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Phonica Mix Series 120:
John Gómez

phonica mix BANNER 120

Ahead of Phonica’s trip out to Kala festival this week, we reach out to one of their longest running residents to display his wares for the Phonica mix series. Music From Memory affiliate, NTS host and all round deep digger John Gómez pays homage to Phonica with a dive into his more clubby collection of records. John gives us an hour of some of his favorite releases in the realms of house, disco, acid and breaks showing why he stands as one of the UK’s most respected collectors. We had a brief chat with John about the mix and what he has coming up. Get over to offtherecord.net to check that out now


Hey John, thanks for joining us! Can you tell us about your mix and what the idea behind it was?


It’s Phonica, so it’s a club mix! I haven’t done one in a while and I often feel people (even some promoters that book me lol) are surprised when I play more straightforward club music. I guess they expect a continual stream of obscure new age Japanese CD music or something. So, in summary, these are some dance records that I’m enjoying right now that you are more than welcome to skip through.


Can you tell us a bit about how you usually approach recording a mix or a set?


I mean it’s pretty self-explanatory: you get some records together, play them in an order, twiddle with some knobs, and hopefully remember to press record. Anyone who tries to claim it’s anything more than that is a bit of a wanker.


What are your preferred methods for finding new music—do you still enjoy digging around in dusty crates, or do you prefer to buy online? 


Yes, I love digging and I think it’s still the best way to be properly surprised by music you find. But of course, I buy a lot online, both physical and digital. I go through a lot of music for my NTS show as well as for clubs. To me it’s quite simple: if you close your ears to any way of finding music, whether for some fanatical vinyl purist or practical digi reasoning, you miss a lot of amazing music. I try to stay open.


You’ve worked on a lot of great releases on the brilliant Music From Memory label over the years, most notably the two part compilation series; Outro Tempo which focused on electronic and contemporary music from Brazil. How did these projects come about?


I’ve spoken about these a lot before, but they were the result of a lot of work and research. My head was really immersed in that world at that time, exploring the different ways different countries had created experimental music that resonated with the ambient atmospheres of some of the electronic music I grew up with. The more I looked, the more I realized that something quite special had happened in Brazil, but it hadn’t been properly documented or put together, perhaps because the music had no centre or unified scene. It was a privilege to meet all these musicians, collect their music and help them tell their stories again.


You have quite the standing relationship with Kala and noticed you are back again this year which we are very happy about, anything special planned for your set there this year?


I’ve been a resident at Kala since day one and have played at every edition of the festival. It’s an amazing place, but its crown jewel is no doubt Gjipe, one of my favourite places to play in the world. It’s a rugged dancefloor set against the backdrop of a canyon with the pristine sea only 50 metres away. It’s properly wild: when you turn on the speakers you always see snakes quickly disappearing into the bushes to escape the sound. So yeah, we try to play music that suits the natural setting, like modular dungeon techno.



What has been one of your most memorable sets over your career?


For me, the smallest ones usually turn out the best. Years ago, on the last night of my first USA tour I played at someone’s house in the Los Angeles hills. It was supposed to be a chilled listening session, but after everyone’s acid kicked in it turned into a brilliant, unexpected dance for maybe 20 or 25 people, spread across a terrace, garden and living room. It was simple, but the light at dusk was incredible and I still get goosebumps thinking about it. It made me reflect then and now on how privileged I’ve been to have these experiences.


What do you have up your sleeve for 2024?


The party I run with Nick the Record, Tangent, turns 10 this year so we’re releasing a compilation on Mr Bongo in July. Lots more radio to do. And childcare.



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