Last year, a relatively unknown project called Fractions came out of nowhere and dropped the smash Control EP on Berlin’s Fleisch. Few knew who was behind the project but their mix of body music, rave, techno and more began destroying dance floors everywhere. The EP quickly sold out and they were even tapped by Hospital Productions to play their Berghain showcase event. Since then, we’ve found out that Fractions is a Russian-born, Prague-based duo and they just released their eagerly anticipated follow up EP, Scars of Love, on Fleisch again. To mark the occasion, we spoke with the pair about their history, home base and of course, the new record. See our Q&A below.
The Brvtalist: How did Fractions begin as a project?
Fractions: We first met 10 years ago and we have been collaborating for quite a few years now, experimenting with various electronic music genres and styles. At some point we realized that the contemporary Berlin electronic scene, and especially the EBM revival, had a big impact on both of us. Subsequently, we decided to brace ourselves and try to write something reminiscent of that. That is basically how our first track "I.B.M." came about. Immediately after this we felt something was there and that we could do more material to uncover this passion within us and that is how Fractions came to be.
Additionally, in this project we wanted to bring the best of our substantial musical experience from various projects to modern EBM/Techno music, to make a hybrid of the best of both worlds.
As two Russian emigrants from pretty “tough” and gritty industrial cities, we are often trying to catch that mood of nostalgia and memories from that time spent in Russia, and express it in our music. Growing up there, the sound of late 90s and early 00s had a big influence on our young minds. Acts like The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers and Limp Bizkit, so it is possible that you hear some elements of that era in our tracks as well.
TB: Prague seems to have a great energy right now. What do you guys like about it?
Fractions: Yes, indeed. Prague has greatly evolved over the past 5 years and it basically built its local underground scene from the ground up, thanks to such parties as Polygon, Nite Vibes and Harmony. All of them united at some point and decided to build one big techno mecca in Prague, which is now a nightclub called Ankali. This has become the most influential local underground space, with regular and exciting bookings. It is truly a great place with awesome sound and atmosphere.
One of the regular parties in this club is called ONYX, headed by Georgian DJ Arnii, and we are proud to be its residents. This August we are headlining the annual ONYX NEARBY RAVE - an event taking place around 38 hours, 2 venues and over 30 artists. This September ONYX is hosting its 2nd KHIDI showcase in Prague: with OTHR performing live, Yanamaste and VULKANSKI making their long awaited debuts.
TB: Is Scars of Love a romantic record?
Fractions: Well, yes and no. Initially, it started as a continuation of our first release Control, with an overarching theme of "harder" expressions of love and passion, and Scars of Love is about the marks that it leaves on your body and your soul. In the artwork, designed by very talented Dima Alivanov, we expressed it through a metaphor of "bullets" that hit your heart, mind and brain.
Transmitting sexual energy is an important aspect of our songwriting, and we want it to heard through our music. We want our listeners to feel the desire and passion, especially on a dance floor. There is also an “easter egg": when you put the record on a vinyl player, the gun starts to spin, which represents "Russian roulette", and here you have 6 "bullets" which are the 6 tracks. Any one of those bullets can kill you - you will only find out after you’ve played them all.
TB: "Millennials" is definitely a favorite. What's the track about?
Fractions: Thank you! The track is about us and mainly about our generation, and how we feel about being a part of it. Just as us, the track is rebellious and alienated in the first half, but at the same time sentimental and sensual in the second part of the track. I think it accurately expresses the constant duality we feel inside of us, and the lens we view the world surrounding us.
TB: What's coming up next for you guys?
Fractions: We will be announcing new gigs on our Facebook and Instagram, so follow us there to get the latest news and updates on us. We also have some surprises up our sleeves for the rest of 2019 and 2020, that we will be revealing gradually with time. We are Russian, so we like the news to have the effect of an atomic bomb.
Scars of Love is out now on Fleisch records. Follow the project on Instagram here.