Since founding the influential Highlife parties in Glasgow a decade ago, Auntie Flo has existed on the boundary between experimental, international music and the UK dance scene. Also closely associated with the label Huntleys & Palmers, Auntie Flo, real name Brian D’Souza has shifted to Giles Peterson’s Brownswood imprint for his latest, most ambitious album, ‘Radio Highlife’.
Martyn is arguably one of the most consistently innovative names in electronic music over the past decade. Whether as a producer, DJ, collaborator or label boss, the humble Dutchman (long since adopted by the East Coast of the USA) holds his evolving style down in myriad ways. When dubstep and bass were at their creative peak, Martyn was among the forward-thinkers personally mutating a shift into house and techno tempos, having already evolved out of the DnB scene. Even more impressive still, was that he often pushed these sounds within the walls of Berghain, by that point, a world-infamous rave institution, frequented by more than the occasional techno purist.
In line with his DJ moniker, which translates to ‘Fried Cat’ in Italian, Gatto Fritto is not a man who takes himself too seriously. As a DJ, he doesn’t even take the music he’s collected for most of his life too seriously, either. That’s not to say he’s not serious about it. It’s more so that the lifelong compulsion to find, buy and play great records is simply what Fritto, less memorably known as Ben Williams, does. It’s filled his waking hours since he shifted from Southern England’s suburbs into London at the height of acid house. But Williams’ life, one he considers to have been spent somewhat “out of step”, is much more than that same old story.
Mike Simonetti was perhaps briefly defined by the rich, romantic nu-Italo sound he championed alongside his former creative partner, Johnny Jewel, over the course of their Italians Do It Better label. The style had enormous appeal even beyond the dancefloors it sent into a refreshing slow-motion, reaching a cultural zenith when it hugely influenced the soundtrack to Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 film Drive, a cult hit that followed suit in capturing mainstream attention. In the wake of this success, Simonetti and Jewel’s relationship waned, culminating in a tetchy Twitter call-out...
Arguably one of the UK’s more naturally, deservedly ascendent DJs, has a timeless feel to her craft. As a DJ, she blends post-punk, coldwave, EBM, techno, italo-disco and classic house in a divergent and commanding fashion that can only truly be nurtured through passion, experience and the passage of time. Although DEBONAIR (always in capitals), otherwise known as Debi Ghose, is only in her early thirties and slowly but surely intercepting festival and club lineups across the world, she has much form as one of the longest serving creative contributors to London’s hugely influential online, alternative radio station, NTS...DEBONAIR
Since founding the celebrated Tigersushi imprint in 1999, Joakim has been a key figure for collectors, enthusiasts and admirers on the fringes of electronic music, especially those possessing an appreciation of an altogether more off-kilter sensibility. Whether specialising in disco, house, pop, techno, experimental or even jazz, few DJs won’t have encountered and more than likely, utterly rinsed one of Joakim’s vast, varied library of remixes and edits. Stretching into seven solid pages on Discogs, breakthrough highlights include wise and wonderful reinterpretations of Robyn, Tiga and Metronomy. He’s also a feted singer, songwriter and producer in his own right, with five complete LPs since his debut on Versatile Records, Fantomes, back in 2003...
Robert Yang has been one of the most prolific and recognisable figures on the San Francisco club and queer scenes since moving to the city in 2005. Musically minded since a young age, Yang is a child of the West Coast’s rave scene, whose taste quickly diverged to experimental electronics and the Warp Records back catalogue, retaining a now-resurgent DIY aesthetic while constructing and experimenting within his impressive analogue studio...
It’s now been a year since Phantasy released Babe, Terror’s ‘Ancient M’ocean’; a full-length album and audio-visual experiment unlike anything the label had released before, and perhaps our most ambitious and outright unusual project to date. Telling a romantic ‘story that isn’t a story’ throughout its course, the world of Ancient M’ocean exists as both a full-length LP of leftfield pop imaginings awash in reverb and also as a short comic, tenderly illustrated by Michael Crook...
As a musician, producer, graphic designer and DJ, Trevor Jackson has succeeded on the fringes of alternative and electronic music culture for over thirty years, periodically gravitating towards it's centre with his unique vision and attitude, the seeds of which were sown as hip-hop indebted teen in suburban London. There are almost too many unexpected turns and oft-forgotten interesting projects in his back catalogue, so for those unfamiliar, let's play the hits. He's designed iconic covers for the likes of Soulwax, Stereo MCs and Clams Casino, ran the feted Output label, releasing early material from the likes of LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture, and formed the disco/electro supergroup, Playgroup...
Nabihah Iqbal has always been a dab hand at defying expectations. Before her current role as one of London’s most consistently surprising producers and radio hosts, she’s thrived as an ethnomusicologist, a human rights lawyer and even a karate instructor. As Throwing Shade, her earlier releases on labels such as No Pain in Pop, Happy Skull and Omnimira veered from weirdo techno to deconstructed, glossy RnB. Suitably, she was also revealed as the vocalist on SOPHIE’s divisive PC-music head-turner, ‘Lemonade’...
Introducing The Forum: a new, regular interview series, featuring artists - DJs, producers, designers and more - orbiting the Phantasy universe, and focused on both veritable legends of the electronic and alternative music scene, as well as undeniable new talent. In the debut edition, John Thorp speaks to Andy Bell, a founding member of acclaimed shoegaze band, Ride, whose comeback LP, ‘Weather Diaries’, was produced earlier this year by our own Erol Alkan. They discuss that fruitful partnership, how to crack a successful reformation and keeping up with their stellar live reputation...