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INTERVIEW: Techno Jazz Band Plastik.Soldiers

Hey Plastik.Soldiers, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello VENTS, thanks for having an interview with us! Yeah we’ve been good lately. Lots of creativity flowing and able to be productive with it. We’ve been a lot in the studio, so expect more music coming soon after this new EP, and the summer looks good with some very nice festivals where we can play our music. 

Your EP Short Days is out now, can you tell our readers what to expect from this release?

They can expect a 4-track EP starting off with an haunting detectivish electro banger, then a techno rendition of a track we already play for more than 7 years. Third track is a rap techno crossover highlighting Coen on the vocals, and we close off with a mesmerizing but mercyless ethnic-electro slowburner.

What was the inspiration surrounding this particular project?

For this particular EP there was no other motivation or inspiration as just digging deeper into the craft of making our own creations. From composing to mixing. Needless to say we are already working on much more music. 

You guys have such a distinct sound combining jazz with electronic music. Do you still feel your music is fluid and changes with each release, or do you hold true to your original ethos?

Thanks, good to hear! Yes its super fluid, it changes very fast with every new influence or idea we feel we have to implement, and yet there are some dogmas we relate to; that it has to have a free or improvised piece or part -or in live situations; possibility- in it, and we like it to be danceable. 

One track we really liked from the EP was ‘Short Days’ – what’s the story behind the title and what made you want to make it?

The story behind that title is that I (Luc) was working a summer job at a fastfood restaurant during my holiday from the conservatory, but the job was a bit shitty, and then environment was this kind of deepfry-vacuum, it felt a bit surreal or like that time didn’t count or something. The time that was left, I’d go for a swim and then study and write music, but it was always too short. Does that makes sense already? As a matter of fact this is 7 years ago. The song evolved from a modern-jazz tune into a melodic dubstep track 3 years later, then implemented in our live-set again after another 3 years as a techno-jam, which resulted in the idea to re-record it and drop it as this melodic but a-tonal techno-ish tune that it is now. The blueprint of the chords and melody did remain almost intact. The shitty jobs also though. 

Can you give us some insight into your process, with such an interesting sound I’ve wondering how you bring it all together. What’s the usual plan in going in to making a track?

For me it always starts at the piano, from there arises a harmonic or melodic idea, most of the time a combination of those two, and then starts the search for a groove,a vibe, a sound, a structure, and so on, in a less particular way. Coen prefers to work from melody or rhythms. In his studio he got a setup which triggers to work in different ways. Sometimes it’s from my drumsequence, sometimes guitar, or it may just be a sample recorded during a travel by train.  After this initial composing process we sit together and shape the tracks like a craftsmen.This works really good, cause we both have different approaches in this process, and most of the times we dive some deep into eachother tunes that it becomes our collective tracks. We even share the rights 50/50 because it ain’t matters no more who’s initial composition it was. 

Has the Netherlands played a part in your music?

Of course, as we are true dutch men, while being super all-inclusive, we’re born and raised in the middle of the Netherlands, Coen in the „old land” (400y old fishermen town) and Luc from the „polder” not even 60y old land risen from the sea. So yeah, that has influence, but what precisely is also for us a question. And an answer. 

What made you want to make your particular brand of electronic music, what’s influenced you?

Actually its the combining of different mutual influences and our inherent drive to create something not-yet-existing, and a shared valuation of music aesthetics. Maybe we got more particular influences personally but not per-sé as a collective. 

What’s your gigging schedule like at the moment, are you guys more built for the club or the stage?

Well with the summer ahead we focus on a more festival vibe, we got some cool ones coming up, like Into The Woods which is this really cool intimate festival in the Netherlands, but also really exciter to play Re:Found Jazzfestival our first gig in Italy! Last week we played in a club and actually there is not that much difference, for us. As we like to approach every gig with a fresh attitude. We try to know about our show on beforehand as much as possible; stage, acts before and/or after us, audience, venue/festival, set times, etc. And then we try to adapt to that info as good as we can, or feel like. If we feel like just play the hell out of it, we will. Actually that happend last week in the club. Turned out pretty good, in all modesty.

What else is happening next in Plastik.Soldiers’s world?

Almost finished a more poppy track with neat vocals + 2 remixes, laid down a track with one of the best jazzguitar players of the Netherlands Reinier Baas. This has a more dark instrumental techno vibe, really looking forward to release that. Hopefully this winter, on Jazz-O-Tech, our recordlabel from Milan. We found each other last year, and so far its a very fruitful collaboration, its fascinating what a #hashtag can do nowadays. We also will drop another videoclip, will start working on our next EP (after those singles mentioned before are finished -almost!- and released) and will work on a extra visual component to our liveshows. 

Plastik.Soldiers Socials:

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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