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PHONICA

Phonica Records opened its doors in 2003 amidst a climate of closing record stores and splintering genres in electronic music. Founded by Simon Rigg, Tom Relleen and Heidi Van Den Amstel with backing from The Vinyl Factory, Phonica’s goal was to be a destination for all kinds of dance and electronic music and to be a welcoming, knowledgeable hub, open to all.

In 2007, Phonica’s eponymous record label launched, initially to put out records by its enthusiastic DJ and producer staff members such as Hector, Anthea and Will Saul. It also quickly became a place to introduce new artists - putting out early releases on by now well-known producers such as Peggy Gou, Paul Woolford and Midland - as well as harnessing the talents of well-respected legends like Four Tet and Roman Flugel. Fast-forward to 2023 and the label has gone from strength to strength, spawning a number of sub-labels; Phonica White, Phonica Records Special Editions, Karakul and the recently launched Phonica AM, each with its own musical flavour and direction.

'20 Years Of Phonica', features 18 brand new, previously unreleased tracks from both established names and up and coming artists across the genres Phonica is known for. The CD also includes the best tracks from the Phonica labels over the last decade, spread over 2 CDs.

Daniel Avery kicks off the compilation. ‘Bell’ finds the Phantasy and Mute artist at his most contemplative and melodic; it’s streamlined stylings reminiscent of UK Artificial Intelligence 90s techno and Kompakt’s golden era. Shop regular and ever-rising star Nyra comes through with the pumping club banger ‘Broken Needs’, channelling early 90’s Hacienda sounds and hazy Ibiza memories. Up next, a collaboration from Paramida & E-Talking. Paramida is the well-respected head of the Love on the Rocks label whilst E-Talking is the pseudonym of Emmanuel Corre, one half of Nummer who have given us stunning releases over the year on their own label, AD93 and Going Good. ‘Read My Lips’ strikes the perfect balance of old-school warehouse acid and early morning Berlin dance floors.

One of our favourite producers to explode onto the scene in the last few years, Gene On Earth turns in some solid energy in the form of ‘Club Jacket’. Sounding truly contemporary and classic at the same time, the track recalls both Jeremy Sylvester and MK. Next up, the Amsterdam-based duo Dam Swindle bring the party with the epic ‘Allright (Just a Tribute)’ a no nonsense feel good slice of club magic. One of the duo’s most effective productions: DJ bag-ready, perfectly balanced house music.

With 12”s on Slow Life, Small Hours, Voyage, Oscillat Music, & In Dust We Trust nothing is stopping L.A. born, Berlin-based, DJ and producer Huerta. With his ‘Hit the Bit’ track, he gives us a bona-fide floor-filling house anthem. Next up, Dauwd’s bass-heavy monster ‘Slam’. The US born, Berlin residing DJ & producer Dauwd has been pushing his sound through various styles and genres since the early 2010s. From dub-steppy and tech-house beginnings to his most recent house and dub-techno Psssh imprint outputs he has been driving record collectors crazy for his 12’s for over a decade! Italian synth queen System Olympia delivers us ‘A Mezzanotte’, hitting the perfect note between early Italo pop, and US R’n’b.

At the forefront of jungle’s new wave, Tim Reaper joins forces with Comfort Zone on the drum & bass anthem ‘Subterranean’. One of the heaviest sonic technicians around, Reaper and his collaborator Comfort Zone offer up a quality tune, based around a familiar vocal sample.

NTS Radio presenter and Eglo artist Shy One has been attracting attention with an original sound that is a mixture of live percussion, and funk mixed with UK bass. Here, ’Uncle G’ offers exactly that, combining broken beat, heavy bass and jazz sensibilities for a breezy, refreshing offering.

Toby Tobias has been a long-time friend of the store, collaborating with the Phonica crew on one of their monthly DJ nights for almost a decade. A prolific produce under many pseudonyms, including Alphonse, and on the Rekids, Klasse Wrecks and Emotional Rescue labels, Toby’s ‘On My Mind’ contribution is a complex house-not-house, bassline-heavy wriggly groover that becomes more compelling at every listen. Next up, Mancunian producer Willow’s ‘Willbush’ shows why she has been a leading name in the underground house scene for over a decade now, including releases on the renowned Workshop label.

One half of the celebrated house duo Genius of Time, Swedish producer Dorisburg has been a long-term friend of the store and has given us the stunning 12” ‘House Organ for the Lonely’ on the Phonica label back in 2020, he now returns to the label with the contemplative, meandering instrumental that is ‘Midi Trail’. Berlin-based Keisuke also contributes after a release on Phonica White in 2022, his huge ‘Ride it Out’ is one of the biggest dancefloor tracks on the compilation - a simple but effective tribal groove.

Shanti Celeste offers her take on the Chilean producer Niños Indigo’s track ‘Luna’ which featured on her album ‘Vuduwave’, a 2017 release on Phonica Records Special Editions. Shanti’s mix takes the delicate organic atmospherics of the original track adding her bass-heavy rhythm and combining the intricate melodies to create a hypnotic effect. Finally, Phonica wouldn’t be anything without its staff and we are excited to include tracks from Kieran Jandu with his ‘From My Soul’ hypnotic house anthem and Phonica counter mainstay Luther Vine’s collaboration with Subb-An on the huge ‘Sunday Roll Through’.




