SARAPATA is a Krakow duo that specializes in electronic music. The project includes brothers Marcin and Michai Sarapata. At the end of last year, they released their first mini album – EP1.
On the occasion of the album’s premiere, she spoke to the band about working on material, inspiration, and the importance of electronic music. Read an interview with the Sarapata brothers.
Bawi Podgorski: Hello, nice to talk to you
Matthews Sarabata: Hello! We are also very happy.
B: First, I would like to congratulate you on your debut. It’s a great piece of music! How do you feel about this first show?
Matthews Sarapata: We are relieved! There is tremendous excitement about our first release. It’s true that we haven’t done that since yesterday, but due to the fact that it’s the first thing we really have, the platform is pretty big.
Michai Sarapata: On the one hand, we are excited, and on the other hand, we have a kind of quiet peace. We’re glad we finally released it and that this album can take its own life and resonate with the audience. All this puts us in a great mood. It is something between ecstasy and quiet satisfaction.
PP: How long did it take to work on the album?
Matthews: As you know, we drew our first drawing about 3 years ago. These were the first things that developed a lot in the drawer. In fact, most of this work was done during lockdown. It was a time that allowed us to focus a lot on this music. Due to the fact that we had a lot of time, this album is what it sounds like.
Mikhail: Yes, it’s only been three years. It was a period of incubating ideas, but also vocal maturity and defining what we really wanted from our music. However, about two years of this intense work can be said to have taken place.
B: So is the sound you got, is it final?
Michich: Certainly, it will continue to evolve. I think that in the near future, we will manage to surprise our listeners. However, we think we’ve been able to identify a “doctrine” somewhere.
Matthews: Our tools will probably change, because you know there’s always some new and inspiring stuff out there. However, our essence – space and a rather strong percussion sound – will remain unchanged.
Mishao: Somewhere, this rhythm-like force, the strong connotations with techno, and on the other hand, this tendency to feelings, to space, to such emotional harmony and melody would be very strong.
B: Your debut address is EP1Does this mean we will have new material soon?
Mikhail: Yes, this is the first episode. We plan to share more material with the public this year. There will be plenty of it too! We have a great hunger for creativity.
PP: You finished the new material, or is it just a bunch of unfinished drawings?
Matthews: Right now, we have a lot of stuff in our planned drawers, and more will be created later. The plan is to hide for a while and embrace yourself, make some sketches and choose the most effective one.
Mishao: In the winter we want to be quiet and write a lot of new material.
PP: Listening to your music, I get the impression that space and bulk are in the foreground here. The movie’s music immediately came to my mind.
Matthews: It just so happens that we also deal with movie music!
Mikhaish: This space you’re talking about is due to the fact that we love writing captions for films. We have many feature films, a few literature and stage performances to our credit. The many shows and concerts with music for silent films have had a huge impact on what we do. So this way of articulating with music resides powerfully in us and transmits powerfully to our original matter.
PP: So you could say it shaped your music in some way?
Matthews: You know what, a bit like that! All of these narratives…well certainly don’t go unnoticed, especially adventures with music for silent films – they make you have to color an irresponsible story with such music, and it seems to me that they influenced some hard like this all. These are not such structures – verse, chorus. These are developmental narratives.
PP: Since we’re talking about topics related to film and theater, I have to ask about your music videos. Will you tell me more about them?
Matthews: We always try to get an idea of our music videos. Plus, we have the comfort of being able to work with really amazing people who have so much heart for it. They believed our materials and said that they would be willing to participate in these projects. Both 3 AM and Rework are, I would say, things on a grand scale. As for the clip for Nika’s song, Jagna Firek is responsible for the animation. We found that we trusted her a lot, and that we liked these aesthetics a lot. We love what he does so we wanted to take advantage of him. On the other hand, Fikus was a tribute to our parents and we wanted to do it modestly, comparing the strong club space to this slow dance of our parents.
PP: How did the parents react to the proposal to appear in the music video?
Mikhaish: Actually, they agreed to that very quickly. Of course, they were a little scared that they had never taken part in such an undertaking, but they were always willing to help us, so they faced this important time as well. After being initially intimidated, they quickly felt their role and most importantly were very happy with the end result.
PP: Did your parents always argue about finding out their passion?
Matthews: Yes! It was always such a green light. Although these paths were not always clear and simple, it seems to me that their support was always there and never judged us. Parents did not criticize our choices. I’m so glad we felt comfortable that we didn’t have to rebel much – to get our way, it all came out naturally. There has always been a lot of support and we are grateful for that.
B: Staying with the music videos, tell me more about making the clip Rework. The topic discussed is very important, but also controversial. Was it difficult to persuade Mateusz Damykski to collaborate?
