Phibes: “When We Started, No Labels Wanted To Touch Us”
Phibes: “When We Started, No Labels Wanted To Touch Us”February 28, 2022
UK duo Phibes have had a whirlwind few years since their remix of Beat Assassins’ “Home Grown” hit number one on Beatport in August 2020. That remix was only the second time a drum & bass track hit the top spot store-wide, and since then Phibes — made up of brothers Scott and Ryan — have gone on to hit the top spot twice more, becoming one of the best-selling D&B acts on Beatport in the process.
Dropping February 25th, Unite Remixed is the latest album from Phibes, and features twelve new remixes of tracks from their 2019 album Unite, with an all-star lineup of remixes from the likes of Crossy & Jappa, Benny Page, Volition, as well as a host of VIP mixes from Phibes themselves.
We caught up with Phibes ahead of the album release to hear about writing the album, how they chose which artists would contribute remixes, and what it’s been like getting back out on the road.
Hey guys, congrats on the new release! We loved hearing all the tracks from Unite flipped in a different direction. The original album came out back in 2019, what made you decide now was the time to drop the remixes?
It was supposed to come out a lot earlier! Originally it was just supposed to be four or five remixes, but after we started a Patreon in mid-2020, we started doing competitions using stems from our old songs, and then-unknown artists were doing such a great job that we thought, oh well, this one’s really good, maybe we`ll ask this guy (Volition) to do an official remix for us, give him a platform to release on, and then, we kept getting close with other artists and we thought fuck it, let’s do them all.
Once that was decided we didn’t want to pressure anyone to a time limit. Covid was rife, people were struggling to get by and we just kept adding more artists onto it, and then it became an album, and then because almost a year had gone by and everyone had put so much thought and work into the remixes, we then wanted to put a lot of work into the mixdowns and masters, and after that we thought, this would actually be a great springboard for us to launch a label, and it honestly took us months to set that up also — picking the right distributor and the label name took so long to agree on — but finally it’s ready, we made it, thank god!
The album is out as the first release on your new label Phat Planet. What made you want to start the label and what else can we expect to hear coming up on Phat Planet?
When we started, no labels wanted to touch us. Our production and style wasn’t up to quality and when we got better, it still took a long time for that first impression to wear off and for Phibes to become a trusted artist to release with. It was always on the cards to start our own label one day, and lift every artist we liked up with it. It’s just another extension of being an artist; it’s a natural progression, a role that you eventually find yourself in if you’ve made music for a long period of time, You’re going to get frustrated that certain artists you really like aren’t getting picked up enough, so we thought it was time to do it ourselves!
There’s a really wide range of sounds on the album. How did you decide who you wanted to remix your tracks? Did you know all of the remixers personally already or was this the first time you’d reached out to any of them?
Pretty much all personally. Most were friends first, ones like Benny Page where we went from huge fans to good friends over years, and ones we found on our Patreon, and ones we met and instantly clicked with, Yozhi is a mate of mine from our hometown. Everyone on this album is great and we’re thankful they have taken the time to put their work out on our label!
Talk us through some of the VIP mixes on the release. How do you approach remixing one of your own tracks when you sit down in the studio? Is it tricky to take one of your own tracks in a completely different direction?
Time. I think if you don’t listen or open the track for a good amount of time, your brain almost resets. Anytime we have tried to VIP or remix one of our own in a different direction after a few weeks, it’s usually gone pretty wrong! Even more wrong if the tune was a bit of a struggle in the first place, with lots of different versions. Always easier remixing other people’s tunes than your own though, 100%!
Taking a look at your Instagram it looks like you’ve been out on the road a lot lately — great to see! Where can we catch you playing soon? Any festivals lined up for the summer?
We’re always out and about. We love playing live and touring, and we’re playing a lot of debuts this summer, festival-wise! Our first is Let It Roll, that’s gonna be special. Nass, Boardmasters, Balter Festival all feel like coming home shows now. We’ve had such amazing support from fans and the promoters alike, so we’re proper gassed to finally be going back to Boomtown as well. I think everyone in the scene is buzzing for this summer. We had a little taste in 2021 but this one’s gonna be proper. We’re also hoping to return to Canada and New Zealand this year!
Anything else you’d like to add or any shout-outs?
All the artists on the album — Crossy, Jappa, Benny Page, Audiomission, Kleu, Terrence & Phillip, Volition, Yozhi, Lockerz — we love ya, thank you for putting the time in. A massive thanks to Cygnus Music as well for believing in us helping us launch our label, invaluable support as well as all the other labels, promoters, venues and artists we’ve been working with over the last couple of years, they know who they are, ‘cause we’ve had a pint with ‘em all, lots of love. And thank you Beatport for being a platform for us to grow on, cheers!
Phibes’ Unite Remixes album is out now via Phat Planet. Listen below or check it out on Beatport.