Looking for an awesome way to kick off your wet, hot summer? Well, look no further than the first installation of the 303 Magazine Pool Party Series, featuring international DJ, Phonique. Pack your sunscreen, bring your cutest little bikini and get ready to dance your ass off. Pool toys are recommended and encouraged, as is a positive attitude and a gaggle of fun friends.
We caught up with Phonique, who was kind enough to answer some questions about his music, the pool parties and more. Check it out below and don’t forget to purchase your tickets to the FIRST pool party! Pool parties are the second of every month and begin June 14th.
Sunday, June 14, 11am-6pm
Sunday, July 12, 11am-6pm
Sunday, August 9, 11am-6pm
303 Magazine: When did you start DJing?
I guess somewhat around 1990 in my bedroom with one cheap mixer, one pitchable turntable and one non-pitchable turntable. My first mixes were horrible.
Officially I started to DJ 1997 playing the warm up at my own parties in Berlin.
You’re one of Germany’s pioneer electronic DJs, how does the genre compare in the US to Europe?
It’s impossible to compare Europe and the U.S. Europe itself is too big with too many different scenes. But sometimes I go to a club in the US and i have the feeling people are really coming to dance and they got moves. You can see and feel the origins of club culture coming from the gay disco days in the US. This happiness and will to dance I am missing sometimes in Europe, here they take everything for granted and people are more into the clubbing itself, they like the music, they like to drink and socialize, but dancing is not top priority.
What’s the coolest place/ venue you’ve ever played?
There are too many cool places. From the private party at a Japanese restaurant in Bangladesh, to a party under the spectators stand at the Carneval in Rio, from a birthday party of some Georgian politicians wife in an old crypt in Tbilisi to Brazil’s Tomorrowland and the many really cool smaller places we have in Berlin!
Do you prefer smaller club-settings or big room arenas to play?
The smaller the better. I know its great to see 1000-10,000 people in front of you, but you don’t see the individuals any more and its a different party. If you have a small crowd of 200 people, you have watched every single guest after a while and connect with the people- much more my thing!
There are some big names out of Germany like Boyz Noize, Moderat and Milky Chance, do you have aspirations to become more mainstream, or are you content with where you’re at currently?
If it’s just to make a living I would probably even play more mainstream, but luckily I don’t need much money to live a happy life, so I can do the stuff I like, play the music I like for people who think alike.
After “Feel What You Want” got to +30.000.000 clicks on YouTube overall, I was worried people count me for mainstream nowadays, but luckily that didn’t change 😉
You’re a fan of the deeper, slower tracks rather than upbeat, pop-laden ones, how do you describe your style?
I am a friend of many styles—my range goes from deep house to tech house plus disco and nu disco. For me it’s all about the right groove and a warm feeling and providing the right vibe to a certain crowd. I love it when there is only one dance floor and people cant run away, so I can go very deep during a set and some people might find its time for a drink, but its a method of creating an atmosphere, of bringing it to my own tempo, giving the people a moment to breathe, before releasing them again and kicking their ass. Once the crowd is synchronized with the DJ everything can happen.
What’s your favorite piece of production equipment?
We are working with Cubase with lots of plug ins. there is not a single top favorite device at the moment. Every device is important, which is needed to get the job done.
You’re first up at the 303 Magazine Pool Party series, how do you plan to kick off this summer-long event?
Oh, I never really plan anything. As a DJ you should be open for the vibe, the crowd, every little detail. What did the DJ play before, did it work, are people drinking, is it hot etc.
Even when I played at Tomorrowland this year, I decided which track to start with the minute before I was on. That’s what a DJ should do otherwise I would just be a producer.
Check out this video from the first installment of the 2013 303 Magazine Pool Party:
Do you have any dream collaborations?
There are a few vocalists who I really love: Sade, Kenny Glasgow from Art Department or Ali Love.
Whose albums to do have on repeat right now?
When I am not listening to Angus and Julia Stone, my upcoming 4th unfinished album is on repeat, because I want to know what works even after listening to it 100 times or more.
What’s your approach to a remix? Do people reach out to you asking you to remix a track or do you feel something about these tracks that you could improve upon?
There are 2 different ways. The one way is, that I like a track, but I want to improve it or lets say put it into my style. Then the remix sounds a lot like the original sometimes.
Sometimes there are a few parts from the original, which I really like, so I play around with it and create something new.
What do you do with your time off?
I like sports from going to the gym to climbing and beach volleyball, but I also love playing poker. And then I am into cooking and I have a son, who needs to have as much fun with me as possible.
Any words for people thinking of catching your set at the pool party?
Since my 20 years of djing I played all over the world, but this is my first time in Denver. So if you are into house or deep house or not, this is the one time you can experience my sound life and its nothing you ever heard before in that way. So don’t miss that opportunity!