Phil Kieran

Phil Kieran's "Shh"
One of world's busiest electronic music producers and DJs, Phil Kieran released his debut "Shh"!

One of Belfast's biggest talents, Phil Kieran still resides in the city to keep up with his family and friends, not as most of the others do in Berlin or other metropoles. His sounds continue to develop on various projects and he just found some more time to release his debut from Cocoon Recordings where he has been releasing some top notch EPs during the past years. He is also about to finish his new Alloy Mental album in the forthcoming year and still hardly working on some new and fresh music for the fans. 

His debut "Shh" voyeurs nearly all of Phil's talents and areas of interest. He is into 'anything' you would say but he is fond of what he is doing really. He is one of the best and most sophisticated / hard working producers around. You can find only a few like him who are able to work on multiple projects  simultaneously.
He was working on a soundtrack with David Sylvian lately and these days he wants not to remix but to produce instead. While being crazy busy with his touring schedule, he found some time answering my questions about his debut and life these days.

How long did it take you to finish the album?
About a year, I started by making a special sample library, which took about one month, then just got stuck in, I had the pleasure of seeing Kraftwerk live at the beginning which was great fuel for the mind and soul.

There is a full spectrum of genres and technics in your debut. Do you have a favorite track or while doing which track you enjoyed the most?
I think my favorite tracks would be "Playing With Shadows" and "Bend It Bend It My Dear" not the tracks that other people maybe pick up on, it's just I felt like I was pushing myself hardest to develop a sound which I felt would be new to me. I enjoyed making all the tracks, infact the album was so much fun to make, it's the most creative I have ever felt.

What about your first sweetheart among all those genres?
Well I think you mean what was my first influence? I look back very fondly on my teenage days listening to Autechre and Warp Records,  then moving onto Basic Channel records, they are my best memories of music when I was younger. I guess you could call it IDM or when I was younger we just called it "Intelligent music" or just "electronica ".

Can you tell us 2-3 records that changed your life, vision, mind?
There are so many, I always mention how "Screamadelica" changed me from listening to the Pixies and The Smiths to listening to DJ mixes by Andrew Weatherall and that was the start of it, it was a turning point as it was for a lot of people at the time, it made rave music seem ok and interesting and not just vicks and glow sticks. I love old Brian Eno records, post punk stuff, New York disco etc., I don't like putting to much emphasis on one record as so much music pushes the right buttons for me.

What are you doing these days other than music?
Nearly all my time goes into music apart from that I like to spend time with my family, I have a very young daughter, and I enjoy time with them and friends. I also like running lots, trying to run a marathon. I like exercise a lot, good for the mind.

You did the soundtrack for Steven Soderberg film  "The Girlfriend Experience" with David Holmes. Was it your first soundtrack experience and how did it go?
It was and it was great fun just doing something different, we worked on the music for that in the middle of doing my album so it was a welcome break, it's David's soundtrack really, I just worked with him on it. Was great to work in a new way and find new ideas, very inspiring.

What other release and remix projects do you have forthcomingly?
I try not to do remixes, but I've agreed to do a remix for Hotchip as they are doing one for my album. I'm working on about 10 or 11 new tracks, getting some singles together, the focus for the singles will be music for clubs and DJs.

I am also curious about the debut being released from Cocoon Records. How did it happen?
Well, I think Sven was playing "Skyhook" lots and then Pauli for the label got in touch with me to see if I had any music, so we started with putting "I Think I'm A Monster " on the Cocoon compilation, then we done 2 more singles, "Missp" and"Wasps Under A Toy Boat" so it's seemed like the next step to do an album, I really wanted to do my first album, and it was great to get Cocoon to release it.

Why the name “Shh”? Do you want people to shut up?
Ha! No not at all, it's bases on my influences for the cover, I wanted something stripped back for the cover, I was influenced by Bauhaus art movement, 20th century, modernism, and also wanted it to feel futuristic, I thought that reflected the music. I've seen a painting in the M.O.M.A New York called "Oof" by Edward Ruscha, very simple. I wanted something like that for the cover, but changed the letters to another sound, So I chose "Shh", the designers came up with the rest of the design concept  after i gave them a mood board, was really happy with what the achieved.

