“It’s been described as an Acid House Bohemian Rhapsody, it takes in 25 styles during it’s course, I like it” – Rob da Bank on BBC Radio 1
“This guy F**ks with all the rules” – Norman Cook
“Learn to Recycle is six minutes of utterly unique music” – IDJ
“Phonat has frequently stunned us with his none-more-innovative productions over the last few years, coming across like a hyperactive Daft Punk on happy pills…… By the end, you’re exhausted, perplexed, flabbergasted, and left with the feeling that all other music is boring, unimaginative, repetitive trash. Wow. 10/10″ – Data Transmission
Unique, innovative, rule breaking, genre-spanning….just a few of the plaudits that have been used to describe the works of Phonat, the seven foot mop-haired Italian who’s been catching the ears and attention of the ever intangible ‘tastemaking set’ over the past few months.
Annie Mac, Annie Nightingale, Andy George, Rob da Bank and Pete Tong have all been championing the producer since last year, when singles ‘Incredible Sound’, ‘Ghetto Burning’ and ‘Learn To Recycle’ marked him as one to watch for 2009 and beyond. Now readying the release of his eponymous debut album, Phonat has created a panoply of chopped up riffs swirled around murky basslines, a world where guitar-driven dancefloor fillers meet bleep-filled fantasies for fun, friendship and possibly more.
Originally from Florence, Italy, Phonat (aka Michele Balduzzi) was first spotted by MofoHifi Records on MySpace and they were so impressed with the 21 year old that the loving label bosses persuaded him to leave his parents’ idyllic country farm in Florence and move to a bed sit in Canning Town. Armed only with a five-year-old computer and an electric guitar Phonat dutifully relocated to London in late 2007 and the rest, as they say, is history.
Drawing on every vein of dance music, from hip hop to house, garage to breaks Phonat’s expert use of a vocal hook is also evident, most noticeably on the Yolanda vocalled ‘Ghetto Burning’ and next single ‘Set Me Free’ – where classic 80s style rock vocals sit atop a stacatto-synthed stomper.
Phonat may have arrived on the scene late last year, but with DJ bookings and remix requests coming in from across the world and his album ready to hit the streets, 2009 is set to be an busy year for the big Italian.
‘Phonat’ by Phonat is released on MofoHifi Records on September 21st. ‘Set Me Free EP’, featuring remixes from Avicci, Louis La Roche and High Rankin was out August 24th.
1. A Warm Welcome
2. Get Down My Dirty Street
3. Set Me Free
4. Ghetto Burnin’
5. Love Hits The Fan
6. Ho Visto Un Quadro Verde
7. It’s For You
8. Learn To Recycle
9. The Big Deal
10. Zombie Army
11. Bad Boy
Available at all major sellers.
Our favourite review so far – Not for the faint hearted though!!
Phonat is a lanky Italian DJ who’s quit the rennaisance splendour of Firenze and decamped to grimy old London Town. The smog must suit his constitution as he’s come up with a belter of an album which cuts out the middle man and sees him both create and remix his own tunes. The end result may be a digital album but it is one which, nevertheless, is oozing with his schizophrenic personality. He’s not here to make you think though – this album is as commercial as they come, recalling the nu-rave chart hits of the early 90′s.
Check out Set Me Free which could set light to any dancefloor; a potential chart topper which could have been released any time between 1991 and 2009. It takes the Hagar era Van Halen model to its ultimate conclusion and combines soft rock vocals and epic synths with an infectious dance groove. There’s no Eddie Van Halen solos but Phonat isn’t averse to dropping in some of his own nifty guitar lines here and there throughout the album– it just takes a while to tune your ear into them as they are so well disguised in the mix. Learn To Recycle is similarly epic and, whilst it may have an environmental point to make it also has potential to generate some dancefloor mayhem.