Phantasy 100: PH11 – PH20


PH11


Brazilian artist Babe, Terror was introduced to Phantasy with two releases in quick succession, having been discovered at the time via Myspace. His unusual work was, at that point, unlike anything on the label so far. Indeed, it was much removed from almost anything anywhere, and still sounds utterly unclassifiable a decade later.

Arriving on Phantasy with his debut single, ‘Summertime, Our League’ (PH11), the sometimes abstract music of Babe, Terror was investigated in depth and whipped into unexpected shapes by a golden class of remixers including Four Tet, Appleblim & Arkist.
 
It was released on 12” orange splatter vinyl on 4th October 2010. Copies sold out a while ago.

Babe, Terror: "I made 'Summertime Our League' and 'Havaí' in a continuous flow of two weeks, it was not difficult, because I was fully inspired and technically I enjoyed my best harmonic and vocal form. Never like that again, my main instrument was perfect at that time, then I turned to other instruments. I simply could invent a song with 15 layers in my mind, with my voice only, then joining and gluing were easy. That was for the "weekend" album at first, I released in early 2009, then Erol released the two EPs, both that I love. I was expecting with so much anxiety to receive them at home in Sao Paulo, the very same place I recorded the tracks with a 1 dollar mic 2 years before. I confess today I think the Memory Tapes remix is a little too authorial and the one of Duke Dumont is very interesting as an experiment with my atmosphere. The one from the Four Tet talks to my original like few remixes I've heard until today did. He found chorals and vocal chords there that not even I had."





PH12

Babe, Terror returned for his second release on Phantasy with ‘Havai’ (PH12). The alias of Claudio Szynkier, Babe, Terror uses his own voice, lo-fi recordings and experimental methods to create almost indescribable, utterly psychedelic music, somewhere between sound portraiture, My Bloody Valentine and the harmonies of Brian Wilson. Duke Dumont reworked ‘Epicentro’ whilst Memory Tapes glorious pop take was transferred into a video.
 
Released on 25 October 2010 on white-splatter vinyl, soon after ‘Summertime, Our League’, the record has long since sold out.

This was one of the first of many intriguing transmissions from Babe, Terror, who’ll be surfacing again and embarking on unexpected collaborations and in unusual formats throughout the Phantasy 100 retrospective.






PH13

Undoubtedly a highlight in Phantasy’s back-catalogue, Connan Mockasin’s beguiling ode to aquatic mammals is a ten-minute odyssey of deeply sensitive and DIY psychedelia, blossoming slowly into the pure sound of Connan, the then London-based New Zealander who would soon become a shining star on the underground of indie music.

This twelve-inch single also features the first pressing of Erol Alkan’s extended rework of the track. First occurring to him in a dream and created in a single day, it will likely need little introduction to those familiar with Phantasy, having found a life of its own in the years since as a melancholic classic of club culture.

As well as the original and Erol’s own interpretation, the cosmically inclined Ed Banger family member Mickey Moonlight provides a subdued and soothing version, letting the track’s dense original elements breathe outwards.
 
'Forever Dolphin Love' was a landmark release for Phantasy in many ways. Taken as the lead single from Connan's album of the same name, it signalled the first time we moved beyond just working with artists for a singular release and moving towards full length albums. It also marked the debut for the Phantasy logo we know today, placed bottom right of the front of the sleeve, a tradition we've held onwards.

The first pressing was released on 7th March 2011 on clear vinyl, and later re-pressed onto sea blue vinyl, which instantly sold out.

 





PH13RMX

Following the success of Erol Alkan’s take of Connan Mockasin 'Forever Dolphin Love', a second version of the remix was released on vinyl in 2012. This second version was created especially for Erol Alkan's second 'Bugged In Mix' which was released in the same year via K7. Released as a limited edition blue vinyl pressing, the flipside came from renowned balearic producer Coyote providing an acidic, percussive of 'Unicorn in Uniform'. As with all of the his single releases around this time, the memorable artwork for the cover was illustrated and designed by Connan himself.





PH14

Following the runaway club success of Boys Noize & Erol Alkan's 'Lemonade', the record’s other, darker side received an unprecedented and unpredictable reworking for PH13. ‘Avalanche’ became ‘Avalanche (Terminal Velocity)’, with the brooding techno of the original now accompanied by Pulp frontman and raconteur, Jarvis Cocker, performing a reading of Leonard Cohen’s own ‘Avalanche’, taken from his 1971 album, Songs of Love and Hate.
 