Wonky bass, guitar riffs, pumping kicks... Do you have something in terms of your ingredients for your productions that you in each case never give up with?
I think I just try and get a feeling out of the music I want and I just keep workin' until I get it. My favorite synth is the Imposcar, it's so good for bass, and I just mess around with a few others to get the sound I want.

Are there any movement on the Alloy Mental side?
Second album is half finished, so we might get it for 2010. Fingers crossed, I want to get some singles finished and then I will get onto the Alloy Mental project.

Do you reside in Berlin or do you still have connection with Belfast?
Always Belfast, It's just my home, Berlin is a great city but here in Belfast is where I have so many good friends and family, I'm not sure I can get them all to move.

Where do you think is the best place for clubbing these days?
Berlin is always good anytime I've been, but all big cities like London and Barcelona have cool things going on. 

What do you think about the dijital sales era across the suffering of vinyl?
I love vinyl, but no point in fighting things, I try to stick to using Aiff files or WAVs, MP3's can sound really bad. I'ts just the age we are in and that's the way it's going to be.

You are a very busy man. How do you keep up with all those business?
Not sure, just try and keep at things, I'm very motivated, but things never seem like works, I love getting up in the morning and getting stuck in, (as long as I have not been to the pub) I don't see what I do as work, so I'm always very excited every day about getting started in the studio.

What do you know about İstanbul? Would you like to play here?
Not enough, never been and would love to go! It's been one of my aims to get to Turkey if I go for a gig some time I might take a holiday as well and get to look around, hopefully soon!

Interview: Christopher Çolak
30 November 2009


Dominik Eulberg

Techno ranger from Westerwald: Dominik Eulberg
While not being a forest ranger, Dominik Eulberg produces techno that no one else is… more


T.E.E.: Turzi Électronique Expérience
French pyschedelia virtuoso Romain Turzi gone wild with his real synths and analogue recording techniques… more


Two Decades of Hardfloor
One of Germany’s best techno outlets, Hardfloor has been doing electronic music for 20 years… more

Kate Simko

Kate Simko: Soul & Heart
Chicago's Kate Simko is digging deep with her diverse style, full of soul & heart. more


Niederflur: Techno with an attitude
Cologne based duo Niederflur has been releasing mind blowing techno music since the early 90’s. more


Kaiserdisco: "In No One's Shadow"
Kaiserdisco duo has gained reputation with their high quality dance floor tracks all around the… more

Michael Mayer

St. Vinyl: Michael Mayer
"You can get into trouble but you can also find a new friend" says Michael… more

Mr G

Mr G: Still Here
Most of us know Colin McBean for years now and he is making people dance… more

Mr G

Mr G: Hala Burada
90’lı yılların başından beri techno müziğin en önemli figürlerinden olan Colin McBean aka Mr G… more


Phonique: Kissing Strangers
Phonique is kissing strangers in his new album released from the label of ‘best kept… more

FM Belfast

Be friends with FM Belfast
Do you really think that Iceland is all about melancholy, coldness and dark melodies? No… more

Danton Eeprom

Danton Eeprom: The most serious Frenchman
Londoner Frenchman Danton Eeprom is one of the most inlfuential and inspiring and emerging talent… more

Maayan Nidam

10 shots from Maayan Nidam
I caught Maayan Nidam just before her Vodka shots and asked her real questions before… more

Orlando Voorn

Orlando Voorn: Transit Technocu
Detroit techno denince ilk akla gelen isimlerden olan Orlando Voorn şu günlerde hiç olmadığı kadar… more

Jimmy Edgar

Müzikli Seks: Jimmy Edgar
Müziği seksüel bir titreşim ve etkileşim kaynağı olarak gören Jimmy Edgar dünya üzerindeki en yetenekli… more


Emika Drops The Other
Electronic music world is yet not aware but Emika is the next big thing in… more

Jason Smith

When Ai Was Ten
One of the world's most underground and best electronic music labels, Ai Records is celebrating… more

Phil Kieran

Phil Kieran's "Shh"
One of world's busiest electronic music producers and DJs, Phil Kieran released his debut "Shh"! more


Estroe and her "Elemental Assets"
One of the best DJanes around, Estroe proves herself also in the production area with… more

Deniz Kurtel

Deniz Kurtel’in Ses Heykelleri
Uzunca süredir Amerika’da yaşıyor olsa da Türkiye’den çıkan ender kadın elektronik müzik prodüktörlerinden biri, belki… more