An invisible disco ball hovers over St. Lucia…the power couple with the curated ear for nostalgia. German born Patti Beranek and South African Jean Phillip Grobler give us a reason to dance with this month’s ‘Rocket on My Feet’…the single following a slew of successful releases. With a distinct palette of synths, their repertoire pulsates with vibrant sonics characteristically defining the duo. Matter their 2016 album featured 11 charismatic singles, each with a unique spelling for romance, and in a Kim Wilde fashion came to life with unmistakable glam. Spending lockdown inside saw the opportunity for music making…and on their way to the party they climbed through a glass window.
‘Rocket On My Feet’?
A lot has happened to us in the past two years, and I think it was almost like we were pulled into a situation. Whenever you are in a place where it’s not easy, your creative juices get you going in a different way. I feel like the whole situation just came to a point where these things suddenly came out of us and creatively, we unlocked. We have made music that dealt with mourning in the past, whereas this was more of a sense of relief. We had already been working on a lot of new music throughout the Pandemic, and in the process of writing we had a few songs that came out that were fun. There was a feeling that we need to be positive again… and despite everything that’s happening we want to enjoy life.
How did you guys meet?
At university…before enrollment. I met Jean at HSBC in Liverpool, and then serendipitously I saw him again that same night at a friend’s house party. Within a week we were a couple…this year is our 20th anniversary.
We love it! The greatest era of music is between 75-85, and most of our fav records were made during that era. What’s so amazing about that moment in time is that it was this real moment of discovery. Synthesizers were just starting to come into fashion. This imperfection along with the new technology created this interesting juxtaposition of those two sounds.
For us it’s about keeping it simple! I recently bought a sequential profit 10, which is a recreation of the profit 5…I like the simple analog synth, or the early digital, nothing too overly complex. We’re not a big fan of the overly complicated. No modular! The Marie Kondo in me wants to pee all over them and throw them out the window! Not keeping it classic on purpose but keeping the nostalgia in the sound. There’s something magical about electronics that produce an organic sound.
A book that you’ve had trouble finishing?
Shantaram…For some reason it took years to finish, I would take it with me and forget it somewhere. Four years to read!
If you were caught in a storm and you had headphones on, what would you play?
Something classical…or Enya…something soothing, so you’re not freaking out. Björk sometimes hits you with unexpected sounds, so maybe not that!
CONNECT WITH ST. LUCIA
STORY / ALEXANDER MAYS
PHOTOS / GABRIELLE KANNEMEYER