‘Your Love / Souzou’ is a huge release by Philth that recently dropped on Dispatch Recordings. In light of this release, and the immeasurable excitement surrounding Philth, we thought it would be best to have a chat with him – and he left us with an exclusive guest-mix!
Highly renowned for his releases, Philth is also equally respected for his talents behind the decks. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to catch him playing at Plan B. This was no ordinary set… ok, there was the slightly unusual presence of Philth masks, but what really stood out to me was the widespread and inescapable buzz, omnipresent throughout the venue.
Reflecting on my experiences when first delving into the world of drum and bass – there seems to have been a raw and abstract energy at those initial raves. Maybe this is because it was the ‘honeymoon’ period… Or maybe it’s because those first few events were jump-up (guilty)… But I found the spirit at those parties, the excitement in the new and still to be discovered translated into energy indefinable and almost unmatchable. No, Philth didn’t play jump-up. What I’m trying to get at, is that the elation surrounding him and his set was so powerfully consuming the feeling amongst the crowd was entirely electrifying and struck a chord with how I felt at those first few nights.
“Plan B was very fun, you could smell the excitement in the air – huge thanks to everybody that came out and brought those vibes!!”
On the topic of introductory event experiences, Philth gave us an insight to his first drum and bass encounters.
“My first rave experiences happened in the same place as many of my London friends – the legendary Bagleys! I went there when I was 16 dressed in my fanciest ‘going out’ clothes – and ruined them all with rave-grime. Walking into the main room, it was like the vibes slapped me in the face then got me in a bear hug. They’ve never really let go! I spent a lot of time at The End as well, the Ram nights in particular were an education for me. Since those days the rave scene has changed simply because it has evolved. In the late 90’s and early 00’s you would hear all of the flavours under one roof, especially at the big raves. Nowadays the scene is just much bigger, and all the sub-genres have developed a scene of their own. I don’t think this is a bad thing. There is so much good music around and I love hearing deep/tech vibes all night without five MC’s having a fight over the microphone!”
The dynamism felt during Philth’s set is undoubtedly a feeling that can be translated to describe the air of fervour surrounding his releases. Philth is an artist who I’m largely drawn to not only as a result of the visionary charm present in all of his tunes, but also down to his creative heterogeneity. ‘Your Love / Souzou’ having dropped on Dispatch Recordings finds its perfect match in a label that champions music of ingenuity and unprecedented flair.
“I feel that my release fits the Dispatch sound – but at the same time stands out with that strong sense of identity I want my music to contain. I have been a huge fan of the label for years, buying all the releases on sight. When I sent Ant my demos there were a lot of tech rollers in there, music that I wrote as a direct influence of playing so many Dispatch tunes in my DJ sets. I guess I was aiming to hit that ‘Dispatch sound’, but in the end, the label chose the music that sounds like me, and it’s given me a big confidence boost.”
“‘Secrets’ my tune on Dispatch that featured on ‘The Others’ EP back in January 2012 was a turning point in my production levels. A lot of the bass hits in that tune literally took me an entire day to make, but the end results were far beyond anything I had accomplished before! I went from trying to roll out a finished piece of music in two days, to accepting that making techy DnB was seriously time consuming, but I had the skills to do it. Since then I’ve applied the same amount of patience to all of my music making, I don’t care how long it takes me to finish something, it just has to be right. During this time I have also focused a lot more on creating a strong sense of identity in every song I write, finding the musical or vocal hooks that give dance music character – and this hopefully helps to define my style to the dedicated listeners. So it’s taking me a long time to get music finished, but I feel that the patience pays off.”
This level of attention to detail and Philth’s ability to give his music compelling personality is unquestionably something that comes across in ‘Your Love / Souzou’. A-side ‘Your Love’ is an ethereal journey. The breaks in this tune are somewhat distant and it’s this space that enables harmonious melodies to fully unravel. A stand out element is the vocal, it’s obscure in a sense there’s something childlike in its innocence. This is a tune with dulcet tones so enrapturing; it is difficult to escape a pure and profound feeling of hedonism.
‘Souzou’ on the other hand is comprised of a dark ambiguity that contrasts starkly the purity of ‘Your Love’. There’s a similar level of calm detectable in the backdrop, but where ‘Your Love’ is soulful, ‘Souzou’ is comprised of an orchestra of eerie atmospherics. The abrasiveness of this tune isn’t obvious initially, but as the soundscape develops the drum formation strengthens and the bass line progressively contorts. What does Philth feel this release says about him as a producer?
“The release tells you what I love about music. The common threads between the songs are cinematic vibes and an infusion of emotion. Whenever I sit down to write music there has to be a point to it, something beyond just beats and bass. Then the contrasting moods show that you can express so many feelings within the framework of DnB. I was inspired to write Souzou after going to an exhibition about Japanese outsider art. Souzou is a Japanese word that can mean creation, or imagination – “The force by which new ideas are born and take shape in the world”. This is the theme running through both of the songs.”
“I wanted a mix that shows the link between Your Love and Souzou – starting with the deepness, and upping the energy levels throughout. I love to DJ, it is my biggest passion in life, and I wanted that joy and excitement to come through in the mix rather than just showcasing some exclusive cuts. I think the mix is a journey through my style as a DJ, and also shows what I love in DnB at the moment. There is lot of my own music, some forthcoming Peer Pressure dubs, and a selection of my favourite recent Dispatch tracks.”
Philth is without a doubt a producer to keep a very close eye on…
“My next few releases will be coming on Peer Pressure, there is a collab with Wreckless on the next Breaking Ground EP, a number of remixes of my tracks, and a solo EP in the works.”
“Then I’m sitting on a big pile of music, making sure that it is still exciting to me before I send it out to labels. I tested some of the tunes out at recent gigs and it’s almost time to unleash them on the world. I’ve been working with Collette Warren writing some songs together, I’m very excited about this project! Watch this space!”
‘Your Love / Souzou’ is available to purchase in digital format over at Surus 🙂
Exclusive Philth Guestmix below: