Kmag stops in with Phil Source to chat about everything from his forthcoming ‘Identity Switch’ LP project on through to dealing with fans who won’t let his Source Direct days go as he prepares to bring the Vampire vibe to the Halloween edition of Con*Sequence Tuesday night alongside Bryan Gee and Nookie.
You’ve got a big show coming up Tuesday with Con*Natural (aka MC Conrad) and the Con*Sequence crew! What kind of philosophy or vibes is this night is all about? It’s a Halloween special edition so I imagine you’re going to hit us with a deep and deadly journey yeah?
The night is about high quality, warm, soulful and musical drum and bass. I will bring more of a gentle mysterious vibe to my set which is very different from my usual full-on Vampire sets. I will be playing new material from Vampire as well as other labels and artists as well as my own music to cater to the crowd that will be there. I have some really nice vibes to play and yeah I will be going in deep and fairly heavy but not too noisy!
The lineup features a heavyweight crew with Bryan Gee, yourself, and Nookie headlining things. How do you see yourself adding to the flavour of the night? It seems like such a perfectly curated selection of DJs in that there is a nice progression and diversity you all represent.
My sound is completely different from Bryan Gee and Nookie so I will certainly be able to blend the journey for them and myself. I also like to see how the vibes are before and after I play to see if my job has been done correctly so I shall get there a bit earlier and will also certainly be hanging around afterwards at the bar not only to check out the vibes post-set but for a few drinks as well!
This recent promo mix you did for Con*Sequence is heavy business. Who are some of the artists/tunes you’ve featured and is this representative of who you’re feeling across the board in dnb these days?
Some of the artists that I feature on this mix are Amaning, Physics, D Bridge, Paul T, Edward Oberon, Alix Perez, Nusense, Soulstructure, Tim Cant, Mark System and Mechanizm. A lot of the music is from Vampire Records past and present but I always like to mix it up and I think I have done so. All the artists I feature are really doing it for me in the scene right now. Even though I don’t follow drum and bass 24/7 like some I can still draw a wicked set having been in the scene for some time and living through the most important era in drum and bass: the ‘90’s!
With that long and storied history in the scene, how do you see your sets as part of your ongoing role as an ambassador of sorts? Especially for those new school heads who never knew you in your previous incarnation as Source Direct, how do you see yourself as bridging the classic era of dnb while pushing things into the future?
I have not been DJing so much recently as I have been very busy outside of music doing other things but when I do play I take it very seriously no matter how big the night. I always try and push sounds that remind of the past but also sound like they are moving things forward.
Evolution is very important to me as an artist and I am very lucky to have been able to access the real birth of classic drum and bass in the ‘90’s from labels like Metalheadz and Good Looking. This really helped my understanding of quality drum and bass at an early age. I was 14 when I got into hardcore, jungle and then drum and bass and have seen things change a lot. This experience really helps moving forward and looking back for influences. I mean I made a collaboration EP called ‘Old To The New’ – that’s exactly my point!
On the flipside, I imagine the old geezers are continually asking you play their favorite Source Direct tune – which one is the one they hit you up with the most and what is your usual response?
These days unless I am actually playing an old school set I will not play Source Direct records. That was part of my past and I am proud of it but I am a forward thinking person so I try and play Vampire where ever I go. People do ask me to play Source Direct and the typical tracks they want to hear are ‘The Crane’ or “Snakestyle” but personally I really like to play “Complexitites” as I feel it’s a track that I had most influence over and it has a real nice futuristic jazz vibe even to this day! With that said if I have some vinyl with me and they have decks I will always try and play something for an old school raver/fan.
The past year we’ve witnessed a nice resurgence of the deeper, darker vibe. While this vibe has always been bubbling beneath the surface, it’s nice to see this break away from the more upfront dnb that’s been running things. How do you see the ‘Identity Switch’ project fitting into this larger shift?
I think the new Vampire Album will fit in very well right now! On December 12 ‘Identity Switch’ will be released which is the brand new Vampire digital album. We’ve just hit the streets with a new logo and vision and the album will feature tracks from myself, Strago, Kolectiv, Heavy1, Physics, DJ Trax, Soulstructure and Tim Cant, Nusense and Concealed Identity just to name a few.
The tracks on the album fit in with today’s sound but definitely take influence from the late ‘90s tech-rolling vibe. The big drops, grimey basslines and eerie sounds from Nusense, Konfront Audio and Scale get things off to the perfect start. But then we also have H. Shiratori and Heavy1 who bring their futuristic Japanese vibes to change the mindset and journey of the album. The different rhythms and sounds they have used on these tracks are just how Vampire wants to evolve and continue to do so. Watch out for these guys in the future!
There is also a section of the album that will move away from the usual 170 bpm plus music Vampire is known for with dubstep, techno, old school breaks, 808 basslines and old school hardcore influences making their presence known on bits from myself, Level, and Strago featuring the vocals of Marishka who is a Lebanese pop star. To round it out, we’ve got the Blue Note vibes of Scale, on through the deep, mystical vibes that Vampire has been known for since its birth in 2006.
What other projects or gigs do you have lined up we should be looking out for?
I have a residency at ‘Selecta’ which is a night that has been set up by A Guy Called Gerald and JB which is at The Basing House on Kingsland Road in Hackney usually on The First Friday of every month. I also have some gigs coming up overseas and will be doing some radio and interviews soon for the new Vampire album.
Other good news is that I have signed a new PR, publishing and distribution deal for Vampire with Outpost Group so look out for Vampire in 2014 and definitely 2015!
Snag your advance tickets HERE as Con*Sequence takes it down low with Bryan Gee, Phil Source, Nookie, Con*Natural and many more at The Picadilly Institute on Tuesday 28 Oct 2014.