Impactful trio Phraktal talks “Chime,” inspirations, and the Digital Age

Phraktal are electronic music producers from Ireland. In 2015 they released their debut album Why 1 is One and 2 is Two to critical acclaim & since then they have seen support pour in from DJ’s all across the globe. Album two, Nightwalk, will come in two parts and is due out later in 2019. Phraktal will also be touring material from both albums in 2020 in some unique live settings to be announced. Substream’s own Boom had the chance to talk with the new sensation on hit-making music, new ventures, and more. Read the complete interview below.

[Substream]: Was the name Phraktal of deep importance or a quick choice name?

[Phraktal]: We chose the name Phraktal as the original word itself Fractal refers to a curve or self repeated pattern in nature. Each of the band members has been in the scene for over 25 years and at certain points in time we’ve connected, lost touch and reconnected. We always tend to stay on the same course musically even when we work apart on tracks. So, it felt apt that this self-repeating pattern could be summed up with a fractal or Phraktal so to speak.

Where does your sense of experimentation come from within the production of “Chime”?

Experimentation in electronic music has always been a fascination for us, all 3 of us are huge Orbital fans, we have loved the way the band has produced music since the very beginning, Chime was our introduction to the band and the flow and the energy of the original made it easy for us in a sense. We are always experimenting with different VST’s/ outboard gear. Watching Orbital perform inspired us to do something almost live-sounding, we wanted it to be energetic, technically speaking clean, yet punchy in the low end and have a sense of euphoria at the same time.

Stream “Chime” by Phraktal now, courtesy of Spotify.

What kind of house are you into that helped to inspire the single?

So many amazing producers out there currently making amazing house/electronic music but our inspirations stem back from the beginnings of house & techno with the originator Juan Atkins, Frankie Knuckles, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Underworld, Basic Channel, Laurent Garnier, Slam, Charlie May and more recently Wehbba, Tiefschwarz and Dino Lenny.

How has the digital age impacted the golden age of house from your point of view?

To an extent, it has levelled the playing field, it’s easier now than any other time in recent history to get into house music production, but the digitization of the industry, download/streaming stores are the real winners. We hear a lot of people say “music is so much more disposable” with changes happening so fast and so many free download sites, it is hard to keep track, the business model keeps changing, there is something to be said for having a physical vinyl copy of the music you made or bought though. Having the freedom to release music quickly in the digital age is great, but without a decent budget and marketing team behind the release, you won’t reach the millions of people using streaming portals.

Are there other positive technology changes you have been happy to see over the last 10-20 years?

Without a doubt! The main one would probably be the flexibility of working remotely on music makes our lives a lot less hectic. It helps the creativity side of things a huge amount. The synthesizer manufacturers like Roland are making it even better by creating VST versions of their most sought after classic instruments, like the 303/909, Juno, Jupiter, the list is long but their Roland Cloud subscription where you get all of this classic gear for 20€ per month subscription is pure genius. There are limitless options open to anyone making music today, although when you were paying hard-earned cash for a studio space years ago, you tended to make the best use of your time there!

Why was Chime a good fit for the label release?

Phraktal: About 18 months ago we were introduced to Billy from Limbo and immediately there was a great synergy between us. With the legacy and admiration we have for Limbo it was pretty much a no-brainer when Billy had said he wanted to sign it. We actually began the production of Chime in 2011 and have been tinkering with 4 different versions by the time we finally said it was done.

What other plans do you have in 2019?

We’ve been busy putting the final touches and tweaks to our second album Nightwalk. After a major malfunction of one of our hard drives, crashing and wiping out the majority of what was to be our second album in 2017, we are just about ready to let this one go. It will be a two-part album, the first part will feature our ambient electronica side and part two has a more upfront vibe of house and melodic techno. We’re also headlining Audio Garden festival in Sept which we’re really excited about. We’ve also just finished some remixes which are due out later in the year and are currently planning our 3rd album “Peer Pressure” which will hopefully be recorded sometime in 2020.

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