Having been approved by Cohen himself, ‘Avalanche (Terminal Velocity)’ enjoyed further remixes from Canblaster and the inimitable Ewan Pearson, on a ‘Deeper Underground’ version and tipping his hat to Grieg on a ‘Hall Of The Mountain King’ interpretation. Later, in 2015, Jarvis found Phantasy a place in the catalogue of the British Library, choosing to archive the limited edition 12" white vinyl single in the prestigious archive. The artwork was designed by Richard Robinson and copies have long since sold out, but you can find it there for reference.




PH15

'Lemonade' was finally re-released in 2012, even though it was scheduled for Summer 2011. The hold up? Well the vinyl you see in the images above took 6 months and a total of 3 different pressings to perfect. Upon it's release, people thought they were trippin': Was the image of a 12" CD-r on a Technic's deck photoshopped? Is it a normal CDr on a tiny record player? Can it actually PLAY music?? It could, and it sounded much better than you'd expect for something slightly beyond a regular picture disc. The vinyl came in a plastic sleeve with a note from both Alex Boys Noize and Erol Alkan. All copies sold out within hours of hitting the shops. We kept the price as the same as a regular black vinyl as we believed that anyone should be able to afford it, rather than make it a collectors item. The day after selling out, copies were on ebay for £50 a pop. So we made more. They all sold out too, and hopefully kept the profiteers at bay. We just hope we didn't lost money on each sale...

Justin Robertson sent us his remix the moment 'Lemonade' was promoed to Dj's the first time around, we loved it and promised it would one day be released on vinyl. On the flip side, Gesaffelstein delivered a trademark monster of a remix. We updated the 'Death Suite Motel' note on the second pressing of PH15 to say that if anybody reached out to us on the e-mail provided, we would send them more music. Those who reached out ended up receiving an mp3 of the Bumblebeez remix, and later we made a handful of tiny 5" CD (PH15X) of this remix especially for Independant Lable Market and pictured above.

The CDr art was by David Rudnick, whilst the concept and design shared by David and Erol. Creative Review kindly hailed it as their 'Record Sleeve Of The Month'

We also made a video, the first to be directed by Ill Studio.

 




PH16

The next single from Connan Mockasin's 'Forever Dolphin Love', the downtempo trip of ‘Faking Jazz Together’ arrived in original and extended form, as well as with a remix from minimal-pop master, Michael Mayer. Tom Furse of The Horrors also adapted Connan’s surreal original into a percussive delight of analogue exotica.

Three tone as you go
Quadropus is deep below
Pining for some oxygen and friends…

Released on yellow vinyl in November 2011, and copies are sold out.



PH17 – The Banished Release

PH17 remains the first and only ‘banished’ release in Phantasy history, a curio lost to time and copyright concerns. Not shy of a challenge, PH18 followed after just one weekend in the studio with Babe, Terror quickly delivering the EP that became known as Knights (PH18).

Babe, Terror: "'Knights' (PH18) has an interesting history. I made a short album in 2011 and sent it to Erol, he thought it was very good and decided to release it. A few sample there proved to be a little obvious, but not really preeminent. But two weeks before the release someone connected to Erol noticed the two samples. We sent to check and negotiate, but these artists' labels didn't like it. They thought, wrongly, I was exploiting. U had already done the remixes, based on these pieces, they are masterpieces. Inspired by them, I composed a new 'Knights' in two days, which is the version you know."




PH18
Babe, Terror: "Inspired by them, I composed a new 'Knights' in two days, which is the version you know. It was that or forget the project forever, so we kept the release date and everything. My instrumental strategy totally changed there, it was a landmark of my creation. I don't think I ever abandoned that approach, subterranean sounds, collages between horn matrices, strings and keys. U's remixes for my pieces inspired me to make new ones. it is what I still call the metamusical cycle. 'Knights' has 33 minutes, its an album, but back in the day label chose to release it as an EP. I always looked at it as an album however."

Released 12th August 2012, the beautifully etched vinyl was designed by David Rudnick and created unlike any other, with the needle playing from the inside to the out.








PH19

Having originally come to fruition during a two day studio session in 2009 between Erol Alkan and Switch, AKA, Dave Taylor, ‘A Sydney Jook’ found its way into a few select record bags in the years that followed, sporadically lighting up forums and early social media; what it is that winding record with the “biggest kickdrum this side of Planet 909?”.
 
