Metasound

Scris pe 02.03.2006 de Dan Bazix

Phunkfiction had been founded in 2004. Until this moment they have released one cd (Breakbeat Lounge compilation) and four 12"s. For 2006 they plan to release more compilations with soulful dnb, nujazz, broken beat and ambient. The aim of the label is to focus on soulful music in one project that is not restricted to one fixed genere, where established artists and newcomer producers have equal chances to be signed.

Who are the people behind the Phunkfiction Label? When was the label created?
The label was founded by Bass Tikal and Roman Herbst in September, 2004. By this moment, Roman has played a very active role in the scene as an event promoter. Soon, Carsten aka Tigger also joined the crew in order to mainly take care of the labels' visual appearance. Last but not least, I entered the Phunkfiction camp in August, 2005.

What are label's goals? What plans do you have for 2006?
Phunkfiction mainly stands for a very musical style of Drum & Bass. Soulful and funky – that`s what probably most likely hits the nail on the head. In the beginning of 2006 we plan a release by Drumatic – a slightly young but long-time active head in the eastern German scene. His productions are very mature and don't have to fear comparisons with other already established artists. The international feedback for the tunes is very good. After that, we have a 12” with Basic Operations from the US and a release by Contour and Henree. We also plan an album release, but this is top secret for now.

We know that the German and international drumandbass scene had a great evolution. What was the label's contribution? What is the importance of the label for the international scene?
Recently, Phunkfiction was declared as the German counterpart to Soul:R. In the moment, the label is probably the one with the highest output in Germany. Besides featuring international artists, we also try to draw the attention to German artists, such as Drumatic, Henree or AJC.

We know that five records had been released so far, which are the names from the sixth release, when will be pressed?
The sixth release will be Basic Operations "4th Street Sound Click" & "Organ Krush".

Promotion plays a main role in the success of a label. Which are the ways the label is promoted through? Media, web, distribution, marketing.
The Drum & Bass scene is famous for its presence in the internet. For this reason, we post our news in portals all over the globe. We also have an email newsletter and features in magazines. We present new releases on the radio. Besides this, I organize the regular Phunkfiction Clubnights in Leipzig. And finally, the Artists and DJs help to spread the name.

Nowadays more and more artists appear in the scene and the result is a a bigger competition. How do new artists sign to Phunkfiction?
Right. There are lots and lots of producers and also a lot of them are very good in what they are doing. The decision about what finally gets released is made by Bass Tikal. I don't believe he has set patterns of how a tune has to sound in order to be interesting for Phunkfiction. If it somehow catches his interest he will definitely show this and get in contact with the artist.

How important are you for the label? How did you get hooked with them?
One of the nights I organized in Leipzig starred Bass Tikal. We stayed in contact and soon realized that we have the same philosophy concerning the music. I then came up with the idea of starting regular Phunkfiction Labelnights in Leipzig, in order to create a club platform for the related artists. This resulted in me representing the label as promoter and DJ, now. Besides the Phunkfiction Labelnights, I also take care of diverse promotion and PR activities.

Some words about you. When did you start all that you are doing now? Why? What determined you to invest in this domain?
I have been playing music since the age of 13. Back then I started as a drummer in a punk band and later moved on to hardcore. Since then, there has been nothing else giving me more pleasure and my life a clearer sense than music. No matter when and in which situation: it brightens up everything, makes it easier and more peaceful. I began to feel an obsession to live and share this way of life. I see my job in giving people a good time through the music, whenever they have the opportunity to hear and experience it. Get loose and forget any daily stress...

DJ vs producer? What do you feel/like more?
Both sides are interesting in their own way. I love to travel through the variety of Drum & Bass while playing in the club and take the crowd with me on this trip. On the other side, I can sit in the studio, for hours, just to get one tune to the point where it finally expresses the mood I am looking for. And if it even works on the floor it is the greatest kick you can get. Probably, this is the reason for the hard studio work being easily able to spend hours with just one loop. For me, both sides have a very high importance. Though I have just started to work in the studio with Lucius 14, I couldn't imagine to just be a DJ, anymore. On the other hand, only working in the studio would be nothing for me, either...

What are your present projects? What do you plan for the future?
The most important project, I am working on, in the moment, is the studio work with Lucius14 from Frankfurt. We also plan to work together with Audite. Together we team up for Drittes Ohr Productions. I will present “my little crew” more detailed soon. Besides this, in the future I won't be the only host of Radio Drittes Ohr, anymore. We are going to play in rotation in the future, giving everyone his own freedom to design the show. But also the work for Phunkfiction is of great importance to me, because it means a lot to represent this label and its philosophy.

