FEBRUARY 6, 2012

On the heels of his feature mix, THE PHANTOM sat down with our own Mitch Strashnov for a short interview. Check his latest release on Silverback Recordings, which was named Knowledge Magazine's top bass release for January 2012

Percussion Lab: Your latest release on Silverback is some of your strongest material; what's changed in your sound since the last EP release?

THE PHANTOM: I'd say the core is the same. The new material is still revolving around melancholy, nocturnal pop, sub levels and harsh, stripped down-production. The overall feel of the new release might be a bit more radio-friendly (especially 'Ceremony'), but everything comes back to 'normal' when you flip the side ('Voyeur').

PL: You cover a variety of styles on the release; is there a particular genre you're fond of but would stay away from producing in?

TP: I'm really happy with all the cinematic tracks I make from time to time. 'Late Night Sex or thE Devil Mix of 'Arctic' are good examples. They're perhaps the result of watching loads of 80's gloomy thrillers all over again, including  'Manhunter' and 'The Keep', 'To Live and Die in LA', 'Liquid Sky' or 'Tenebrae'. It also weirdly feels like home, as my dad used to be very into Klaus Schulze, Isao Tomita, Vangelis etc.

PL: What's a track you wish you could get away with playing in a DJ set, but know you can't?

TP: Luckily (or not) I take lot of influences from the most embarrassing genre - pop. I wouldn't mind playing Madonna's 'Burning Up', 'Make Up' by Vanity 6 or 'German Bold Italic' by Towa Tei & Kylie Minogue. I'm all about particular production tropes rather than genres.

PL: Tell us about this mix you've made for Percussion Lab. 

TP: Well, it's a very accurate guide to the tropes I just mentioned. It's a selection of stripped-down, nocturnal house/grime 12 inches. A perfect soundtrack for watching skyscrapers light up.

PL: What's the rest of 2012 got in store for THE PHANTOM?

TP: I'm putting the finishing touches on EP 3, which should be out right after the compilation of remixes from EP 2 (let's call it 'EP 2 Remixed'). In the meantime, there's plenty of remixes, compilation tracks and mixes in the pipeline. I'm planning to DJ a bit more frequently this year - just got back from Berlin, next stop - Paris.

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