Phibes – Bass driven brothers Ryan & Scott hailing from Southwest England got together in late 2014, since then they have released on multiple labels, diving in and out of a cocktail of mixes and productions in glitch hop, drum and bass, twerk, swing, breaks, reggae & hip hop and then fusing them together in their live sets to create the ultimate party phibe!
We asked the guys a couple of questions to find our where they come from where they’re at and where they’re headed.
How did you guys get together, how did you meet and how did you start making music together?
- RYAN: We’re brothers so, our mother introduced us.
- SCOTT: To cut a long story short, Ryan was dj-ing drum and bass/ breaks in bars in town and I was running a studio for recording bands and being in bands myself, I had never really been into electronic music as deeply as Ryan was. Ryan asked me to produce a track that he had an idea for back in late 2013 and it all went from there, we`ve been making tunes together since, he has learned about production and I learned about dj-ing, so we helped each other understand the different crafts.
We know you juggle plenty of different styles. How did you meet glitch hop and what made you open up to that direction? What do you like about this genre?
- RYAN: I’ve always loved bass, like bassline, drum n bass, anything with bass, Scott’s the same, he’s always gravitated towards the heavier, attitude ridden sounds in music.
- RYAN: I was playing with breaks and glitch hop, putting hip hop acapellas on top of glitch hop and was like, you know if glitch hop had more hip hop, brass and scratching elements in it, that would be great, then I discovered ghetto funk.
- SCOTT: I’ve always been a huge fan of funk, so I think it was the common ground we stood on together, we agreed on hip hop and heavy bass + musical elements like funk/swing, I could get on board with that.
Did you learn producing, mixing, sound engineering somewhere or did you learn all of it by yourselves?
- SCOTT: I’ve been in bands since I was 15, and had been in a lot of studios recording etc but It wasn’t till I was 21 then I started using daws seriously other than for just sketching drums in my room so I could write to them, it was 2008 and everyone had Fruity Loops as a drum machine you know lol. After 21 I was recording bands but it wasn’t till 3 years ago (25) then I started using massive, VSTS, sampling sites like Loopmasters etc, I didn’t even know they existed you know. I taught myself how to play guitar/sing/drums etc since 15 and all that songwriting, instrumentation etc adds to my roster of creating music, and obviously some great tutorial sites that I can’t remember the name of now taught me how to use Ableton hah. Ryan has a natural ear for a good sample, he essentially does pretty much all the sample digging, like, he found all the samples for the album I didn’t find any of them.
In your opinion, what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of producing as a duo?
- RYAN: We can essentially be in two places at once. We split everything, while I’m sampling, he’s writing bass, while I’m dj-ing, he’s networking, while he’s cooking I’m replying to emails etc etc. So that’s a huge advantage and we can of course concentrate on our professions, we mix it up but essentially Scott produces more and I DJ more, I crate digs a lot.
- SCOTT: He understands groove better than I do because of dj-ing, when I go off on creative glitch tangent of bass madness he pulls me back and says yo, you’re going way too far, let’s put this back to basics, where’s the groove gone? Remember the hop part of glitch. So those are just a few advantages. We guess with a normal duo you would have the cons of arguing, not agreeing, but you know, we’ve been doing that for a quarter of a century, so when we go at it over something we`ll be kicking off at each other then 5minutes later, everything’s cool, a lot of people find it really strange but to us we just let the argument go pretty much immediately or within a day maximum. So we don’t really have a lot of cons.
- RYAN: Apart from you’re a cunt
- SCOTT: Fuck off lol
It is known that the electronic music scene in London is pretty hot, diverse and vivid. What is the scene like in your hometown, Falmouth? Are there parties, gigs, up and coming producers? What style do people prefer there?
- RYAN: Falmouth’s a renowned arts university town so it’s pretty diverse for the size, it’s like a tiny Bristol. The thing is because the population is generally between 18-24 artists/producers tend to go home before their career has gotten going. It’s a great place to hone your craft. It’s a beach town so in the winter there is nothing to do but since inside and work on your art. There’s a lot of promoter companies but like I say, the town switches hands completely every 3 years so, it’s always fresh, vibrant, but there is a lack of community due to the change of population so often.
In February you put out an 11-track album called “Ain’t No Thing” A Glitch Swing Collection, great material with amazing sounds, congratulations! What can you tell us about the release?
