Archives for posts with tag: Ableton


When I listen to Phon.o, some wonderful things happen. The stable, confident sense of rhythm invites me to move, and the emotional vulnerability calls for a deeper experience. His productions meld with my sensitive personality and my desire to feel something real. It’s a combination of approaches that I find most impressive, and this man has it down. We talk about his newest release on 50 Weapons (Modeselektor’s label), his thoughts on channeling emotions as a producer, his free Live Pack for Ableton and my favorite track of his, “Fukushima”..


DD Hello Phon.o. Thank you for taking time to talk with me on Disco Droppings.

P.O Hi Jimi. 

DD You have a new release on 50 Weapons. It’s a nice balance between the dark, emotional “Schn33” and the more fun, upbeat “Go”. What goes into choosing which tracks get released? Did you know these were the ones you wanted to put out, or was it more of a collaborative effort with Modeselektor (heads of the label) sorting through a lot of your productions and deciding these were the ones?

P.O When I work on songs, I leave the sketches for several days and go back to them to check if they’re worth arranging into a full-length. In this case I was very happy with these tracks and was sure they’d come out great if I arranged them well. So in the end, I did these 2 songs and gave them to Modeselektor. They liked them immediately which was great. There were just a few hints Gernot gave me concerning the levels of the rides in “Schn33”. But that was all he had to “criticize”.


DD My recent feelings of loneliness and introspection have helped me connect to your “Black Boulder” album. It sits right between coldness and things shifting towards the positive..

P.O Somehow, I am always suffering when I am doing music, because I think “oh damn… that’s not good enough” or “is it worth releasing?” and so on. I guess this kind of fight with myself has an affect on my music. It’s a good and necessary struggle you find yourself in as a musician. I love to make songs and not just tracks especially for an album. That means I always use melodies or harmonic progressions to create songs. And for sure, I love melodies :] I need to get an emotional moment in the studio while I am working on songs. I can’t just do a rhythm. It would be boring for me.


DD I’m really enjoying the sounds included in your free Live Pack for Ableton. You mentioned in your Ableton interview that about half of the sounds used in “Black Boulder” are included here. Some artists can be very protective of the sounds and samples used in their tracks, what to you is the benefit of being more open-handed?

P.O Yes, it’s true that a lot of artists protect their samples. I don’t understand, because with drum samples you can’t make songs or create impressive ideas. And that is what matters in the end. I see the drum samples just as a tool and I am happy if people can use a sound here and there. I was never interested in creating a blue print sound for myself. I just do what I like and if people come afterwards and tell me that it’s a typical “Phon.o sound” I am happy. I guess this comes how I do the songs, the beats and how I mix them at the end.


DD I opened a recent set of mine with your track “Fukushima”. It is refreshing to see dance music reflect society as this track does. The emotional and dire intensity you’ve created, matches the real life events surrounding the title. Was this a deliberate connection? 

P.O When I did the sketch for this song this big disaster was happening at Fukushima. I just saved the project with “Fukushima” as a working title. Months later I opened it up and realized that there was some drama going on and that the name fit really well. I added the sample “save me” to emphasize this dramatic feeling of the synths and it was done. I am a political or better yet quite critical person, but I don’t often put political content in my music. Here and there but not too often.


DD What do you hope to accomplish in the remainder of 2013?

P.O I start working on my album after my holidays and hope to finish it in autumn. Besides that, U am working on a great project with a singer and musician called “Born in Flamez”. I am doing co-production for it. It’s very interesting to me, because its musically very different and more arty. I will learn a lot.


Phon.o – Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

– Jimi Jaxon


Imogen Heap has one of the most beautiful voices in modern music. I hadn’t kept up with her much since her Speak For Yourself album in 2005. Going back to some of those songs, I remember why I connected with her so easily.


My buddy and I were wandering around the DJ Tech Tools site, and came across an article titled “Video: Imogen Heap’s Ableton-Controlling Gloves”. I was like, “Oh, Imogen Heap! Click on that!”. They posted a video featuring a demo and performance by the artist, which was originally debuted at Wired 2012 and later written about on the Wired site. Wired  2012 took place last October 25-26 in London. They stated, “It’s the next step in Wired’s mission to celebrate the ideas, innovations and people reshaping our world.”. Imogen Heap was one of the people selected to speak and perform..


(0:00-7:20 = explanation/evolution of the concept, 7:20-13:20 = talk through demo, 13:20-19:56 = performance)

Her site says it best..”The Gloves are a cutting edge experimental gestural music ware being developed today for the purpose of Imogen Heap’s studio and stage work. Using a unique gestural vocabulary, motion data-capture systems, and user interfaces to parameter functions developed by Imogen Heap and her team, artists and other users will be able to use their motion to guide computer-based digital creations. The Musical Gloves are both an instrument and a controller in effect, designed to connect the user fluidly with gear performers usually use, such as Ableton – think minority report for musicians brought to you by the DIY/maker revolution.”

I was happy to see that since April of 2012, Imogen Heap has been steadily releasing tracks for her 4th solo album entitled Heapsongs. This one has an interesting format; fans sent her everyday sound samples, which she took as inspiration for the new tracks. 1 track off the album has been released online every 2 months since last year, the whole process taking 1.5 years to be fully available. Her Soundcloud houses the tracks released so far, with links to purchase. 


Imogen Heap – Soundcloud Facebook Twitter

– Jimi Jaxon