A conversation with Synthpop Duo ‘Holographic Catholic’

Today, we are happy to introduce you to our discovery of the week. They have two unusual and unique artistic personalities, they come from Riverside, California: let’s meet with Holographic Catholic.

The electronic duo consisting of Jasmine Ng Labrador and Mateusz “Matt” Murawski are being very active for several years with projects like “Purgatory” (debut album released in 2018) or songs like “Obsidian” and by delivering a unique sense of the creativity.

Their music is dancing between electronic elements and catchy synthesizers.

As they are working on a new album for 2021, we met with Holographic Catholic to know more about their work. Discover our interview with the coolest duo below:

Welcome guys. We can’t wait to know you more. Can you introduce yourself and tell us how you started to make music?

Jasmine:
I started making music around 2017. If I’m gonna be honest, it was all really bad punk music. Nothing stayed in key and it was all very chaotic. 2018 was a better year though, I learned more music theory and applied that to my songwriting process. HC started off as me making these little chiptune loops in a browser-based sequencer called NerdBox.

Mateusz:
Jas invited me to help her organize the first HC live shows and it kind of went from there to me being a member of the band. We then worked on a couple of songs.

What inspires you to write music?

Mateusz:
Why video game console sampling? I like to imagine that it’s about things and throwbacks to the 80’s and Gameboy sounds and how they work the feeling of nostalgia and love. The sonic palette that we have established helps us stay on track creativity-wise.After some time with a gameboy and a midi controller for it, you kind of start to understand where it wants to go and what it can do. Same goes for other instruments.

Jasmine:
Definitely feelings. Purgatory was about rejection and heartbreak, but also about being in love.

Mateusz:
I think we could (sorry for self-patting on the back) express that effectively with how HC is set up to sound. Being in love entails vulnerability and that’s how we felt when we embraced video game music techniques at first. We didn’t really know what the fuck was going on or how we somehow mixed that in with 80s synth pop and that’s kinda what love is– not really knowing what the fuck is going on. Eventually we started to understand that sonic formula and it gave us the ability to write about other things.

What is your creative process? Do you have a specific one?

Jasmine:
I usually come up with some crazy arpeggiated Gameboy melody and then Matt and I build a song up from there.

Mateusz:
Yeah, it’s often a back and forth collaboration with us exchanging stems. Every now and then, we get together and work from a one laptop setup kind of taking turns diving into the song. Most of the time it’s Jas that is the creative force though haha. There are only a handful of songs that I have “led” the development of. I think that helps. We have specific roles and strengths and weaknesses that we take into the account when making new stuff.

Jasmine:
I think stylistically, Matt has made HC “edgier” and more orchestrated haha. I would have never thought to add a drum n bass loop to an HC song until he peppered that into our song “Red Lights”.


Can you tell us more about your latest release?

Jasmine:
“The People We Used to Be Are Dead” is a song dedicated to lost love and mourning. It’s very wistful. We jokingly call it “FKA Pancakes” because the demo name for this song was “Pancakes Without Syrup”… (gross! haha)

Mateusz:
I like to think about this song as our sign of maturity as a band, however pretentious that might sound. When Jas finished the first sketch of the song, we already kind of were on the same page with where to go with it. It’s almost like I kind of understood what HC is and what type of sounds it required.


What do you plan for the future?

Jasmine:
We plan on releasing our sophomore album, Excommunication, next year in 2021! I definitely want to wait for COVID-19 to stabilize over here in the States before we decide to do more shows again. I mean, originally, I wanted to release this album in 2020, but it’s just not the right thing to do with the pandemic and political climate. There are just so many more important things that are bigger than our album at the moment.

Connect with Holographic Catholic on Instagram .