PH61 was the first in a collection of Erol Alkan remixes, released in full as ‘Erol Alkan Reworks Volume 1’. The first installment dealt with two of Erol’s most beloved remixes from utterly different ends of the spectrum. The era-defining remix of Justice's ‘Waters of Nazareth’, that offered a notorious sonic shift of the French duo’s landmark sound into the rhythmic structure of Chicago house, and on the flip, Erol’s first rework of Tame Impala. ‘Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind’ that took a highlight from debut album Innerspeaker, a remix that Gabriel Szatan wrote for Resident Advisor “elevates the song from great to sensational... The drums are sleeker. Kevin Parker's lovelorn vocal is more exposed. There's an extra sparkle to the brilliant riff, which later entwines with a beautiful coda. Alkan makes it feel like it could go on forever.”
“I’ve done a couple of mixes for Tame Impala, and I think Kevin Parker’s way of making music is very interesting to be a spectator to when you’re combing through the parts, looking for elements to latch onto and build around. I worked really hard on that remix; I made six versions before settling on this one… It was a distillation on how hard I sometimes think you need to work and not give up on something. And I think sonically, it’s a great sounding mix, but again, a lot of the credit to the original on that as well.” - Erol Alkan
The remixes are included in Erol Alkan's 'Reworks Volume 1' boxset which includes 5 vinyl and an exclusive interview. Each of the records are also available separately. We've got a couple of boxsets still in stock, as well as a few copies of all the 12"s here
The next twelve in the Remix collection series encompasses Alkan’s edits of Scissor Sisters and Metronomy, two pop acts who couldn’t be more different. On his ‘Carnival of Light’ rework, Erol transforms one of the most prominent (and divisive) singles of the mid-noughties into a spectral, slow-cooking anthem that makes its origins obvious only in it’s spectacular denouement. Meanwhile, ‘The Bay’ offers a more slight but no less impactful extension of Metronomy’s now-classic ode to the English Riviera.
“With Metronomy, the record really pointed the way to what needed to happen to make them work in a club. And even though it’s a very simple thing, unless that version exists, it’s unlikely that moment will happen. And that moment is all about you locking in a dance floor with however many people, tens, hundreds or thousands. With those records, it was about reducing them to their bare elements, and teasing them back in until they explode. And saying this, it probably seems quite simple and very obvious, but those versions didn’t exist until they were made in this form, and maybe the artist didn’t envision them in this form.” - Erol Alkan
Collecting two of Alkan’s most beloved and sensitive remixes across two sides, PH63 sees Alkan apply a wistful touch to tracks from 2005 and 2011. Hot Chip’s ‘Boy From School’ is a soft power anthem, sparkling electro floating above a growling bed of noise, resolving with Joe Goddard’s iconic vocal delivery. Meanwhile, Erol’s edit of Connan Mockasin ‘Forever Dolphin Love’ likely needs no introduction at this stage. Endlessly repressed, still seducing dancefloors and collectors, ‘Forever Dolphin Love’ leaves few dry eyes in any house.
“After exploring where a track could go, I don’t do my work at a computer. I go away, I take it to bed, and I try to dream it until I get to sleep, and hope the next day I’ll remember it. If you can pinpoint or a melody or a rhythm or just a general emotion, then it’s just a matter of getting into the studio and making it. If I’ve got something in my head, I never struggle making it, and that definitely happened with ‘Forever Dolphin Love’, as I knew which instrument to go to. I knew the keyboard part, I knew how many layers it needed, the reverb to use and the exact tone of the piece.” - Erol Alkan
Remixing two of the most iconic acts in indie rock of the past few decades, PH63 captures two contrary energies. The notorious rework of Franz Ferdinand's ‘Do You Want To’ unfolds in glorious, riffing repetition before bursting into electro-disco glory. Meanwhile, Yeah Yeah Yeah's ‘Zero’ flip heads in a more intense direction, blending the overarching influence of electro-clash with the militant jack of Chicago house.
“With Franz, I actually took one round out, because I knew that was just one round too many. But I love records that challenge in some way, and that one does. And I just thought that guitar riff is just so irresistible that it’s just geared to play in the biggest room imaginable. What was great, is that Franz started playing the original version in the style of the remix. You’re going back and re-presenting something to an artist that they’re very familiar with, but can adapt themselves, and that’s a great thing.” - Erol Alkan
PH65 sees Erol Alkan take on two robots and “the world’s greatest entertainer”. On his gnarly ‘Horrorhouse Dub’ of Daft Punk’s ‘Human After All’ banger, Erol applies a haunting, breakbeat-led touch, switching the mood from fist-pumping electro to creeping paranoia. Much more playful, his complete re-imagination of Chilly Gonzales’s hit ‘Never Stop’ swaps iconic piano for stuttering drums and the occasional witty rap bon mot.
“Daft Punk are such an institution, that I wanted to take it into a new space. And that remix is very much inspired by my love of rave, and especially acts such as Meat Beat Manifesto and Renegade Soundwave. I never actually had the parts, so I literally made it from a CD while the band’s studio was closed up. So that’s one where I had quite a magnificent limitation, and a situation in which I was forced to be quite creative.” - Erol Alkan
PH66 saw the label return to the studio of James Welsh. 'Thread/North' was a two-track transmission that emerged from almost unimaginably difficult circumstances.
