With the release of Fracture & Neptune's ''Ups & Downs VIP'' we catch up with one half of the dynamic duo to talk Czech beer, black plastic and heavy metal groupies... Listen 'ere... Dis one da remix. VIP style!
The last 12 months has been fantastic for you as an artist. You have continued to grow your own Astrophonica label as well as signing singles to Exit, Metalheadz, and Subtitles Music. Reflecting on that success, what are your goals and aspirations for the next 12 months?
Yes indeed, it was a great 2011. It’s nice because I started the year thinking “right, I’m going in” and it paid off. The label has been established and there is now an anticipation with what we are going to do next. In 2012 I’m gonna take that momentum and build on it. I’ve got some interesting projects lined up on Astrophonica and will be working with a few other labels and artists too. Creatively, i think 2012 stands to be an interesting year for quite a few people and personally I’m going to be experimenting with new influences.
As Fracture & Neptune you have revisited one of your classic tracks “Ups & Downs’’ and given it the VIP treatment. Did going back in on the track spark memories from the time that you wrote the original or rekindle that original vibe?
It sparked memories of “how the fuck did I ever use Logic 4.7, its ugly!”. It was nice to go back in and dig the parts out because of the era we wrote the original in. There was a real buzz with lots of people working together and really vibing with each other. If I remember correctly we were working with Bassbin quite a lot back then and that was always fun. So yeah, it was nice. In terms of the vibe of the original, we wanted to keep that. Quite linear and progessive in arrangement, working off a groove and sticking to it.
Your remix of “I Am Metal” as Compound One is the fourth version of the track following Graphic’s original, the Martyn remix and the Starkey remix. It must have been daunting following the high calibre of remixes over the years? How did you approach the track?
The Compound One remix was probably approached in the same way all the work we do together; With a few Czech beers and arguments. Although saying that, I think this one was a bit more free flowing. We had an idea early on and stuck to it.
Your love for vinyl and music in the physical format is evident in the way you run your label and the attention to detail you put into all of your releases. Where do you see the place of the format in 2012, given that digital media has not as yet managed to remove demand for the product? Would it seem that people still have love for the black wax?
Vinyl is indeed still here. But a finished and high quality product is needed. That goes for artwork and packaging, not just the music. You have to up your game now and that’s what we do at Astrophonica. The physical product is still apparent, but it is very hard to maintain and you have to stand out. It’s gone beyond the music, which is something that buying records always did for me anyway. It has become collectors that buy vinyl now, not just music consumers. So the package has to be desirable and collectible as does the music.
Are you ‘’Up” or “Down”? And if you were metal who would you be? A) Tin Man (Wizard of OZ), B) Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) or C) Optimus Prime (Transformers)?
Erm . . . I don’t know?! I guess Iron Maiden probably had more groupies than the other two so I’d say Bruce Dickinson.
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