Phonat: I only make music when I want to


Less is more…

Such is the motto of Italian producer Michel Baldiuzzi. In more ways than one.

I don’t want to pollute my Soundcloud with repetition.

Currently enjoying major attention thanks to his show-stopping appearances on OWSLA, he’s actually been chipping away at his groove game for almost 10 years. Diligently honing his funky craft from his London HQ, he’s eschewed the common bash-it-out techniques employed by many producers, consistently refusing to rattle off the bangers for the sake of it.

“I’m very precious about what I do,” he explains. “I don’t like making music because I have to. I only make it when I want to. I want to make something new and there has to be a reason for my music to be there. I don’t want to pollute my Soundcloud with repetition.”

The end result? Beautifully uncategorisable bass bliss like this:

Crazy, right? It mirrors his creative process:

“The process is like this: I do a bit of work until I’m saturated and keep coming back to it,” he explains. “It’s a constant remix process. I add lots of different layers of complicated stuff that’s organic and talks to each other. Then, in the final stages, I take out everything I don’t need. With Phase To Face I twisted things so many times, it changed completely. A track like this is so removed from the original concept. It’s a very natural process of throwing shit loads of sounds at a project and scratching bits away to reveal a painting underneath.”

With the less is more vibe in full effect, the larger painting underneath Phase To Face is Michele’s second OWSLA EP. Entitled Never, the title track comes with an infectious, sun-kissed disco twist that Phonat actually started working on over a year ago and, besides the vocals from Daniel Pearce, played all the instruments himself.

“It took me a long time because I’m not a tight performer,” he laughs. Tight performer he may not be, but he’s certainly a tight producer. Which is why he caught the ear of Skrillex in the first place.

“Yeah, that was pretty cool,” he grins. “He named me in an interview years ago as someone who he was feeling. I tweeted him and thanked him for dropping my name and we eventually collaborated on my Scary Monsters remix. It’s a privilege to be in the same crew as those guys. The whole team are amazing. I send them tracks that are 95 per cent finished and they always come back with positive comments and want to release it straight away. There’s never any critique. It’s very refreshing.”

But with over half a year between the Never EP and his OWSLA debut Identity Theft, it’s clear his less-is-more approach hasn’t been affected by the label’s enthusiasm. Which is almost a shame; his sound lends itself so well to an album format… And that’s not looking likely any time soon.

“Oh there are more EPs coming,” he assures us. “Whether there’ll be a full album? I don’t know. I’m just happy making the music I love and making sure there’s a reason for it to be there. That’s the most important thing, right?”