Why Manchester is the new creative epicentre of neo-soul and hip-hop
Erol Alkan’s right-hand man since his Trash residency days, London DJ/producer Rory Phillips has been doing a nice line in crucial club remixes and gently sardonic wit (see his Twitter) for a good few years now. So it was exciting to hear that he was finally going to be releasing his own material, with a bit of a Phillips twist. Recording under the name Mixed Fortunes, he’ll be releasing a string of six vinyl-only releases over the next year as part of his Singles Club subscription service. I dropped him a line earlier this week to ask him to reveal all. Plus get lost in the chemically altered beats of Chamber Music, side A of the first Mixed Fortunes release, below.
Hey Rory, how are you?
Very busy but very well indeed.
Congratulations on your debut record. It’s been a long time coming. What changed to make now the right time?
Thanks, not much has changed, just lots of factors aligning all at once. I’ve pretty much stopped doing remixes and finally finishing all the material that gets put on the back burner because I have to remix something or go off on tour.
Could you tell me a bit about your Singles Club?
It’s a simple idea, it’s like subscribing to a magazine, except the magazine is circular and sits on a record player. And for a nominal fee every two months subscribers will receive a new square envelope with a circular disc inside. Abstract descriptions aside, one of my only rules with releasing my own music is that it has to be pressed on vinyl and this seemed like an interesting way of giving the music to people in a physical format directly and in a way that doesn’t cost them too much.
Where did the Mixed Fortunes name come from?
I was originally trying to make an EP but was making lots of music that didn’t really sit on the same release, and Mixed Fortunes was a working title for that because of the varying styles and moods.
Why did you want to steer clear of the album format?
The idea of putting a year or so’s work into making an album only to have somebody scan over it in iTunes in two minutes is just too disheartening. That’s probably pretty snobby but I’ve caught myself doing it.
And having made some of the finest remixes over the last few years (especially your remix of The Units High Pressure Days), it’s interesting you decided to have no remixes for this project. Why was that?
I guess it just seemed right with the insular, simple nature of the whole project.
What’s next for you this year?
I have a head start on the material but I will still be working on Mixed Fortunes throughout the year, lots of fun collaborations lined up, as well as more parties in London, heading back to the US for a tour in the summer and working on my window boxes in the springtime.
Which records never leave your record bag?
Banbarra Shack Up
Quando Quango Love Tempo
And finally, any tips – musical or otherwise – for Dummy readers in 2012?
The Kindness record is going to blow minds and warm hearts, also window boxes are going to have a great 2012.