Frankey & Sandrino’s productions, DJ & live sets, have been a thing of artistic wizardry since they first started playing together back in 2010. Fast forward to 2019 and the elusive German duo still continue to travel the globe, educating, infatuating and satisfying dancers of all ages.
Both Frankey and Sandrino have individually been active with electronic music well over a decade now. On the one hand, there’s Sandrino whose passion for life is driven by longtime love for house music in all its forms. On the other, there is Frankey, a schooled musician who already had a string of full-length albums and single releases out under different disguises before joining forces with Sandrino.
After their encounter at Butan club, where Sandrino held a residency, the guys were drawn to each other by their mutual thirst for deep & melodic music. Since then they have gone to release on the likes of Innervisions, Kompakt Records and most recently Mule Musiq. As one of the most original yet understated duos of a generation, we decided it was time to delve behind the headphones.
Before your Frankey & Sandrino project, you were both accomplished musicians in your own right. Why did you decide to start performing as Frankey & Sandrino?
Sandrino: Hello there. Getting to work with Frankey was quite a natural process. We never planned a project together but to just tried to work in the studio, have some fun and take it from there. It worked quite well from the very first take!
Frankey: It really wasn’t a plan or a balanced decision. We come from the same area, we’re surrounded by the same people and were playing regularly in the same club (Butan Club, Wuppertal). So one day, Sandrino simply asked me if we should give it a shot together in the studio and as I knew him as one of the very few people who were really serious and obsessed about music and DJing, I thought, why not.
As a duo, you have managed to consistently sign your tracks to some of electronic musics biggest labels. Mule Musiq, Kompakt and Innervisions are just some of the labels. What would be your advice to any aspiring artists looking to get their music signed?
Sandrino: The best advice I can give is originality of the music! We run a little Label by ourselves and receive so many demos and there are a lot of songs which are very well produced but all sounding the same. I find it a pity as obviously the knowledge and skills are there.
I mean, the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented but having something particular in the drumming or sound design helps a lot to get my attention.
Frankey: As stupid as this may sound, don´t think about signing labels or anything when you´re in the studio creating music because you will never find your personal sound if you try to fit in somewhere. It blocks creativity. After that, the signing process is actually pretty simple: Send the music to the labels or their representing DJ(s) and hope for the best.
How does performing as a pair differ to a solo performance? Is there much preparation or discussion about the direction of each show before the gig?
Frankey: When we DJ alone it´s our very personal journey which of course has it´s own signature, while the duo performance adds an element of the unknown. That´s why we always prepare before every DJ Set individually, but we usually don´t prepare as a duo, to keep the surprising elements alive. If I always knew exactly what Sandrino is going to play, that honestly would be kind of boring for me. I think this kind of dynamic and interaction is pretty important for a good B2B set.
Sandrino: There is not much preparation as we both know each other well. I kinda know what Frank likes or can´t stand and vice versa.
I like the spontaneity of us playing together as I never foresee what Frank plays next. Working with the element of surprise can take the vibe to a different level each time. When I play alone I try to keep it deep and tease as long as possible before playing a “hit”.
Is there a story from your travels together that stands out for being either absurd, crazy or unbelievable?
Sandrino: There are a lot of stories but this one I´ll always remember. From hell to paradise within 24h.It all happened a few years back after a really cool gig in Chapeco´s Amazon Club in the south of Brazil. We had to travel all the way up to Bahia to play at the Universe Paralello, a festival located in paradise but very difficult to reach.
After 3 flights and 6 hours in the car, we arrived at the hotel to then find out that they messed up the bookings and that no rooms were available. As it was in the middle of the night we couldn’t get in touch with anyone to help us out of the situation. Our driver found us the last 2 rooms available in a very filthy motel in a village nearby, you can’t imagine the condition that the motel was in. No windows in the rooms, the mattress was full of stains and completely tattered, no bedsheets, the worst smell ever. I’ve only seen something like this on TV in a horror or road movie.
Anyway, I could not be in this room so I spent the night walking through the village and waiting for someone from the festival to pick us up to bring us somewhere else. After 7 hours on the streets, finally someone from the festival showed up and picked us up and from that moment on everything turned into the opposite. The promoter wanted to make it up to us and brought us with a helicopter, flying over the festival, to a villa nearby with the most beautiful sea at the front and the wildest jungle at the back. We enjoyed an amazing stay, and we even had an extra day which we used to transfer the experience into music.
It was in this lost paradise where we wrote our remix for Keinemusik´s Guilt Trip.
You are both well-travelled and regularly play across the globe. Is there a dancefloor, promoter or country that you think epitomises everything good with electronic music?
Sandrino: Every place is different and follows it´s own rules or dynamic. In some places the crowd is more extroverted and wild towards the music, indifferent to how deep you play, and some other places you have the dancers that close their eyes. I like both tbh.
Also, you can have a bad party in a place you would expect the magic to happen and you can have the time of your life in a place far away from the club map, so this is why I stopped thinking about it.
Frankey: Crowds & dancefloors can be so different so it´s hard to judge what´s better. Recently I maybe would pick our Thursday Residency at Watergate, where we always have an unbelievable crowd that follows our musical journey always from the first to the last track. In general, the perfect party for me is still the Rainbow Serpent Festival in Australia. The vibe of the people there is beyond every description. It always reminds me of what it´s actually all about.
Nowadays club culture is becoming more and more mainstream. There are people that argue this is positive and others that argue the opposite. What is your view?
Frankey: I actually never understood the concept of “underground is good” and “mainstream is bad”, both can be good and bad. Of course, it´s always amazing to attend a proper real underground party, but when I, for example, see the overall acceptance of the rave culture in Holland; that´s really great to me too.
Finally, if the two of you could produce a record with anyone past or present who would it be and why?
Sandrino: Tough one, maybe with the early Vangelis, the Blade Runner Soundtrack is still one of my all-time faves.
Frankey: I would probably choose some multi-instrumentalists genius like Prince. There I could learn a lot.