The Rise of Philth

Philth is fast becoming a household name in the world of Drum & Bass. The Peer Pressure Records frontman and Dispatch Recordings protégé has been deservingly earning respect from all corners of the scene with the unique style that he has been developing for over the past near decade. From smooth liquid tracks filled with emotion to hard hitting tech infused rollers that might make you want to lob a shoe at someone – Philth has got you covered.

This latest remix marks 100 releases for Philth, a milestone all producers long to hit. In that time he has released on a host of established labels such as Renegade Hardware, Dispatch Recordings and Flexout Audio. However, for this landmark release he returns back to where it all began; Peer Pressure Records. Philth has gone back in on a classic Facing Jinx track ‘Facade’ giving it that renowned treatment, transforming what was a bass infused stepper into a tech laden aggy roller that has been doing causing serious damage to crowds across the country.

Now the ‘Facade’ remix is available to buy on Peer Pressure’s bandcamp (original track included as a free download when purchased!), we couldn’t think of a better time to catch up with Phil to have a chat about this milestone in his career, what we can expect to hear from him in his next 100 releases and addressing some bold celebrity endorsements.

Easy Phil, thanks for taking some time to speak to us today! This latest remix of ‘Facade’ marks your 100th release as Philth, looking back across all of that music – is there any particular track that stands out to you? 

You know what, I am proud of every song I have released. I look back at my back catalogue and although I have definitely improved technically over the years, the music within them is true to the ethos I have always loved, rolling drum and bass that makes you dance but also has some emotional impact. I honestly don’t think i could pick a favourite from my discography….

Anyway my favourite Phitlh tune is always something brand new. I read once that you know a track is ready when it stops annoying you and becomes your favourite. I’ve written a ton of new music recently and there is one called ‘Let You Fall’ which really does it for me. Ask me again next week and hopefully I’ll have a new favourite!

It seems to be quite fitting that you have remixed a Facing Jinx track who you originally collaborated with for your first release. Now you both play integral parts in running the label. Can you tell us a bit more about how you first became involved with the guys at Peer Pressure and what we can look forward to hearing from the label in the near future?

Yes, I have been thinking about reaching this milestone for a while and always wanted it to be on Peer Pressure. I’m lucky to have control of my own destiny in that respect.

History: Jinx is the label owner and manager, and I do A&R, press, social media, drinking all the rider…. but when we first started out making music together Peer Pressure was an American label, run by a lovely man called Matt Beebe over in California. When me and Alex had completed our first two tracks we got them mastered (thanks Bob) and sent them over to Matt, he picked them up as a single. We did another single, an EP, and then he asked us to run his international arm of the label. A few years later and he decided he wanted to pass on his legacy to us and Alex bought the label. Matt is now very busy with his four children over in California, and last year when I played in LA he came to my apartment for breakfast. It was great to meet him in person, and he cooks bloody good eggs.

Future: We had a slow patch last year but have got lots of music on the way now. Olski is firing on all cylinders and his next EP is sounding sick, we’ve got new music from HLZ that I honestly cannot believe isn’t coming out on Metalheadz, and a number of up and coming artists are working on projects for us at the moment. I am always grateful for the opportunity the label gave me, and we go out of our way to look for new artists who we feel deserve to be heard. Then there are some big projects coming from me and Jinx. He has been very busy but I don’t want to spill the beans just yet, just know i am very excited about the ‘Live’ project…

My project is called ’Synapses’, a series of collaborative EP’s coming on PPR over the next year. There are three parts at the moment but to be honest it could go on indefinitely if I continue to collaborate as much I have been recently. I made a conscious effort to work with more of my friends, and have built up quite a catalogue of dubs so they will be dropping at regular intervals. So far the series will feature Agman Gora, Basic Forces, Cellomo, Facing Jinx, HLZ, The Invaderz, Macc, Soultrain, Wreckless, and the legend that is MC Fats. Tracklist and release date for part 1 will be announced soon, I’m just finishing the mixdowns and deciding on running order for the first couple of EP’s.

Image: Chelone Wolf

Over the course of your 100 releases, it’s safe to say you have built up a trademark ‘Philth’ sound. To someone who hasn’t heard your music before, how would you describe your style?

Science and Nature… I grew up loving the classic ‘neuro’ sound, Bad Company, Hardware, Konflict, Ram Trilogy, Virus. Dark and futuristic sounding music, with a strong technical/scientific aspect to the production. I will always love getting stuck in with sound design and rolling out tech vibes, but as I discovered artists like AI, Calibre, Marcus (RIP), I have equal love for soulful deep DnB. I feel just as comfortable chopping up classic soul tracks and layering chords as I do making big basses, and to be honest I don’t think it would be possible for me to ever focus exclusively on either side of my sound. I feel like my best tracks are the ones that can combine deep/musical intros with tearing bass. I don’t ever want to lose that aspect to my sound, music is supposed to touch you emotionally as well as making you dance/gurn/throw your shoes.

