Frank Wienk, known as BINKBEATS is a Dutch producer, multi-instrumentalist and composer, who has a consummate knack for translating organic sounds to the synthesis of electronic music. Performing at The Royal Albert Hall or big music festival, only made us wonder about his incredible skills. We’ve started listening to Frank’s project a couple years back, and finally made up our minds to interview him about his style, instruments or habits.
Given the state of mainstream culture that permeates how we consume media, how would you introduce your music to a stranger?
I make electronic influenced music with an acoustic approach. I feel I’m not making any specific genre music but shift a lot between them.
When did your journey in music first started, because at the moment your project seem to have taken such a complex road to reach this point? Can you please share with us your first memories approaching musical instruments!
My first musical moments as a kid, I had a toy piano, a guitar with one string and a cardboard-box drum kit. I remember trying to play along to tunes on the radio. Then from 9 or 10 I started having drumming lessons.
What have been some of your highlights in music?
This is a hard question. I did so many things already also before I came up with as Binkbeats. I guess the Beats Unraveled series in total is something I am still very proud of, as well as my three PMPU EP’s. There are some particular concerts that are memorable, Twisted Pepper in Ireland was a legendary evening. People totally got it and my setup worked flawlessly for the first time. People even lost their minds when I played the triangle.
My debut concert at Le Guess Who Festival in 2014, the Ableton LOOP festival in LA 2018 and both Jazz Cafe gigs in London where also a highlight. I am actually now finishing up some music I did for a dance performance called LOVE. That was a big thing for me as well, and I am going to release it sometime soon.
Your music seem engaged in a constant tug-of-war between futurism and nostalgia. Can you pinpoint a particular moment that made you dive into producing these sounds?
Wow, that’s a very accurate description! It took me some years during the Beats Unraveled period (and after) to find my sound and style. I came from making hip hop beats and suddenly was floating towards this new thing which I had no idea yet of how to approach it. I really like listening to experimental music, so I guess that’s where the futuristic elements come from. I also noticed that in most of my music I lean towards a melancholic sound or melody that you might interpret as nostalgic. Haven’t really figured out why, I guess it says something about me…
Do you have any habits when writing a song?
I don’t really, I don’t have a steady work flow to build a song. It can be anything, a sentence, a sound, a concept. I’m not the person to make new stuff all the time, also because I do quite a lot of other projects on the side as well. When I make new material I really need to take time for it and get into creation mode.
When you perform live, how do you want your audience to feel as they leave the show?
Amazed and inspired. The live show is a paradox sometimes, I want people to dance and have a good time but mostly they want to stand still and keep looking what I am doing. But I always get really nice reactions afterwards so I’m happy.
Your project is not jazz in the conventional sense, and in this regard will only suit so many ears. What are its main themes and how would it be served best? What important messages are we missing as listeners?
I don’t see myself as a jazz musician at all. Also because I am not schooled to be one. I was trained as a classical percussionist. I think my music is mixture of songs, electronic music styles, with a touch of hip hop and jazz somewhere in there. I realise more and more my songs fly all over the place but I don’t really care. To me it’s all just honest music without any hype.
Music has known a solid change once with the evolution and development of technology. How do you see this change given the fact that there where technology appears, the emotion may lost its course?
I don’t think emotion gets lost with technology perse. Emotion is something we humans put into things. We imagine that a pet dog has a certain feeling by the look of his eyes, so we can also hear emotions in music technological created music. I find it inspiring to use new technology in music but I think it’s always good to look at it in perspective and also to not loose track of the acoustic side of things. Like with anything, a good balance is always essential.
Do you believe in this inspiration that all the artists talk about or is it more of a hard work and study in order to release a quality product?
I think there’s always some inspiration in the proces at some point but that’s merely a trigger. To actually finish something a lot of the time is just hard work, even if it began as an inspired moment. It’s not that inspiring to listen to your song a thousand times to keep improving it, but a necessary step to get to the end product you had in mind from the beginning.
If your music travels the world, where do you think it will find its fulfillment and inner peace?
I think people who enjoy honest music and craftsmanship appreciate what I do. It’s a combination of being amazed and to understand how much work went into creating it.
Given the current situation and the tragic events that have occurred throughout history, in what condition has the humankind, known to have its quilt for such disasters, deserves its place on Earth and in the top of evolution?
I am not the person to say what our place in the world is. We’re here and we can only make the best of it. We should take better care for the world (one for ourselves) though.
An album is considered successful when:
When the creator(s) truly believed in it and made the best he could at that moment in time.