‘There’s Time Now’ by Phlyx
If, like Ed Snowdon, you consider Facebook to be nothing more than a sinister metadata crunching tool that converts your personal musings into convenient byte size files for the NSA, it should be remebered that it’s also a powerful and indispensable tool for networking and as a stepping stone’ to highlight artists’ output via sites such as SoundCloud & Bandcamp.
Whilst on the Facebook forum ‘Twilight of the Mortals’ which is a page publicising Mont Sherar’s powerful book of Killing Joke photo portraits *‘Twilight of the Mortals’, I saw a post by one ‘Phlyx’, who it transpires, is Mont’s son Felix, who had posted one of his songs and there was indeed and as if to mitigate my claim in the opening paragraph; a link to Phlyx’s SoundCloud page.
And so, to make a long story longer, I alighted upon Felix’s, sorry Phlyx’s freshly minted three track E.P. **‘A Few Things Before I Go’, and it felt not unlike finding a little De Beers diamond half- hidden in the homogenised mire of what is termed ‘modern’ music.
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E.P. curtain raiser There’s Time Now is prefaced with a bass line so cavernous the actual melody is almost indecipherable but in my addled world this is A Very Good Thing. This slinky track undulates and worms its way into one’s affections with an easy charm and seems to be purpose built for September sunsets on the terrace of Ibiza’s Café Del Mar. It’s also a good thing when a track that’s nudging six minutes seems like a lot less than that; let’s just say it’s a confident lead-off track and we’ll leave it like that to avoid over-effusiveness on my part.
‘Road’ is a widescreen adventure, with the phat ‘tuned’ kick drum synched to another bass line from the folder marked ‘ear worm dub’. Upon this confident bedrock there’s a nice pairing of ethereal strings and a classic sequencer. A nice move is the introduction of a little ‘grit’ to stir up proceedings and gives the track a nice yin/yang balance.
‘Distant’ is a stylistic switch to minor key melancholy and the ensuing results are a perfect musical representation of the songs title with some heavenly, soporific strings for a little colouration. The sort of music that could soundtrack ‘people watching’, sat in a café with rain gently weaving its way down the glass; in a European capital city of your choice. Copenhagen possibly?…
An assured and confident debut then, executed in a quietly confident manner.
Phlyx kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his personal musical vision, ‘his backstory’ and his plans for the remainder of 2016 into 2017.
Do you have a tried & tested approach to writing, or is it more ‘organic’?
Definitely the ‘organic’ way. I usually just let the music take me to where I want to go, without thinking too much about it.
Have you worked with other musicians or have you always worked solo?
I’ve worked with a few people, friends mostly, and it usually doesn’t go anywhere. While I’ve always been interested in working with other people, until now, I haven’t really had anyone who had the same workflow or musical interests as me.
However, I just started at a school for sound design, where I’ve met a lot of people with similar tastes, and we’re already talking about collaborating on some stuff.
Would you consider working with a vocalist for example, this is obviously only my opinion but I can envision that a soulful female vocalist would work?
Definitely. I’ve previously tried working with female vocalists on some projects, but it never amounted to anything. I’m always open to try new things musically, but I don’t want to force a lyrical vocal track into a song, just for the sake of it.
You are about to switch from Ableton to Pro Tools- what is it that you found limiting with Ableton that a switch to ProTools will fix?
Ableton Live is still my preferred go-to DAW. Pro Tools is actually just because my new school required that we obtained it, along with Live and Logic Pro X.
At the time of writing this, my copy of Pro Tools hasn’t even arrived yet, so I have yet to actually play around with the program. I’m sure it will come in handy once I need to cut sound to film etc., though.
A lot of DIY ‘home’ recording artists struggle when it comes to mixing/mastering in terms of obtaining a full sound and have to resort to ‘brick walling’ – Do you use a third party to master the tracks?
To be honest, I feel like I’m part of that bunch. I’ve definitely gotten better over the years in terms of mixing/mastering, but it is definitely the production field that I still feel the weakest in.
Hopefully that will change now that I’m actually going to study it and actually work in a studio.
Which artists have influenced you personally and does the fact that your Dad was the Miami- based DJ Mont ‘back in the day’ have any direct influence on you?
I have a lot of inspirations. I think it is mostly subconscious thoughIn terms of my dad, yeah for sure I’ve been influenced by him, but maybe not directly.
Growing up, a lot of the music he played indirectly affected what I perceive as good music. But like him, I have very broad tastes. There is a difference between what I put out under the Phlyx name, then the stuff I make on the side, and then the music I actually listen to.
While I mostly gravitate towards the late 80’s, early 90’s electronic stuff, I can listen to all sorts of different things.
You are originally from Copenhagen, but where in Denmark are you based now and is there a thriving/vibrant scene there for electronic music?
I’m based currently in a small town called Haderslev, but unfortunately there isn’t any scene here, but with electronic music it doesn’t really matter so much.Regarding Copenhagen, there is definitely a scene, but only a couple of nightclubs are dedicated to electronic music.
Generally speaking, the type of music I make has no real scene here, which means I will have to go elsewhere for that. Sad, but that is unfortunately the reality of it.
Musically speaking, what does the remainder of 2016 and on into 2017 hold for you?
Hopefully a lot of stuff is going to happen now. I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck in the same place creatively for the past couple of years.
The fact that I moved to a small town, with a lot highly talented musicians around me, should mean I will get a lot more projects going in the future…
Felix/Phlyx : thanks for your time and, held log lyyke !
‘Road’ by Phlyx
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*Twilight of the Mortals exclusive content can be viewed and ordered from: http://www.pc-press.co.uk/twilight-of-the-mortals/
** Phlyx’s A Few Things Before I Go E.P can be heard here:
It can also be downloaded for free in WAV (higher) quality but please consider buying it for a price you feel appropriate: https://phlyx.bandcamp.com/