[Review] Systematic Colours Volume Three: Mixed by Phonique
Phonique (Beatport | Facebook) mixes Systematic Colours (Download on Beatport) showing another side of his incredible DJ talent.
At first I was thrown off by the sound of this compilation as I have come to expect something else when in Phonique sonica. Yet, for three entire weeks Systematic Colours played in my car. My friends - this is no small statement, as my ears are as needy as the next music junkie. Meanwhile, I was unsure that it was any good.
At the conclusion of its uninterrupted 21 day stint in my car I concluded it wasn't good - It was great. Unexpectedly great and a treat to see a label showcased in this fashion. Usually I have to take a trip to Miami in March to see what labels are pushing. And this one is pushing it in a massive way! Some of the most complete tech sounds in the game are coming from Systematic Recordings (Beatport | Facebook). Marc Romboy (Beatport | Facebook | Twitter) is a genius that recognized another in Phonique. My eyes and ears are firmly fixed there way now... Thanks Phonique!
Systematic Colours Volume Three: Mixed by Phonique: Download on Beatport
Press Release: Systematic Colours Volume Three: Mixed by Phonique
Systematic Colours Volume Three mixed by Phonique is a not-to-be missed snapshot of Marc Romboy’s vision for his record label, Systematic Recordings. Mixing classic releases with newer material it is an opportunity to revisit some memories and to look to the future.
Taking the reins for the third in the series is Phonique. He deftly stitches the compilation together, blending tracks with a very nice effect. Phonique is an international performer who regularly spins in Brazil as well as playing a regular spot at Panorama Bar in Berlin.
The vibe in the early moments of the album is very much deep house. This is not Systematic’s most typical genre, but a firm Phonique favourite as he has won several awards for the style. Spirit Catcher’s Frequent Traveller is a case in point. As the album progresses, things become warmer and by the time track 5 drops, F.E.X’s Hedonism, there has been a palpable shift in mood.
It is intelligent mixing and is reminiscent of Phonique’s club sets. By starting deep he gives a neat context to some of Systematic’s more recognizable tunes, making them appear even more special than they would on their own.
Something immediately noticeable is the broad range of instruments it is possible to pick out. Check out the muted trumpet on Audio Soul Project’s Traditionalist. Or the reedy sounds on Pharaoh by Dimitri Andreas, which by the way is as evocative of ancient Egypt as is possible for a dance tune to be.
It’s refreshing to see Phonique thinking outside the box with tunes like these. It adds depth to the mix and gives Systematic Colours Volume Three a jazzy feel that is incredibly enjoyable.
Marc Romboy features heavily which is no surprise but always a pleasure. A highlight is the popular Couleur de L´Espoir byRodriguez Jr. vs. Marc Romboy. Bass-heavy, Detroit inspired and totally tasty. The album’s final moments yield some straightforward-yet-spacey tech house courtesy of Romboy and Stephan Bodzin‘s 2010 smash Triton, still sounding fresh a year down the pipes.
Overall, Systematic Colours Volume Three flies the flag incredibly well for Systematic Recordings. It’s an accessible delight that will please both the casual listener and those with a more vested interest in the label’s releases alike.
- Marc Romboy Vs. Blake Baxter “Where Would You Be?” (Version 2)
- Chelonis R. Jones “Pompadour” (Gorge Dub)
- Spirit Catcher “Frequent Traveller”
- Ante Perry & Olivier Grégoire “Swing”
- F.E.X. “Hedonism”
- Dachshund “Vapor”
- Dimitri Andreas “Pharaoh”
- Rodriguez Jr. Vs. Marc Romboy “Couleur de L´Espoir”
- Marc Romboy Vs. Stephan Bodzin “Callisto” (Joris Voorn Remix)
- Robert Babicz “Dark Flower” (Fever Mix)
- Marc Romboy Vs. Stephan Bodzin “Atlas” (Gui Boratto Remix)
- Audio Soul Project “Traditionalist”
- Will Saul & Tam Cooper “Through the Smoke”
- Marc Romboy Vs. Stephan Bodzin “Triton”
After moving to Berlin in the mid 90’s, Michael Vater a.k.a Phonique was on the go like few others in Berlin. His successful parties and club nights got much love and paved him the way to become one of the nice guys in Berlin’s nightlife. First he only organized parties, after a while he started to DJ himself: "DJ Phonqiue" was born.
Since January ‘98, Phonique continued to bring previously lesser known DJs and producers to Berlin for his club nights and parties, presenting many strong nights with DJs like Glen Gunner (Street Corner Symphony/Block 16), Lil Tony (Nu Spirit Helsinki/Guidance), Alexkid (F-Com/Ovum), Llorca (F-Com/Brique Rouge), Joakim (Tigersushi) or Ivan Smagghe (Blackstrobe/Volga Select).