- SCOTT: We noticed we lacked a lot of glitch swing in our collection and ‘Bust that Rhythm’ did so well, we thought, we might as well just do an album, we have enough material, its winter let’s get it done. We want to start creating albums more often as like a landmark of where we were musically at one time, we do a lot of free downloads and single releases but it feels more “foot in the sand” to do an album, were working on a lot of original drum and bass right now, we don’t wanna be pigeonholed by this extended play but we wanted to give it its once feel rather than mix everything up we do and put it on an album, not just yet anyway.
What do you have coming for 2017? Releases, tours any projects you could tell us about?
- RYAN: We’re putting together a 4 track EP of classic dnb remixed, that`s been a lot of fun to write and is really handy for lives shows so we want to give that for the Dj’s you know. Were also writing an original drum and bass EP, we also dropped a twerk/midtempo 3 track EP on Bombstrikes at the beginning of march. We’ve just finished up an official remix for featurecasts album which is an honour and a pleasure with our alias Inapt, we’re working an EP with that too, and we`ll be releasing free downloads too, we’re aiming to release more than last year which was 22 tracks so, we’re on schedule, that’s just before summer so, we`ll let you know later what’s planned for the later half ;)
What is the purpose of your music? Self-expression, passion and fun or you like entertaining people? What is your motivation to produce music?
- BOTH: Can’t actually imagine doing anything else, it’s been music since day one, our parents worked in the riverside, which was like the hacienda of Newcastle in the 90s. So you know, when we were kids we were sitting in the backstage with like Nirvana and Faith No More and big bands of the day, our dad giving us like ‘Fat of the Land’ (The Prodigy) on tape when we were still 7 or 8 lol. Diversity in music has been a part of our whole lives that’s why we can’t just do one thing, it doesn’t feel right to not change. There is no motivation other than to keep going, writing, creating and getting that feeling when you write a filthy drop and it goes off live and the crowd cheers, that’s the best feeling going. We have upmost respect for each genre and culture and just want to learn as much as possible.
What achievement of yours are you the most proud of? Awards, gigs or releases?
- SCOTT: We’re playing Glastonbury and Boomtown this year so, that’s a big milestone. We got our music on vinyl finally the other day on Psychodynamik Records on a 7inch with Aphrodite, Deekline, General Levy so that was dope.
What is your “dream collaboration? What artist or artists would you love to work with (any genres)? Why them?
- RYAN: Would love to have General Levy or Solo Banton on a track or Demolition Man, I could list a lot of MC’S /singers we`d like to work with to be honest. I’d love to hook up with Caravan Palace. You know get the bands in the room and coordinate, more musicians the better and at the same time sit down with Aphrodite and smash out a banger.
- SCOTT: It’s hard to look up to high, I reckon we could make a banger with Adele tho, life long fan.
Do you remember the very first track you ever made individually? Do you still have it? What was it like?
- RYAN: My first individual track was sound of the police remix and mine was Paper planes remix
- SCOTT: Ryan’s winning in hits which he reminds me of every so often.
- RYAN: Fucking right I am!
Tell us about your music making process please! How does it go? What do you guys need so you can compose? Any quirks or routines? Tell us some workshop secrets!
- SCOTT: I like a clean room mate, I can’t work in mess, when it comes to any song like as a general rule, when we’re writing we always have our essential elements, it needs bass, brass, scratches, some kind of unique sound, hip hop cuts, and overall don’t go too in with the glitch, groove is key, generally we write the drop first or the key piece of music, we always write filters last for some reason. I dunno it’s a tough question, you write what you write, it’s pretty open really.
What country would you like to go to play gigs, a country you’ve never been to before? Why there?
- Canada, because everyone says it’s great, so were hoping to go there.
What was your original plans career-wise? Did you guys always want to be musicians since you were kids? Or did you have other plans before you got into producing?
- SCOTT: I was in bands and theater groups as a teen so the stage “called to me “ I guess. I ended up recording bands, I guess it was a natural progression that I started writing electronic music, I wish I had started earlier to be honest in a way.
- RYAN: I was always involved in the underground electronic music scenes and raves and stuff and figured it would be better to be dj-ing at events rather than chefing hah. Phibes was actually already a thing before Scott got involved, me and my mate Ben were dj-ing together at nights. Scott came in 6months after the name was penned, I showed him all my mash ups and I said let’s do this but better.
-SCOTT: For a time I just made them worse but we got there lol
Do you have day jobs besides making music, or that’s all you do now?
- We are fulltime all day all night working on something related with the music, there’s a lot going on right now, that and cooking and sleeping. And Netflix and Crunchyroll
Thanks guys for taking the time doing this interview with us, keep those hot tunes coming!
- Big up Glitch Hop Community!