TiD&B Interview: PhilthPosted by Lady V on Friday, April 6th, 2012
Dig fat, wholesome, dutty basslines? Then you need to check out Philth. His current EP ‘Future Dreams’ featuring 4 original tracks plus a remix from Need For Mirrors, more than provides on the bass front, proving to be a very strong debut from the up-and-coming North London producer. Lady V had a natter with him to find out more…
TiD&B: Can you introduce yourself?
Philth: I’m Phil, I love chicken, eggs, bass and Red Bull.
TiD&B: 2012 has been rather exciting, having had several releases this year already and now your debut EP ‘Future Dreams’ has dropped too, how are you feeling?
Philth: Yes it is exciting times. It’s very nice hearing my tracks being played on 1Xtra and seeing myself featured alongside artists I have looked up to for a long time. However, there’s this little voice inside me that always says I’m not doing enough, so I’m never content and constantly looking to the next project.
TiD&B: How easily did the EP come about and how did you hook up with Flexout Audio?
Philth: Hmm this EP has been in gestation for over a year! I did my teacher training last year and found it very difficult to find time to work on music, so it was a slow and sometimes painful process, but the EP gradually came together piece by piece. It was also a transition period where I was trying to push the darker sound that I love to play as a DJ. A turning point was when I played ‘The Game’ to a few friends in the pub and the barman ended up listening to it on repeat – I knew I was onto something then.
I hooked up with Tom at Flexout through a mutual friend, Trufix (watch out for my remix of his tune ‘Trouble’), and started sending him and Stephen (Flexout) lots of tunes, with the idea of putting out an EP. Gradually we worked out the tracklist. It was their A+R ears that made the EP so nasty. Honest.
TiD&B: Well you certainly don’t hold back when it comes to bass, ‘Future Dreams’ features some ridiculously, filthy basslines – is that your speciality? Are you a bass man?
Philth: Well, I do have an obsession with everything below 200hz…I think it started when my mate’s brother used to play early jungle so loud it made the house shake. Before I heard the drums, I felt the bass. In my opinion, if you don’t get the low end right, then why are you making D&B?
TiD&B: Do you have a favourite bass sound?
TiD&B: Although, I was surprised to hear such tough beats throughout all 5 tracks, as your previous releases and mixes have been more melodic, eering on a liquid side…you mentioned a transition period of pushing a darker sound, have your tastes changed?
Philth: I grew up on a strict diet of Virus, Hardware and Bad Company, hence the name Philth, and I’ve always produced D&B across the board, but in the past I felt my darker tunes just weren’t quite ready so I was reluctant to send them out. Now, I’m confident that I’m really finding MY sound. I still work on lots of melodic stuff, I have a forthcoming EP on Peer Pressure with some smooth bits and I’m trying to find time to get back in the studio with Facing Jinx. But yeah, at the moment when I play a set it’s distinctly darker and techier than what I was doing a year or two ago.
TiD&B: Which other producers/artists do you look to for inspiration?
Philth: Musicians I find inspirational are Vangelis, Brian Eno, Burial, Goldie – I want to combine a cinematic theme with the techy D&B which I love. I try not to listen to any one person too much as it’s hard not to end up copying their style. My best ideas come when I’ve just played a set and I have the vibe from all the tunes I love, bouncing around in my head.
In terms of the music I’m playing at the moment, I’m loving the tech funk thing happening with labels like Dispatch, Subtitles, Critical, Headz, Commercial Suicide. There are some producers who are buy-on-sight: Ulterior Motive, Need For Mirrors, Cern, Dabs, SPY, Xtrah, Gridlok, Basher, all the Shogun camp, Break, Nymfo, Skeptical, Octane + DLR etc…
TiD&B: Your daytime job also involves music, is it linked to the kind of flavours you make as Philth or very separate?
Philth: I teach Music Production at Westminster Kingsway College in Central London. When I’m teaching Logic/studio techniques I can’t help but show the students tricks I use in my own production. The students are into a huge range of genres but I can only teach them what I know, so I guess it’s inseperable from my own music. My favourite class to teach is Sound Design, this is where I can really use my skills and passion to the maximum.
TiD&B: So playing with the ‘Future Dreams’ concept, let’s do some quick fire questions:
1) Who’d be your dream artist to collaborate with?
D&B-wise; Noisia and Ed Rush & Optical. On an album please! Downtempo; Maya Jane Coles or Deetron would be cool to work with.
2) What would your dream line-up be?
I’m thinking purely what I’d like to hear on a night out – from deep to dark. I’d start with some chilled Burial vibes, then 2 or 3 hours of Maya Jane Coles, followed by Doc Scott, dBridge, then the Virus crew, Noisia, then got to finish with 2 hours of Andy C. Nobody can touch him for technique or energy on the decks. I think the ravers would go home happy after that line-up!
3) What’s your dream getaway/destination of choice?
I love the energy of city life, and I’ve always wanted to go to New York City. I’m not a big fan of peace and quiet!
4) Where do you dream to be in 5 years time?
Simple stuff – if I can earn a comfortable living from music, I’ll be a happy man. If I can travel around the world playing my music to crowds of people, I’ll be a VERY happy man!
Philth’s ‘Future Dreams’ is out now on Flexout Audio.