Phantasy Sound’s Erol Alkan has been a regular digger since Phonica first opened its doors in 2003. We caught up with Erol to hear about some of his fondest shop memories from the past fourteen years!
London based DJ, producer and Phantasy Sound label owner, Erol Alkan, has always stood out from the crowd for his unorthodox and often unexpected take on dance music. Known for merging house and techno with indie, disco and psychedelic rock – the music he creates does not and has never followed any conventional rules or trends.
Aside from his intricate and gripping DJ sets, Erol is perhaps best known for his remixing and reworking skills. Phantasy’s latest release ‘Reworks Volume 1’ is a five-part compilation which highlights a selection of Alkan’s infamous reworks for such artists as Daft Punk, Hot Chip, Justice and Tame Impala to name a few.
Do you remember the first record you bought at Phonica?
That’s near impossible! Back in 2003 I used to be in there every week without fail, I’d never leave without buying something. Heidi used to work behind the counter at that point and she really knew what I loved, I remember when ‘Erotic Discourse’ first appeared on white label, she kept a copy aside for me and before I even said ‘Hello’ she was forcing it into my hand. I remember her saying something along the lines of ‘This record has YOU written all over it’. I must admit to buying a lot on impulse as well, I tend to collect series and certain labels quite religiously. I suppose it’s a bit like a subscription to somebody else’s taste, something which I feel great labels should embody.
What was your latest purchase?
I was in a few days ago, I always try to listen to what may not be available on the digital platforms, so this time around it was a couple of white labels. A 10″ which had a stamped ‘V’ on it, a 12″ with MADMADMAD-PAX on the label, and another 10″ with no writing, just splattered paint across the sleeve. They all sounded good.
How do you think Phonica has influenced you over the years?
Well, it’s as influential as any website, or curator of any type I know, maybe even more so. The fact that it deals with the vinyl format, something which arguably goes through many people and perhaps more investment than a basic digital release, means that the music has the chance of having a higher quality or purpose for release. I trust that all great record stores mainly buy in records which are worth presenting to us, so all those factors play a part. I tend to gravitate towards Nick and Alex who know me well, they pull out records which I tend to like, I suppose they directly influence my taste in some way.
Fondest memory at 51 Poland Street?
I love the social aspect, bumping into friends, catching up with the folk who work there. Maybe the most memorable moment was when they told me I had one of the biggest selling 12″ of that year (my rework of Franz Ferdinand) back in 2005, that was quite unexpected for a remix of a guitar band, but I suppose it makes sense in retrospect.
Name a record or two that you associate with Phonica?
Maybe the Black Cock series… I remember when you got a load of warehouse finds a few years back, think I bought all of them. The Moton series as well, those records are always handed over to me whenever I’m in, and they’ve been going for as long as I can remember coming to Phonica.
Tell us about your own projects.
More releases are coming via Phantasy, we’ve just released a compilation of my reworks, well, 20 of them in the form of the first volume. A few of them have certainly had a relationship with Phonica, I havent lost the buzz of walking into there and seeing a record I’m involved with on the wall, it meant a lot to me the first time it happened and it still means a lot now.