Phase has swept in on his giant albatross, arriving on the scene like a character from Studio Ghibli… imagine blue skies, giant sweeping arcs (not to mention an appreciation of Swedish Death Metal) and you’re halfway there.
On Albatross, ‘I Mean It’ haunted me as did the vocal, I really like it, can you talk us through it?
Last year I went to Sun and Bass in Sardinia for the first time. It was one of the best experiences in my life! Once I got back home I started working on a tune that tried to capture the essence of the SnB festival.
Once I got the instrumental down I sent it to Krizia (LaMeduza) and she immediately agreed to do vocals on the tune. The fact that she wrote Italian lyrics gave that extra amount of Sardinian vibe and originality to it. The title ‘I Mean It’ is the English translation of one of the lyrics.
Where do you come from, Phase? When did the D&B bug bite?
I’m from the beautiful city called Ghent, Belgium. I started producing around three and a half years ago. Back then I wasn’t really focused on making D&B: I was just messing around in Fruity Loops and Reason like a lot of teenagers. But I kept pushing and started taking things more seriously around two years ago. I’m on a DAW called Studio One now and I love the way it’s handling my production methods.
So going deeper, what made you want to be a part of D&B?
I feel D&B is a genre that is very wide and versatile. The essence of D&B is actually just the tempo and the focus on certain elements, which gives you few restraints. The fact that you can literally combine everything you want in a D&B tune attracted me to the genre. The community around the world and especially in Belgium is very close and open minded as well!
Who are the other collaborators on Albatross and what did they bring to it, in terms of styles and flavours?
Viv May is a UK singer I got to know through Carlos, the owner of Demand Records. We were looking for that final element to finish off Albatross and the vocal elements were the solution.
MC Mota is one of my Belgian homies in the scene. He is quite popular over here in Belgium and having him featured on a track was the next logical step. We recorded the vocals in my studio so we had the opportunity to try out a lot of different takes until we finally had the groove we both wanted. I think his combination of singing and MCing works really well!
Why ‘Albatross’? It’s an interesting choice of motif/symbol for an ep, what does it represent?
First of all, I just love the sound of that word. It does have a meaning as it reminds me of my summer holidays at the beach as a child. It was the working title of the project and I just kept the title in the end.
What music/producers and tunes come to mind when you think of stuff that excites you?
Basically everything Break puts out excites me! He’s one of my biggest influences, next to Alix Perez, Calibre and Spectrasoul. ‘Love So True’ is one of my all time favorite
tunes, and hearing it always makes me instantly euphoric for some reason.
Some non-D&B music that makes me excited are the chord progressions and harmonies of Opeth – ‘Harvest’ is a prime example of theirs – Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater and a LOT of soulful jazz.
You mention the DAW, what’s a tip in D&B production that you’d share, that always helps you out?
Think of your bassline as an instrument, or as a person that has something to tell you. These days I feel most of the Liquid D&B producers make their basslines way too predictable or boring!
Also please don’t compress soulful tunes into oblivion, part of the liquid vibe is the dynamic range and snappy-ness in your drums. If you don’t have a lot of inspiration to write a chord sequence, try to find a nice sample and work around it!
Any shouts? Thanks.
Big shout outs to the entire Belgian D&B family, without your support I would have never stood where I’m standing now! Shout outs to Demand Records for the faith in my music and opportunity to release this EP, and to Keeno, Whiney, Bredren, M-Zine & Scepticz and everyone I forgot to mention for the good laughs and the helpful, constructive feedback.