Threaded: Brooklyn’s Frank & Tony on Debut LP, Time Warp US, & More
Brooklyn’s status as a newly crowned dance music paradise is well-documented, with a quick glance from the corner of Wythe Avenue and 11th Street—home of clubs Output and Verboten—on Friday or Saturday night proving that Williamsburg is a worthy challenger to Manhattan’s club dominance. However, despite the clubs’ relatively new shift to the borough, Brooklyn has already been a hotbed for the underground scene and its talent, and duo Frank & Tony are at the center of it all.
With an output that somehow manages to simultaneously be ultra sexy and bitingly introspective, Frank & Tony’s brand of effortlessly cool deep house is a fitting reflection of the area from where it was born. The pair also runs Scissor & Thread—a posh label imprint that’s home to artists like Bob Moses and Black Light Smoke—in collaboration with Halcyon’s Shawn Schwartz and Soco Audio’s Michael Scott.
Now, the boys are gearing up for a performance at the inaugural US edition of long running German techno festival Time Warp this weekend. Fresh off the release of their first full-length album You Go Girl, the boys connected with DJ Times to discuss the recording process, running Scissor & Thread, and more.
DJ Times: You just released your first full-length album You Go Girl. What went into the creation of the album and how did you approach a full body of work differently than smaller releases?
Frank & Tony: When we started the album, it was really the first time we were able to consistently be in the same room for an extended period of time. Anthony had just moved full time to New York, and we also completely overhauled the studio to make an almost entirely analog writing and mixing environment where we could freely jam ideas rather than stare at a blank arrangement screen in the computer. Also, at the time, our residency at the Panther Room was in full swing and gaining significant momentum. We became really inspired by the events and all the vinyl we were buying, so the inspiration was quite ripe, which made the writing process very organic. With the addition of some key hardware pieces for the mixing, we were able to solidify a certain sound that is evident throughout the LP, which to us was incredibly important, as most club albums sound like a collection of EPs.
DJ Times: You also released the LP as three separate vinyl EPs throughout the month. Why did you decide to release it separately, as well?
Frank & Tony: We made the album for DJs and the club. We knew the limitations of throwing a bunch of six-to-seven minute cuts on a few vinyls, and we also know how hard it is sometimes for DJs to buy double or triple packs due to the production costs, shipping, and mark-ups. We opted to spread the album out across the EPs so as to make it as simple as possible for DJs to invest in the project. We also made some vinyl exclusives as well as some digital exclusives, so as to offer something for both vinyl and digital DJs.
DJ Times: You’re playing the inaugural Time Warp US. What are you looking forward to most about the event?
Frank & Tony: I suppose it should be interesting to see how such a massive European event translates to an American environment. Other than that, we really just try and focus on our own performance and just let the proverbial chips fall where they may.
DJ Times: What goes into planning and hosting your monthly Punch Drunk Love residency at Output’s Panther Room?
Frank & Tony: Lots of Discogs trolling and also being active members of our community. Punch Drunk to us is all about community and getting back to the roots of what house music is a reflection: social interaction and a radicalization of the typical hierarchy between audience and performer. We are not interested in being put up on a pedestal as artists, nor are we at all attracted to the culture of vanity that is pervasive in both the mainstream and underground DJ world. We are interested in community and how we fit into this community in a positive way as artists and performers. That and nice records are our main focus.
DJ Times: In addition to you artistic career, you manage Scissor & Thread. What are the challenges and benefits of owning and running your own label?
Frank & Tony: Running a label, like any business has its challenges, but ultimately for us, we do it for the friendships we develop. We’d like to think that the label is a family.
DJ Times: What other projects do you have in the pipeline?
Frank & Tony: We are currently mixing the next EP by our new artist, Desert Sound Colony, which comes out in late January or early February and we just finished a few follow up Frank & Tony EPs, one of which is an exclusive Record Store Day release. On top of this, we have a new Francis Harris & Gabe Hedrick EP coming in early spring.
Stream previews from Frank & Tony’s Girl EP below.