Phutek talks the Rave Scene, Carl Cox, Marriage Proposals and the reincarnation of 'Reincarnations'!
Reported by Jessica Alici
Submitted 27-04-20 08:00
Craig Campbell aka Phutek has been a pioneer of the UK Rave Scene since its birth - having lived and breathed it as a clubber, DJ and Producer! His passion, dedication and love of the scene shines through in his work; it's no surprise to see him climbing up the ranks of superstardom! We caught up with him as his techno reincarnation of 'Reincarnations' is unleashed to the masses on Onhcet Republik today, 27th April 2020!
You were born and bred in Coventry, UK. How do you feel your upbringing shaped who are you are today?
Very much so. I was born in the 70s, so my first main musical experiences came through the great decade of the 80s and the rise of Electronic Music. Synth bands such as Depeche Mode (always my heartbeat even today) were the first things musically to help me connect and tick. Also, my hometown was one of the main strongholds for the birth of Rave in the UK. Legendary brand Amnesia House was in its prime as I left school. These two elements were massive in turning the first music cogs in me, to take me where I have ended up today.
What is your earliest memory of music?
Lots of Motown was drilled into me at a really young age, as my mum was really into that sound when I was an infant. Then hip hop (breakdance, electro era), then electronica hit me like a train shortly after, as my brain and soul matured and connected musically. Massive acts such as Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, OMD and Jean Michel Jarre were the first big memories
You were around to witness the birth of the rave scene – tell us about your journey into this underground phenomenon
Yes, I certainly was. As mentioned earlier; Amnesia House at The Eclipse in my hometown Coventry was considered the best club/event in Europe as the Rave scene was starting to peak. And the minute I left school I did my musical schooling in that establishment! Seeing the likes of legends Carl Cox, Sasha, Grooverider and so many more painting the first few pictures of dance music was incredible. I was lucky enough to land in the DJ box on a night Cox, Sasha and Stu Allen played and it was what I witnessed that night which got me hooked. From that moment I wanted to be that person that controlled the emotions and vibes on a dance floor.
Do you think the underground scene has changed over the years? If so how, and what has remained constant?
Yes, lots. There is still and always will be elements of underground in the scene. The most defining change is the rise of too many genres and sub genres and the labelling of music. It has caused a segregation amongst the clubbers and happens more when other genres get introduced. If you experienced both, then and now, will you get this difference; how much it has impacted on the underground element, and how we now party differently. The first half of the 90s it was just electronic music, dance music or House and Techno and everyone danced under 'One Roof '. Now we are all a little divided, which is cool to the people that don't have the comparison, but is sad to those that remember this 'golden age'.
Where was your first DJ gig and how did you land it?
My first proper gig I classed as a gig, was for a free party in the 90s called Exodus in the UK. It was a secret location in the countryside and you only got told the location an hour before the party started. Even then, you still had to listen out for the sound system from the road, as it was tucked away in the middle of a forest. You followed the sound until you found the party! I landed this gig from the organisers direct from being in a local public house whilst I was practising on their Technics 1210s and went on to be a resident for them and their other parties - 'Amazon'!
You’ve released your music on some top labels including Carl Cox’s monster label Intec. How did this come about?
With great persistence and patience, lol! Fortunately, through many years of networking, I finally managed to get my music into the right artists hands, and eventually became a firm favourite to some of these artists.
This involved going to hundreds of events over many years and just being persistent in always taking demos out with me, landing them in the right hands and building a rapport with these artists via chatting and socialising. This is pretty much how it happened with Carl... I finally got my music to him at High Definition festival in the UK around 2011. I'm so grateful that he has been a big supporter of my productions ever since.
What is music to you?
Music is many things to me. It's a form of art where I can express ideas and feelings; a form that's in a different language, without words or expressions. It's a big part of my life! Not many minutes slip by the day without music and new creative ideas rolling through my mind. It's also a great place to escape from the pressures and bullshit of normal life... when you really land listening to or making music then nothing else matters.
You recently made a techno remix of Steve Morley’s classic trance anthem ‘Reincarnations’ and it’s due for release on Onhcet Republik on the 27th April 2020. Tell us about the mix – where you took your inspiration, what you used to make it, and what the track means to you…
Well, there is a really cool story behind this! Reincarnations has always been a personal favourite of mine, from its original release over 2 decades ago. My current partner and I connected with the track whilst we were dating in 2019., I reached out to Steve Morley to ask him if he minded me having the remix stems and original midi, as I wanted to make my own version to propose to my then girlfriend, now fiancée Susy whilst playing at a gig in Amsterdam. To my surprise Steve knew who I was and said: “For sure, I'll send you the parts, but please send me the finished remix and let's make it Official!” This blew my mind because of how much I loved this track, and secondly it was right here, in the now - a special connection for me and my future wife.
The remix itself stays quite true to the original, I have just added my signature Phutek Techno stamp on it. Hypnotic wash drums join a big techno kick and bass; that drives through the original synth storyline; and when it hits the money, I injected a little bit of darkness in that epic main break.
How would your friends describe you in three words?
“Absolutely fucking mental” quote, my best friend!
Tell us about your future plans – what’s on the horizon for you and what are your hopes and dreams?
In 2020 I aspire to get around the globe more, showcasing the DJ side of Phutek. I believe I am a better DJ than I am a producer, and the Techno World needs to see more of this side of me.
However, the Coronavirus has halted these plans, as it has for the whole scene. So, for now, it's head down and back in the studio to get creating the next Techno floor burners! Or, maybe I’ll finish my first album
To hear a sample and buy a copy of Phutek's new release on Onhcet Republik click here:
To follow Phutek on Facebook Click Here:
To listen to Phutek's sounds Click Here:
Images courtesy of Phutek and Onhcet Republik. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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