Great news: It’s both! Scene veteran Phantasy is back in the studio and more enthused than he’s been in years. Expect a whole slew of new material and rebooted twists on his classics over the coming months. It starts right here with this stone cold contemporisation of 44 Mag by Sub Zero.
Joining the dots between heritage and future in a way that Sub Zero only can, apparently we can thank Twitter for this. Find out why… And loads more about the constant evolution of the HSS show and the nutty SaSaSaS hook-up as we call up the London DJ and ask: where you at?
First up let’s discuss this Sub Zero remix. An absolute banger, it’s brought the original right up to the future. How did this collaboration come about?
“It came about via a Twitter conversation. Someone tweeted a YouTube video of the original track saying they loved it and I re-tweeted it. Then loads of people got involved in the twitter conversation. Sub Zero commented that it was one of his favorite tunes back in the day so I suggested, in a tongue in cheek way, ‘maybe you should do a remix’. He replied ‘yeah, I’ll do it.’ Of course I was straight on the phone and sorted it out within minutes and sent him the parts. He smashed it, as I knew he would. He’s one of the best producers we have around who knows how to make a dancefloor, future classic.”
It’s like what Andy C said to me the other day “I’m back in the studio and loving it” I can only mirror that comment. Music has a wonderful way of changing your mood and emotions. It’s a powerful thing.
It’s had a fair bit of love from the big boys so far…
“Yes! We’ve had great support from Hype, Logan and Original Sin to Matrix & Futurebound. We’ve even had DJs playing it from outside of drum & bass altogether. That pleases me more than anything when DJs from other genres can embrace our music. It’s how this whole thing started many moons ago. You never played a style you just played great music.”
We’ve had two releases from you this year, are there any more plans for you to get back in the studio? Or, for that matter, any more plans to re-release more classics from the Easy back cat?
“Yes, regarding the back cat. I’m currently getting that arranged at the moment. I will be getting new mixes produced and remixed by artists within our scene, to accompany the original tracks. I’ve got so many tracks in my back cat, that I don’t know what to work on next! Right now I’m currently working on an album for the HSS live show (formerly – Harry Shotta Show) and we have some exciting featured artists lined up for that. I’ve got a track coming out on Viper at the start of next year and I’m in talks with many other artists about doing some work with them on future projects. Exciting times. I fell out of love with the studio for years and if you fall out of love with it, there’s no point in trying to produce anything. But I’ve got the bug back big time. It’s like what Andy C said to me the other day “I’m back in the studio and loving it” I can only mirror that comment. Music has a wonderful way of changing your mood and emotions. It’s a powerful thing.”
You just mentioned the HSS show… How will you develop it in 2015?
“The forthcoming HSS album has been at the forefront of my mind recently as we have so many tracks to write, covering the different musical styles that we perform in the show. With its roots firmly in drum & bass, the show is a mixed bag of great music covering every aspect of bass music. It’s amazing to see it has grown from strength to strength over the past three years. This year, as well as club shows, we performed at lots of festivals and we now have that festival bug we want to do more. There are many great things planned for 2015 so next year will be a big year for the show.”
The Innovation events keep going from strength to strength, too. Are there any plans to take this to new countries?
“You’ll have to ask Lloyd who owns Innovation. He will be the only one who’ll be able to confirm that. But what I do know is that Innovation In The Sun is going to be bigger than it ever has been and Spring Break is going to be another massive show on the calendar for Innovation, too.”
It’s vital there is a strong underground scene and that the foundations are set in stone. Lose the foundations and the scene crumbles…
Two decades deep and D&B is still kicking harder than ever. What do you foresee as the the next steps for the scene… And how will you be involved?
“This music will keep growing and evolving. As long as there are people willing to put in the effort that they do, there’s no reason why it wont go forward. We need established artists within the scene looking to the next generation of artists, to bring through and not be threatened by them. Embrace them and guide them through their journey and show them the mistakes we made as we found our way so that they get it right for the generation below them. I’m always working on new projects and sometimes I’m working 18 hour days which does get tiring but I love it and am truly blessed to be involved in this music and to have such an understanding wife and family. I’m lucky that I can work with so many different people within the music scene and one thing I’m working on at the moment is something that is not just for the bigger artists within the scene but also for those who are trying to make it but are finding it tough. I’m always looking for angles to bring something fresh to the table with one of these been the newly formed SaSaSaS set, which I’ve got to say, is one of the maddest DJ & MC sets I’ve ever had the pleasure of performing in.”
What are you thoughts on drum & bass’s recent mainstream chart success?
“I love it. It makes me proud that our music, the music they tried to suppress, has broken out and taken the charts by storm. Sigma, Matrix & Futurebound, Wilkinson, Drumsound & Bassline Smith and soon to be Andy are representing our music so well across the planet, it’s brilliant and to be a part of that scene is special. These guys have worked the underground for years and truly deserve what they get. And I’m sure we will see more commercial success for other artists within the scene in the future. But for our music to be successful on that level it’s vital there is a strong underground scene and that the foundations are set in stone. Lose the foundations and the scene crumbles…”
Finally, give us the top five dubplates in your bag that are smashing up the dance right now…
“In No Particular Order:
The Prototypes – Lights VIP
Macky Gee – Seduction
DJ Phantasy & Dextone – No Way Out
Andy C ft. Fiora – Heartbeat Loud
HSS – Showtime VIP”