In the meantime, Phonique continued to develop his "freestyle" profile. His guests were treated to a splendid mix from Hip-Hop via Breakbeats to Old School and Drum‘n’Bass. Just about anything was possible in between, as long as the tracks had the necessary "type of groove". He invited DJs like LTJ Bukem, Richard Dorfmeister and many more.
Traveling the world and playing clubs in Sao Paulo, Helsinki, Paris, London, Marseille, Vienna, Brussels, San Francisco, Prague, Tel Aviv, just to name a few destinations, Phonique never forgot his Berlin base. Just like his residencies at Tresor and Pfefferbank (among others), where he brought his ‘Club Paris’ evening to life, with guests like Pepe Bradock, DJ Deep, Jori Hulkkonen and I:Cube.
From time to time Phonique, together with his partner Kiki, presented their QuadroPhoniquekikz’ on four turntables, eventually releasing their first ‘QuadroPhoniquekikz’ mix-CD in 2002 on Komfort Musik.
His first two 12" were released on Martin Landsky’s Intim Recordings, and from then on Phonique released on labels like Komfort Musik (Berlin), Seasons (USA), Brique Rouge (Paris) and Crosstown Rebels (London), but mainly on Steve Bug’s own Poker Flat and Dessous.
His first remix (for Doctorolive) was released on French label Bazoline. After remixes for Frankman (Draft/Fm), Soulcamp (Soulcamp), Le Tone (Naive), Funky Transport (Brique Rouge), Tonic Agents (Highgrade), Detroit Grand Pubahs (Poker Flat) and Erlend Oye (!K7) he even remixed Germany’s pop phenomena "Rosenstolz".
Besides Phonique’s remixing talents and DJing with vinyl and CDs, he also started to edit tracks so they made more sense for his DJ-sets. When Jazzanova found out about this, they asked him to do some for their own use. So Phonique worked out some edits, partly with his buddy Dixon. Edits for Georg Levin and DJ Spinna, remixes for Georg Levin and Sirius Mo even got released on Jazzanova’s Sonar Kollektiv label.
2004 then was a very successful year for Phonique.
His second 12" on Dessous "The Red Dress" climbed on top of the official German Club Charts (DCC), "The Red Dress" became one of the hottest tracks being played by almost every key DJ in Europe. He worked on Erlend Oye’s incredibly successful DJ-Kicks (!K7) in technicals, mixing and consulting and actually played several tour dates with Erlend all across Europe.
In Autumn 2004 then his debut album "Identification" for Dessous was released, featuring collaborations with Paris The Black Fu, Erlend Oye, Alexander East (Minneapolis), Ian Whitelaw (Glasgow) and Dixon (Sonar Kollektiv). With amazing international feedback, even a number one chart entry on Itunes’ dance download charts it turned out to be Phonique’s breakthrough success.
Massive Video play on German MTV’s renowned "Spin" and on Viva Plus of "For The Time Being" with Erlend Oye took his popularity to another level. The 12" release "99 & a half" feat. Alexander East featured one of the best I:Cube remixes in recent days and went to become a club hit immediately. The album track "You, That I'm With" feat. Ian Whitelaw was licensed to South Africa even pre-release, where Ian Whitelaw’s last track (with Alexkid ) had also been the club hit of 2003/4.
Also the single "For The Time Being" with remixes by Alexkid and Motorcity Soul received massive positive feedback, followed by a remix by Sasse (Moodmusic), even leading to a future collaboration with Rodney Hunter (G-Stone) as they found out that their creativity combined would go beyond the framework of a remix and demanded proper recognition, as on a track for the next album.
Even for Sven Väth "Identification" was a highlight, thus he asked Phonique for an exclusive track for "Cocoon Compilation E".
With the closing of Tresor in 2005 Phonique lost one of his favorite residencies, playing the Bonito House Club once a month. Since his very first Tresor Wednesday night gig of February ‘99, he was fired up about the 600-1400 people crowd that would not stop dancing up until late Thursday morning….
Since Berlin’s nightlife is subject to rapid change, Phonique’s residences change alike. Currently you can meet him mainly at Weekend, F.U.N. Crew’s incredible venue with a view over all of downtown Berlin at Alexanderplatz. Their second compilation on Fine/ Four Music will be supported by Phonique’s track ‘’Bee". Even though release is not expected before early 2006, the track already gets massive support by colleagues like Trevor Jackson (Output) and M.A.N.D.Y (Get Physical).
Recently Phonique asserted his recognition as one of the high profile remixing artists in the dance world, letting Morcheeba’s former vocalist benefit from his talents on a remix of her upcoming solo project "Skye" (Atlantic/ Warner).
Phonique mostly works with Alex Krüger (Dub Taylor / Korsakow / Tigerskin) for his productions/remixes, but from time to time he is cooperating with other artists or musicians like Steve Bug, David Duriez & Phil Weeks, Martin Landsky or Meitz.
Already being recognized internationally as one of the leading forces behind deep and forward thinking club music and commercial productions alike, this one will take it to the next level.
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