For those who knew Phil K through his music will know he was a one-of-a-kind talent, a global dance music pioneer who promoted niche producers, and pushed the boundaries of electronic music through technology and raw skill.
Those lucky enough to have had Phil in their personal life can attest that he was that rare kind of human, a man who approached everyone judgement-free, and with an open heart. He was also the type of person that treated everyone he met with love and respect, and, is if they were a good friend.
We were also privileged to have known Phil personally and also honoured to have him as part of the Balance Music family. Back in 2002, he compiled a release that for many is still one of the most significant entries into the Balance Series. It was a statement of the intense passion that Phil had for electronic music, and his ability to effortlessly connect dots between many shades of dance music. At the time no one fused genres like break-beats and house together, but that all changed with Phil K.
Even though it’s with great sadness that we share the news of Phil passing, the joy and the music he gave us will remain forever.
As a tribute to the great man, we offer you Phil’s incredible Balance Series compilation album number 4 in its full glory… Rest In Peace
Balance 004 mixed by Phil K
01. Un:Plug – Time Unlimited (Ortus Airgap mix)
02. Luke Chable – After The Storm
03. Medway / Sean Cusick – The Fiscal ep (Columns of Clouds)
04. Spoon Wizard – Me and Spoonice (Blue Effect mix)
05. DJ Abstract – East Coast vs West Coast ep (Identity Crisis)
06. Habersham & Numinous – Mister Cool (Habersham’s House of Nu Interpretations Dub)
07. Interloper – Bitch Slapper
08. Scrambler – Free
09. Smart n Pocket – Kickflip Manual
10. Luke Chable – Sealer’s Cove (Midnight In Cyberphunk mix)
11. Brothers Of Dub – After Time (EK mix)
12. GT – Love Song (Dark Alley’s Heavy Mental Breaks mix)
13. Prince Quick Mix – Babe I’m Gonna Leave You (Phil K vs Nu Breed Pass)
01. Wyatt Earp & DJ Foxx – Soul Penetration (Original Penetration)
02. Sphere & Dave Preston – The Bubble Gum Track
03. Paul Jays – Spiritual Battery (Extended Lithium mix)
04. J & S Productions – Sunrise
05. Nathan Hawks – Les Zoulous
06. Nathan Drew Larsen & Mazi ft Alexander East – Give Chase (Original mix)
07. Satoshi Fume – Protlex (Dub-Beatlex)
08. Sarah Jane Morris – Ever Gonna Make It (Terry Francis’ Dirtfrog Dub)
09. Chloe – Midnight Travels ep (Another kind of Dream)
10. Lo Step ft Lior Attar – The Roots (Dark Alley’s Grouse House mix)
11. TribalFusion – Buddha’s Groove
12. Prince Quick Mix – The Way (PQM’s Deephead dub)
13. Lifestylus Of The Rich and Famous – Spinning (Instrumental)
If anyone has seen a live Phil K set, then you will know what I mean when I say that he definitely earns his wage on the decks. He puts in the hard yards so to speak. It’s not a matter of one record playing – mix into the next – wait a few minutes – mix into the next track. Not at all. It usually consists of fingers furiously tapping, knobs being twisted and turned, records being scratched. Loops, edits and live remixes are the name of the game for Phil and not a second goes by where he isn’t putting the instruments at his mercy to the test. It’s often being joked about how he puts those poor machines through its paces, let’s thank the lord they have no emotions, or Phil K could be up for assault.
His Balance 004 release is only his 2nd official release, following his award winning ‘Sound not Scene’ mix from a few years back. Some would say that his magic is lost from a live performance translated on to a cd, but thankfully this is not the case with this double disc gem. Sean Quinn, Kasey Taylor and Bill Hamel preceded Phil and I would dare say that this mix has blown all three out of the water. Let’s indulge.
The first disc is simply labelled ‘Breaks Mix’ – and it dares not lie. It’s a journey of lush atmospheric breaks propelled into an array of filthy ridden beats. Luke Chable’s “After the Storm” is an early head turner, with smooth swooshing vocals intertwined with a subtle pixie melody – think melodic breaks. Medway and Cusick please with “Fiscal EP”, keeping the mix smooth and cheerful in its early stages. The brilliant Spoon Wizard provides a melody hand in hand with a faint swirling baseline. For the ladies, strings meet the smooth vocals of “Free” by Scrambler. The mix closes fist with Dark Alley’s twisted remix if GT’s “Love Song” and then the garagey baseline and subtle guitar rhythms of Phil K and Nubreed’s remix of “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” by Led Zeppelin. Disc one is brilliant, not a sour moment in sight.
Disc two is labelled House Mix – and is a mixture of house, tribal and tech house. “The Bubblegum Track” by Sphere & Dave Preston provides the mix with its first deeply embedded baseline. J & S Productions’ “Sunrise” is a fusion of tribal percussion at its best while the hypnotic horns and chants of “Les Zoulous” by Nathan Hawkes give the mix an ethnic atmosphere. The groovy funked up baseline of Terry Francis Dub of “Ever Gonna Make It” by Sarah Jane Morris is a more then healthy addition to the mix while the Tribal percussions make a resurgence with Chloe’s “Midnight Travels”. We are taken deep into Arabia with Dark Alley’s House mix of “The Roots” by Lo Step while PQM show us “The Way” late in the mix with a delicious deep house number. The electro baseline of “Spinning” by Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” put an end to proceedings.
After this mix it is not hard to see why Phil K’s reputation, especially in the UK and US continues to rise. Widely noticed for his storming productions under the guises of Hi-Fi Bugs, Dark Alley and Lo Step just to name a few, this release will firmly establish Phil K into the upper echelon of DJ’s that Australia has to offer. Phil K has found the right Balance with this release, and it’s not to be taken lightly. – Robbie Y 14th October 2002