Interview: Phonique

Phonique boasts an impressive back catalogue, with previous works coming in the form of outings for imprints like Bar 25 Music, Pokerflat Recordings and Stil Vor Talent.

Last month the Berlin-based house producer returned to King Kong Records for the release of his new No Playing EP, which comes in collaboration with Steve Clash and includes remix work from both Andruss and Studio 45.

We spoke to him about the new release, what he might have coming in the near future, how he’s been spending his time while clubs are closed, and more. Get the full discussion below.

You recently made an appearance on King Kong Records for your No Playing EP, tell us about the original track in your own words?

Well I came across the sample, which was used in a 20 year old hip hop tune by The Beatnuts and checked if there are any proper house tracks with this sample from the early 70s and I couldn’t find a single one. So I connected with my man Steve Clash, whose recent productions had the style I was looking for for this project and we managed to come up with No Playing in less than a week.

And it also includes remixes from Andruss and Studio 45, how did you react when their final edits came through?

I have been friends with Dole & Kom aka. Studio 45 for over 20 years, but I never asked them for a remix, even though for the past two years I have done the my final mixdowns for most of my tracks in their studio. So I was very excited to get their deep disco-ish remix.

The Andruss remix was a total surprise. The label didn’t tell me before that they asked him for a remix. So it was just like‚ here is the Andruss remix, have a listen, and I was just overwhelmed by the energy.

Other labels you’ve released with include Bar 25 Music, Pokerflat Recordings and Stil Vor Talent, how much thought do you put into choosing a label for a release?

I think it’s the most important part besides creating the track. The track needs to find a good home, where it’s in good company.

And which labels can we expect to see you on in the coming months?

Surely more on Bar 25 Music, but I’m also working on a few EPs for Be Adult (Ibiza) and one of my favorite labels, Kindisch. And as a friend of Bunny Tiger and King Kong, I guess I might have some ideas for either of those too.

2020 wasn’t the best year for the music industry, what did you do to keep busy while not being able to tour?

I guess I managed to release more music than ever before in a year without an album release. Besides that I was on daddy duties.

And was there any particular albums or EPs that kept you positive throughout the year?

I was listening to a lot more softer music like June Coco or The Ocelots. I also did an update on my Spotify playlist for the Brazilian Fashion brand OMMA, which is full of beautiful softer stuff.

Have you set any goals for 2021?

Surviving the economic downswing while still making music. I also started a job at the vaccination centre in Berlin alongside many other DJs and people from the nightlife industry. It’s really fullfilling to do something meaningful these days and not sit at home doing nothing. I am so happy to be doing this job probably for the first half of 2021, with all these other great people, while we are helping to get our industry started again when we get most of the population vaccinated.

And how much are you looking forward to getting back into clubs this year?

Don’t tell anyone, but I would even play for free to get that feeling back- I miss it so much!

Phonique’s No Playing EP is out now on King Kong Records.