to feature on the 9th installation of CASA’s “Sing” compilation, a thoroughly impressive achievement for an album dominated by American groups. Further information about that can be found here.
The Year In Quotes
…of Vocal Marathon:
“They set the audience on fire [...] a fresh and positive energy.” – Vocal Marathon review
…of Voice Festival UK 2012:
“A fun-filled a cappella romp.” – UACUK
…of their US Tour:
“Literally amazing [...] phenomenal.”
The group have recruited new members and are raring to go in the new academic year. They have gigs planned with All the King’s Men and Out of the Blue coming up, and we look forward to hearing their album shortly – keep your eyes peeled for a review!