“I’m beginning to think that computers have minds of their own…”
Cowboy Rhythmbox returned to Phantasy with PH82, digging through another dollar bin of bizarro influences - early Chicago house, 1980's video arcades, Sheffield bleep, arcane home computing and public access TV recorded to VHS - resulting in yet another mind-bending trio of tracks.
‘Terminal Madness’ tapped into the paranoia surrounding artificial intelligence, inspired by early Dance Mania releases and broken pocket calculators.‘Hands Inside The Car’ deploys an eccentric atmosphere through a deadpan vocal hook that wraps itself around a killer combination of sub bass, freestyle beats and deranged reversals.
Finally, ‘Vodonik’ reacts against Cowboy Rhythmbox's usual maximal approach, offering stripped-down-to-the-bone body music that still works in the most cavernous of rave palaces to the most intimate basement joints.
'Terminal Madness' EP was released 30th November 2018 and we've got just 15 copies of the 12" vinyl in stock on our web store here
Arriving earlier in 2020, PH82RMX saw the return of Cowboy Rhythmbox, but not as you know them...
One of the most audacious releases on the label to date, cult house hero Sharif Laffrey took the full range of sounds and samples across all three tracks featured on the 'Terminal Madness' EP, spun them into fifteen minutes of undulating weirdo dance gold. On the flip, the Cowboys themselves provide a late-night, pulsating remix of the remix.
The remix 12" was released 10th April 2020, and we've got just 10 copies of the record left on our web store here
Erol Alkan: "Rewinding back to the end of 2018, I'd finally managed to carve some time aside to finish off a bunch of demos to create music for my own Dj sets and of the handful of tracks ready to go, 'Spectrum' (working title: 'Donna Kebab') and 'Silver Echoes' (working title: 'Tizer') were deemed 'FINISHED' and I managed to prise my claws off the mouse and upload the wavs to the mastering suite. Finishing music was something I found impossible for a number of years, and up until 2016 this had been something which I found creatively crippling. It's an easy process to help others finish thier music, that's something which I could do everyday, and to some degree, that's a major part of production, but I've always been of the mind that I want to make club records work at home (or in any solitary / intimate settings) as well as on the dancefloor. If something feels too simple or functional, it loses my interest. 'Spectrum' was specifically designed for my own Dj sets, a bridge record which could take me from a certain area of my record collection into another.
The sleeve was designed by myself with help from Paul Hemingfield. This was the 83rd single released on Phantasy, and I reckon 1983 was the year I was bought a ZX Spectrum 48k computer. Synchronicity."
We've restocked copies of the two pure dancefloor cuts 'Spectrum / Silver Echoes' on 12" vinyl over on our web store here
Following reworks from Matrixxman and Machine Woman, Erol Alkan’s anthemic 'Spectrum' is re-examined and further invigorated by two much-loved talents in electronic music, Mano Le Tough and Baris K, released 12th April 2019.
The former takes the track on a blissful trip through deep space, finding wormholes of sonic pleasure around an elastic bassline, waving bells and Moroder-esque synth. Meanwhile, renowned selector and bonafide edit-master Baris K engineers a patient remix that utilises sounds inspired by the equally innovative heritage of Turkish rock and disco, a history equally influential to Alkan himself.
We've got 15 copies of the Mano Le Tough & Baris K remix 12" left on our web store here
The second appearance from Red Axes on Phantasy resulted in another gloriously offbeat dancefloor smash. Sending high-spirited dancefloors into meltdown internationally, the gloriously simple ‘Sound Test’ was a rolling tool for from another dimension, constructed around a dramatic, numeric countdown. Building and building (and building!) to one of the most out-there breakdowns in recent rave-blotted memory, as the Axes slowly but surely rebuild their house to even more outlandish new proportions. Ten, nine, eight, seven…
Elsewhere, Red Axes deploy another ramshackle rave tactic with ‘Shabak Shalom’; militant drums, battered electronics, fucked-frequencies, wiry post-punk guitar lines and lovingly drowned traditional instruments were added to the rich blend to create a fresh and menacing interpretation of hi-NRG. Finally, on ‘Kookoo Papa’, Red Axes demonstrate their inherent talent for conjuring rolling, simmering tension in otherworldly shades, hitting on the origins of Chicago jack, acid meltdowns and screeching no-wave.
