When it comes to four-word combos ‘Dub Phizix Fabriclive Mix’ is up there with ‘have a day off’ and ‘fancy a pint mate?’
No one saw the mix coming when it was announced… With our speakers still settling from Ed Rush & Optical’s tearing tech romp two months ago, we didn’t think another D&B Fabriclive mix was going to come our way until at least next year.
Dub Phizix did, though. A year in the making, he’s entrenched himself in so much unreleased material that most of the mix will be fresh even to the most tired and cynical of junglist ears. The seeds of an album project (which he believes wasn’t up to album level but probably was…) have now been sown into his Fabriclive mix that’s out this Friday. And we’re about to harvest some tasty crops.
We caught up with him to find out more about the mix and about approach to the game. Recently spotted on tour with UKF (and last spotted on this site wearing cling film), this time he’s chatting about haters, cucumbers and the cost of mechanical buffalo heads…
(Image credit: Jimmy Mould)
He’s a massive self-critic
Even though he’s made some seriously distinctive, scene-uniting tunes such as Marka, I’m A Creator, Never Been and Buffalo Charge – and has so many unreleased tracks in his sack his DJ sets are unlike any other selector’s – he’s hugely self critical. Like more than he probably should be…
“You’ve got to be your harshest self-critic, haven’t you? That’s where your quality control comes from. Sometimes it takes four or five sessions to come out with something you’re really happy with and you’re banging your head against a brick wall. Other times I go on a roll. For a few months I’ll make a load of tunes then for a few months I feel I won’t come out with anything. I know some artists – like Break and Calibre – do have something special about the way operate. Like Dillinja back in the day. Tunes just constantly firing from the studio. I’m not that kind of guy unfortunately. I wish I was… “
He doesn’t mind online critics either…
Haters gonna hate. Dub Phizix and his partner in northern grime know this all too well… Their unique sounds have inspired such high levels of vitriol, they set up the snappily titled blog: Dub Phizix & Strategy Are Cunts.
“You gotta laugh or else it would send you crazy. Some of what was being said was that funny we had to share it. I can’t remember the first bad thing that was ever said about me, but I remember reading it and thinking ‘oh, okay yeah some people aren’t gonna like this’ But after a while you get to like it in a weird way. I enjoy the fact it’s polarising. I’d rather people are talking about it other than not being arsed.
“There’s nothing better, as a creative person, than knowing you’ve hit someone on an emotional level. Whether it’s love or hate. If you’re striking someone’s emotions you’ve done your job. My mum always says to me ‘it’s better to be looked over than overlooked’ And I’ve tried to stick to it. Sometimes you read shit and thinking ‘oh fucking hell’ but other times you read it and, when you have enough time to be objective about it, you think ‘okay, they’re right there, they’ve got a point’ and it does make you think.”
Those 12 unreleased on the Fabriclive mix? They will be available…
It’s about time, really. The last proper single from Dub Phizix came our way a year ago. Now he’s making up for lost time and will be releasing all 12 tracks on the day of release.
“I actually had about 20 or so tunes ready for the mix but I had a lot of other unreleased things from friends I wanted to include. So I put them all into the mix and worked out what works. I’m going to put them out on the day of the release of the Fabriclive mix. Usually I wouldn’t do that, put out so many tunes at once, but people are going to know the tunes and they might want some of them an all. Might as well put them out and let people cherry pick them.”
That Drum&BassArena Award winning Buffalo Charge video? He made it himself…
Dub Phizix is seriously dedicated to his art. Or he’s just massively DIY. Either way, when he couldn’t get the right treatment for his Buffalo video he went ‘fuck it’ and did it himself… Then proceeded to make the recent monarchy-murking Bounce video.
“I really wanted a talking buffalo but finding someone who could do it was a nightmare. It was either too expensive or their stuff wasn’t that good. Then we thought about making a mechanical buffalo head to rap all the words. That was quoted at £500 but then we thought ‘it’s not going to look real’”
“I sat down for a couple of weeks and taught myself how to animate. We went down to a farm and shot the buffalo and I spent a few weeks learning how to make it talk. I’d spent all that time working out how to use something, I thought I might as well use it on something else. So I just started pissing around and made Bounce for a bit of a laugh. I had half it made last Christmas. Then I realised a few weeks ago I should finish it. I had the queen stuff already sorted then I threw in the X-Factor stuff. You spend all that time learning animation – well, ropey animation at best – so you might as well use it!”
He’s had cucumber crisps
Follow Dub Phizix on social media for a day or two and you’ll know that he’s something of a crisp head (chips, if you’re reading anywhere besides the UK) connoisseur. Like a Mancunian Christopher Columbus, he explores the world unearthing mind-boggling flavours (while playing some DJ sets while he’s there). His most recent discovery? Cucumber flavour…
“Whenever I got to a new place then yeah I do hunt out new flavours. Gotta be done hasn’t it. The maddest flavours I’ve ever had were cucumber and sweetcorn. Both in China. I hate sweetcorn but the cucumber ones were fucking amazing. They were exactly like cucumber. Flavours aren’t usually what they say they are; prawn cocktail doesn’t like prawns, tomato doesn’t taste like tomatoes. But these? These were real. It was mental.”
So is his Fabriclive mix. It’s out Friday November 20. Pre-order.