Phonique, the Berlin-based award-winning producer and label owner, reigns as one of Europe’s most in-demand and renowned house DJs. He has produced over 100 releases and remixes for acclaimed labels as Dessous, Poker Flat, Crosstown Rebels, and his own, Ladies and Gentlemen. Phonique’s three critically-praised albums attest to his evolving, diverse influences, deep knowledge of house music, and masterful intuition to serve the dance floor.
Electronic Groove: Hi Phonique, thanks for your time to chat with us. The year is starting what are you most looking forward?
Phonique: I am surely looking forward to my album release and how it will be received by people over the long term.
EG: After a long wait your new album ‘Greene Supreme’ has been recently released. How do you feel about it?
Phonique: I am really glad the long wait is over. It’s been seven years since the last one and this one has many great tracks.
EG: Having listened to the record, it’s definitely not just a collection of club tracks, can you explain what’s the album inspiration and concept?
Phonique: The album is far away from being just a collection of club tracks. I think the concept of these kinds of albums is totally outdated in our very digital age. Who is listening to an unmixed selection of club tracks these days or even more important for the label: who even buys that? DJs will buy their favorite tracks: those tracks they will play at a club and the regular electronic music fan will not buy this, they want to listen to a more song-orientated album, they can listen from the beginning to the end and if they are in the mood for club music, they go to Soundcloud or Mixcloud and listen to a DJ mix.
Also, I experienced that my vocal tracks are the ones that are still appreciated by people even 12 years later. People are still uploading ‘For The Time Being’ or ‘You That I’m With’ on YouTube nowadays. So, the concept was clearly to do a full on listening/vocal album while my club tracks are getting released separately in between albums.
EG: This is the fourth album for you. What means to you to release a new LP?
Phonique: Getting an album released is always great. It’s an achievement for me. Working on something for a long time and putting a lot of efforts into it, and in the end holding the vinyl or CD in your hand just feels great.
“I experienced that my vocal tracks are the ones that are still appreciated by people even 12 years later”
EG: On the album, you have important collaborations. Can you tell us more about it?
Phonique: While I had a few collaborations with other producers on the past albums, I’ve focused on mainly vocal tracks on this one, this time I only have collaborations with vocalists.
As on previous albums, I am working again with Ian Whitelaw, Alexander East and Richard Davis on ‘Green Supreme’. But I also have some new partners on board. The most known is surely Stee Downes, who became really famous through his track with Lovebirds ‘Want You In My Soul’, but I also discovered the amazing Antonia Vai, who wasn’t working in the electronic music field before. Her voice is just amazing and her songwriting is just perfect. I ended up doing three tracks with her. Also, we managed to get Detroit’s Eddie Fowlkes for some spoken words as Lazarusman.
EG: How positive do you feel about the state of dance music at the moment? Are there any particular changes or development you’d like to see happen in the near future?
Phonique: I hope it will be easier to play some vocal tracks every now and then at the clubs again. The style of vocals accepted these days is very much narrowed down to that Innervisions’ emotional style. You can play some classic vocals only at the more posh parties which is a bit sad for me. Not that I am the biggest fan of vocals in house music, but every now and then I like to drop them to provide a different mood in a specific moment.
EG: Most of DJ’s life is full of touring, hangovers, no-sleep and alimentation dis-orders. How do you manage this kind of situations?
Phonique: If you are long enough in the business you have to learn to manage these things, otherwise you won’t survive. I changed my diet 4 years ago to strictly vegan, so I am not falling into the airport fast food trap anymore. I love to drink on a good party and I love to get drunk on a bad one, but I always keep in mind what travel plans I have. If I’m doing an early flight the next morning, I probably just keep it down to two drinks. And I can sleep like a baby when I am on a flight, that might help too.
EG: How long have you been vegan, and why did you make that decision?
Phonique: Initially it was a try-out plan for 30 days. But when I saw and felt how my body reacted to the changes I knew something was right about it. After that I gathered more and more information and realized that animal cruelty and the economic consequences are reason enough to stay that way for the rest of my life.
EG: You are a regular at Brazil clubs. What are your favorite cities to visit and play?
Phonique: Sao Paulo is my second home and there is no other club in Brazil better than D-Edge. But Warung in Itajai, Vibe in Curitiba and Privilege in Buzios are equally amazing!
EG: What else is coming up for Phonique that we should be looking out for?
Phonique: I am already working on new tracks and planning to do some special little shows for my YouTube channel, but I can’t say much more about it yet.
Phonique’s ‘Green Supreme’ is already available on Ladies and Gentlemen.