Norwegian duo Xploding Plastix are back with their first new album in over a decade. Chromatic Club caught up with the pair to discuss the LP and more...
What is the earliest musical experience that you can remember?
Hard to pinpoint, but there are key moments. One is being 8 years old and seeing Sandra Kim performing J’aime la vie on an old tube-telly. That made an emotional impact.
In the late teens it was all about metal. The aggression felt tangible. We just wanted to see the world burn. Having survived the worst of puberty, we discovered electronic music. We consumed everything. From Musique concrete, to Krautrock, to ambient to Hip Hop, to acid, glitch and so on..
What first attracted you to thinking you could make electronic music?
We actually started with tape machines, synths and drum machines. We had little money and had to borrow gear from friends. The problem was having access to the synth and the drum machine at the same weekend. Then, a guy we knew had won a competition of sorts and the prize was a copy of Cakewalk MIDI software, which we managed to pirate. That really opened a world of possibilities. And we still use Cakewalk to this day!
Thinking about your own music, do you think ideas mostly come from external or internal influences?
Hard to say. It’s like Nietzsche says : when you see something beautiful, you long to be beautiful. It’s the same with music, you are influenced by the things that intrigues you whether you want to or not. And even if you are inspired by something, it will be something else when that inspiration has filtered through your sets of skills and interpretations.
How would you define the ‘Xploding Plastix’ sound?
Electroorganic. What that means is that a lot of the sounds are electronic, but not digital. And a lot of the electronic sounds are entwined with analogue samples, when we put it together in a song. We are often out in studios and record musicians we like or if it’s a particular instrument we are intrigued by.
How would you say your latest LP ‘This Is Accurate’ compares to previous releases?
Haven’t really thought about that. It’s not something that we have a conscious idea about. We just do what we like at the moment. But I guess it’s maybe «dirtier» ? More saturation and "fatter" ?
How was the idea for this album born?
Even though it’s been a long time since our last release, we have been making music constantly. At some point, we figured we should make an effort to put together the sketches we liked the most and try to complete them. The trouble is to agree on when something is finished or ready. It's always possible to add or subtract something.
As an artist, do you feel making music that embraces experimental or unconventional sounds and textures makes you more confident or less confident?
I don’t think confidence plays into it. Or maybe that’s because we are confident? You must remember that we are old and grumpy guys! Experimental and curious, but still grumpy.
What was the last record you bought a physical copy of?
Phoebe Bridgers: copycat Killer EP, for my daughter, she has just discovered the joys of vinyl and finally uses more money on music than on cosmetics.
What will you be working on next?
We are working on a new EP that will be released sometime after the album. And then new music, new sounds, new instruments, and experiments. As far as self-improvement, we will work on being less grumpy.