An introduction, please … who are you, where are you, and what pays the bills?
John: I'm John Clements, British born expat DJ and producer now living in Oslo Norway. Together with my esteemed partner in crime, Eirik, we make up the duo Plastic Fantastic.
Eirik: I’m Eirik Wulff-Engh, Norwegian producer. I live right by the beach on the Oslo Fjord.
Where was the mix recorded, and what is the inspiration behind it?
John: It was compiled and recorded at my home. I guess it was inspired by our recent visit to Ibiza back in late May. It features some of our current favourite records, some of which were played during our set at Café Del Mar. Strictly vinyl? Strictly digital? Couldn’t care less?
John: Well, I used to be a real vinyl snob. I do love the sound and feel of vinyl, but these days I really couldn’t care less about which format a record has, as long as it’s good, and let’s face it, many records these days only get a digital release. I've always maintained that the primary role of a DJ is to discover and introduce music to people, and as such I feel that DJs shouldn't be limiting themselves to one single format. But hey, that’s just my view.‘Balearic’, seems to be a somewhat overused term these days, but if you had to – and we are asking you to - describe the essence of ‘Balearic’ in one record?
Eirik: I’m not a one-record person so I’ll have to pass that one on to John.
John: That's a tough question, but having given it some consideration I’ll go for 'The Laziest River' by Destroyer, which coincidently is the third record in our mix. It's a 20 minute mostly instrumental piece that takes up the entire flipside of the LP. The track starts off really ambient and then gradually builds and progresses into a breezy slick/80s/Jan Hammer-esque tune. It’s been a favourite of ours ever since we first heard Andy Pye play it on the Balearic Social radio show. I always insist on playing it in its entirety. The track differs quite significantly in style from the rest of the LP which is mainly soft rock/indie oriented. It’s still a great record though and one that should be in any self respecting chill-out aficionado’s record collection. Favourite place you’ve travelled to? And why?
John: Definitely Mexico. My wife and I spent two weeks there a few years ago. Great beaches, superb food and the people were very friendly. I also tried parasailing which cured my fear of heights!
Eirik: For me it has to be Ibiza. Sunset or Sunrise? And the best place to experience it?
John: I guess we're a ‘sunset’ band. I saw some breathtaking sunsets as a kid, growing up literally on the beach; that’s probably where my love of sunsets came from. Still, nothing beats the Ibiza sunset of course!
Eirik: My favourite place to enjoy the sunset is at the Sunset Ashram in Ibiza. John: Agreed, the Sunset Ashram truly is a magical place and arguably has the finest sunset view on the island. Apparently, the place is run by the old hippies! They really push the original Ibiza vibe with a warm genuinely friendly ambiance and of course great music (both DJs and live bands). We were very fortunate to experience a captivating live session by Medusa Odyssey & Bahramji. One of the best live performances we’ve seen. Most embarrassing record(s) you've bought? Most expensive? And your best bargain bin finds you’ve digged out over the years?
John: Boringly enough, I’ve actually managed to stay fairly well disciplined with regards to my record buying! I do however regret some of the more commercial stuff I used to play many years ago when I was just getting started as a DJ. In my defense I was young and ignorant and those records are long gone from my music collection.
As for interesting finds and expensive purchases, just a few weeks ago I narrowly dodged splashing out almost £200 on Discogs for a used copy of ‘Mr Wollogallu’ by Carlos Trindade & Nuno Canavarro. I happened to find out that the record was about to be re-issued and so I was able to pick up a brand new and remastered LP instead for about £20 instead, the timing couldn’t have been better! Favourite DJ you’ve heard play out over the years?
John: Well, it has to be DJ Harvey doesn’t it? I remember he was booked to play a daytime slot at a small outdoor festival here in Oslo a few years ago and the relatively small crowd, which we were a part of, had him all to ourselves! He must’ve been completely underwhelmed at the low turnout but still put on an excellent and highly eclectic set for the lucky ones who were present.
As for favourite bands experienced live it would be Kraftwerk and their 3D show ‘Der Katalog’ which I saw here in Oslo 2016. It was, as you’d expect from Kraftwerk, a superb live show. The sound quality Anything else we should know about you or what you are up to … and do you have a track listing for the mix you provided?
John: We’re certainly keeping busy. We’ve just completed a couple of remixes and we have a new record coming out soon called ‘Mellow Guitar’. It’s already been getting nice support, especially from Blank & Jones among others. Also, the record we did with Sally Rodgers (A Man Called Adam) last year, ‘Give The Light Back To The Night’, will be featuring on a compilation called ‘Sommer - The Ambient, New Age & Balearic Sound Of Norway’ conceived by Rune Lindbæk.
Check out the music video for ‘Give The Light Back To The Night’ here
1. Tycho - Ascension
2. Ned Doheny - Get It Up For Love
3. Destroyer - The Laziest river
4. Stratus - Tisno
5. Washed Out - Eyes Be Closed (Lovelock remix)
6. Alpha Wave Movement - Another Time ... Another Place
7. Pressure Drop - Dusk
8. Collin Walcott & Steve Eliovson - Dawn Dance
9. Joan Bibiloni - Sa Fosca
10. Land Of Light - Higher Love (The Backwoods remix)
11. Al-Pha-X - Finally Free (Pathaan Space Mix)
12. Richard Wahnfried - Grandma's Clockwork
Thanks to John & Eirik for taking the time out to answer these questions.