When one sees the name “Frankey” on a line-up, the inertia leads one to think that it is some emerging or unknown artist. When we are told that it is the Frankey of Frankey & Sandrino, the story takes on a special colour. They don’t like that most people remember them for “Acamar”, but it is something inevitable. That track marked the summer of 2015. It sounded in all kind of parties, events and clubs and it always worked like the greatest hits of the underground electronic music. But Frankey & Sandrino is much more, as is each of them separately. Not many days ago, the prestigious label Poker Flat, directed by Steve Bug, released the second Frankey’s solo EP or, as he tells us they call him, “Franky”. It is the Sing EP, a release of two original mixes in which the duo’s characteristic deep melodic house sound is still very present.
We know many things about Frankey & Sandrino, but who’s Frankey by himself?
You know, I´m a passionate musician all my life, and the thing that maybe separates me from most of my colleagues in the electronic music scene is that I was involved with almost any kind of music that is out there. As a studied musician, I played in all kind of bands, like in a funk band, heavy metal band, top-40 band, jazz big band, symphony orchestra… I also sang 10 years in a choir, played bar piano for a couple of years, a long etc. That gives me a pretty colourful background, and a very wide range of influences in my current music. I think my track “Sing”, now on Poker Flat, reflects all this influences pretty well.
I don’t want people to get afraid when seeing Frankey producing alone. Don’t tell me Frankey & Sandrino are not producing together anymore…
Nooo, the opposite is true. Frankey & Sandrino is more alive than ever. We have a lot of new music lined up, we have a great new team working with us and the only thing holding us back right now is this shitty virus.
You mentioned before your second solo EP on Poker Flat Recordings. Did you start producing alone now, or were you doing it before?
I always produced also alone. That’s actually how I started DJing more than 20 years ago. I never bought vinyls or much music from other people, because I was always playing my own productions, most of them never released. I also always like producing and DJing as a duo, but I have these unplanned & unforced moments of creativity and, last year, I started thinking: why not releasing a few of the best personal creative moments?
Why now, during the pandemic?
The EP and the release schedule were ready before the lockdown started. Of course, me, Steve Bug and people working at Poker Flat discussed the situation, but as this EP is also enjoyable in a home-listening environment, we decided to give it a go.
What have you been doing these months?
I was simply at home with my family and actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Not flying every week and embracing new things, like chilled nature walks with my wife, somehow improved my quality of life. And of course, I had way more time for everything music related. This resulted in a lot of fresh music, but it also gave me the time to learn deeper stuff about synthesizers and software. For example: as a regular Ableton user, I spent like a week simply learning Logic, because I was interested in the different concept this software takes to create music. With a full gig schedule, I probably would not have done this.
How does future look like?
I´m really trying not to give my opinion on the covid-19 situation in public, because I was pretty shocked about these absurd “everybody is an expert” postings about the situation, while nobody actually knew what was going on. So, honestly, the only thing that I know more than anything nowadays is that I don’t know anything. And I wish more people would take this approach. So, regarding the clubbing scene, it could continue for two weeks, it could continue for one year, or maybe it will never get back to normal. Who am I to say that?
Going back to your second solo release on Poker Flat, “Sing” reminds me to the sound that made you international stars with bangers like “Acamar” back in the days. Soft, hypnotic, warm and deep electronica, dancing between ethnical house and melodic techno.
As I said, it’s hard to define your own music, especially because I´m always trying to achieve something, that is not comparable to other stuff out there. I don’t know any track that is similar to “Sing” and, when I´m discussing with the people at Poker Flat about the Beatport genre where we could place this track and nobody knows the answer, then I know I did everything right. 😊
“Satellite” includes a speech in the second half of the track. Is that a message for listeners?
I never think in terms of messages in music. It’s actually a conversation with Russel Brand, where he’s talking about modern times and social media, but I actually just like the sound and melody of his voice and British accent. Somehow, I always think about a voice more in an instrumental way, instead of something delivering a message.
It is 100% Frankey’s sound, despite you might say your sound has evolved during these years.
Of course, my sound has been evolving during all these years. My beginnings in the electronic music scene were more than 20 years ago, and the main reason why I probably stuck to the electronic music is that it’s constantly evolving. If I would produce or even listen to the same music over and over again all these years, I would be bored and probably looking for a different job. 😉
You don’t use to play live in your gigs.
I did a few live acts alone, as part of a longer Frankey & Sandrino presentation, where Sandrino is DJing before or after the live act, for example. But I never felt 100% comfortable with the live situation. For the future, we are looking to create kind of a hybrid live performance, where, especially when we play all-nighters, I play some live keyboards on top of Sandrino´s DJing.
Is there any artist you look at like a big reference?
That changes all the time. At the moment, I probably admire Photay the most as an electronic music producer.
What would Frankey do if we were back to pre-pandemic normality tomorrow?
I miss the freaky outdoor events, with people celebrating music together in the sun on an amazing sound system. Nothing tops that. Nothing can replace that.