Unknown Mortal Orchestra Select Phaseone

Unknown Mortal Orchestra tell us their favourite night-rap producer

Music Selects
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Taken from the April Issue of Dazed & Confused:

Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Jake Portrait: “Phaseone makes magnetic soundscapes that feel like music made for Mars. The new album is big and lush-sounding, with wobbly keyboards that swirl and pulse across each track. Really dreamy.”

Since self-releasing 2009’s 'Thanks But No Thanks', a DIY album of raw, unpolished sounds that weaved between early electronica and hip hop influences, St Louis-raised electronic producer Andrew Jernigan aka Phaseone has relocated to New York. The 28-year-old, who has remixed the likes of Grouper, Panda Bear and Animal Collective, says his work is a culmination of his bedroom experimentations and lifelong influences, mostly from across the Atlantic. “Growing up in the 90s, electronic music was always around. I only really latched on and started following it when I heard jungle and drum & bass,” he says. “I’ve always loved British music, probably more than music from the States – not just electronic music, but all music.”

As a result, his tracks maintain an emotive but somewhat sombre quality throughout, layering subdued and often melancholic melodies, interspersed with simplistic, heavy percussion. “That was the first type of dance music that really spoke to me. It’s dark and intense, very serious. I feel like a lot of music today is kind of a joke, like everything’s tongue-in-cheek. But my music is pretty serious. In an environment where you’re playing music out, there’s so much opportunity to create a deep moment. That’s just something I think about dance music... but I don’t even know if I would call my music ‘dance music’.”

Aiming to use vocalists in a more deliberate way, Jernigan litters his disparate dreamscapes with vocal samples using a sparse or repetitive method. “In terms of vocalists, I wanted it to be my album,” he says of the forthcoming 'If I Tell U'. “I didn’t want to bury singers in reverb, push them down in the mix. I wanted them to have presence and be clear, but I still want very much for it to be me coming through.”

Jernigan’s emotive new record has been years in the making, and he’s built up high hopes for it. “I’m really excited to put this album out. It’s been finished for a long time, and I want people to like it. I’m not afraid to say that.” Neither are we.

Photography by Liza Mandelup

If I Tell U is out on Williams Street on May 7

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