Upon its eventual release in 2012, A Sydney Jook was arguably the sonically heaviest release on Phantasy to date, complimented by a seriously menacing remix from Bok Bok, which featured later that year on Erol Alkan’s mix CD for ‘I Love Techno’. On the contrary, Willie Burns contributed a mellow and dreamlike version, contrasting the more menacing end of London’s bass and grime spectrum with the warmest, lo-fi NYC house.
 
A memorable cover was provided by Greek artist Dimitri Rokos, also included as a postcard, while the record itself was pressed on acid splash vinyl. Most notably, the release gave birth to one of Phantasy’s best-known and mysterious entities in the form of the ‘Make Greece Acid Jamaica’ shirt, designed by David Rudnick. But that’s a mystery for another day...



PH20

Daniel Avery: "I can’t say I have much knowledge around the cosmic order of the universe but I can safely say that it felt like mine and Phantasy’s paths were going to cross at some point. As a teenager Trash encouraged me to seek a life in music before I had even visited the club. As a fan from the crowd, Erol was the first DJ who made me think I could offer something to that world. I can’t remember exactly why it happened but after a few years of casual friendship I emailed Erol asking him to meet in Soho one afternoon, just for some advice. The record shop I had been working in had recently closed its doors for the last time and I was at a crossroads in my life. It was at that point that I decided to pour everything I had into making music: borrowing equipment, using studios, switching to using to my real name. Erol told me he was looking to expand Phantasy and that if I wanted to submit something I could. The next week in the studio I made the demos of Need Electric and Taste and that’s when the fire was lit.

The following period was a cacophonous rush but one of the most exciting times in my life. I made The Eagle in the studio next door to Weatherall’s, the great man poking his head around the corner with a “sounds good, boy” gave me life every time. One In A Wave began life much faster but Erol text me early doors from one of his marathon sets saying “I’ve just slowed it down 50% and I think there’s something there.” So that’s what we did. Mixing the entire EP at the Phantasy studio taught me so many lessons I still adhere to today. The biggest compliment I can pay Erol is that he is a sonic wizard with a punk’s heart: everything sounds amazing but sometimes just fucking throwing everything in the most leftfield direction can ignite a spark you didn’t know existed.

When news reached my resident club fabric that I had signed to Phantasy, Shaun called me: “something’s come up and I’d like to you have a crack at doing the next CD.” Without question this record changed my life in every way."

Erol Alkan: "I'd known Dan's face initially from Trash, and then seen him across other clubs around the late 00's. Alternative culture and dance music were blending at a faster rate than ever, so it wasn't unusual to see the same person at early gig by the hottest new guitar band of the time as well as the on the Fabric dancefloor. I'd always liked Dan even though the brief moments of talking to him at various parties, he always came across genuine and a total music fan, I didn't sense any whiff of terrible ego or entitlement even though he was playing alongside big names by 2010 on a regular basis. I also noticed he was committed to whatever was in front of him, his warm up sets would often be far better than whoever was on after, and always felt like it was coming from the heart.

When I first heard Need Electric and Taste, not only did I like the tracks, but I felt they were the start of something special, and club music entirely on it's own terms. You'd need to look back to the sounds which dominated 2012 to understand fully how outside of the zeitgeist they were. I also liked Dan enough to spend time in the studio with him and help realise his vision. This is an important aspect to making music, the end result is a combination of your values, ambition and nievity, so much so that it's chemical. Looking back, we simply wanted to make club music we liked enough to Dj out, and I still believe that's all you should focus on. The bigger picture will paint itself if you get that first part right.

The tracks from the 'Need Electric' EP instantly made it into my Dj sets, and would be at the heart of perticular sections of the night which really united the room in what felt new and different. I instantly knew we were doing something right.

It's also worth noting I ended my 2012 'I Love Techno' mix CD with 'Taste', I'd usually close a mix with something of a classic nature, but decided to go with a new track from a new artist, as I believed in it so much, I felt like it was the future"

Daniel Avery's debut record on Phantasy was released 17th July 2012, with a follow up rework by Paul Woolford delivering his very first remix as Special Request for 'Taste'. We've still got a handful of copies of 'Need Electric' EP on 12" vinyl on our web store here



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