Influences 002 – Phaction

Alex Pavlou aka Phaction’s passion for music was founded through a love of drumming from an early age. He moved to Bristol in 2007 where his growing fascination for Drum and Bass music was catalysed by the diverse vibe and nightlife of the city.After learning to mix and playing out live with high energy sets he began craving a new challenge and sought a different medium through which to express his creativity.

His journey into music production began in 2013. Inspired by liquid legends such as Lenzman, Technimatic and Total Science, he wanted to re-capture the vibes he fell in love with while he was studying. Outside of Drum & Bass, his love of a wide range of music from classical and jazz through to film scores and even heavy metal have been intrinsic in the vibe of his productions. In order to have a brighter look on this up-and-coming artist we asked to select a top 10 of musical influences.

‘Below is a selection of tracks or more specifically a collection artists who I have found to be truly inspirational. It was really hard whittling it down to just 10 tracks, so I think this playlist is more a reflection of the artists and their work as a whole, with the individual tracks representing a window into their world.

Chilly Gonzales - Gentle Threat

”I discovered Chilly through a fascination with the rapper Drake’s instrumentals, Chilly and Drake are close friends, and you can hear his musical influence in tracks like ‘From Time’ and ‘Paris Morton Music’ among others. This guy is an absolute G, not only a virtuoso on the keys but a real character on stage, he really loves to include the audience in the experience of being creative, check out his live performance in Graz to see what I mean.”

Tycho - Hours

”Id love to spend a day working this guy, just to see the kind of magic he can conjure up with a synth. ‘Hours’ has a lovely ‘wash over you’ vibe and a soft euphoria that I’ve not really experienced from any other music. A great source of inspiration when creating your own atmos.”

Submotion Orchestra - The Finest Hour

”This whole album is seriously unreal. I heard ‘All Yours’ in a mix in my late uni days and was like ‘damn who is that vocalist!’, then discovered the group and their discography. Classy and sophisticated instrumentals combined with subtle elements of Dub, all matched with Ruby’s velvet tones and unique articulations. Seeing them perform live is definitely on my bucket list!”

Drake - Fireworks (ft. Alicia Keys)

”As I touched on above with Gonzales, Drake is a big influence on popular and electronic music, he knows how to pick his sounds or more specifically he has a great relationship with his producer (Noah ’40’ Shebib). Noah has some unorthodox mixing techniques that I find very interesting. Evocative chords over minimal percussion and cold sorta lo-fi, filtered down edge in the atmos that lets the lyrics breathe over the top, it all sounds very visceral. I think his beats being so raw, with simple elements exposed plays a big part in the appeal of his sound. Noah has worked with some really special singers, with Fireworks ft. Alicia Keys being one of my all time favourites. I recently came to realise one of my favourite dnb producers is also a big fan of Noah’s sound, I won’t say who, but he’s been a big inspiration to me from day one.”

The Prodigy - Climbatize

”As a boy growing up in the 90s, The Prodigy were an integral part of my musical education. Climbatize is one of my favs from that particular album (The Fat of The Land), those breaks and that progressive distorted/gated synth, along with the unmistakable horns. Every time I hear it, I’m put into another zone, that’s what I seek to do with my own music!”

Robert Glasper - Calls (ft. Jill Scott)

”I discovered Glasper through a friend who showed me his black radio albums, I’ve always enjoyed listening to jazz trios and instrumental hiphop, its great to see a modern figure keeping jazz alive. You can tell his playing style is influenced by old greats like Bill Evans. I find it impossible not to be inspired by the sounds these guys create, complex chords, grooves and nuances, heavenly. If you like soulful music, check out the Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio 1 and 2.”

Nightmares on Wax - Les Nuits

”Beautiful, majestic strings. Say no more.”

Incubus - Stellar

”Much like the Prodigy, Incubus had a firm place in my early years of enjoying music, especially the album Morning View! I love the way they go in on the delays and fx, the lyrics are genius, and, there’s really nothing like a good shred on an electric guitar. I frequently have ideas in my head off the back of guitar riffs, I think they’re very easy to connect with and great for putting an idea down quickly, if only I could play properly hah.”

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

”Miles Davis is quite an icon and this album along with others of the same era of Evans and Monk, to me it’s timeless music, with all its improvisation and imperfections….did I mention that I like Jazz? I highly recommend watching interviews of Davis and soak up the vibe, he oozes cool.”

Thomas Newman - Whisper of a Thrill

”This guy has written soundtracks to so many classic films its hard to keep track. I find a lot of ideas flow from just experiencing a soundscape or vibe in a film, especially when you have that visual layer to go with it. I recall I’ve even started writing tracks (‘Lucid’ was one) mid way through watching a film with Thomas Newman in the background! Pure inspiration on tap. On that note, Hans Zimmer stands firmly beside him in my list of soundtrack influences.”