Phonique takes us Inside his new Album: 'Green Supreme'
Phonique is back and dropping his 4th studio album ‘Green Supreme’ on his own Ladies and Gentlemen imprint. Alumnus of the likes of Ladies & Gentlemen, Katermukke, Dessous, Crosstown Rebels, Bunny Tiger, Souvenir, Poker Flat and Systematic, House music veteran Phonique has amassed a discography of over 500 original tracks and remixes. Keep them coming we say! To say there’s a lot going on in this album would be a serious understatement.. So, we got the man himself to run us through each record, track by track. Here goes..
PHONIQUE: Here comes the total truth about the album, track by track:
1. RELIGIOUS feat Antonia Vai.
this opening track of my album is featuring Antonia Vai from Stockholm/Budapest. I heard her once on the radio driving back to Berlin from some gig in eastern Germany. It was her track ‚snow white‘ and her voice really caught me. next day I checked out the rest of her music and decided to contact her. She quickly replied and was up to try out her first seps into electronic music. When she sent over the demo for Religious I was just blown away from the beauty.
The track itself is inspired by all the accoustic music I am listening to from Kings Of Convenience to Angus & Julia Stone. I wanted to make a track which morphs from that into proper deep electronic music and for me this is just the perfect opening track for an album. you could play this album at a cafe after some accoustic album and nobody would recognize the transition.
2. THERE IS A LIGHT feat Richard Davis
this is obviously a cover version of an old song by The Smith. It’s such a big song for the generation growing up in the 80s and I already worked on something similar when I was mixing and producing the DJ Kicks for Erlend Oye back in 2003. Erlend back then was singing There Is A Light on top of some other track and I always loved to play around with this acapella I had from producing that mix back then. at the end I decided to produce a complete track based on the acapella I had, but when we got the instrumental ready, I asked Richard who was already featured on my 2007 album, if he could do the vocals.
3. GRASS IS GREENER feat Antonia Vai
after getting Antonias vocals for Religious, I just thought why not ask her to do another track. The instrumental for Grass Is Greener was developed from a remix I once did for Dillons Thirteen Thirtyfive. My Remix got denied by Ellen Allien, who was in charge for that Dillon album and after she didnt even let us licence my remix to release it on our own, we just decided to get rid of all the parts from the original and built our own instrumental track. When Antonia sent the vocals I instantly knew this is gonna be the title track on the album. This track got all the beauty and elegance I like to see in a Phonique track!
4. SOMETHING SPECIAL feat Ian Whitelaw
Ian and I got together already in 2003 when producing my first album Identification. I visited my friend Alexkid in Paris when he played me his work with Ian Whitelaw and suggested to work with him for my first album. So I got in contact with Ian and he is one hell of a professional vocalist. Everytime he is recording something for me, its always on point. So Something Special is already the fifth track we did together and I hope one day we can perform live together.
The inspiration for the instrumental came from an old Jori Hulkkonen track called ‚Let Me Luv U‘. The Muzique Tropique remix was always in my bag (back then when you were playing vinyls) and I just rediscovered it before i went to the studio to put hands on Something Special. This track will also be our third EP from the album with a remix from The Black 80s (Hollies P Monroe), Nhan Solo and myself.
5. THE FUTURE feat ???
this was the first track we produced after my 2010 album Kissing Strangers. Inspired by old disco tracks like Eddy Rosemond. When we got more and more album tracks ready a few years later I sent the instrumental to a Brazilian Duo to do some vocals and within just a few days I got this kinda Miss Kittin vibe vocals, which I really loved. Until we finally got the album ready that popular Brazilian Duo already changed their style, so they prefered not to be credited on the track- so thats why you wont find the vocalist on this one. Maybe you can guess it?
6. WHAT THIS IS feat Antonia Vai
I have to admit I forgot which track I sent to Antonia to ask for more vocals for my album, when she got back to me with this spoken words I felt that it would fit much better as an intro to this track here. The instrumental just somehow happened in a studio session after listening to Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam ‚Let The Beat Hit Em‘ and then made a turn into some classic Phonique deep stuff.
