We welcome Sydney based artist Phondupe to the magazine, as he reveals his favourite restaurants, record shops and nightlife spots.
An enigmatic producer with a powerful and unique warped-pop sound, his sound has seen support from the likes of FBI Radio and NTS Radio with only a few releases to his name. With the release of his new single ‘Fangtooth’, we thought it was high time to catch up with the up and coming producer.
Where are you from?
What are the best things about your home town?
The thing I miss most when I leave Sydney is all the nature. In 20 minutes you're on a beach with no one else around, surrounded by colourful birds and bush.
The Asian food influence is the other big one. Authentic Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and Korean everywhere you look.
Do you have any suggestions on places to go/eat/drink/party in Sydney?
The lockout laws crippled our city but in many ways have brought the scene so much closer together. Sydney’s music scene is less about cliques and more about everyone working together to fight a common evil - the state government.
The government has driven us out of typical establishments and into warehouses and pop-up spaces. Parties in office buildings, carparks, World War II bunkers... one of my favourites was a day rave at the base of seaside cliffs, waves crashing into the PA.
They’ve finally announced they’re relaxing the laws and it’s weird, I can’t imagine people being satisfied going back to regular clubs. So my tip for Sydney is to follow crews, not venues - Velodrome, Nectar, House of Mince, Dunj, Ghostly.
Beach: Congwong (La Perouse)
Looks like something out of a Peroni commercial. (NB: A woman did get bitten by a shark there a year or so ago. Australia.)
Records: Halcyon Daze in Newtown.
For me, crate digging is less about collecting rarities and more about escaping the algorithm - Halcyon Daze is the spot where I’ll go in with an open mind and leave with Japanese Punk, Italian Prog - stuff I’d never discover any other way that expands my mind. The owner’s a knowledgeable legend too.
Food: Ho Jiak (Malaysian - Haymarket) Scared to admit how much cash I've dropped at this place over the last year. Face-melting Malaysian food. Get the Char Koay Teow.
Drink: The George (Waterloo) + The Bearded Tit (Redfern).
Unfortunately, most Sydney pubs and bars play horrible serviced digital jukebox music. The George is not that. Last time I was here on a casual Friday thing the pool room became a mini jungle rave. It's the perfect neighbourhood local, with mint music selections and the tacos are fucking delicious. // Words can't describe The Bearded Tit, so I won't try. It's an important institution for our LGBTI+ community and you just never know what you'll find once you walk through the dildo-covered entry.
Art: White Rabbit Gallery (Chippendale).
21st century Chinese contemporary art over three floors - completely free.
The exhibits I see in this space are always pushing the envelope - challenging paradigms and form.
Who are your main musical influences?
I’m drawn to different artists for different reasons. The melodies of Brit Pop like Stone Roses and Blur, the harmonic haze of 70’s Brazilian psych, the innovative production of artists like Clearers from Venus, Andy Stott, Ben Frost, the guitars of Durutti Column, the phrasing of Sinatra, Nick Cave and Nina Simone...
Favourite festival you've been to?
Tell us about your new single ‘Fangtooth’..
It’s the second single from my new album ONYKIA that uses the deep sea as a reference point for the dark giants of our own minds.
This track is a third-person narration of a destructive relationship, originally was inspired by the Anglerfish.
I'll just leave this line here from its Wiki page:
“Once the male finds a suitable mate, he bites into her belly and latches on until his body fuses with hers. Their skin joins together, and so do their blood vessels, which allows the male to take all the nutrients he needs from his host/mate’s blood. The two fish essentially become one.”
Do you plan to bring your music to live show soon? If so, where would be the first stop on the map?
There will be a full A/V tour for this record - firstly through Australia and then hopefully UK and Europe.
What can listeners expect next from Phondupe?
I’ve been non stop writing new minimal ambient and falling in love with the piano again. I’m working on a project over the summer that merges minimal piano with the natural environment - It’ll be a nice palette cleanser before the next Phondupe album is out in late 2020.
You can keep up to date with Phondupe on his socials below.