Phon.o, the boy with the dot in his name and the dubby background, started to play records with his buddy Apparat in the early 90s far in the darkest reaches of the ruff'n'tuff Harz mountains, in former East Germany. 1997, seeking new and bright horizons, our boy moves to beautiful Berlin and is given the keys to his first apartment: a dingy shoebox which even the Russians had left unoccupied during their stint in Berlin.
During the wet autum of 1998 he started to create his own "music" and emerged in the spring of 2000 with his first release, on Cytrax (Kit Clayton and Dj Jasper's itchy, noisy, dubby Californian techno label). Phon.o then found himself misled, used and abused by the notorious big rock'n roll swindler, T.Raumschmiere, who connives him into joining his gang Shitkatapult. Fire does take its toll on those who wield it and Phon.o eventually realized the need for an image change. He enrolled in the Kunsthochschule Berlin (KHB) in the fall of 2000 and began studying Communication design. As a next chapter Chris De Luca and Phon.o joined forces in spring 2006. This unconventional combination of intergalactic hip hop, ghetto beats, sexy booty IDM and dirty techno goes beyond typical contemporary genre boundaries. In 2008 the results of CLPs dirty collabo got released as the EP Ready Or Not on Boysnoize Rec. including remixes by Diplo and Mixhell and as an eclectic, genre blending Hip Hop album called Supercontinental on Shitkatapult. In 2009 the boys did not take a rest while worldwide touring and kept on releasing. Following CPL Phon.o - in search for his next sound - did remixes for the likes of Modeselektor, Boys Noize, Schlachthofbronx and Robot Koch.
In 2011 Phon.o started to release on Modeselektor's 50 Weapons label with a new sound somewhere between the grooves of UK-Funky and Dubstep and the classic Berlin dub-techno-school of Basic Channel/Hardwax. For many Phon.O has been producing some of his dopest material just now. His 2 singles in 2011 have been compared to the best moments of Burial and expectations for his debut album "Black Boulder" are high.
"Black Boulder" delivers exactly what the 2 pre-singles "Slavemode/Abbey Road" and "ABAW723/Sad Happiness" hinted on. A fresh blend of bleepin' Technoid Garage, the usual Dub elements and even 2 ear-catching vocal tunes featuring Pantasz of Bodi Bill fame and Tunde Olaniran, child of an American social-activist mother and Nigerian Christian immigrant father, who grew up and lived in Germany, Nigeria, England and the US.
While the first 4 artist albums on 50 Weapons have all been debut albums, this one isn't. On the other hand it feels like one, since this is the successful reinvention of an artist who has been active in various styles for over a decade.
18 May 2012