Some words about the german dnb scene? How big is it? Name some important labels, producers.
The German Drum & Bass scene does not have a capital, there are active heads in a lot of towns. As far as I know, Cologne seems to go really well, at the moment. Events there are almost always well appreciated by a good crowd and also some of Germany's best-known producers come from Cologne, such as Henree, AJC (Amaning, J-Cut and Canoma), Phace, The Green Man just to name a few. However, in many other cities Drum & Bass finds a good resonance and has its own crowd and developments – like Frankfurt, Chemnitz, Leipzig and others. When talking about producers one mustn't forget Kabuki from Frankfurt, Syncopix from Hamburg and Young AX from Berlin. All of them have definitely caught the international attention, in the last years. The most important labels are Hard:Edged, Precision, Santorin and Basswerk.

Why have you choosen drumandbass? What makes it more special for you from the other genres?
In Drum & Bass I find all music styles and influences I regard highly. Compact in one musical shape and ready for the club. In a mix I can present exactly this kind of diversity and express a tolerant, respectful and open way of dealing with different cultures. It is THE expression of the multi-cultural thought. Drum & Bass is just the framework and what you construct around it, is totally up to you. The more you live and use this freedom, the better you express respect and tolerance, e.g. towards other styles of music and the culture behind them. Main influences here Soul, funk, brazilian music, Jazz just to name a few.

Techstep, Darkstep, Clownstep or Liquid?
I will play what gives me the kick and a proper amount of pleasure ;o) I don't mind genres within Drum & Bass music. I really go for very musical tunes with nice melodies and a hell lot of funk. But I can also find very dry and technoid tracks and Bristol rollers in my record bag. I see Drum & Bass as a whole and not in its separate subgenres...

Name some djs/proucers that have influenced you over the years.
Marcus Intalex, High Contrast, Dj Flight, London Elektricity, Cyantific, Calibre, Syncopix, Logistics, D. Kay, Kabuki, Danny Byrd, Marky, Q – Project, Chris Su, SKC, Total Science, Roni Size, Lee, A.I., Craggz & Parallel Forces, Ed Rush & Optical, Zinc, Nu:Tone.

Which is your opinion regarded to the international scene. Which are the new directions? What producers are you feeling this time of year?
Generally, the scene has opened itself, has become more wide-spread and is not so UK-focussed, anymore. All are connected world-wide and in the meantime there is quite a number of artists from all over the world releasing on English labels. People seem to pay more attention to the fact if a tune functions and not on how important its producer is. Especially labels like Hospital do a good job in using the possibilities and pushing newcomers. Technically, I really like the stuff Q-Project is producing, at the moment. Although he has an enormous output, he has the ability to keep the quality level of his tracks – respect. As well, I find the tunes of Chris SU and SKC very interesting, since they happen to manage easily the ridge walk between technoid and liquid sound. Not to forget Marcus Intalex and the entire Hospital camp. Over all, I find it difficult to focus on just some artists because there are a lot of excellent producers out there.

Where do you like to play more? What was your greatest experience as a DJ? Which was the best /receptive crowd?
I have to say that Eastern Europe is very exciting. I have the impression that Drum & Bass is lived and loved there with even more enthusiasm than for example in Germany. Here, you sometimes get the feeling that a lot of people see in Drum & Bass a fashion that is already over...

Top 10 tracks that you play frequently at your gigs.
01. London Elektricity – "Rember The Future" High Contrast Remix (Hospital)
02. Drumatic – “Wrong Means Right” (Phunkfiction)
03. Q – Project – “Mr. Bling” (C.I.A.)
04. Danny Byrd – “The French Quarter” (Liquid V)
05. Kabuki – “Trailblazer” (Liquid V)
06. Baron – "At the drive in" (Breakbeat Kaos)
07. London Elektricity vs. Logistics – “Search Engine” (Hospital)
08. Chris.Su – “What's Happening” (Hospital)
09. D. Kay – “Move Y'all” (Bingo)
10. Utah Jazz & Danny Byrd – “He Who Dares” (Liquid V)

We had the chance to know each other last year. What was your impression? Say some words for the romanian partygoers.
Yo, as already mentioned. It was a very beautiful and unforgettable time in Romania. I can't remember any better party than the one I had in Cluj Napoca in June, 2005. Wicked! Wicked! Wicked!