Frank & Tony – Groove Podcast 409

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Photo: Press (Frank & Tony)

You could always rely on Frank & Tony to save the day until, from one moment to the next, you suddenly couldn’t anymore. Francis Harris and Anthony Collins came onto the scene as a veritable dream team in 2012, releasing a steady flow of wonderfully dusty deep house records primarily through their own Scissor & Thread until 2017, when they suddenly stopped. Having returned in 2022 with a slew of new EPs, the intercontinental duo is now getting their first album in ten years ready: Ethos features contributions by singer Eliana Glass and Dial co-founder Lawrence, among others. Frank & Tony’s contribution to our Groove Podcast while keep you busy while you wait for its March 15th release date—this is 60+ minutes of pure house music, the spirit of the duo’s residency at the Harris-run Public Records in New York City.

After 2017’s Odes, you’ve let your collaboration as recording artists rest until your return with Dream Vibration in 2022, only playing a handful of DJ gigs together. What happened to the studio project in the meanwhile?

Francis: After a solid four years of pretty much non-stop touring and studio work, we both needed a break to pursue some individual projects including opening my business in Brooklyn, Public Records, as well as some other solo works as Francis Harris and my project with Gabe Hedrick, Aris Kindt. The break also allowed us to approach the project and sound with a fresh perspective as well as a different studio set-up.

Anthony: As Francis mentioned, we took time off to pursue other projects outside of the music industry; I was able to experiment with graphic design and also dive deeply into the speciality coffee industry under various roles. I also moved back to France.

Both of you have been very active as solo producers during that period. Francis, you have released two solo albums under your legal name, both of which were notably less focused on the dancefloor. How would you characterise the approach that you take in your solo work, what musical avenues are you most interested in exploring?

Francis: My solo projects are conceptual explorations on themes of time, grief, and identity (or lack thereof) and their relation to the production of minor art practices. The focus is almost entirely on the creation of sound beds with compositions weaved through them in a way that is purposefully melancholic. By engaging head-on with grief through public works of conceptual art, we don’t see a way out of grief but become more comfortable with an honest engagement with thoughts that are often the hardest to convey. That said, looking objectively at the progression of my solo work from my debut Leland to my most recent LP Thresholds, I feel like there is a gradual release of tension and slow movement into a zone of levity, mirroring my own ability to live with loss and still find light and love.

Anthony, besides collaborating for different projects like Theory Of Movement with Georgios Boutopoulos, you have continued to release records under the name Grant. When you originally debuted with the project—along Francis under the Gable moniker—there seemed to be a somewhat conceptual side to it, however in recent years that seems to have changed a bit on the aesthetic level. What does Grant stand for these days?

Anthony: Grant was a way for me to release music without letting the audience have any preconceived ideas of what music should sound like or how it fit into a category of cool or not. The anonymity was great while it lasted, and once the secret was out, enough music had been out for me to establish the style I am looking to push.

Dream Vibration marked the 50th catalogue number on the label you have co-founded, Scissor & Thread. What philosophy do you follow with the label?

Francis: Scissor & Thread has always been about finding inspiration in the energy of collaboration, community and finding temporary autonomous zones of creative expression.

The Scissor & Thread artworks are quite recognisable and have some common themes—empty spaces and portraits of people. What concept do you follow on a visual level?

Francis: Much of the label’s sound explores themes of melancholia, the passage of time and the beauty to be found in the mundane experiences of everyday life. In the multitude of all that happens exist personal histories that are mostly lost and seldomly recovered. These snapshots into life allow us a brief view into the infinite.

New additions to the label roster include Sean La’Brooy and Black Light Smoke as well as Will Long a.k.a. Celer, whose Too Much EP picks up on his deep house experiments on Comatonse, the label run by Terre Thaemlitz a.k.a. DJ Sprinkles. Thaemlitz has become a fixture in the Frnak & Tony cosmos, how did that come about?

Francis: Terre and I became friends well over a decade ago and actually did a little touring together around her remixes for my second LP, Minutes of Sleep. It was during that period that we asked her to work on a collaboration with us for our debut LP as Frank & Tony. The result was Companion, one of the most beloved of our releases to date. Safe for all our heroes in Chicago, New York, and Detroit house that paved the way for the Frank & Tony sound, Terre’s work as both DJ Sprinkles and K.S.H.E. has been a constant source of inspiration for us not just because of the sound but more importantly the ways in which she explores concepts through her work.

Will Long was also featured on the latest Frank & Tony release, the Understanding EP, for which he reworked a track in collaboration with the two of you—a rather unusual approach. What did your working process look like?

Francis: Given that Will lives in Japan, I live in Brooklyn, and Tony in France, we mostly just exchanged files. Luckily for us, our visions align pretty well, so the process was already a flow.

Speaking of which, you have been touring more regularly as a duo in the past. How do you usually prepare for your joint sets?

Francis: We’ve actually never prepared a set safe for saying, “Hey, I know we hate playing our own music … But we should probably check to see how the mix works on a big system.”

What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?

We decided to give folks a window into an hour of one of our live vinyl sets at our residency at Public Records in Brooklyn.

What are your plans for the future?

Find time for more love in the world.

Stream: Frank & Tony – Groove Podcast 409

No tracklist available.

In diesem Text



konkrit #13: Musikjournalismus – endlich wieder totgesagt!

Wir müssen darüber reden, wie wir über Musik und Kultur reden. Oder besser noch darüber, wer sich das überhaupt noch leisten kann.

Im Studio mit Luke Slater: Die Wahrheit, die es gar nicht gibt 

Luke Slater hat zuletzt seinen Alias L.B. Dub Corp für ein neues Album revitalisiert – und uns durch sein Studio geführt.

Speedy J & Surgeon: „Sich darauf vorbereiten, unvorbereitet zu sein”

Groove+ Im Improvisationsprojekt Multiples treffen zwei Titanen der Technoszene aufeinander. Wir haben mit Speedy J. und Surgeon gesprochen.