Phonica, the bastion and beating heart of both record shops and underground music around London, celebrates its ten year anniversary this year.
First opening its doors under the helm of the crew from the now defunct Koobla Records (Simon Rigg, Heidi, Will Saul, Pete Herbert), Phonica quickly found its niche in the market and became the shop of choice for many of the worlds best DJs, not least because of the crew’s deep musical knowledge. In due course, the team put their A&R skills to a different test and founded their own label, something that is showcased in their celebratory 3 x CD compilation 10 Years of Phonica, which includes specially commissioned new material alongside highlights from the label’s history.
We offered the Phonica team the chance to demonstrate their famed expertise in our 5 Favourite series, and sure enough they came back with a list of their favourite hidden gems that carry a timeless quality and still manage to destroy the floor in clubs to this day.
The Mole People – Break Night
Timeless piece of house from one of Armand Van Helden’s many monikers, played by
everyone from Villalobos to Ron Morelli. Hypnotic tribalism from 1995 New York that
works today all over the world. It never leaves the box.
Rhythm & Sound – No Partial
Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald cover an instrumental by The Wailers and create
7 minutes of the most immersive dub purity. We used this track to test the new mixer/system
set up in the shop. Please be warned – the bass on this track is seriously dangerous! You’ve
been told, don’t blame us if something breaks!
Earl Flint – People Hold On (Instrumental)
Absolute gem here, proto-house/electro-funk variant from 1984. Produced by the genius that
is James Mason. Never fails to get the floor going, the ‘instrumental’ is a bit misleading as
it starts with the vocal and a handclap, but its a dream tool for DJ’s. A feel good anthem, one
of our favourite records full stop.
Risqué Rhythum Team – The Jackin’ Zone
Risqué Rhythum Team was K-Alexi, Mr. Lee and Mitchbal. Believe it or not this freaky
track is from 1986! An early example of jackin’ Chicago house music, that city was way ahead
of the pack, even though it was based on a disco track that was in turn based on the theme to
The Twilight Zone. Still sounds like the future whether you hear it in a warehouse or Berghain.
Claude Young – Impolite To Refuse
Pure euphoric Detroit techno here and maybe Claude’s greatest composition. Epic chords begin a staggering intro, and half-time Latin percussion play an unusual trick of making you think the track is speeding up. If this track told us it came here in a time machine from 100 years in the future we would believe it.