A regular on the London scene, foodie and purveyor of fine beats, with his great EP out now, I present you Philth…
Hello mate, for those who don’t know. Who is Philth?
Philth is an greedy orange man who wears checked shirts and never sleeps. I am a college teacher by day, teaching Music Production to 16-19 year olds in a college in Central London. I also do private tuition working from my studio at home.
At night and at the weekends I spend my time thinking about what I am going to eat and working on my own music.
It’s well documented that you’re a FB sensation when it comes to Food, can we expect a food based Release anytime soon??
Well I’ve done The Beasts, The Cosmos, now The Elements…. next up is The Condiments. There are a whole lot of top quality sauces in my fridge at the moment, so we could be looking at an album project. Chilli Bacon Jam it so good it deserves an EP of it’s own.
Now for some serious talk. How did you get into production in the Scene? What motivated or still does to produce D&B?
I started as a DJ (well actually I started as an MC, but those days are long gone) and I still consider that to be my main focus in music. I love that feeling when you find the perfect song for the crowd in front of you, at the perfect moment of the night – I love making that connection with the audience. The buzz from DJing has got me totally addicted.
I grew up listening to pirate radio from the age of around 9-10 years old; Pulse FM, Kool, Eruption. Then I discovered Hype, and Randall, Mampi Swift, and when I was 16 started going to raves at Bagleys and The End. Seeing Andy C play on three decks for the first time was a particularly mind-blowing moment. So was my first experience of the sound in Fabric.
I started collecting vinyl when I was 14 years old; it was in Blackmarket Records and the first tunes I bought were ‘The Nine’, Ed Rush and Optical ‘Medicine’ (Matrix remix) and some horrible tracks by Dom and Roland and a few others. I became obsessed by the tech-funk sound that was happening at the end of the 90’s and for the first few years I didn’t buy anything else. The sound of Virus, Bad Company, Renegade Hardware, Ram Trilogy was all I was interested in, and this has stuck with me of all my life. I just realised I’m wearing a Virus t-shirt while I type this! No matter what other avenues I explore nowadays, I always come back to that rolling tech sound. It is why I am so happy working for Dispatch Recordings, I feel like Ant has tapped into that late 90’s sound with the music he signs to the label, but with a modern twist.
Around 2002 a friend at college called me The Filth Master which became simply Philth (thanks Chappers) and the name seemed apt. But for all this time I just wanted to be a DJ. I had studied Music Technology but the decks were my main focus, I used to mix for 3-4 hours every single day. I got a show on Origin FM but after a few years of playing on radio I realised that I needed to establish myself as a producer if I wanted to progress in the scene and get better gigs, and I went to uni to continue studying Music Tech. Spending those years at uni focusing on my production skills was vital, it took me a long time to develop my technical skills and also my ability to write music. The production bug really bit me and it has never let go, you can never stop learning and for a geek like me that is paradise. Nowadays I spend 95% of my time doing all the other stuff and DJing is the reward for all the hard work.
Being Londoners we have a great Scene within the Scene. A fair few of us chat, meet at events (Where I am mostly very drunk), support each others projects etc. How important is that to you?
I can confirm. You are mostly very drunk! Haha only joking Dan, and it’s always nice to see you out and about…
The London scene is definitely very important to me both for personal and professional reasons – I want to make friends with the people I work with. I think it’s vital to socialise and actually meet people in real life. Pretty much everybody I work with is people that I have spoken to face to face, hung out with at events and made a personal connection, which I feel is so important. I think that is becoming lost in the digital age, and I struggle to connect in the same way online. As Londoners we are lucky to have so many parties to go to, and you can often find me lurking at the bar. Soul In Motion is great for a midweek social, and Launch is my favourite party for a night out when I’m not working. I love the Launch promoters and they have simply the best crowd.
Now on to your Current EP, a great idea with the Elements but have to say the Track with Collette Warren is something else. Water, not sure how it didn’t fall under the title Fire mind haha Needless to say it’s a big big track. What was the story behind the EP?
It was Facing Jinx who pushed me to write a concept EP in the first place. Alex is always keen for our artists to explore their ideas and bring something personal to Peer Pressure, a license to experiment, and gradually an idea formed in my head for an EP that would enable me to express the full range of my sound, from deep liquid to dancefloor energy. I wanted each track to reflect the element it is named after, to give me this range to play with
The title track shows my love of film music, I want to write a soundtrack piece that set the scene and also contained all of the elements swirling around each other before they separated to play individually. Earth is intended to sound warm and organic; Air is light and breezy, bouncing and floating, (and inspired by Todd Edwards, my garage influences coming through); Fire flickers and burns then suddenly is out of control; and finally on Water I wanted the bass to sound completely fluid, it is moving all the time, changing shape to fill all the spaces in the track.
Collette’s vocals took the track to another level. I love her songwriting, the way she compliments the chords and melody so well, and she knows how to build up intensity alongside the music which makes the end result so powerful. I’ve been opening with Water for the last year and it always starts my set with a bang.
The EP is coming out on Peer Pressure, with the recent tracks from Olski & Blastikz and now your EP, its quite the combo. A little bird tell’s me you have a hand in the label?
Yes and wait until you hear what we have coming next…. HLZ has written an absolutely incredible EP, and we have some new talent coming onto the label which I am very excited about.
Peer Pressure started life out in California (Hi Matt!) and my very first releases were with Facing Jinx, on what was at the time the international sub-label of Peer Pressure. As the years went by we became more and more involved and one day Matt asked Alex (Jinx) if he would be interested in taking over the label, as he needed to focus on his young family. We have tried to build on his legacy and keep the label constantly pushing exciting fresh music. And coming back to that personal connection – I’m heading over to the USA in the summer and I’m very excited to finally meet up with the original PPR crew!
Alex is the owner and label manager, and I focus on the A&R, finding new music and new artists, but we work closely on most aspects of the label. I am very good at coming up with ideas, and Alex is very good at making them happen (or telling me when it’s not going to work). We have learnt a lot in the last few years, and feel like we are really coming into our own this year.
Special shout out also to Bob Macc… he has mastered every single piece of music on the label for the last 5 years and it wouldn’t be the same without his finishing touch. Or his food tips.
With that in mind, what can we expect from you in 2016? Also what will Peer Pressure be putting out over the year?
After The Elements my next release is The Circle EP on Dispatch, it’s my first vinyl release on the label which I am very very happy about. Having my music mastered and cut to vinyl by the legend that is Beau at TenEightSeven is a special moment in my career to date.
After that there is an EP for Flexout in the works, some more music with Riya on Spearhead, the absolute honour of Clayton asking me to produce a track for the Final Chapter LP on Renegade Hardware, and lots of secret stuff that I can’t talk about yet. I have put more of a focus on collaboration over the last year and have written lots of music with some of my good friends in the scene. You will have to come and see me play if you want to hear the new music – and bring some cake!