Mishao: Actually, it appeared quite naturally. The idea came from director Seluia Rusak, who, when she heard our initial idea and started writing the script, started writing it with Matthews in mind. And since they had the opportunity to collaborate earlier, matching the details wasn’t a bigger problem. In addition, Matthews himself needed to do something independent, artistic, and at the same time pro-equality. Somewhere they got this energy and this cooperation came very naturally. We are very proud of this clip.
Matthews: We weren’t in the negotiating stage, but from what Siluya said, which we would like to greet you very warmly, Matthews was very excited about the idea. Besides, he has supported this type of activity many times. He was also very committed to ensuring that this music video would have the most impact thereafter. Our idea and goal has never been to cause controversy, because for us this topic is not so controversial. This is a very natural thing, a very beautiful thing. We always wanted to talk about it a lot.
PP: The clip itself was appreciated and nominated for the PL Music Video Awards, for which you deserve to be congratulated.
Matthews: Thank you very much! It was great to be among the candidates.
Mikhaish: We are pleased that the work of such a large film crew, with such a great commitment, has been appreciated. It’s great for us that even though we didn’t get the award in the end, we are simply delighted that the efforts of this team have been recognized thanks to this nomination.
B: Your materials are very diverse. It’s hard to find specific inspiration in it. Did the work of other artists influence the overall look?
Matthews: We listen to a lot of music. Because of our fascination with the electronic scene, we travel to festivals, and also play a broadcast on Radio OFF Kraków. Thanks to this, we got to know a lot of this music. So this inspiration comes to us from many sources.
Mishaw: Certainly somewhere we’re listening, like Jamie XX or Moderat or Jon Hopkins, has some effect on us. However, our goal has never been to be strictly inspired by someone or try to catch up with someone.
Matthews: We aim for a new quality, anything that will be 100% ours. It will be our way of communication.
B: Is EP1 Is it a coherent story or a loose set of unconnected songs?
Mikhail: It’s definitely not a concept album in the strict sense of the word. This is not one story that continues throughout this album. But definitely a kind of sentiment, a kind of storytelling that hovers over all of these songs. It is a matter of very direct transmission of what is inside of us, what emotions accompany us.
Matthews: On the other hand, you want to be outside the story that’s telling you through these sounds, but that burden in this dance-related version has to work. We wanted to make an album that we would like to listen to at the festival.
PP: Speaking of parties and festivals – will there be a chance to hear from you in the near future?
Matthews: Because of the lockdown situation, it’s hard for us to plan any closer dates. Instead, the club scene will hibernate again, but we’re targeting holiday fests a lot. It seems to me that this material is intended for such scenes, so I think that it is worth following the collections of electronic festivals, and even not only electronic ones. We will try very hard to be there.
Mitch: It all depends on the epidemiological situation in Poland. We have some plans and ideas. If all goes well, we should come to Wroclaw and Pozna this winter. We will also play Krakow. I think Warsaw is also possible. An interesting event is planned for April in Katowice, but we can’t say much yet.
PP: Please tell me if electronic music has always been dominant in your country, have you had any other thriller music in your life?
Michael: Our background is very diverse. Since my high school years in my teens, I have been in love with guitar music, especially after rock. Anyway, to this day, this music has a huge influence on me, or actually kind of the kind of linear narrative that takes place in this music. At the time, I had a taste for progressive rock, and I also graduated from jazz studies, and as you can see, these influences were very different. The electronics themselves appeared relatively late, 15 years ago, but they totally took me.
Matthews: On the other hand, I was fascinated by percussion music from West African and then Afro-Cuban circles. I was sitting somewhere in that atmosphere and was very happy to play these instruments, especially as I was excited by the rather complex rhythm there. Then I was deeply drawn to the alternative scene. This spectrum of inspiration has always been very large. Then the electronic cores fascinated me, which means you can use them simultaneously and incorporate these electronic elements into the live shows. Then I fully grasped the concept of creating and preparing sounds using electronics. The diversity and multiplicity of artists who perform this type of music is huge. There is still much to discover in this matter.
Mikhaish: We like to look at music in terms of expressions, not really a specific genre, but its emotional load, its expressiveness, how you can focus on the sound itself or its dynamics. Somewhere this stuff has always fascinated us in such an unkind approach and allows us to do our things with some of that freshness.
PP: In this case, I thank you for the interview and wish you as much freshness as possible. So that the following songs are as good as the ones you released on the album EP1.
Matthews: Thank you also for the interview. We put a lot of heart into this album and are so glad we were finally able to share this material with the public.
Mikhail: Greetings to the entire cultural media team and their readers.
You will listen to the first material of the SARAPATA duo
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