INTERVIEW: Phaction Talks About His New Remix For GLXY
Posted by Adam on 17th July 2016
Hi Alexandre, how are you?
Very good thanks, busy but busy is good!
How’s 2016 been for you so far? Any personal highlights?
Its been quite a year so far I’ve played at my first Hospitality, first gig at Motion and Ministry of Sound in London, those two gigs were definitely highlights. I’ve also met one of my dnb idols Paul from Total Science and am currently working on an EP for CIA Records, which is a dream realised!
You’re based in Bristol and the scene out there seems to be bigger than it ever has been. Is there a big buzz around Drum & Bass in Bristol right now?
Hell yeah, Bristol is and has always been a hub for some of the best dnb nights as well as a great place for artists to converge and collaborate. Just last month we had Calibre, FD and Intalex playing one weekend then Lenzman b2b LTJ Bukem, Break b2b Dillinja and Perez b2b Skeptical on another. Some of the lineups are ridiculous, almost too good to be true haha. When you live with all this on your doorstep its easy to think the scene is strong like this everywhere, I think we’re just really lucky here in Bristol to have so much consistently good music and venues. This city definitely has a lot to do with where I am now with my music.
We’re here to talk about your remix of GLXY’s ‘Tate & Lyle’ for their remix EP on Limitless, how did you get involved with the project?
Tom and Jon are a couple of guys I have a lot of admiration and respect for, we got chatting a while back and before long talks of a collab progressed into a full project (which is almost finished!) Later on they asked me if I’d be up for doing a remix for Digital Soul, I was stoked to have the opportunity and having been given the choice of any of the tracks, I said I’d be happiest remixing either I Want 2 or Tate & Lyle! My personal favs from the EP for sure. The vibe of the original is beautiful, I think some of their musical styles and influences resonate well with my own sound and I saw it as an opportunity to take my production approach up a level.
You took the original tune and gave it a dark twist so truly make it stand out from the original, did you purposely take it in a different direction to make it unique?
Yeh for sure, this is my 2nd ever official remix come to think of it (after Pola & Bryson’s Stolen Glances), so I’m still experimenting with different approaches. What I love about a remix is how quickly you get to feel inspired by the original stems, it makes drawing out a new idea a very enjoyable process. The challenge for me was bringing some real weight to the track, most of my work to date has been much lighter on its feet. I think I’m always going to be seeking ways to achieve a bigger sound and mixdowns going forward and this remix is a step into that realm. In terms of the vibe, I decided to source from the original acapella some new vocal cuts, bringing a deeper, more melancholic intention forward. I often picture remixes in my head with a new development that echoes the vibe of the original in some way, sometimes that’s a case of creating/finding sounds to compliment the original stems or finding the sources of the stems and seeking more from them, sometimes its a case of changing the key of the track, that on its own can change the intention of the sound entirely as all the harmonics are shifted up or down, worth trying if you’re ever stuck on a project!
How long did it take you to finish the remix? Is the processes quicker than writing something completely new?
Getting the original idea down took a matter of days and GLXY were feeling it, but as with a lot of my projects at the moment, getting them finished can take a lot, lot longer haha. I’m looking for ways to improve my workflow, but like a lot of producers (who will likely by nodding their heads) you often find yourself battling with perfectionism and never truly being happy with a project. Someone once wisely told me that the quickest way to improve is actually to just finish tracks quicker, and part of doing that involves letting go of that perfectionism, calling it finished earlier and then moving on. Easier said than done, but I’m working on it!
So what’s your studio setup like at the minute and what’s the next thing on your wish list?
Studio setup is strong, its to a point now where I really don’t think I need or want anything more for it (Focal Monitors, sub, dual screens, UAD plugs etc). I just recently invested in Omnisphere 2 which is a beast of a synth. I’m pretty happy with it tbh, and now I’ve really not got much excuse not to be working on music haha.
Thanks! Is there anything else you want to tell us about?
Thanks very much for having me along for the interview, you can expect to hear previews of the first Phaction x GLXY collab in the coming months, and stay locked for more news regarding the CIA EP. :)