Frankey is the alias of Frank Beckers, also known as one half of the Berlin duo Frankey & Sandrino. The pair have notched up a series of stellar releases on labels such as Kompakt, Innervisions, Diynamic or their own label Sum over Histories. Frankey now drops his second release on Poker Flat Recordings – the fantastic “Sing” EP.
Utilising almost two decades of production experience, “Sing” is a supremely assured track – a thick, infectious groove exhibiting nuanced sound design while fragments of piano lead the subtle melodic development. It’s got class written all over it. “Satellite” is cut from the same cloth. Frankey’s attention to detail, particularly in the mix, makes for a dancefloor track that is both laser-sharp and deeply affecting – the drums knock while the chords and effects take the track into space.
Time for a chat. Enjoy the read.
Connect with Frankey on Spotify | Soundcloud | Facebook
Hey hey, how are you holding up in these crazy times?
Hey, I´m doing pretty fine, even though times a really strange. I made the best out of the lockdown days by learning new stuff, making a lot of music, spending quality time with my family, but on the other hand I feel more strong then ever, that I have no clue at all how this is gonna turn out. The uncertainty is almost more disturbing then the actual virus. But I try to stay positive and focus on the now as I can´t influence the future.
I read in a previous interview that you found travelling the only exhausting part of your job. Given that’s now off the cards for some time now, do you think you’ll have a new appreciation for it when you return to touring?
The travelling itself I will never appreciate. Being somewhere else, collecting new impressions and of course simply playing music for people or celebrating music together with people in a hedonistic way, that all for sure will be very appreciated. And that´s a good thing, because after DJing for 20years, this becomes such a normal part of your life, that you usually never question. Now, with what we saw the last 3 month, not only me, I think everybody who loves to dance to electronic music, will enjoy everything on an even higher level, because we all didn’t know that this scene is so fragile and could end any time…
What’s your creative process when writing music? Do you have an idea in mind or do you somehow experiment and see what’s coming?
A lot of times I at least have a vision of the groove or vibe that I try to create. But often I’m also influenced by something I heard somewhere else. Any element in any kind of music can trigger an emotion, that I want to recreate. I never try to copy the source of that emotion, but I like the challenge to create my own source for that specific emotion.
Is there a specific message you want to bring with this release? Should we all be singing more?
Absolutely not. I don’t believe in messages in music. I like to see music in its pure abstract form. Even the track “Satelite” has a voice that could be seen as a message. I was only looking for the vibe/feeling this voice is generating. Not caring too much about the words. This EP is simply a very personal one. The Track Sing combines a lot of elements of my musical background. It has a Electric Bass, which I played many years in countless bands and I play some improvised Jazz Piano, which also is a huge part of me (I was a Bar Piano player and played in a Jazz Big Band in my younger years). And I also have a history of singing 9 years in a choir. And I´m really happy, that somehow all these things made it into the track “Sing”.
When working on music is the dance floor always something you keep in mind? Or does a certain vibe or flow sometimes transcend that?
On a subconscious level, I always think about the dance floor, because I focus a lot on the groove in my tunes. But in general, during the creative process, I try to keep all commercial considerations outside of the studio and for after the track is done.
Tell us about your relationship with Poker Flat… what do they do differently from other labels?
There are a few reasons I chose Poker Flat for my solo releases. First of all, there is a romantic historical reason. Cause I know Steve Bug and Poker Flat from my early raver days when I was just a young guy enjoying music on the dance floor. And I also had a very special relationship with the track Loverboy, which was almost like a magic trick in my early DJ days. Because the minimalism of this track got people so locked-in on the dancefloor I sometimes couldn’t believe it.
Then Sandrino and I released a remix for Steve bug on Poker Flat, where I realised that there is a really nice and professional team involved. Then it’s also a more housey label and that separates it a little more from the typical labels Frankey & Sandrino release. And last but not least I feel that Mr. Bug really gets and understands the quality of my music.
What else should we be looking out from you this year?
Sandrino and I made some awesome music, maybe the best we ever made. So we decided to wait till the situation out there is more clear before we gonna release it. We are somehow more motivated than ever, that’s why it’s such a petty that this shitty virus is holding us back…
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt along the way in this crazy music business?
Unfortunately, I had this romantic belief, that good music is the main key to success. But, in reality, the music business is more about creating hypes, marketing, branding, social media. I feel like there are quite a few big artists out there, that are masters in these areas. In terms of music or DJ skills, they don’t have much to show for. I’m not even blaming any artist for this, the problem is more the masses who follow artificially created hypes.
I had this romantic belief, that good music is the main key to success, but in reality, the music business is more about creating hypes, marketing, branding, social media.
And finally, what’s the record from another artist that’s meant the most to you this year?
Photay – Is It Right?