TRACK LISTING

CD1 - 1. Daniel Avery - Bell 
CD1 - 2. Paramida & E-Talking - Read My Lips 
CD1 - 3. Nyra - Broken Needs 
CD1 - 4. Gene On Earth - Club Jacket 
CD1 - 5. Dam Swindle - Allright (Just A Tribute) 
CD1 - 6. Huerta - Hit The Bit 
CD1 - 7. Dauwd - Slam 
CD1 - 8. System Olympia - A Mezzanotte 
CD1 - 9. Tim Reaper & Comfort Zone - Subterranean 
CD1 - 10. Shy One - Uncle G 
CD1 - 11. Toby Tobias - On My Mind (Freak Mix) 
CD1 - 12. Willow - Willbush 
CD1 - 13. Dorisburg - Midi Trail 
CD2 - 1. Peggy Gou - Six O Six 
CD2 - 2. Midland - Before We Leave (Gerd Janson Remix) 
CD2 - 3. Felipe Gordon & Bob The Egoist - Get Your Body Movin' 
CD2 - 4. Harrison BDP - Easy Tiger 
CD2 - 5. Eli Escobar - FindAWay2Day 
CD2 - 6. Kassian - Faux Polynesia 
CD2 - 7. Will Saul - For Joanie 
CD2 - 8. Austin Ato - Song For Mr Lewis (Edit) 
CD2 - 9. Secretsundaze - Still Hope (Waajeed's Detroit Hardcore Dub) 
CD2 - 10. Ron Basejam - The Hurt Inside 
CD2 - 11. Harry Wolfman - SMBC 
CD2 - 12. Pional - XME 
CD3 - 1. Roman Flügel - Black Acid 
CD3 - 2. Yak - Zip 
CD3 - 3. Niños Indigo - Luna (Shanti Celeste Remix) 
CD3 - 4. Escape Artist - Energy Breakthrough (Adam Pits' Lightspeed Mix) 
CD3 - 5. Nuage - Pink Television 
CD3 - 6. Justin Cudmore - Train Dance 
CD3 - 7. Al Zanders - Song About A Dream 
CD3 - 8. Earth Trax & Newborn Jr. - Truth (Main Street Mix) 
CD3 - 9. Voodoos & Taboos - Witch House 
CD3 - 10. Lea Lisa - Love To The End (Sunset Short Mix) 
CD3 - 11. Art Crime - Obsession 
CD3 - 12. Asyncronous - Shinkansen 
CD3 - 13. Sad City - Baixa Saxophone 

No stranger to the limelight with a string of forward-thinking, sought-after releases under his belt, Snad joins the roster of cutting-edge artists bringing his spark to Phonica AM under curation of Luther Vine.

The 'Labyrinthine EP' opens with a relentless 4 to the floor club ready firestarter. Aptly titled 'Quark' hits the spot in all the right places. Its swinging drum work out and oscillating chords swirl to a frenzy and guarantee to set any a dance floor ablaze.

The A2 'Labyrinthine' boots off with Snad's unique take on UK 90s Tech-House, full groove, snare syncopation and whirlwind of off-centre synth cords, adding to his effervescent sound design.

The flip side opens with a killer remix fellow Berliner expat, Huerta's take on 'Quark'. The remix retains the destructive dance floor potential of the original and adds somewhat in the hypnotic trip out department. Full engagement is guaranteed from start to finish even for the more of an absent-minded listener on this one.

Snad closes the EP with 'Revival'. This cross-genre juggernaut effortlessly marries puncy breaks with dubbed out echos while the resonant synth chords and muddled vocal chops expand listener's perception of sonar possibilities to places few have imagined possible. One of the rare tracks which hovers on the fringe of experimentation but guarantees to move the peak time crowd of the most discerning listening habits.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: A new record from London's leading house specialists Phonica who seem to be able to hit that sweet spot between underground nous and dancefloor sensibilities. Snad keeps to their remit with three tracks of exceptional tech-house prowess and a cheeky garage-indebted flex at the end.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Quark
A2. Labyrinthine
B1. Quark (Huerta Remix)
B2. Revival

After beginning his career with roots in drum & bass, Nuage shifted his sound to embrace a wider range of styles while maintaining an emotionally charged vibe and finding a home on labels such as Anjunadeep and 20:20 Vision.

Kicking off this EP for Phonica is the title track, “Pink Television”, a floaty and playful yet quite pacey melodic house excursion that reminds us of Floating Points’ synth work on his “Crush” album; with a real optimistic, blue-sky illumination about it.

Next is “Ninety High” which swaps the four to the floor for an intricate breakbeat, highlighting Nuage’s history in break heavy music. A cleverly reconceptualised disco vocal sample and subtly withheld synth lines are combined with a sub rattling and pulsating bassline. The kinda track everyone from Craig Richarids to Ben UFO to Jane Fitz would roll out to rapturous enjoyment; it’s poised yet powerful, deep but anthemic.

“Don’t Forgive Me” recalls classic trance and progressive house tropes with haunting vocal reverberations and a warehouse wall shaking bassline as the track meanders through tension and release of euphoric energy. Lastly, “Glances” opens with a skittish Rhodes riff and unites it with rich and perky melodies that weave in and out of focus. A classy deep house joint to close off this detailed and varied EP. Top stuff. 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Phonica records continue their flawless streak with this neon-hued number from Nuage. Real clubby, with sumptuous electronic textures and crisp beats as it navigates a varied and modern soundscape of breaks, techno and bass.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Pink Television
A2. Ninety High
B1. Don't Forgive Me
B2. Glances


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