Interview: Platronic

Platronic

On first listen Pride by Platronic has all the great elements of a song you’d hear straight out of the 1980s. Big drums, synths and even a plinky plinky piano bit for the pre-chorus. The vocals are atmospheric and fly at you from all directions, and they are sampled so that it’s weaved in and out of the main track.

Being a big 80s fan (I grew up in that era) this is the kind of song I’d put on my mixtape – easily. It’s also the kind of thing I’d envisage on Top Of The Pops, Some-E on a bank of keyboards – let’s nerd out here for a second – Emulator II+ as his main keyboard on an A-Frame stand with a DX7 on top, a Fairlight to his right, Pet Shop Boys style? Then Kay looking and sounding dynamic as ever, embodying the 80s pop princess in every way, shape or form.

Those days are gone now, and we are in a new era where it’s not the record label’s responsibility to put them together, but they met on Instagram and it was a musical match made in heaven. The sound is fantastic, and this is not their first rodeo, they have other music so look out for them this won’t be the last you will hear of them I can guarantee you that.

What started in 2019 on Instagram with the idea of doing a collab track in the foreseeable future, surprisingly turned – two remixes and a couple of very promising shared song ideas later – into a real DUO project! On the 24th of February 2020 Kay Burden and Some-E formed Platronic – coincidentally on the EBM Day! But what do they sound like? Well, imagine that Yazoo, VNV Nation and Roxette had met on a party and decided to do music together… Sweet with roughness!

Saksa-Suomi (German-Finnish) Duo Platronic captures the best of Futurepop, Synthwave, EBM, New Wave & Synthpop of the 80s to create danceable, dreamy and daring sounds and melodies that will burn themselves into one‘s mind. Emotional Electronic Music #EEM that makes your heart beat faster!

Platronic are Kay Burden singer/songwriter (Germany), and Some-E composer/producer (Finland).

Congratulations on the release of your single “Pride”. How does it feel?

K: In short…exciting! 

S: Definitely!

How are you coping with lockdown?

S/K: When the pandemic began and lockdown took place, it was a blow. It was against the mindset of free world, our new band with plans, exciting times doing music and having thought out a lot – and suddenly there’s even a risk of getting seriously ill. Since the initial shock there’s still the fact that arts and culture is suffering, and we as a band also cannot live normal life. Because we’re just starting, we didn’t have gigs for the summer, but we were supposed to meet in the mid summer for PR photos and video, and the uncertainty of the future casts a shadow. We still have a lot to do with our music and promoting it, and we haven’t spent money for specific reservations. Technically, we’re fine, but still affected by the unknown future.

You met through instagram, something that has become the norm for collaborations even more so today. What was the spark that caused you to decide to work together?

S: Not knowing Kay’s past, I was just listening the songs she had out there late summer 2019 and thinking she’s a star, I would like to collaborate, but didn’t yet know what could I give, “maybe in 2020 then”. There was some messaging and eventually we began to see we like similar things in music and she liked my compositions I had shared, so we had a definite collaboration starting up. I was still talking about my solo releases, labels and other collaborations until it seemed I want to focus doing this.

K: Star?! Seriously? Awww… Well…I actually wanted to establish myself as a Solo Artist and do some more collab tracks with indie electro artists from all over the world. But after Sami and I shared a couple of song ideas, I could feel, that we are musically on the same wavelength. His music was so inspiring. I immediately had vocal melody and lyrics on my mind…so we decided to form a Duo! Now we are twice as creative LOL

Your sound is influenced by the 80s, what are your three top 80s artists?

K: Definitely Depeche Mode… and Erasure, Yazoo, OMD, Eurythmics… Oops… could not mention only 3! And I have to confess that Martin L. Gore is my idol as for songwriting. Who else could have written those words of wisdom: “It all seems so stupid it makes me want to give up, but why should I give up when it all seems so stupid!” I adored and still do Annie Lennox and Alison Moyet. Strong women with attitude. Outstanding, wonderful voices and excellent songwriters!

S: I’ve never been much focused on artists, but Pet Shop Boys has to be on the top. Roxette also one notable from maybe 1989-90, but maybe the biggest perplexing thrill with a single song came from Eurythmics: Beethoven (I love to listen to) was really interesting to me (checking the release year 1987) as a 12-year old. I didn’t own original albums from anyone back then, but from Pet Shop Boys I ended up buying the most. Sting is also one I listened a lot.

You’re from different parts of the world, what’s the biggest thing that’s surprised you about working with each other?

S: That everything works so well. The music just happens, we hear it the same way, we even have similar visions for the music. We understand the music the same way, we have similar values for different aspects of music from sounds and style to mastering.

K: Hear Hear! Seriously… I absolutely agree with you! Surprisingly… but true!

What current artists are getting you excited?

K: VNV Nation, Boy Harsher, Whispering Sons, Covenant, Goldfrapp, Apoptygma Bezerk to name a few

S: Techno: Orbital. Acid: Acidulant. VnV Nation.

Your collaboration started out initially as an idea but has birthed two remixes and a single, what’s your secret in keeping things going?

S: As we saw we’re getting a number of song ideas quickly and EP in talks, then album and the band, I guess it’s that we believe in our music, that we really have great possibilities with it. We have a future and we’re doing this seriously.

K: Yep! And though we are living far away from each other, we work like a team, equal partners. We share ideas, discuss, compose, develop, create, design and produce together…twice as creative and sometimes double trouble… LOL

K/S: We don’t believe in the latest technology in creating the music. We’re not running after what’s hot now, we’re just trying to be ourselves with the music. Our ideas are not tied to certain genres. We agree on that we must enjoy the music we’re making, in our way. The debut happens to reflect the 80’s but the next song will be different. The possibility to explore genres, that keeps it fresh for us.

What’s in your recording set up?

S: I have something that I like to call a 90s professional electronic music studio, but it’s not properly equipped for vocal recording. I do record synthesizers and my backing vocals. In the heart of my studio, connecting all the gear together and for early production and recording is an analogue desk from early 90s. Final mix is done in DAW, but testing sounds, finding melodies and raw mix can be done with the desk and a few external effects. Most of my gear is generally cheap, digital (sampler, FM synths, romplers, rhythm machine), from 1986 to 2010s, I’m counting 12 units of which 6 are keyboards. As for recording from my part, the Pride has all of its sounds originating to my hardware. There are no instrument plugins used.

K: I record my dry vocals with Rode mic / Focusrite Scarlet audio interface in Reason and upload the tracks on our shared Google drive folder… that’s it!

You’re both obviously fans of the 80s, what’s your favourite piece of pop culture from that era?

K: Walkman, Mixtapes, …

K/S: Hard to pick the favourite parts of the culture. Diversity on music charts: synthpop, dance, rock, metal. The lyrics were generally more polite in a way. Listening vinyls on record shops.

What are you looking forward to most post lockdown?

K: Rehearsing together for the first time!

S: Gigs 🙂 People generally being able to go to clubs and gigs and the music industry rolling. 

K: Yesss! Can’t wait! 

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Platronic

Del Osei-Owusu

Del is a songwriter, producer, keyboard player arranger and musical nerd from South London, Del comes from a gospel music background but listens to anything, everything and nothing. Read More

3 Comments

  1. Nice interview Del and made me want to go looking for their music. Cheers!

  2. Hi Chris thankyou very much! They’re a lovely pair too, I could have gone in depth with the 80s questions as I love my 80s gadgets and pop culture (Really not that obvious is it???) I hope they keep it up.

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