„I never understood the other kids… why they’d be building their Lego stuff according to a plan.” Franklin De Costa chuckles. “It’s pretty easy to figure that stuff out on your own.”

Franklin never had much trouble figuring “stuff” out on his own. At age ten he made his first multitrack recording, completely DIY, utilizing his granddad’s organ and two tape recorders. It became immediately clear this was a kid looking for his own, individual way instead of following pre-set rules. He also developed a keen interest in parallel worlds; worlds that were not subject to physical and metaphysical confines of our reality. He dug deep into the works of Stanislav Lem, soon realizing that the sonic landscapes of music could actually become one such parallel universe, an unknown and ever-shifting cosmos to explore, at his very fingertips.

Franklin has come a long way since releasing his first productions on the Fusion Records imprint he started with some friends in Frankfurt am Main in the mid-nineties. He went from UK-Techno-inspired workouts under his Tichy alias, to eschewing the 4×4 beat altogether in favour of the electroacoustic ambient experiments of the Archaetech Project, just to return to the dance floor, four years later, with the minimalist layouts of his early-to-mid 00s output on Trapez Ltd. under his given name and as Studiogemeinschaft, a collaboration project with Uwe “Yapacc” Giegler of Narcotic Syntax. The common thread running through these highly diverse projects and releases is the element of the play, the fiddling around, the relentless twisting of content and form – neither Franklin nor his compositions stay in the same place for too long. Recent years saw Franklin experimenting under some aliases again, slowly incorporating elements of those compositions into his FDC releases.

The Mudkid moniker especially proved to bring a lot of fertile ground to the main project. The Mudkid EPs were released by the cutting edge Greta Cottage Workshop from UK – the Loik 10’’ being the vinyl debut of the label. On these releases Franklin introduced a stronger melodic-harmonic element into the hazy grooves of his tracks which slowly started to creep into his other productions as well. And yet another chapter was added to his rich discography. High-profile labels like Curle Recordings, Mule Musiq and ReSolute soon picked up what was going on and released the new productions, much to the critics’ delight.

Besides releasing the Mudkid works, Greta Cottage Workshop are greatly thanked for finally releasing the Archaetech sessions and rescuing this extraordinary project from the vaults, making another, very significant piece of the FDC puzzle available to the public. Franklin’s DJ-Sets as well as his live act, while they are firmly grounded in the more psychotropic end of the house and techno spectrums, heavily reflect his sensibility of ever shifting aesthetics: the futurism of Detroit, post-hardcorecontinuum UK dance and minimalist house are just a small fraction of the musical cornerstones he touches upon. And by playing his music strictly off physical media he’s always making sure the tracks are interacting in unexpected ways. You’ll never hear the same set twice. Franklin’s live act not only contains lots of unreleased material, it also shows how he interacts totally open with the material. His approach is the jam – that place in musical creation where elements are free-floating so that creators as well as listeners can lose themselves in a state of rapture, of being removed from the actual world around them. Ecstatically, but carefully exploring the unknown.

 
FRANKLIN DE COSTA