Fresh from their Mothership VIP, and the pub by the looks of this, Phace and Mefjus have confirmed that their debut collaborative EP will land September 1 on Neosignal: Wastemen.
Building on their near-spotless body of cooperative work, Wastmen is their largest, and stylistically broadest, collection of collaborations to date. With references and nuances ranging from original late 90s neurofunk to rowdy riffs via strange jittering uncategorizable space-age funk, it follows the hair-raising and subversive standards set by Bang Bang, Clock Off and Impuls… And builds on it some more.
Teasers and premiers are expected to emerge very soon. This is what we know about the EP so far…
Phace and Mefjus collaborations are becoming a long and illustrious tradition but this the first time you’ve slapped us with a whole EP of collabo business. What have we done to deserve this treat and when did you decide singular collaborations simply weren’t enough?
Phace: Thank you very much. I think the EP actually happened pretty organically. We saw each other quite often over the past years and simply kept on working on music. The EP was roundabout one and a half years in the making. As we only were putting out these singular collabs before we both felt the time was right to come up with a more comprehensive release for our joint project.
Mefjus: Like Florian said, we were just hanging out and working on beats for fun. At one point we figured, hey, let’s collect some tunes and see what happens. Originally we wrote two or three more songs, but ultimately cut it down to those four on the EP. I am glad we were able to just keep on working on songs until we were happy with it, it usually doesn’t work like that.
Sonically you always seem to bring out the weird in each other. In a really cool way. Why or how does this happen?
Phace: When you are in the studio with someone like-minded you tend to push your limits and try to come up with things that are a little different and that excite you while working on something. It is great fun to work with Martin. He is just a damn fine guy who is very skilled at what he does. When we are in the studio together for us it is also important to have fun on the sessions which usually leads to more unusual results. I always been a fan of the more unusual stuff as I try not to repeat things.
Mefjus: We just work very differently, prefer different DAWs but ultimately like similar music. Getting to a common ground with those preconditions can lead to weird shit I guess. Those sessions are also a nice exchange of studio knowledge and the latest you-need-to-get-this-super-plug-in recommendations. Another cool thing is that Flo taught me how to use Ableton and I refreshed his Cubase skills. You always end up learning things.
I’m guessing collaborations also remove the responsibility of having to fulfil a certain vibe you’re known for as solo artists?
Phace: I think they certainly do! That is one of the best things about them. You can literally swerve and swing off.
Mefjus: I’d agree as well. We definitely had moments where we said “yeah, let’s not do it in a typical Phace/Mefjus way, it’s a collab, it should be different”. But also, due to constant compromises, in the mix but also in the arrangement, you end up somewhere you wouldn’t end up if it was a solo song.
So… In UK vernacular the term wasteman means someone who’s literally wasted their life and not done anything to help or develop themselves. You can’t be calling yourselves wastemen can you? Surely?
Phace: For us calling the EP that way is nothing more as a joke. While we were working on the music for the EP we often took breaks in quite traditional Austrian and German Pubs for a quick bite and a drink to unwind. Sometimes these breaks also ended up being a little longer. We do not take ourselves too seriously and thought it would be a fun concept to work with. Everyone enjoys wasting a little time and taking a break from everyday life once in a while. You simply can’t work and function all the time.
Mefjus: It’s not to be taken too seriously, even though one could argue we are wasting our time/lives in front of a (studio) computer? #deep!
You cover A LOT of wicked ground across the four tracks. I’m hearing Audio Blueprint era neurofunk on Swerve. I’m hearing nuances of jump-up in the riff of Malmaison… Are there any rules to the Phace & Mefjus melting pot?
Phace: I think we tried to keep the EP as entertaining and diverse as possible, both for us to enjoy working on it and to make it a diverting experience for the listener. And the rule indeed is to break rules.
Mefjus: I am very happy that the EP reflects more than just one style or direction and i really enjoy playing out all of the songs. We spent quite some time figuring out the right tracklist and its order to make the EP as varied as possible. I think the only rule for me would be to not do a song we already did a second time.
Mefjus – what’s Phace’s weirdest studio habit?
Mefjus: I wouldn’t call it a weird habit, but I’ve never seen another person pressing the space bar on the keyboard as gently as Florian does.
Phace – likewise, what’s Mefjus’s weirdest studio habit?
Phace: I cannot really recall a super weird habit, he’s got it pretty much all under control! I love to argue with him about 0.5 db volume dips or rises though. Plus we both share an addiction for cheese cake.
If you were melted together into some type of sick experiment by a mad scientist would you prefer to be called Phejus or Mace? (asking for a friend)
Phace: Maybe Meph or Phame?
Mefjus: A lot of my work-in-progress bounces were named “PHAJUS” or “MEPHJUCE”
Phace & Mefjus – Wastemen is out September 1 on Neosignal