This month’s Phonica Mix Series is presented by US DJ crew Honey Soundsystem.
The San Francisco based collective consist of residents Jacob Sperber (aka Jackie House), Jason Kendig, Josh Cheon, and Robert Yang (aka Robot Hustle / Beziér). Honey has been instrumental in the formation of three record labels: Dark Entries, Discaire, and Honey Soundsystem Records (HNYTRX) – their flagship label for special one-off releases and dance twelve inches.
Formed in late 2006, the group is most known for its 5 year weekly Sunday night weekly party in San Francisco which saw hundreds of distinguished guests offering a take on dance music in direct opposition to what was blaring on mainstream club speakers.
Through years of dedication and hard work, Honey Soundsystem have become a real institution of the West Coast underground electronic music scene, it’s a pleasure to present you this mix.
First of all, thank you for a wonderful contribution to our mix series. What kind of vibe were you feeling when you recorded the mix?
As much as we love digging into the past we wanted to showcase some more recent favorites by a few artist and friends that we love and respect.
Do you think that the place and equipment used matters?
The equipment might not directly influence the music but environment will always influence the direction of a mix. When performing in a live setting you’re creating a dialog with the crowd responding to their energy and guiding the night. When making a mix for home listening the entire arc and end result has been thought through. For the Honey Soundsystem mixes we usually discuss what we think the vibe of the mix will be and then compile an assortment of selections and then one of us will sort through the tracks and find a way to make the mix flow cohesively.
Tell us, how did the Honey Soundsystem project came together?
As we approach the 10 year mark of this project it’s interesting to look back at how much has changed and evolved in San Francisco and beyond. At the time when we were just getting started I think we were looking for a way to present the music that we were excited about and nerding out on since it wasn’t really reflected in the venues and parties that we were attending. (Particularly in the gay scene.)
The realization came that to do so would require creating our own platform. If it weren’t for the teamwork involved I don’t think any of us could have individually maintained the momentum through the years.
Your ethos is somewhat politicized and a reaction to mainstream dance culture. How do you think Trump’s election is going to affect culture in general and electronic music in particular?
The shock of the election results is still really wearing off on artists and musicians. The irony of the music industry in America, is that it’s already as out of reach from the independent producer as it could be. Radio waves are in the most part owned by behemoth corporations and rarely does a college radio station get to hold it’s own place on the dial. Long before Trump we have watched as venues struggled to maintain capacity against weekend music festivals and the growing EDM commercial rave scene. Now, obviously for anything to get worse could be crippling to the small business owner, but the underground has built its way around all of this already. In many ways we are prepared for further obstruction to the process, it is already so difficult to work with to begin with.
What is in the pipeline for the crew and the labels in its orbit?
There will be a forthcoming Octo Octa album coming in the new year via our in house label, HNYTRX.
Josh Cheon has a steady stream of releases forthcoming on Dark Entries.
Bezier has a split release with Fort Romeau that’s out on Cin Cin.
Jackie House has a remix out now on The Night Owl Diner of Chrissy & Hawley.
Jason Kendig has a remix out on Roam Recordings of Heretic & Buran and a forthcoming release on The Night Owl Diner with Nackt. (Sadly we are still reeling from his untimely passing during the Oakland fire tragedy over this past weekend as well as the loss of many others that were integral to the Bay Area music community.)
As we are coming up to the end of the year, it’s list season! What were your standout records of the year and why?
It would be a really long list to include favorites from all four of us but here are a handful that have found repeated plays on the dance floor:
Savile – Share Power ep
The Pilotwings – Molitor 71 ep
Avalon Emerson – Frontier ep
Jack Murphy – Knowing Something ep
Club Lonely – Real Wild Tracks ep
03. Shanti Celeste – Dolphin Chant
05. Doc Sleep – Cooper’s Trilogy
07. Kim Ann Foxman & Shaun J Wright – Destination
08. Doms & Deykers – Faye’s Slide
09. Octo Octa – On Your Lips
10. Jayda G – Fathom Five
If you enjoyed this mix please consider a donation to the relief fund for the Oakland Ghostship fire.