Terminal V Podcast 020 || Ø [Phase]
A stalwart of the World techno scene Ø [Phase] is a name synonymous with quality driving, stripped back music. He has been making his way in the music industry since the late 90’s but it wasn’t until the turn of the century when he began loading up the record bags of the best DJ’s in the world with tunes like ‘Module Overload’, ‘Katino II’ and ‘The Passenger’.
From his deadly rhythms to his mind-bending design work Ø [Phase] feeds his creations from a multitude of angles. His natural habitat is pitch black dancefloors the world over and he is poised to shake things up again with his new project Phyxix alongside Matrixmann. Having consistently rocked clubs such as Berghain, fabric, and shortly Terminal V in Edinburgh Ø [Phase] is about to prove why he is still at the top of his game after over two decades and still counting. In advance of his podcast for us we had the chance to pick his brain on a number of topics so read on to find out what this unassuming assassin had to say…
Having been on the scene for a number of years what was your first initiation into techno?
An older friend recorded me a cassette tape around 1988. It featured tracks from the LP ‘Techno The New Dance Sound Of Detroit’ along with some other bits like Royal House – ‘Can You Party’ and Nitro Delux – ‘Let’s Get Brutal’. That was my first exposure to Techno but being fairly young at the time it was still a while before I experienced it in a club environment. Early ’90’s events like Steve Bicknell’s ‘Lost’ parties and Andrew Weatherall’s Sabresonic were a major turning point for me.
Did you always know you wanted to produce at the beginning of your love affair with techno?
At first I was more interested in DJing. The desire to produce developed over time as I learned more about the music and the creators behind it.
This might be an impossible question but where are you happiest – in the studio or behind the decks?
I’m content in either, they both provide different forms of enjoyment.
Do you think it is possible to produce music for the dancefloor without being physically invested in the club scene?
I think it’s possible yes, but ultimately, I believe that experiencing dance music in its native environment is always going to better inform the creative approach.
Do you find your design work informs your productions or vice versa?
I think maybe my design work is often an alternative expression of the same ideas and feelings.
Tell us more about your Phyxix project alongside Matrixxman?
Charlie and I were asked to perform some back-to-back sets together a few years ago. We connected so well that it just felt natural to collaborate in the studio. The name Phyxix is obviously an amalgamation of our solo projects.
Where do you begin and Charles end? Who does what in the studio and how did the material take shape with the pandemic restrictions?
Much of the project was started before March 2020. Since travel was restricted, we work remotely, sending stems back and forth. Either of us may start an idea, take it to a certain stage then send it to the other to play around with and add their input. We discuss via phone calls etc.
You have also chosen to release on cassette, where did this idea come from?
There are so many delays pressing vinyl at the moment. The plants are hugely over-stretched so in some ways we’d rather not add to that pressure. We really just wanted to get the music out there but still felt that some sort of physical attribute was important. Charlie suggested a limited run of cassettes would be a nice way to go. There are only 20 copies of Phyxix002 in existence.
You will be performing as part of Phyxix at the upcoming Terminal V event, what can we expect from your set?
I imagine fast pacing with plenty of twists and turns. Charlie and I have not met in person for over a year so we’re both really stoked for this one.
Speaking of Terminal V you have just mixed our latest podcast series; can you give us a lowdown on the mix?
This podcast is a selection of new music and some older tracks. I’m playing faster these days so expect high BPMs!
Can we expect to hear any unreleased material from you?
Yes, there’s a Phyxix demo track in there and also a rare unofficial studio edit/blend of Depeche Mode’s ‘Photographic’ and Ø [Phase] ‘Decode‘.
Interview by Stu Todd