Russian two-piece Fractions are an emerging techno duo that currently reside in Prague. Their early releases on Berlin imprint Fleisch led them to play in front of crowds at clubs like renowned techno institute Berghain, and 2020 is looking like one of their biggest years to date.
Following an inclusion on a various artists release on Dax J’s Monnom Black, the pair are now returning for their first original EP on the label. Titled NITE NRG, it includes four originals that they say are inspired by early rave and acid.
We spoke to them about the new release, their recent remix for Otto Tito and Coup, how they handle working as a duo, and more. Get the full discussion below.
Your big news this month is no doubt your return to Dax J’s Monnom Black imprint for your first original EP on the label, tell us about the tracks?
Yes, we have been desperate to tell everyone about the EP for a few months! The whole concept of this release is to give you an augmented feeling of a night out.
The name NITE NRG is a reference to the culture of 90s-00s, which is a main leitmotif of the whole EP. The title track contains rave stab leads and gliding distorted bass, a typical sound for that period. We have also added a more Thomas P. Heckmann EBM-style arpeggio just to make it groovier. It is 100% a club-oriented track. This track manifests the beginning of the night and sets the mood.
Do You Believe was the first track we wrote for this release. The idea came from the female vocal sample on the early 2000s track Godd by Marco V. It had this ‘bad girl’ attitude which was an immediate source of inspiration. This is a ‘peak-timer’ on the dancefloor.
All The Streets Are Silent is a homage to our beloved 90s acid and the infamous Blade club scene, we were extremely tempted to imagine how its soundtrack would sound nowadays and so we did. This one represents an acid classic which everyone is excited to hear once it kicks in. The streets are silent but the club is loud.
Hive Mind came as a reverence towards early 2000s techno, known for a ruthless amount of power in its drums and bass. If you listen closely to the sound of the lead synth and arpeggio playing together you could immediately understand the track’s title and feel bees flying around. Those are the sounds of the city coming back to life in the early morning and ringing in your ears after the sound system punished them for hours. The emotional pads in the end serve as a set closer.
And you’ll also be releasing a remix for Otto Tito on Coup, how did that one come about?
We respect COUP immensely for their efforts to showcase young up & coming producers through their platform. Also, the quality of their releases has been outstanding! Because of that we’ve wanted to collaborate with them in one way or another. And we were very happy when they approached us with a remix offer!
Do you approach a remix project any differently to an original production?
We draw no line between producing a remix versus our original productions, we treat it with the same amount of attention and detail. At the end of the day, it is still our product and we want our audience to be certain about the quality they’ll meet when interacting with it.
It is very important to us to treat the artist and his music right and make him happy with another variation. Sometimes, we even tend to spend more time on the remix than on our track! That was exactly the case with this remix for Otto Tito, we were polishing it for around three weeks straight.
And working together as a duo, how does a typical studio session go? How do you handle conflicting opinions?
There is no one typical scenario for us honestly. We often start with a good ol’ cup of tea and talking about life for about an hour as a soft start and get our minds rolling. After, we would sit behind an iMac and show tracks we have encountered, both old and new, it serves as a kick start for inspiration. Then we just say: it sounds great here so let’s try to make something in that fashion as well? Of course, it comes out completely different immediately but that first push is critical.
We spend a lot of time discussing and persuading one another and at the same time hearing one another out. At one point, one of us gets tired of it and just gives up haha. And honestly, we have spent so much time together writing music that we think alike 95% of the time so those situations are rare.
You’re residents at Prague club ONYX and have played at clubs like Berghain, what can someone in the crowd expect from a Fractions set?
One small correction – ONYX is an event promotion, not a club (yet)! Certainly, people should expect non-stop energy from start to finish. There is truly no rest for the wicked in our performances. Our main goal was always to make people dance and keep them entertained for as long as we play. We believe that the music should make even sober people dance, that is a true test for your music. If you can do that, then the sky is the limit.
And how have you guys been coping with COVID-19 and lockdown on a global level?
We believe we are no different from other people around the world, facing with financial loss, locked at home with a paralyzed social life. On the other hand, quarantine allowed us time for self-reflection and to evaluate where we stand in the music world and what are the things we should work on to grow further.
What’s the thing you both miss the most about ‘normal’ life?
Along with our colleagues, we’ve been missing going out, travelling and playing gigs. At the same time, it is very tiresome to see the same topic which had monopolized the entire media space. We miss the usual flow of various news and discussions.
Can you recommend a track or album that you think has a big impact on times like right now?
Fractions’ NITE NRG EP drops June 26th on Monnom Black and their remix for Otto Tito drops June 8th on Coup.