In Conversation With…Phil Weeks
Phil Weeks walks along the same musical path as artists Dj Sneak, Green Velvet and Masters at Work, and is, without doubt, one of France’s finest French DJ/Producers and record label owners. With his Robsoul label featuring fellow peers DJ W!ld, DJ Sneak, Hector Moralez and Jade Cox adding their Jackin’ house beats to rock dance floors around the world, Phil Weeks joins Amine Edge & DANCE at Fridays at Egg London on October 6th with his smokin’ Paris house sound.
Throwing down some serious high hats, funk, disco, baselines and jackin’ house, he’s definitely got da loops and we catch up with Phil to talk about how he founded Robsoul, why he loves his MPC 3000 sampler and much more.
Hi Phil and welcome. Firstly could you tell us a little bit about where you are from?
I’m from the suburbs of Paris, a place called Vitry, and there’s actually quite a lot of artists that from here.
How did you first get into House and Hip-Hop? And who were your favourite artists and what made them so special?
My first major discovery in Hip Hop was in 1989 buying Public Enemy’s “Fear Of A Black Planet” album and I was crazy about this album playing it every day! It’s full of samples which I couldn’t name back then but I now realise why I love to sample music – lol 🙂
Around 1993 I discovered club culture and House music, and it was all so fresh. This club music with soul and feelings using disco funk soul samples was for me just the evolution of my Hip Hop background.
At this time I didn’t know anything about the artists, and only a few years after I started to get really involved. My favourite artists were Cajmere, Mood II Swing, DJ Rasoul, Derrick Carter, Mark Farina, Daft Punk…
Can you tell us a bit about what it was like in France when you first started DJ-ing and what your first big break?
Actually, I started producing before DJ-ing and I bought my first gear and started little by little on my own until I thought I was ready. This was around 1998-1999 and I then started Robsoul to be able to release my own projects without going through the hard process of sending demos…which was all sent in by post back then on DAT or CD!
There was no internet (for me at least and we took the label addresses off the vinyl sleeves…you can imagine :-)!
It’s hard to say about my first big break as I feel it all built up for me little by little. However, I can mention the “It Put Me Well” release which had some cool feedback.
When did you realise you were going to make music your life?
Around 1996 when the first Daft Punk album “Homework” came out. I knew then that I was going to dedicate my life to House Music 🙂
As we know on your YouTube Underground Chronicles the Akai’s MPC 3000 sampler is your favourite piece of music machinery. Tell us a little bit why you benefit from it and why it’s a good piece of music equipment have in the studio?
The MPC 3000 is like a toy…like my Playstation. It’s really fun to use and is also very creative.
You have almost 0 function compared to the actual gears on the market (or computer) but that’s what I like. It’s very simple where everything is focused on the sound quality and the groove and it’s just perfect for my production style based on sampling.
I don’t like complicated music. Music is all about emotion for me so if the same loop is playing for 10 minutes and making me feel good then it’s all good for me. 🙂
Your back catalogue of Robsoul is a history of unforgettable tunes and what’s one of your favourite tracks and why does this stand out for you?
I love all of them – they’re all my babies.
I see the bigger picture now which is putting something down in House music history.
What makes Robsoul so unique from other record labels and so respected?
Maybe because over the years I never changed anything! I still feel the House Music like back in the 90’s and that feeling’s never changed for me. I love the same House Music and everything is very natural since I don’t like any of the new electronic styles. I think this is part of its success and honestly, it’s very hard nowadays to find some real House labels.There’s not many of us left.
You recently played at Murmur Festival in Romania and Coup, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Who would you say are throwing the best parties at the moment?
South America, in general, is throwing some of the best parties ever. Argentina is at the top of my list as well as Peru. I also really like Europe with France, Spain, and Italy being my favourite places but shout outs to London and Berlin parties who also throw super dope parties too.
You’re a pure perfectionist when you produce and also when it comes to your technically flawless mixing when DJ-ing. How do you feel when you hear the new breed and younger generation of DJ/Producers? Do you think a majority of house and techno DJ/producers don’t deliver the original passion that was inspirational in the house music explosion?
I think you can find a bit of everything these days and some producers/DJs still deliver the proper House Music. You also have some who try to copy it but they just can’t do it. It sounds fake.
Then you’ve got all this new style of electronic music coming out that last for 3 years and disappear…
So I would say it’s all good talking about the new producers. We’ve got enough talent.
I’m more concerned about DJ-ing where I feel the new generation is losing the mixing part (blending records for days) which was the most important part when I started out – and also the most beautiful!
Describe your sound in one sentence for people that may not have heard you before and what can clubbers expect on the night?
House music with soul & feelings – Non-Stop Mixing. 100% to Dance.
Phil Weeks joins Amine Edge & DANCE at Fridays at Egg London on October 6th and all info at www.egglondon.co.uk