Staff Picks

Staff Pick (Special Edition): Juan’s favourite tracks from his time at Phonica

Staff Pick - Juan
Our (ex)Marketing Manager selects the tracks that defined his time at Phonica.

It is with a heavy heart that I’m writing this article. As some of you know, after four and a half years I’m moving on from Phonica.

This was a very difficult decision to make. Phonica has been a central element of my life since I joined the team back in 2013. Not only because managing to get a job at London’s most notorious record store was unimaginable for a young lad from a small town in the north of Spain who landed in the unwelcoming city of London with one suitcase and zero connections, but because of the amazing individuals I’ve met during my time there. Working in a record shop is a cool thing to do per se, but doing it with your dearest friends really is the cherry on the cake.

The wealth of musical knowledge that I have amassed throughout these years is mind-boggling. I’ve been put into unheard genres from disparate corners of the world – from Belgian Coldwave to Brazilian Zouk, the magic world of Cosmic Disco or everyone’s favourite tag ‘Balearic’.

But let’s not get nerdy. Today I wanted to share with you the tracks that encapsulate some of my most precious memories at Phonica. From spending Saturdays recommending records to your favourite DJs, inviting my heroes to play at countless in-stores or rocking all sorts of parties around the city with my skilled comrades, to organising our infamous Record Store Day events and meeting my girlfriend at one of them, getting interviewed on the Spanish TV and even engineering a Grammy nomination (ops!), it certainly has been a journey!

I’m sure I’ll be writing here from time to time but I guess now people won’t be able to refer to me as ‘Juan from Phonica’ or ‘the guy who takes the pictures of the records on the floor’.

Thanks for this defining four and a half years. We’ll always have the music.

Omar S Presents Aaron “Fit” Siegel Feat. L’Renee – Tonite (Detroit Mix) [FXHE]

The ultimate counter anthem. When I first started at Phonica I used to work Saturdays with Vangelis, Laetitia and Danielle or Shac. A few seconds into this track and I’m instantly taken back to those very happy days. It’s Saturday, 6pm (aka beer o’clock), this is playing loud at the shop and a shared feeling of happiness invades the room. Tonight London is ours.

North Lake – Suomi Kutsu [Phonica Records]

Still my favourite from our catalog. Have great memories spinning this one, played my copy to death. Repress please!

Point G – Underwater [Apollonia]

Another favourite from that time, rocked it a million times both behind the counter and at the club.

First Choice Love Thang (Genius Of Time Rework) [Verktyg]

In hindsight, this record probably got me into playing disco again. Those congas are addictive!

Kerrier District (Luke Vibert) – Lets Dance And Freak [Rephlex]

I remember very well the moment when Alex dropped this when playing together at the Big Chill. The synth line is pure bliss. I got a copy the day after.

Glenn Underground GU – I Feel Dub [White Label]

To celebrate 10 years of Phonica we released a 3xLP and threw a party at Fire in South London with Henrik Schwarz, Midland, Kassem Mosse and Psychemagik. We played room 2 all night. I dropped this at around 4am and everyone went for it. Never seen so many people raising their arms from a booth like that day.

Don Carlos – Ipnotica [Calypso]

This is one became a bit of an anthem at The House Of St Barnabas lately. Wait for the pianos!

D-HA – Sublime (Eddie’s Minus 8 Mix) [Happy Trax]

I used to be obsessed with Happy Trax. This is my favourite on the label and probably played it at every Number 90 party I DJed.

Sade – Paradise (Extended Remix) [Epic]

Not really sure when but at some point I kind of stopped buying house records. Maybe Sade is responsible for this.

Gaznevada – Special Agent Man (Female Version) [Italian Records]

I picked this one in Bologna when Alex and I got invited to talk in a panel reppin Phonica. A lovely experience indeed but we managed to spend all our money on records. Loads of cosmic goodies. No regrets!

Shirley Lites – Heat You Up (Melt Down Mix [West End]

Been rinsing this one lately. Went down a treat at The House Of St Barnabas the other day.

Dina Gad – Crack The Whip [Blue Village]

A few years ago I went to see Vladimir Ivkovic at The Yard with the Phonica gang. His set was truly enlightening. At some point the man expertly mixed Crack The Whip creating a floating sensation on the dance floor that I’ve never experienced before. Been after the record for years with no luck, but turns out that Callum and Alex went great lengths to give this kosmische holy grail on my last day as my leaving present. Speechless.

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