PHCK are a German trio bringing new dimensions to deep, melodic house music. An entirely classically trained outfit, they imbue their roots—and traditional instrumentation—into each of their productions, adding a touch of rawness and humanity to their otherwise dancefloor-ready compositions. After honing in on the rich, layered aesthetic they carry today, PHCK’s name soon became a reputable one in the underground circles. They’ve since begun carving their niche in this realm, becoming powerplayers on Lee Burridge’s prolific All Day I Dream imprint, among others, and backing their organic sound up with an innovative live performance format.
The time has now come to capture their essence in longplayer form, and have naturally signed the project on with All Day I Dream—a perfect home for it. Titled ‘More Than A Machine’, its title track offers a taste of what to expect: ethereal, hypnotic bliss sprinkled with lush percussion and crafty synthesis. Its many parts are arranged effectively into sentimental whole, keeping listeners captivated until the last beat. The album comes out on September 27, and we got a chance to talk with PHCK further on the project ahead of time.
Check out our interview with the band, and our premiere of ‘More Than A Machine,’ below.
WWD: When you write music together as classically trained musicians, how does it unfold? Do you create a base for each piece with instruments first, and then turn to the computer? Tell us about how and average studio session went between you three when writing the album, and some challenges you overcame in the process.
Most producers start with the beat, which is a common practice. We mostly start with the main harmony and start to record the instruments afterwards. We also had those studio sessions where we created the beat first, looped it and start to record the individual instruments then. It’s challenging to record it in a way that doesn’t sound unfamiliar, but we usually had some beer on our side to help us through [laughs]
WWD: Can you dive deeper into the meaning of your album? Does ‘More Than A Machine’ imply the depth you bring to electronic music via real instrumentation, or does it represent a broader concept?
‘More than a Machine’ is so much more than just an album title for us. It’s a feeling of love, communication and collective consciousness. Our aim is to inspire everyone who listens to the album to find their inner child. You feel impartial again and escape your daily life. Remember the feelings you had when you were only a child? You’re much more excited and free of convention and develop your own potential. That’s what makes you a human and not a machine. We are ‘More than a Machine’.
WWD: There seems to be a rise in artists using classical writing methods or live/acoustic elements in their electronic production. While some might argue that ‘classical music is dead’, do you think that electronic/dance music might actually be a new catalyst for people to begin learning how to play instruments and music theory? Why or why not?
As musicians we’re happy to see more artists using live/acoustic instruments in their tracks. Classical music is definitely not dead! The art herein is to create a crossover between the genres. We definitely reached our goal, even if there is only one person who starts learning an instrument because of our music. We definitely encourage everyone to do so.
“That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.” – Doris Lessing
WWD: Has writing an album together changed you guys as a group in any way? How so? If not, tell us about how writing an album strengthened your pre-existing philosophy toward music-making.
Definitely. It made us more innovative and opened up new opportunities. We got to know ourselves better in a special way. As three different people, we have different plans of how to work and how to handle different things. It was always interesting and exciting to see and hear the final result.
WWD: How do you avoid burnout in the studio or on tour?
A: That’s a very interesting question. It’s about working authentic from your heart. You’ll get more energy than you have spent when you love what you do. Do it with ambition and dedication and let new people know who you really are. You’ll be excited for new things to come instead of being exhausted after some time.
WWD: Finally, what are your next big plans for the PHCK project?
Releasing an album on All Day I Dream was a goal we never would have dreamt of in the past. Now it’s happening and we’re living the dream we ever wanted. Now we’re looking so much forward to finally share this album with the world. You can describe the release of the album as the highlight of PHCK and we are enthusiastic to achieve new projects in the near future. Keep an eye on our socials to see what’s happening next!
Release date : September 27th, 2019.