Interview: Phon.o

Published on May 21st, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

Rocksucker was really quite enamoured with Phon.o’s new album Black Boulder – click here to read our review, in which we described it as “deft electronic architecture with a deft approach to melody” – so we fired over some questions to the so-called “boy with the dot in his name” in the hope of finding out a bit more about how he operates. First, though, please do enjoy this choice cut from the album…

How long have you been writing, performing and recording music for?

I started to DJ in 1994 and started making music together with my buddy Apparat in 1997.

How would you describe your music?

That’s a hard question. I would call it a soulful fusion of UK garage, bass, 2-step and techno.

Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?

I live in Berlin and worked in the studio of Apparat and Modeselektor. I more or less just use software like Ableton Live, Cubase and Native Instruments, but I really try to avoid using presets so I always build my own patches and virtual effect racks.

How did you come to the attention of your label?

I have known Gernot and Szary (Modeselektor) since 2003. They told me that they were going to start Monkeytown and 50Weapons and asked me for songs. So when I finished the first ones they were impressed and signed me straight away.

Have you started thinking about your next album or project yet?

Yes…slowly I’ve started thinking about how and what I wanna do as next. I think I need a little bit more time for an album but I will definitely start doing music again within the next days. I will do some remixes and a song for Tunde Olaniran.

Where can we hear your music online?

You can check my SoundCloud – there is the best overview of my work.

Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?

Shitkatapult showcase at Sonar 2004 and my first 50weapons showcase in Berlin at the club Horst-Kreuzberg.

Got any more gigs coming up?

These will be my next gigs.

May 26th – Berlin (Ger) – »Black Boulder Record Release« at Prince Charles – LIVE

May 27th – Hamburg (Ger) – at Golden Pudel Club – LIVE

Jun 1st – Glasgow (UK) – 50Weapons night at Chambre69 – LIVE

Jun 2nd – London (UK) – 50Weapons night at Field Days Aftershow at XOYO – LIVE

Jun 3rd – Kiekebusch close to Berlin (Ger) – “Reisen macht den Kopf frei”-Festival – DJ

Jun 8th – Berlin (GER) – Support for Luke Vibert at Gretchen – DJ

Jun 9th – Chemnitz (Ger) – Weltecho – LIVE

July 7th – Berlin (Ger) – Shitparade at Suicide Club – LIVE

July 14th – Gräfenhainichen (Ger) – MELT!-Festival / Meltselektion-Stage – LIVE

July 21st – Bayreuth (Ger) – at Glashaus – LIVE

Sept 28th – Stavanger (N) – at Nu Music Festival – LIVE

Are there any obscure and/or new bands/solo artists that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?

I love all 50weapons and Monkeytown acts a lot, so it’s a must to check them out. My favourites are Anstam, Siriusmo and Modeselektor.

Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your life with the music of just five different artists, who would they be?

Joy Division, Kit Clayton, Autechre, Aphex Twin and Neptunes.

Phon.o, thank you.

Phon.o - Black Boulder

Black Boulder will be released on 27th May through 50 Weapons/Monkeytown. For more information, including a list of live dates, please visit or the Phon.o Facebook page.


About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.