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Ghostly Chat: An Interview with Phantom

The Phantom EP kickstarted the year very nicely for us and we’re still getting some blog love for it two months after the release. We just dug out this interview we did with him. A lot of it found its way in to the press release but here it is in full for your viewing pleasure, don’t forget the video, there’s a link after the interview and you can buy the release DIRECT from here:

http://senselessrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-phantom-the-phantom-ep

So the name, is it more like a scary ghost, or a superhero?

The comic book influenced the name. Although, never actually wanted to be the centre of attention and used to be very shy – more a scary ghost then! Always there, but lurking in the shadows.

Give us some background on you as a producer/DJ?

Thanks to the Internet, I discovered a lot of rave and techno classics very early – at the age of 10-14? Used to listen to Liam Howlett, Altern 8, Liquid, Joey Beltram, Frankie Bones (and obviously some mainstream big beat acts as well). Then somehow moved to cut & paste, mastermixes, plunderphonics, mashups. Thanks to Pirate Soundsystem (who were shifting at that time from bootlegs to their own, bass heavy tunes), I discovered both Drop The Lime and Faggatronix (Bok Bok & Manara). Lots of name dropping here, sorry. Anyway – started producing my own bootlegs, mastermixes about 5-6 years ago, djing for 3 years now, writing my own music since 2009.

You make quite tropical sounding music, but you live in a cold place, what’s the deal?

It’s not that deliberate, probably just longing for warmer climate. 20 degrees below winter forces you to think about anything hot. Although, I find a couple of my recent tracks quite autumnal really – ‘Connect The Dots’ or my Jack Dixon remix are the best examples. I’m probably getting old.

Do you have a name for the music you make?

Not really. Yet, definitely closer to house than techno or, let’s say, dubstep (despite making some 140 bpm music as well).

Tell us about the tracks, what is the sound, what were you going for?

I always focus on the melody first, as well as trying to keep my music very raw sounding, even though I use a lot of rich synths. I hardly use any background fx samples or build-ups. ‘Night Game’ is a bridge track between my tropical debut – ‘Cambodia’ and recent more synthed-out house tunes. It also has a similar verse/chorus pop structure. ‘Girl’ was to some extent influenced by classic Neptunes or Timbaland beats mixed with a nervous staccato lead. ‘Connect The Dots’ is all about the hypnotic synth line and r’n’b vocals.

There seems to be a good scene for this music in Poland at the moment, tell us about it?

Yeah, Poland’s getting really strong now. Promoters such as Supra1, BBQ or Sorry Ghettoblaster as well as the Unsound people have truly helped the scene to grow here. Literally, almost everyone played in Poland – Bok Bok & L-Vis 1990, Oneman, Untold, Ikonika, Kode9, Joker, Mosca, Jackmaster, Crazy Cousinz, Hard House Banton etc. More and more Polish producers are gaining recognition as well – Cracow’s Supra1 (Trouble & Bass) obviously, Sekta (Top Billin/ Shifting Peaks), Zeppy Zep (Robox), Sentel (Concrete Cut). Plus all the tech-house oriented artists – Catz ‘N Dogz, Marcin Czubala, Jacek Sienkiewicz.

Which producers have been the biggest inspiration to you, old and new?

New: Jam City, Ikonika & Optimum, Deep Teknologi, both Butterz and Night Slugs shows. Old: Rhythim Is Rhythim, Marc Kinchen, Mr. Fingers, some classic detroit bits, early XL Recordings stuff. To be honest – it’s more about the live experience. Seeing Dam Funk live this year or Bok Bok djing in Cracow 2 years ago and the whole Unsound experience.

What is the one classic album everyone should listen to if they don’t already know it?
Hmm… read an interview with Simeon from Silver Apples yesterday. I think their debut album is a good call.

Tell us one thing you couldn’t get through the day without?

Love!

The video:

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