Most of your followers will know you are a Music teacher by day, so that no doubt means that you are currently enjoying a nice long summer holiday (no that isn’t jealousy in my tone…). Does this mean we expect an influx of new Philth material in the coming months?

Yes I’ve been off work for the last 6 weeks, I’m actually back tomorrow and I’m dreading it. Squeezing myself onto the Tube at 8am is going to be a serious shock to the system – that’s when I’ve been going to bed over the summer!

New music? I haven’t really done anything else to be honest. I got into a good groove where I have been working all night every night, pretty much 7 days a week. Some people might think it is strange that I choose to spend my time off work doing more work, but it doesn’t feel like that to me. I look forward to it all year. I am lucky that I have a period of time where I can completely immerse myself in my work, and doing so many consecutive days has meant that my skills feel really sharp at the moment. I feel like I’m in the best form of my life, so yes there’s tons of new music on the way. New vocal tracks with Collette, a new singer I’m working with called Becca Jane Grey, a new one with Agman, a new one with Sense.

Along with the fresh music I’ve also wrapped up a few EP’s, the first Philth Tangent EP is dropping on Integral Records soon and we are close to completing a second one. Then there is my collabs series, and an awful lot of fresh music that nobody has heard yet.

On that same note, is there any possible plans in the works for a debut album?

It’s album time! It’s early days but there is a project on the way. Don’t want to say any more just yet, but there is a folder full of music that is locked away and I’ve written 10 new ones in the last month. I’ve gone from worrying if I was ready, to being really excited, and the music is flying out now.

We have heard the phrase ‘Riya’s favourite ginger’ thrown around a few times before, is there a story behind this?

Haha! When Laura was working on her album she asked me to get involved and write her something Philthy… we really clicked in the studio and ended up writing more songs together, and I also offered to help out with the engineering. We recorded quite a few of the vocals for ‘Sublimation’ in the studio at my college and became great friends in the process. She was out for my birthday a few weeks ago and I’m going to DJ at her wedding.

When I was writing a new biography I read that it was good to use quotes or endorsements from key figures. She’s won best vocalist twice so that’s my celebrity quote sorted right there. What can be a better endorsement that being known as ‘Riya’s favourite Ginger’? 

Image: Regal Dee

As well as building up a reputation as a top quality producer, you are also known for your precise and exhilarating style of DJ’ing. This has deservingly earned you sets in some amazing clubs and countries across the world. What has been your favourite live set you have ever played and where is still left to cross off the bucket list?

DJ’ing will always be my first love. I am always happiest behind the decks, and to be able to travel and play music is something I am very very grateful for. Picking a favourite is tough, the last few years have been amazing. But at a push…

In terms of the sheer occasion, making my US debut playing at Respect in LA was very special. I had a moment where I played one of my songs and watched the crowd put their hands up and sing along and just though to myself, “fuckkkk – this is the other side of the world and they know all the words to my music!”. That definitely put a huge smile on my face.

In terms of the set itself, one that sticks out was playing at a night called Tiefklang in Saarbrucken. I asked my set time, and the promoter told me I could start when I was ready and finish when I was done. I asked him to elaborate, he explained that I could play literally as long I wanted. He then told me Ant did 5 hours so that was my target, but after 4.5 hours I couldn’t really stand up anymore so I had to tap out! During that set I played everything I love about DnB, started hard, went deeper, took it up a notch, smoothed it out again… I was playing 30 minute liquid sections just to give everybody a bit of a breather before another burst of energy, and at one point I played Casino Royale and just put the headphones down and had a dance with the crowd… And I knew I had as long as I wanted to build it back up again. After seeing just how deep I could push it, I finished with 30 minutes of madness. I wish I could play extended sets every time, one hour is really not enough time to represent all the styles i love with DnB.

Bucket List? In two weeks I’m playing at Fabric. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long long time. Massive props to my new agent Steve at Bassic, he asked me if there anywhere I really wanted to play, and within a few weeks he had got me on the lineup at Fabric. Badman!

Worldwide, I want to play in Japan, in particular Womb. I’ve heard so many great things about that club, and I would love to go and experience Japanese culture and eat my body weight in sushi and gyoza.

Having already collaborated with a whole host of talent, looking ahead to the next 100 releases – what labels/artists would you want to work with?

I’m in a position where I am working with artists and labels that inspire me every day. I’ve worked very hard to find the right people to work with, not anything to do with status, just people who are on the same wavelength musically and understand what I am trying to do. I feel like my music is in the right hands.

Saying that, the dream has always been to release on Virus. The first record I ever bought was on Virus so if I can work out how to get myself on a Virus vinyl I’ll be a very happy Phil.

How’s the beard coming along?

Great, but I’ve tidied it up a bit for Jinx’s wedding, he doesn’t want to be standing next to crackfox in all his photos.

Any final words from yourself?

I just want to say a huge thank you to anyone who has ever listened to my music. The first 100 were a lot of fun, but I feel like I’m just getting started 🙂

Big ups Philth!

Make sure you go and support this landmark release right now!

Press shots: Chelone Wolf