(Phibes photo credit: Chloe Woodward)
It’s happened again… The lesser spotted drum & bass Global Beatport number one.
Not the release chart, or the trusty old D&B chart, but the big fat global one on the homepage. The one that’s usually crammed with business techno and mainstream tech house. Right now, it’s topped with a massive remix of Beat Assassins’ Home Grown by UK duo Phibes.
A feat only ever achieved by a small number of acts – kicked off by Benny L January 2019 with his remix of John Holt – the Phibes remix of Home Grown hit the illusive top spot on Sunday August 9 after months of hype on DJ streams and videoclips. At time of publishing, it remains at number one almost a week later.
It’s a massive moment for all concerned another big hitter from the currently stoppable Phibes brothers and London bass music OG Beat Assassins (who used to be a duo comprising Joe from Sigma but is now the main man Jimmy Mofo) the ever-developing prominence of the label Jungle Cakes and of course D&B in general.
We pulled Scott and Ryan Phibes and Jimmy Beat Assassins away from their celebrations to find out more….
Number one! That must have been a wicked moment… How did you celebrate?
Phibes: We actually went out and celebrated on Saturday night! When we hit the second spot we truly believed we wouldn’t get the number one. John Summit’s tune looked well and truly safe. It’s a banger. When we woke up on Sunday morning and found out we were number one we were overjoyed with the news but seriously partied out. If we’re honest we popped the champagne and had an early night!
Jimmy BA: I went to my favourite restaurant called Madam Pigg with my partner Fareena in Hackney, London. Adam the head chef/ proprietor had just come back from France and presented us with a gorgeous bottle of Pink Champagne.
Lovely. At what point could you tell a number one was a possibility?
Phibes: The WIP preview and the Dub had really good feedback in the scene when DJs spun it in their streams the chat would go wild, our Instagram inbox was flooded with DMs every day from people wanting the tune who had screen-recorded it from streams. It got ridiculous so we knew if we released it we had a shot at doing well in the drum and bass chart.
We have never even been in the top 10 so we thought this was our shot, it was all guns blazing as soon as the pre-release dropped. But we honestly did not plan for the overall chart at all. We just stuck to ours and the Jungles Cakes plan – big up Ed Solo and Jessi G for being with us every step of the way – and it just kept climbing and climbing and the support kept growing. It was an insane week and we’re humbled by how many people and friends came out to show support, it was mad, we can`t thank them enough.
Jimmy BA: When Home Grown hit number six in the Global Beatport chart it felt like when England started doing well in the world cup. You start to dream, can this really happen? Then it hit number two and suddenly we’re in the final. I couldn’t bear the thought of being at just number two without hitting the top spot. I literally spent the whole of Saturday on the internet promoting it. When people started to realise how close we were to number one the momentum kicked in. Friends, family and fans really got behind the release and Instagram and Facebook stories started flying out. I was completely overwhelmed by the support. There was, and still is, a genuine passion out there to see another drum and bass track at number one in the Global Beatport Chart.
The tune’s had an interesting life hasn’t it? It was on Viper with a Giganti remix for a bit. How has it ended up on Jungle Cakes? And where’s the original at?
Jimmy BA: Originally I was going to release Home Grown on my own label, Mofo Recordings, with a Giganti remix. Viper heard the Giganti remix and wanted to sign the track to their Bassrush Compilation series. Of course I was delighted, but this left me without a remix. Phibes had already heard Home Grown and also expressed an interest in doing a remix so I said ‘yeah go ahead’.
We soon realised the Phibes remix was something special and it needed a bigger platform than my own label, so we sent the release to Jungle Cakes. Straight away I had Deekline on the phone, saying he loved it and wanted to sign it. We then took the decision to put the original out on my forthcoming EP, The Link, which is dropping in September on Gorilla Warfare. Doing so means we won’t split the sales and the Phibes mix is the one we can all focus our attention on. This is why you can’t find the original, it’s not out yet. It also means Home Grown will have been released across three different drum and bass labels.
This isn’t the first time you’ve worked together is it? There’s a Phibes remix of Beat Assassins Heavyweight Sound a while back…
Jimmy BA: Getting remixes done of my tunes is kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. It also helps build my profile. I’ve always really liked Phibes’ sound and had been watching their progress in drum and bass for a while. I could see Phibes were very up and coming so I introduced myself and asked if they would remix Heavyweight Sound. The remix they did (again) was spot on, and I loved it and it’s what I usually open my DJ sets with. We remained in contact swapping tunes, whilst having a laugh, which then led us to the Home Grown remix.
What’s up next from both Phibes and Beat Assassins camps?
Phibes: With Jungle Cakes we have had a huge remix opportunity lately with a legendary reggae artist but we can’t reveal that just yet. Plus an EP for Born On Road. Who knows? We might even release album number three….
Jimmy BA: On Sept 4 2020 I’m releasing a four track EP called The Link which, as I mentioned earlier, includes the Home Grown original. I’ve also got a project called High As A Kite with Miss Stylie coming out on Mofo Recordings, alongside a T-Phonic remix. Plus later this year watch out for a track called: Blaze The F#ck Up!
Sick! Now please blaze each other up and highlight your three favourite tracks by each other…
Phibes – Wild Style
Jimmy BA: This is a classic Phibes track! Serious vocals, tearing arpeggio leads and amen breaks.
Phibes – The Realness
Jimmy BA: Phibes have the natural ability to make their tracks sound bright, simple and uncluttered. Their tracks really breathe and have space to them. However you need excellent sound design and mixing skills to achieve this. The Realness, from their second album Unite, is a great example of a tight Phibes production.
Phibes – The Infamous
Jimmy BA: I love the contrast of the screechy arpeggio riff on the drop with the deep moody pads and intermittent hip hop vocals. Again, a classic example of the Phibes sound.
Beat Assassins – Liberation Dub
Phibes: All the sounds in this tune are banging, it just keeps coming at you with its variation in groove as the drop progresses, it just keeps giving and doesn’t disappoint.
Beat Assassins Feat Sifu Chan – Play To Win
Phibes: The energy from Sifu is matched perfectly by the tune, they lift each other up and compliment each other perfectly, the second half of the tune delivers hard.
Beat Assassins – Brap For The Reload
Phibes: Energy, Reeses, this is a proper banger to play out when the crowd wants to go. Got us gassed when we first heard it played out!