Phace: Exciting Times
Phace is patently So Excited. But this is nothing compared to our excitement when it came to the new release, and the chance of a chat with him.
Hi Phace. Just wanted to clarify: many people also know you as half of Neosignal, and sometimes you go it solo… as is the case now. Are you solo now forever?
Forever is a big word, especially when it’s attached to doing one thing. Phace is the solo project, which I have been running since 2004. I like to focus on various projects simultaneously, so it’s not like I set out to do something for an extended period of time and then move on. I switch between projects, each of which has a long term goal – they’re projects I can nurture at my own pace and try to keep my personal level of excitement and entertainment up.
This mentality led me to start the record labels Neosignal/Neodigital with Michael Misanthrop in 2009, and together we also started the same named electronic band project ‘Neosignal’ as a side-project in 2011.
I heard ‘So Excited’ on Radio 1/Rockwell and picked up that HE was excited too, in his intro! With much justification as it’s a killer tune… when did it arise?
I actually wrote ‘So Excited’ last year while working on my last LP. The direction I was going with the LP just didn’t fit – ‘So Excited’ was too different and way too filthy compared to the rest of the LP tracks.
So, I decided to wait and find a better home for it and when I wrote ‘Lit Up’ not long afterwards, they felt right together.
The two tracks worked together and formed a fun concept when combined as a package.
‘Lit Up”s easily one of the best tunes of the year (or of any year), it’s killer but every time I hear it I wonder what the person in the sample is talking about. Is she an astronaut? A yoga student? Has she had a near death experience… what theories do you have?
Thank you very much, it means a lot. The lady is actually discussing her experience of curing depression by taking MDMA. She was pretty convinced it works and I guess even during the interview she still seemed to be quite high!
I found it really weird but funny, and as I do love weird stuff in general I had to use the vocal cuts. And just to be clear, I am not advocating taking MDMA or similar substances, nor am I judging – each to his or her own – it was just something I found useful as a spark of inspiration at the time.
You are busy as ever, what are you doing, playing tons of gigs? Where?
I am, it’s great to be on the road. I’ve got some great festival shows lined up this summer, which I am really looking forward to. A couple off the top of my head would be Let it Roll, Dour, Dockville, Nuforms and there’s plenty more club shows across Europe. I keep my profile on Bandsintown pretty up to date so it’s the best place to find out where I’m going to be.
What sort of stuff is in the sets, how do you switch things about, and which producers are you feeling right now?
I like my sets to vary across a real spectrum of the genre. I tend to lean towards a mix of upfront, minimal, half tempo all the way to some full on, straight up D&B.
The closest comparison would be something like a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs, twists and turns. I’ve got quite a lot of tracks coming out of the studio, so I do try and play as much of my own music in my sets, but I am also very partial to a bit of Noisia, Rockwell, The Upbeats, Mefjus, Misanthrop, Emperor and so on – the list is actually quite long when you start thinking about it.
I guess am also asking… what get’s YOU excited… in D&B. But also in life, what do you do that gets you away from the studio???
I don’t ask for that much with regard to the D&B that gets me excited; a cool musical idea with a catchy and unique vibe put into the comfy clothes of a nice and interesting sound design.. that should do it! I have quite a hectic, loud and intense life – so, what gets me excited when I have time off are things that are about connecting with myself – like running. But also, doing things that just brings the pace right down.
I love to hang out with friends and discuss all those things you simply can’t with a million decibels ringing in your ears. Throw in some good food and a couple of drinks and I’m happy. Nothing too exciting per se, but in my opinion just as important and ultimately an extremely nice way to spend some free time.
What tune is in your head right now?
I started a track this week with quite a simple riff, and it is on repeat in my head. Usually that’s a very good sign if it gets stuck like that, so I can’t wait to get back on it and see where it goes.