Seattle based mad sound scientists Splatinum rocked the Crocodile Friday night as one part of the sold-out Bassdrop Music event which also included performances by Wildlight and Polish Ambassador. Decked out in their undeniably awesome USA jumpers, this energetic pair of intergalactic musical messengers took the stage by storm, playing an all original set featuring tunes from their upcoming album Funkonology.
Before the show, we had the chance to meet with the boys in the green room to chat a bit about the project, their new release and what’s happening in this heady little bass circuit which we call home. Adam and Andrew, which together make Splatinum, were humble yet hilarious… and artfully playful in their responses.
Check out the interview below, and be sure to cop the new album when it drops in December!
Get your copy of Funkonology here!
Also, be sure to stop by Monkey Loft in Sodo 12.20.13 for the album release party!
Big thanks to Bassdrop Music for putting together the event and getting us connected to do the interview. The evening was purely a success.
Now read on to hear for yourself what Splatinum has to say…
GANJAOLOGY: This is Ganjaology and we’re here with Splatinum at the Crocodile in Seattle where they’ll be opening up for The Polish Ambassador. So why don’t you guys introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about Splatinum.
ADAM: I’m Adam. I’m one half of Splatinum, along with the man sitting right next to me…
ANDREW: And I’m Andrew. I’m the “Splat” in Andrew’s enum. So we started making music officially as Splatinum four years ago and it’s been an awesome ride since then. We both share a lot of the same musical tastes and both came up in the scene in the South East, and then reconnected again here in Seattle. We realized that we were both making the same kind of music and eventually decided to blend it together into one project.
ADAM: Ya it was really about breaks and breakbeat when I first got into it, Adam was already putting out records and I was buying his records. We were both more into this Florida / UK Breaks kind of sound, which evolved into stages of garage and drum n bass for me for a while. It sort of came full circle for me when I came out west to Seattle, I discovered Laptop battle and I got all into this kind of computer music. It was all about making music on a laptop and I thought that was really cool, to make music that sounded like electronic music… It sounded like it was made on a laptop. I felt like this is new, this is something different. This is pioneering technology!
ANDREW: Ya for sure and I think that kinda pushed us into only wanting to do live performances of our own stuff. We both competed in laptop battles which is this great thing which got started in Seattle. It is similar to like a DJ DMC battle, if you’ve ever seen one of those guys, except it’s strictly for laptop musicians who do these three minute rounds. You come out and basically bring out your bangers…
ADAM: Single elimination, three minute rounds, and you get one controller. It’s pretty fun.
ANDREW: Ya they’re great. So doing those, and me having the production background of releasing stuff… I used to do an all hardware Live PA. I used to do that back in the South East for years. And then I got into DJing because I was like, oh I just need like 30 pounds of records instead of a truck full of gear. Now we fit everything in a laptop and like three controllers… and well, it’s nice.
GANJAOLOGY: You touched on some influences, but how would you describe your sound now?
ANDREW: We’ve gotten a little groovier in the recent past for this new album. And a little funkier than we have in the past. I think we started out a little more hard edge and then…
ADAM: You know, it’s funny because the grooves that we’re making now have more space. Sometimes they’re more easy going, but I think in our early days we were just trying to write music that sort of progressed through this story line, and we sort of never let up.
ANDREW: Super dramatic…
ADAM: But now we just use more musical techniques to drive the interest of the song and the direction of the song like verses and choruses and bridges. And chord changes and stuff like that. And I think we’re just more aware of what’s happening with the music. And so, I think that we’ve developed more patience with the groove, which is interesting. I guess, we’re doing more funk influenced stuff too.
ANDREW: This album is one that we’ve put together fully as an album from the beginning. We really tried to write songs for the album, whereas our first album was a collection of all the stuff we had written up until that time. Which was cool, but it was pretty varied. But this one we set out to consciously approach it as an entire album and to have songs that really were interrelated to one another.