All copies of the 12" vinyl are currently sold out.
TERR made a grand entrance to Phantasy in 2019 with ‘Tale of Devotion’, her debut release on the label, which Resident Advisor compared favourably to Valerie Dore and Giorgio Moroder and celebrated as “her boldest statement yet.” The track was remixed by Prins Thomas, adding another entry to his glorious ‘Discomiks’ back-catalogue.
PH87 returned Phantasy into the universe of Daniel Avery’s ‘Song For Alpha’, featuring three wildly different remixes from artists who had captured Avery’s imagination while touring the record.
Bristol duo Giant Swan offered a typically defiant, outsider’s take on 'Hyper Detail', while Avery’s close friend and occasional DJ partner HAAi twists ‘Time Marked Its Irregular Pulse In Her Eyes’ in a style as unpredictable as her own sets. Finally, Mor Elian mastered layers of detail for her propulsive reimagining of ‘Stereo L’.
The remix 12" was pressed onto limited edition clear vinyl and released 19th April 2019. We've got a handful of the 12"s left over on our web store here
PH88 saw another new talent arrive on Phantasy in the form of Wilted Woman. Hailing from the East Coast of the United States and based in Berlin, Wilted Woman caught Phantasy’s attention with a series of wildly experimental but oddly memorable cassette releases, including ‘Diary of A Woman’ and ‘Buy Me Sax’.
Her first release on Phantasy, ‘Lon Lon Night Vision’ represented Wilted Woman (AKA Lizzie Davis’) more club-leaning side, her esoteric attempts to “make club music that inevitably comes out wrong.” Applying her punk sensibility to the record, she designed two sonic slices of hypermodern club culture that remain some of the most exciting and outlandish music in Phantasy’s back catalogue.
Title track, ‘Lon Lon Night Vision’ is a creeping, industrial interpretation of acid sounds, peeling away layers of tension to reveal a melody that’s half pure funk and half John Carpenter.‘ 'No Stinger’ unleashed a burrowing, cybernetic ear-worm of a hook doused in contemporary trance. Finally, a brilliant remix from Laurel Halo under her LH alias turns the screws on the original mix, building raw tension towards a blistering rush of electro psychedelia.
'Lon Lon Night Vision' was released on 31st May 2019 and we have about 15 copies of the 12" left on our webstore for just £5 here
Gabe Gurnsey: "'I Get Harder' was born out of reworking ‘I Get’, ‘The Last Channel’ and ‘A Harder Rhythm’ into a new track for my 2019 live shows. It became one of my favourites from the 'PHYSICAL' writing sessions. I remember getting the final version back after Erol Alkan had mixed it and being blown away. It really shaped how I wanted the feel of what I was to work on next."
Released 8th July 2019, 'I Get Harder' melds together two of the standout moments from 'PHYSICAL' into one irresistible slab of nocturnal electro, accompanied by a kaleidoscopic visual impression from the man himself, mixing military hardware with searing psychedelia.
It was released on a limited-edition, white label pressing that is now long sold out.
Yorkshire's finest, James Welsh returned to Phantasy for PH90, a blistering pair of charismatic and heavy-duty electro jams released digitally, that received support from DJs including Charlotte De Witte, Zenker Brothers and Leftfield.
‘D974’ quickly explodes into a full-bore warehouse banger, employing rave stabs and cavernous basslines to eye-watering and psychedelic effect. On the contrary, 'Boltmaker' reintroduced Welsh's more nuanced commitment to analogue electronics riding along blending a razor-sharp groove and flourishes of melody that prove to be surprisingly meditative.