German DJ/Producer Phil Fuldner has done more than most in his career to date. An artist who has not only pioneered an underground music scene, but also written many a hit for some of the more commercial artists of this world. Now with a track ‘Bus Stop’ out on Berlin based deep house label Mother Recordings, we sat down with him to talk about his career to date and his focus for the future…
Interview by Ian Fleming
How are you, what’s good, what’s bad so far this summer?
Thanks, I’m really fine. So many good things already came my way this summer…big musical inspirations, stunning trips into nature and buzzing cities. There have been a lot of great gigs so far and sometimes I was lucky to combine them with some time off at the beach. Right now I’m happy to have my latest single performing great on Mother Recordings. It’s such a spot-on label with a great mastermind and fantastic fellow artists. I’m very proud. On the other hand we really had some disappointments regarding the unstable weather conditions on a lot of Open Air events. Due to rain my debut Gig at legendary ‘Kiesgrube’ was cancelled this season. Hopefully we’ll be better off in 2017. But that’s the climate change, we have to learn to live with it.
Does the weather change what you play and make? Does it make you play more melodies, cheesier hits or more party anthems maybe?
It’s not the weather in general making the final difference for me. It’s more the combination of conditions at the Club, Festival or Venue I perform at. Most of the time I decide what I will play on-site directly before the show and if it’s a summerly place and people are scantily clad it’s no big thing for me to play some summer vibes even in December.
Your bio talks about you always being on the lookout – where do you search for music? Online or in stores? How often per week and for how long?
I’m always looking out for one-step-beyond music. There has to be something special in the songs I write, produce and play. You can’t find that clever strokes around every corner of course so I spend a lot of of time digging in my fav online stores and checking out what’s going down on the radio. Our German station WRD5 plays a lot of really cool world music and electronic tracks which often move below the radars of the big stores or other radio stations. Furthermore I spend a lot of time on Soundcloud, checking out what’s new from my favourite artists.
And your sets, are they mainly new or old music? Does that matter to you? Is it even a conscious decision?
A good question. Most of the time it all comes naturally: When I play I’m planning 3 or 4 tracks ahead at most. So I stay fresh and open minded for the vibes in the crowd and in touch with my own inspiration. What I do plan are the style changes in my set to take the crowd on a journey and create a special and significant arrangement as long as I play. I also drop a lot of older tracks of course, but try to choose the ones which I think not everybody out there knows.
You have written big tracks for pop stars – what’s that like? How involved do they get? How different is it to writing for yourself?
I just love writing music and lyrics – no matter if it’s straight forward topline or the more cryptic stuff. I’m an educated baritone and nearly every instrumental inspires me to some lyrics or a least a melody. It’s always big fun to write for – or even with fly artists and be inspired by their skills. If the chemistry is right between two musicians working together can really be like a rush and big stuff can follow. On the other hand I quite often write for artists I don’t meet or see at all. At the end I must admit that it is much more easy for me to write on somebody else’s tracks than on my own stuff. You don’t have to take yourself too serious, that’s what definitely helps..
What do you think about ghost producing? Is there a line where it’s no longer ghosting and more just doing tunes for people? Is that ok?
It’s all fine for me because at the moment I spend more time on my own stuff than I did in the whole past decade. In a way that’s the reason why I only released a few Phil Fuldner tracks lately. I just spent most of the time on writing and producing pop music for so-and-so. It’s fun and can often be very profitable. But it’s definitely time you loose on your own projects. That unfortunately is the other side of the coin. But like I said I’ve changed the focus and it feels good to spend more time on Phil Fuldner.
Tell us about your new track on Mother? What inspired or influenced it? Where did you write it?
When I saw that 70s disco crowd on video doing the line dance I was on fire immediately and the idea was born to create a track around it. I’m a Funk – Rare Groove and Disco lover from the heart and always worked with with samples. This one almost screamed at me and the whole production wasn’t exceeding a week. After that it really was my first thought to send it over to Nhan at Mother Rec. He does such a great work as an artist and label manager. He is extraordinary forward-looking and clever. I knew that it would be the best possible place for „Bus Stop“.
And what gear did you use for it? Are you a hardware of software person? Why?
I like really like both. Not at least because I started off with all that hardware stuff back in the days. I have vivid memory of me creating and mixing tracks on analogue consoles and going mad on a synth when I stored a sound and it was all gone the next day. Nowadays I prefer grabbing my laptop, my Universal Audio interface and my hard drives to go and create music wherever I like.
You have been around many years. What changes have you seen in that time? For good or bad? And what personally are you most proud of?
I’ve seen a lot of places and ideas changing in the past years. But all that is some sort of natural evolution for me. The question is: what do you make out of it for yourself? I must say that this business was very good to me most of the time and what’s bad is bad in your very own head anyway. People know I’m not a big fan of that EDM-industry merchandise, but I think it will be just like in the past: The todays EDM festival kids can become the smart music- lovers of tomorrow. Again, it’s all evolution. I’m most proud of moments when people come to me and telling me that they had the time of their lives on the
floor while I was DJing. Can there be anything better?
What is next for you, what else are you working on?
We are currently planning the 2017 festival season. My booker Patci at Wilde Agency Berlin has big plans for me. lol. At the moment I’m working on my first artist EP for Get Physical Music and a whole bunch of track and projects. Furthermore I’m exporting my party brand „Phil’s Licks“ into the German capital cities. A little holiday would be nice, too.
Phil’s track ‘Bus Stop’ is out now on Mother Knows Best #3 (Mother Recordings)
Grab it here – https://www.beatport.com/release/mother-knows-best-3/1837709