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Kat Frankie - Berlin And Back

Author: Carlisle Rogers
Friday, 31 August 2007
Sydney-born indie folk musician Kat Frankie tells 3D’s Carlisle Rogers that the true underground scene in the musicians’ mecca isn’t techno, but folk music.

Kat Frankie has been living in Berlin for the past two and a half years, delving into the folk underground in the city where every musician in the world seems to be these days, and she’s come up with her debut album, Pocketknife, a versatile, richly layered folk gateaux.

Touring in Australia through September, she’ll be back in her hometown of Sydney for one date at Spectrum. 

“Sydney is a big party show,” she says. “I played Spectrum earlier in the year and it was a brilliant show. This time it’s going to be more of a party, so we’re going to have a DJ at the end and it’s going to be fun. You are playing to your home crowd there, and it’s always fun. When I play in Sydney it is a homecoming, because I go away for so long and you come back to play and see the familiar faces again. It’s a big party show, really.”

The new album was recorded all over the place in Berlin over the past couple of years, with a slew of local artists. “It was a case of ‘have laptop, will travel’.  A lot of the stuff we did in my studio and I brought in a few people to work there. With quite a few other musicians, we went out to them, so it was recorded in basements and rehearsal rooms and all sorts of strange spaces in the underbelly of Berlin. It allows you to be spontaneous, which is cool. No massive organisation, you come to me, I come to you, let’s make a record.”

Kat says that while Berlin is known for the electronic music production renaissance there, the underground scene is really all about folk music.

“That’s what is happening in all of the grungy basements and what a lot of people are coming to Berlin for. Folk music in Berlin is a bit different. It’s not just the quiet boys looking down singing about love on farms and such. It seems to be quite robust, the music they are making here, and varied. Very passionate stuff, poppy stuff, always weird. I find it really interesting. I think people are remaking Mellow Gold in Berlin as we speak. It just embraces diversity.”

WHO: Kat Frankie
WHAT: Debut album Pocketknife on Vitamin Records/ Plays Spectrum/ Northern Castle Hotel in Newcastle/ Oxford Tavern in Wollongong
WHEN: Out now/ Saturday 15 September/ Friday 21/ Wednesday 26