James Welsh: “On a personal level, this was a difficult release for me.
'Thread' used a lot of reversed samples from various field recordings I’d made. I wanted it to sound like you were wandering purposefully through darkness. The main synth riff was a Prophet on a long sequencer, probably Octatrack.
'North' was and still is a very important track to me and my family. I was caring for my son in hospital and the track was written on a laptop with headphones at night in the very brief windows of free time I would have. We lost our son aged 18 months to leukaemia shortly before this was released.”
All three remixes of James Welsh 'Thread' on PH66RMX lean into the more propulsive needle through Thread, featuring three distinct takes.
Radio Slave’s ‘Garten’ mix (perhaps referring to the concrete fortress of pleasure that opens each summer within Berghain), begins with disco centric percussion but soon heads down a slithering valley of analogue sleaze.
Ozel AB caught Erol Alkan’s attention having made waves across a series of diverse EPs for Lobster Theremin, and here he delivers a dramatic and dynamic remix that unravels slowly. Finally, prolific nineties club and soundtrack heroes FC Kahuna re-emerged unexpectedly with a rework that applies audible pressure valves and delightfully rubbery shuffle.
We’ve got a handful of copies of the remix 12” available on our web store here
Phantasy’s outlandish house masters Cowboy Rhythmbox returned on PH67 with another three-track reminder of their specific dancefloor power, described as “superlative 25th century exotica”. The title track of ‘Tanz Exotique’ is stuttering bleeps and analogue uncertainty translated as trueform AM/FM jack, while 'Cats’ Invasion' slugs the tempo to a menacing mouse hunt of a crawl; ”Music for darkrooms on interstellar pleasure cruisers”. For those still competently standing, there’s ‘Scream’, a gradual unfurling of club madness, “a revved-up industrial beast of a track”.
The 'Tanz Exotique' EP 12" vinyl was released 18th August 2017 sold out a while ago.
Having received support from Dixon, Marcel Dettman and many more, Cowboy Rhythmbox’s latest masterwork was worked inside out earlier in the following year on PH67RMX. Another pair of imaginative duos, Red Axes and Marvin & Guy, offered their own takes on 'Tanz Exotique', revelling accordingly in blistering post-punk and trippy Italo.
Limited edition copies of the 12" are long sold out.
Erol Alkan: "The first Future Four single was a record that I completely rinsed (as was the case with many other DJs), and I felt like Andy Meecham and I shared a similar sensibility in our approach to production. I've been into his records as long as I've been buying dance music, so it was an honour to be able to work together, even if I was in North London and he was up the M1 in Stafford. After only mixing the first F4 release, on 'Connection' I was a fully fledged member, and we set about completing the track after a brief session at my studio, then via the internet.The idea of F4 has always been to capture some of the offbeat weirdness and experimentation of electronic records from the late-eighties and early-nineties, but also keep them sounding fresh and not retro. The record didn’t sound like much else around at the moment we dropped it, and 'Connection' still sounds fresh to my ears.
We are both big fans so we knew I:Cube would do something special with the track, it's a mix I always play during my long sets, and the remix unexpectedly went on to feature as part of Dixon’s set on Grand Theft Auto 5. I am a big fan of collaboration, and this is one of the best examples of its continued importance to Phantasy.
If you liked this record, make sure you check out the recent EP Andy released on Phantasy, with Dean Meredith as Chicken Lips."
We've found some copies of Future Four's 'Connection' EP and they're up on our webstore here
"Ani trance, Ani house, Ani techno…” So go the lyrics in Red Axes’ ‘Sipoor’, undoubtedly one of Phantasy’s most popular, not to mention most gloriously offbeat house anthems. The native Hebrew tongue on the lead track continues to trip out dancefloors (and we imagine still will, upon which normal service is resumed) .
Later on the EP, 'Teroof' takes each of Red Axes' signature ingredients - deeply rhythmic EBM-inspired drums, spiralling electronics, unapologetically odd vocal distortions - and reconstructs them amid what sounds like the Monaco Grand Prix, as high-velocity motors speed past the soundscape, kicking up some serious dust. On the brazen 'Bad Time Story', our pals Red Axes briskly modulate their way through a ruff, tuff but never less than musical landscape of 303s and 808s.
Making their full debut on Phantasy following their post-punk inflected remix of Cowboy Rhythmbox on PH66RMX, Resident Advisor celebrated the sonic diversity of this dancefloor EP, adding that “Each of its three tracks is a dance floor decimator in its own subdued way.”
Copies of 'Sipoor' 12" are currently sold out.
As anticipation for Daniel Avery’s much-awaited second album grew, it’s preliminary EP ‘Slow Fade’ was masterfully remixed by three fellow electronic music visionaries.
A leading light of techno for over twenty years, Surgeon’s erratic, electroid take on ‘Radius’ is a masterful exercise in refined, rhythmic panel-beating. On the contrary, Actress shrouds the title track in an enigmatic ambient mist, inviting listeners forward to discover a creeping mechanical rhythm. Finally, Russian-born producer Inga Mauer leads ‘Fever Dream’ down a claustrophobic avenue of metallic hypnosis.