By Laura Turnbull | Artwork by R. Evans
Twelve dizzy rides around the sun ago, deep in the dark depths of Cornwall, a DIY electronic label was born. Happy Birthday, Phaked Soundsystem. Older, wiser, and still issuing certifiable bangers. What better way to celebrate than with a relaunch? Here’s six Phaked tracks to get you started.
OPPOSITEBIRDS – ‘Pollinators’
Google ‘dial-up sound’ and you’ll find a site that’ll let you “relive the excitement of connecting to the internet with the noise of a 56k modem.” Mmm glitchy data noise. Or, better still, go listen to ‘Pollinators’ by OPPOSITEBIRDS. When our feathered friends get robot wings and digi-beaks, this is what they’ll sound like. A flock of pixel confetti.
(Throwback to that one time OPPOSITEBIRDS made us a cuppa and talked beloved analogue and hoarding stuff, check it out: The Basement | Reuben Evans)
Love Horses – ‘end loop’
Let me play Cupid for a moment: Marie Davidson‘s mesmerising spoken-word techno and Love Horses‘ low, wavy rhythms are a match made in heaven. I want ‘Naive To The Bone’ and ‘end loop’ to sound-out all night long. “You call me naive? I tell you what, I’m naive to the bone.” Davidson‘s words could whiplash any listener into submission and Love Horses weaves the deep, cosmic basslines to soften the blow. Throw away the compass, ‘end loop’ is a soundscape to get lost inside.
Tai-Tek – ‘Wired’
Wanna know what Hunter S. Thompson takes on holiday? Give ‘Wired’ a spin. Tai-Tek has done a pretty tip-top job of translating “a whole galaxy of uppers, downers, screamers, laughers…” into a suitcase full of head-spinning, bone-quaking, teeth-gritting sounds. ‘Wired’ is gonna shatter your listening lens. Convulsive, out-of-control, and completely moreish.
Terra Tactics – ‘Ghost In The Machine (Terra Tactics 2017 Refix)’
Get your brain in gear, electronics get intellectual on Terra Tactics offering. In 1968 when Philip K. Dick pre-empted the plot line to every sci-fi flick ever and asked ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?’ it got us wary humans wondering. Do machines have feeling too, and will robots win? If they sound anything like the synths on this Terra Tactics track, we hope so. Be ready for a blurting chainsaw of a bassline and some heavenly drops.
Seamouse – ‘Sun’
I discovered American electronic duo Stars Of The Lid on a late night radio show one summer when it was too hot to sleep. Their ambient waves cure insomnia, that’s a fact, and whatever internal restlessness you happen to be wrestling can be smoothed out a little by their ‘Tired Sounds’. Seamouse is of that same mind-mending ilk. When you sink into ‘Sun’ – ‘cos that’s exactly what listening to Seamouse is, a total immersion – the edges of reality lose their razor edge and the hours get soft. Space-time continuum eat your heart out. Doesn’t make sense? Doesn’t matter, just dive in. ‘Sun’ is as delicious as the sound of rain and as satisfying as Tetris stacking up to oblivion.
(PS. Seamouse let CLUNK into his home studio, have a peek: The Basement | Martin Pease)
Jonny3Snares – ‘Galactic Shuffle’
With three snares at his disposal we’d expect no less from this Phaked rhythm rep than the chunkiest of beats to bulldoze us into outer-space. Mission accomplished. Jonny3Snares got us planet hopping like an astronaut on acid. ‘Galactic Shuffle’ is a moon-walk across modular ‘scapes with cracked drum fills to get your feet falling fast into. Who knew NASA could get so damn funky?
That’s ya lot, folks. For full no-beats-barred relaunch listening, check out Phaked Soundsystem on:
…and FYI: Phaked Soundsystem is well and truly open for business. The label is currently taking submissions from producers. Get in contact: