Plastic Operator are the perfect pop group for our times. Internationally minded, technically savvy and, most importantly, blessed with the ability to sculpt sublimely soulful pop moments from raw digital clay, Plastic Operator may exist in a parallel space to the tired pop pap in the Top 10, but what a wonderful space it is.
Mathieu Gendreau (electronics) & Pieter Van Dessel (vocals / electronics) are Plastic Operator. Respectively hailing from Quebec and Antwerp, the pair met at London’s Westminster University in 2001 where they were both studying audio production. Bonding over a shared love of two decades of fine electronic pop music (influences include Jean-Michel Jarre, Akufen, The Pet Shop Boys, Vangelis, The Postal Service…) the pair began to make sweet music together.
When the course finished Pieter returned to Antwerp to work on sound design for both theatre and websites, and Mathieu remained in London to work as a sound engineer, working with a broad cross-section of the UK’s musical talent. The pair kept up their collaborative efforts over the internet, meeting face to face in either London or Antwerp once a month.
In 2004, their efforts came to fruition when then the pair released their debut three track CD through a handful of record shops, with Rough Trade making it their CD of the week. Once the tracks were out there in the public domain, things accelerated at a pace no-one could have predicted. The lead track from the CD, ‘Folder’, had been posted on a web blog, and within weeks Plastic Operator were receiving emails from fans in New York, Mexico City and Bangkok enquiring about the group. Radio stations as far apart as California, New Zealand and Tijuana began championing the song. In London Radio 1’s Rob Da Bank began playing the track on his Blue Room show, eventually signing the track to his Sunday Best label.
Already picking up admirers from its inclusion on Rob’s latest Sunday Best compilation, ‘Folder’ is released as a single in its own right this November. Featuring loving remixes from a range of Sunday Best friends and family (namely Subway, Styrofoam and Shepherd) this is sure to see the pleasures of Plastic Operator become apparent to an even broader audience.
In other news, Pieter & Mathieu continue working on their forthcoming debut album and their music continues to grab the attention of a global audience, recently being licensed for the soundtrack of hit Canadian film ‘L’horloge Biologique”. Plastic Operator are hatching plans for more live shows after their recent London debut. If reactions to ‘Folder’ are anything to go by, they should pack their suitcases in preparation for an extensive global tour…