ADAM: I think the approach to song writing is just a little different. Before whenever we’d make a tune it was as if we had this linear approach to answer the last thing that was just created. But what was cool about collaborating is that in passing it back and forth we could keep this passion and fire going just by answering each other with whatever happened in the tune. But now I think we have this kind of Gestalt view or overview perspective. We have more of a vision when we approach something so it unfolds easier in that regard. Maybe we just know more of the options. It’s not as linear.
ANDREW: All of our stuff, you can kinda follow from the beginning. It’s kind of an on going musical conversation between me and Adam. With a lot of jokes.
ADAM: Yes, a lot of jokes.
GANJAOLOGY: Awesome. So tell me, this upcoming album… It’s called Funkonlology?
ANDREW: Yes, so when we started Funkonology, we realized pretty early on that it’s more than just an album. And that it was highly researched and based on the science of sound, and really is a self improvement tool. So for anyone that wants to come listen to it, it’s full of healing bass waves. It’s really good stuff.
GANJAOLOGY: So you guys seem to be focused on the science behind the music, which now in the digital age is obviously very important. You have to really know what you’re doing with the tools that you’re given. I wonder specifically, are you using any targeted frequencies? You mention healing.
ANDREW: Ya so there’s all sorts of different sacred frequencies that you can work in. For us its’ really an intuitive process. Half science, half intuition. We find what works. I think most of the science comes in with the usage of the tools and mechanisms in the production process.
ADAM: Where it becomes scientific is when you’re exploring the different axes of sound and the limitations and the various dimensions of the software that you’re using.
ANDREW: And psycho acoustics. There’s a difference between the science of the physics going on versus what the human ear can interpret, and the further the human brain… And then deeper than that, the soul.
ADAM: There’s a balance between the visceral component of heavy bass and the psychological component of the harmonics and how they setup the drops or how they build tension and release and all of that. It’s scientific but it’s also emotional.
ANDREW: It’s like you can go out and listen to really hard, angry music all night, and that’s what you’re going to walk away with. For us, we’ve really always wanted to make music that allowed people to have some sort of release, some sort of transformative experience, hopefully a positive one every time.
ADAM: When we sit down to make a tune, we’re just trying to bring to life a fantasy about a dance floor, to inspire movement and to imagine what the peoples’ reactions will be.
GANJAOLOGY: Yes, that’s super cool. I think there’s major benefit in just movement. Let alone what’s actually being ingested, but the response in movement. Let’s talk a little bit about the scene. Is it EDM, dubstep, electronica… How do you guys fit in?
ANDREW: We started out when it was still super underground. Even the large parties that I went to when I was just a wee tike… It might be a 5,000 person party but it will still feel super underground. It would be in some weird converted warehouse space. You couldn’t really play in any clubs. And it’s been awesome seeing this music, which I love, which no one understood for years, to see it now… Finally the stuff that I like is getting some love and excitement around it.
ADAM: Ya, I grew up in North Carolina. It was tough. You had to really dig deep to discover electronic music. I DJ’d empty rooms for years. I think it was partially because it was harder to access. To hear the fresh new music that was just disappearing into someone’s new crate, you had to go to the store and listen to actual records.
ANDREW: You had to call your friend at the record shop and let him know, “Anything you get new in the shop this week, hold it for me. Make sure you don’t sell it.” Everyone would do like 500 white labels, like test pressings of something and then each record store might get like one or two copies of each. So you had to have a good relationship with the guy at the record store so you could get the white label, so that you could get the freshest stuff. Whereas now, it went from there being gatekeepers to it being this internet based thing where it’s less about getting the advance release from an established artist as it is about finding that guy that has two tunes on Soundcloud, and they’re amazing. Then it’s about getting up with him like “Hey, why don’t you send that music to me.” So I think that’s what the DJs are doing now. That’s how they’re crate digging as opposed to going to the stores looking for vinyl.
ADAM: Nowadays, it’s so much easier for someone to decide to learn about electronic music and to go discover it.
ANDREW: It’s perfectly suited for this age. It’s technology based music being spread through fast paced technological channels.
ADAM: We were discussing this earlier. This build in EDM has been going on for years. It’s been a slow rise, but I don’t think this is some flash in the pan freak occurrence. People love to dance!
All photos seen here were taken by Travis Tigner. Thanks!