7. Taking A Chance
Well here we have a track which was produced shortly after my remix for Ornette ‚Crazy‘. You can clearly hear some similar sound elements, but you can also hear that the intro from Gypsy Woman played a role. The rest is finding the right vocal sample from the dephts of Tigerskins sample archive and creating a track with those inspirations and samples.
8. The Price Reprise
I did this track Vincent Price in 2012 which was inspired by a short movie by Tim Burton called Vincent, which features the great voice of Vincent Price. The whole atmosphere there inspired me to make Vincent Price back then and while I never had the impression the track was doing well on beatport (I always thought the preview on beatport doesnt reflect the true and full strenght of the track), until today it was getting over 10.000.000 clicks on youtube (I love to type all these zeros instead of just saying 10 millions). And all these clicks without any marketing, any feature and without being a cheesy vocal track.
My studio partner Tigerskin is not djing, so when he is performing live anywhere in the world, he is not just playing his own tracks, but all the interesting tracks he is producing in his studio from Till Von Sein to my tracks. So it happened that Tigerskin was touring in Brazil with Lazarusman doing live voclas and performing Vincent Price. When I saw a recording of it, I reached out to Lazarusman and asked him to record these Vocals, so we can do a reprise version for the album.
After all these clicks on Youtube, I felt the track deserved a feature on the album.
9. THE SUPREME ARTIST
here we got a real club track. After all the build up, I thought it works to evolve to a more club orientated track. We got a very driving techy bassline but also got some warm chords on top. The track got inspired by Hollies P Monroe ‚I’m Lonely‘ in the first place but moves into a much darker direction. The vocals are from one of Germanys greatest actors Sir Peter Ustinov, who is playing Nero in Quo Vadis. The Speech of the crazy Nero in this movie about art and music was so fitting to be used one day for a club track, that it finally ended up here.
10. SOMETHING TO REMEMBER feat Stee Downes
This is also the 2nd ep from this album with some really dope remixes, which are going in many directions. The story about this track is almost a little bit sad. I was running into Timo Maas a few times over the past 10 years and when we found out we were born in the same little town we decided to do a track together one day. One day Timo contacted me telling me about this old Paul McCartney track and how his manager is friends with Paul and got him the original samples. So we planned on producing a remix for this track together but as Timo is not living in Berlin, I started with my studio partner Alex and we made many drafts. I think they were really good, but I was never satisfied with the whole product regarding how I want to see my remix of a Paul McCartney track. I mean, this is something really big and I wanted to be 100% happy with it and not 99,5%. I sent my ideas over to Timo and he liked the approach, but we both knew, we wanted to take it a step further, but somehow we never managed to finally get to the studio together and work on it. In the end Timo did his version together with James Teej and I think they did a really good job, they created something really special there, but that would have never been the way i saw this and its not a track I would play at a party. I think the Tim Green Remix of Timo and James version is f*cking amazing and this is some direction I would have gone too. Now when Timo was nominated for a Grammy for exactly his remix I really didnt know what to feel. I love Timo and his work and it would be an awesome achievment to win the Grammy, but I know I would have been a bit sad why I couldnt have finished this job and missed out on a Grammy myself there.
Eventually we threw out the McCartney Samples from our remix, put some more work into it, connected with the one and only Stee Downes and created Something To Remember. In a way, seeing this track now, I’m kinda happy I messed up with the Timo Maas project
11. REALITY CHECK feat Eddie Fowlkes
I met Eddie, the Detroit Legend at a poker game in Berlin, finding out that he is the Eddie ‚Flashin‘ Fowlkes and i couldnt resist but luring him into the studio while he was staying in Berlin. So we sat down with Alex to start something from scratch and ended up with some beat and Eddie talking some crazy stuff. Eddie left town again and Alex and me put some work into the track or lets say creating a track using the vocals we recorded and thats pretty much it.
12. WHAT THIS IS feat Antonia Vai (REPRISE)
I am a big fan of reprise versions and when we had these spoken words from Antonia left as she recorded two different takes back then with two complete different lyrics, we had no choice but satisfying my need for a reprise.