The Plankton Man Experience
Finding fat beats and vibes in everything
Plankton Man, the up-and-coming electronic musician from Ensenada, Baja California, finds the opportunity to create new sounds in just about everything.
Published on LatinoLA: January 24, 2004
When asked how he foresees electronic music evolving, he says: ?I?ve seen people go from playing in a five piece band to standing alone with their laptop just head-banging, then back to playing in a band. That means that people will always be changing and trying to create new sounds and feelings."
?Someday,? he adds, ?somebody is going to name their band 'KITCHEN', and the members will be objects like the refrigerator, the stove, the microwave, etc? and it's going to sound interesting, and people will go see them, because we?re always looking for the fresh stuff, right??
Plankton Man?s personal ambition in his music is simply to take the music that he grew up with and twist it in a different way to keep it danceable and screwed at the same time.
He explains: ?With Plankton Man I do a formula called Nortec, which contains elements from regional traditional music from northern Mexico like Norte?as and Banda Sinaloense, you know, tubas, accordions, cowbells, trumpets, detuned singers and a lot of vibe and fat sounds; all this plus some electronic manipulation, [ties it all together].?
?This is the way its always been. Take jazz for example: many jazz [musicians] use the piano, or the sax, but each one uses it differently. Nortec is a fresh sound, and there?s never been a genre that combines norte?as plus experimental cuts and breaks?
Formerly a member of the Ensenada band ?Sonios? he tells us how he began the Plankton Man project: ?We started making songs and finally we did our first serious ?Sonios? record, we were all happy and the record was top five in some Mexican magazines. Everyone in our band was creating stuff. We were all composers, that?s why the band couldn?t go on for long, there was too much going on in our minds, there was potential but too many songs, and we were always looking for the 'next' sound. So, naturally things happened, we split up and almost each one of us did our own (Electronic) thing; Fernando, did Terrestre and murcof, Josue did Bendhel, Arge, Tati, and I collaboratively and created 'Ni?o Astronauta', and I began the Plankton Man project. I guess the split up was productive.?
During his 12-year career Plankton Man has experimented with several formats, he shares: ?I have been playing the piano since 1992, and the guitar since 1993. I have always been a video game lover, and I use to play Nintendo tunes in the piano. So, I started doing some songs that sounded like video games. Around 1996 I went to my first local rave, and heard JUNGLE, I was blown away, so I started Plankton Man, which back then was very different. Today I have a new side project, called Kobol, which lets me do what I don?t do in Plankton Man, it being very weird noises with jazz harmony. Besides that I have Ni?o Astronauta a three member electronic band, and we play everything from break beats, house, minimal clicks and pops, drum & bass to hard core acid jazz tunes.?
To find out more about this abstract musical experience please check out http://www.planktonman.com. Be warned this musical experience definitely requires some interest in experimental sounds.
Valeria Berumen is an entertainment writer in Los Angeles. She has collaborated with LATV Live, LatinoLA, and Channel 3000/the Weird Chronicles. She hopes to own a PR firm someday, but until then, she works 9 to 5 and does consulting on the side (QUE LA).