Interview: Frank Sonic

Past releases with labels like Toolroom Records, Dear Deer and Manual Music have put Dusseldorf-based producer Frank Sonic at the forefront of the cities club scene.

This month will see him make a welcomed return to Drumcomplex’s Complexed Records for his dark natured 3-track New World Order EP.

We recently had the chance to speak with Frank, where we asked him all about the new release, how much he looks forward to playing in a club, and which albums have soundtracked his quarantine. Get the full discussion below.

You’re about to return to Drumcomplex’s Complexed Records for your New World Order EP, tell us about the inspiration behind the release and how it came together in the studio?

In the first weeks of lockdown I spent hours and hours in my studio before I realised that the virus will be a part of our all lives for the next few months. I made around 10 tracks in this period. All different.

After my last Out Of This World EP on Complexed Records in 2019, I definitely wanted to be back this year, as I feel very connected to it. For those of you who don’t already know I am also responsible for all the artwork on the label for the past 2 years. In the production process it was a lot of fun to combine my melodic elements with driving techno beats.

It includes three original tracks, was there no interest in remixes for this one?

It’s the New World Order! In the beginning there was The Warning, but we didn’t listen to them. We all go for The Peradventure and now we have to live with The Truth. I hope that the world after Covid19 will be a better one and we appreciate life more than before. As I see this EP as a concept we didn’t think about remixes.

You have also released on Toolroom, Dear Deer and Manual Music in the past, what do you look for in a label when considering them for a release?

I really don’t care about sales or label stats when I’m signing contracts. It’s always nice to release on bigger labels as you have much more impact and sometimes also better positions in the beatport charts.

But usually I am focusing on my contacts from the past 20 years and releasing music on labels of my friends. If you are close to the label boss, you can personally plan the promotion campaigns, intensive decisions about artwork, care about good mastering and all this stuff which is mostly automated at big companies.

And which labels can we expect to see you on in the near future?

As I have produced so many tracks in the last month, I have a lot of releases in the next weeks. I am back on Zehn Records, Manual Music, Amber Recordings and ICONYC.

You’re from Germany, who have one of the healthiest club scenes in the world, what do you think makes the club culture so special there?

In a time where all clubs are closed due to this virus it’s a bit crazy to talk about a healthy club scene, but you are right that I was very happy with the clubs I’m involved with. We have a large amount of clubs here. In the last few years also some big festivals here are facilitating the entrance to electronic music, young kids are going to be ravers again.

And clubs have of course been closed since the beginning of 2020, what are you looking forward to most about getting back behind a DJ booth?

I am really missing it. When the lockdown began I did some livestreams but I can tell you that I did not enjoy playing inside empty clubs. Last weekend I played a social distancing open air where people were locked up in small boxes and was really sad before I realised that maybe this will be the situation for the next few months. My music is built from togetherness. My beats are unfolding when people are dancing on a packed sweaty dancefloor. I know that the first party when all these new rules are gone will be a very special one and maybe this day of liberty will be celebrated every year like a public holiday?

You’re an avid producer, with a passion for the studio, tell us more about the tracks you made during lockdown?

In the last month I made a lot of tracks but as I am changing my studio-setup to analog I also spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos about CV, modular systems and all this nerdy stuff.

I slowly understand how to connect my Moog synthesizers together and recorded hours and hours of sequences. Some weeks ago I invited Drumcomplex to my spaceship and we made 4 tracks together that are different from what we are doing regularly. This new project will be called FSCDCX and soon we will talk about the first release.

With my Ukrainian guy Larsun Hesh I have also made 5 or 6 melodic techno tracks for which we are already talking with some labels. So there will be a lot of interesting stuff coming in the future.

And can you give us one album or EP that helped you stay sane during quarantine?

There’s so much good music coming out these days. I think that producers are finding the time in lockdown to create stuff with a heartfelt mood.

I can not pick a special piece but I am a big fan of Nils Frahm. His last album All Melody from 2018 is still a masterpiece for me and is the perfect sound for hot summer nights, locked at home. And it also makes my son sleep.

Frank Sonic’s New World Order EP is out August 7th on Complexed Records.