Together, John Clements & Eirik Wulff-Engh are ‘Plastic Fantastic’. They’ve previously released music on esteemed labels such as Aficionado, Balearic Social and Real Balearic and with their remix duties coming on IsitBalearic? things are looking pretty (pretty) good.
As well as putting some fine records together for us, we asked a few questions to see what they’re all about. And that.
– First things first, where are you guys from?
Eirik: We come from Hurum, a rural district southwest of Oslo, Norway.
John: I was born in the UK actually, but moved to Norway with my parents when I was very young. We got to know each other at High School and we’ve been best mates ever since.
– We’re always intrigued to how people got to this point musically – what was your early musical loves, and how did those influence you into making music?
Eirik: Well, growing up I listened to a lot of Eurodance, moving on to Trance and Progressive House as I grew older, I still listen to a lot of Trance actually.
John: I come from more of a rock background. I was in band’s at High School, I played drums and later bass guitar. I gradually got into electronic music. I found myself falling more and more in love with the mellower more downtempo styles of music and later on combining that with more experimental stuff. We both have a penchant for 80s electropop and synth wave, that was our common ground earlier on.
Eirik: We always talked about starting a band together at some point.
John: Indeed. Many years later when we finally formed Plastic Fantastic, I think we really wanted to be a reincarnation of an 80s synth duo, as reflected on the very first track we recorded, Computer Love, it does have a bit of a Kraftwerk-ish feel to it, and with a title like that…!
Eirik: And from then on we went all Balearic!
John: Yes! I feel it was a natural progression really. I was doing downtempo DJ mixes on the radio and getting a lot of good feedback, and I guess our production gradually changed direction. The cool thing about Plastic Fantastic is that we feel we can do virtually anything with our band, as long as it’s good and has a strong concept. We’re a Chillout group at heart but we certainly have an eclectic vision.
– We’re fans of your production and a recent fave is the collaboration with Sally from A Man Called Adam on Balearic Social, how did that come about?
John: We can thank Andy Pye at Balearic Social for that! We’d sent the (then instrumental) track to Andy who wanted to release it on his Balearic Social Recordings imprint. He sat on the track for a while, waiting on a handful of other artists tracks to be delivered, with the idea of releasing a 12” various artists EP. Andy had spoken to Sally Rodgers about recording for the label but with A Man Called Adam’s schedule being very busy it was proving to be a little tricky. By chance Andy had played her our track and suggested she perhaps add a vocal part, saying her voice would suit it perfectly. She loved the track apparently, and Andy put us in touch with her. It nearly didn’t happen due to her very busy schedule but thankfully she managed to find time between projects to write a beautiful lyric and record her vocal parts. We were super happy with the result. It was a thrilling experience splicing her vocals onto our track. Who would’ve thought all those years ago, listening to A Man Called Adam classics like Estelle and Easter Song, that she would be recording vocal for a relatively unknown band from Norway!
– Talking of production, what’s in the pipeline for you?
John: Well, having released our latest record Las Salinas 5AM (on Real Balearic) earlier in the summer and having our track Tranquillo included on the various artist compilation Real Ibiza volume 10 (React Records) we’ve enjoyed a bit of a sabbatical these last couple of months
We will however be going into the studio to work on no less than four new original tracks and two remixes. Our next release will most likely be a remix, due out on Is It Balearic Recordings.
– Go on then, give us three records (new or old) that you’re enjoying right now.
John: Oh, that’s always going to be difficult, I have about 100 records I’m into at the moment!
Eirik: I’m going to choose a couple of Trance faves:
Schiller – Ruhe
ATB & Armin Van Buuren – Vice Versa
The Beloved – Sweet Harmony
John: OK here are a three Balearic favourites of mine:
Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells
Vangelis – Themes
Penguin Café Orchestra – Music For A Found Harmonium