Five Minutes With: Phil Tangent

Five Minutes With: Phil Tangent

It’s been a bit of a deep D&B sandwich this week… We kicked off with an interview with Facing Jinx and we’re ending it with the equally slick and soulful Phil Tangent. To us, his latest Soul:r single Restitution / Squaring The Circle is the ultimate winter music: stirring emotional rollers that warm every heart cockles you have.

Mind you. If this came out in July we’d say it’s the ultimate summer music: bright, breezy, loaded with sonic sunshine.

Bottom line: Phil Tangent is nailing it. And has done since Billie’s Smile first smacked us upside our heads in 2010. Wanna know what he’s got coming up? Then read on…

Let’s chat about the new single…

“I made Restitution quite some time ago. It’s quite a personal tune. Well, all my tunes are very personal and often about relationships past and present. This one in particular is me saying ‘treat me right’. The vocal’s Al Green and it’s always resonated with me.”

Lovely. You don’t see enough D&B artists chatting about relationships…

“Well I’m not very good at showing emotion! I do it through music. I always have done. It gets things out there… If you’re angry, make some dark beats. If you’re sad, make something to reflect that. It helps you feel better about a situation.”

Definitely. It’s cathartic. Now tell me about Squaring The Circle. The vocal sounds a bit Bjorkish…

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t! It’s taken from Hidden Place and another tune. I combine the two as I thought they complemented each other.”

Nice. How long does it take you to make a tune… Are you one those speedy writers? Or do you toil over things for far too long?

“It really depends. Some days I can just hit the studio and bash something out… It happened just before Sun & Bass this year. I made a tune in two days and it was the last tune of my set. It’s called Contrition, Klute’s signed it for Commercial Suicide, which is great. It should be out early next year.”

Looking forward to that. Before we chat about next year, how about this year? You had a good one?

“Yeah, yeah. I’ve been balancing the work and life balance. I’m trying to move house and things but the music’s moving forward and I’m getting some great reactions. So yeah, I’m really positive about it all right now.”

What’s been the best reaction you’ve had?

“Fabric a couple of weeks ago. The crowd were amazing, it was a privilege to play there. This girl came up after I played and asked to take a photo. I thought she wanted me to take a picture of her and her boyfriend but she wanted a photo of me with her! That was really touching. I had a lot of people thanking me for playing and making the music that night. It’s amazing, that’s why I do it; I started DJing to play my favourite music to people and get them to hear all this amazing music and hopefully influence them to find out more about it. Now I’m doing it on a new level.

Definitely. So what’s coming up in 2013?

“Well there’s the release on Commercial Suicide. I’m talking to Rubik about doing more stuff with them. I’ve got a remix of Telmo A’s Between Two Worlds out on Santorin. There’s some big collabs coming up, too. Some I’m not able to tell you at the moment, but I’m doing some stuff with Pennygiles. I’m loving his stuff. It’s so heartfelt and melodic. He’s a sample genius too.”

He is! Can’t wait to hear that. So tell us something about yourself that you’ve never told in an interview before…

“Well I have told this in an interview before but I’ll tell you too… I used to be a magician and balloon modeller.”

Say what?

“Yeah, honestly. I put it way behind me. I thought it might be a way to get the ladies but it wasn’t. I think they just felt sorry for me.”

Restitution / Squaring The Circle is out now.

Listen and download.

Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.