Following DJ K-1’s electro/techno self-portrait EPM now brings you a live set of pure, unadulterated house from Robsoul’s Phil Weeks. Recorded live at Rome’s Room 26 the Parisian house maestro gets us in the party mood ahead of this year’s EPM & Bullet:Dodge ADE Party. As ever with Mr. Weeks at the helm, its house music all night long!
DJ/producer Phil Weeks is a house music purist. His mixing is old school Chicago with a nu-school French flare going from the deepest house to the techiest. His production sounds like it could have been released in the 90s partly because he uses the same gear – 808s, 909s, 606s, even vintage keys. He prefers vinyl, likes his mixes dirty, and knows how to rock a crowd with a heavy hitting bass line. Phil Weeks is a house purist dedicated to bringing the world only proper house music with his DJing, his producing and his label, Robsoul Recordings.
A true lover of house music, Phil Weeks’ DJ career started 10 years ago. With skills comparable to the best and crowd-pleasing track selection it wasn’t long before he became a major player in the house music scene. He’s played some of the world’s most renowned venues like Queen’s Club, Circus, Ministry of Sound, Back to Basics, and Stereo.
By 2000 he was ready for the next step and Robsoul Recordings was born. Originally the label was meant as an avenue for Phil to release his own tracks the way he wanted to and the success was more than he anticipated. Phil Weeks’ early release “It Put Me Well” became classic in a couple of months and now Phil is one of the worlds most sought after house producers.
It wasn’t long before this success lead to the decision to sign other artists to the label. Consequently Robsoul is now one of the world’s most renowned and respected house music labels featuring some of the world’s best like Derrick Carter, DJ Sneak, Mark Farina, David Duriez, No Assembly Firm, Fries and Bridges (his partnership with Hector Moralez) and Chris Carrier. Releases are selling out in a time when many labels aren’t able to keep afloat. But Phil Weeks’ isn’t one to brag about this. To him it’s all about keeping proper house music alive.
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Q&A with Phil Weeks (Robsoul)
1. Please give us a quick walk through your selection taken live from Rome’s Room 26. Why did you choose these tracks for the mix?
As you mention it, the mix was recorded live. Usually I don’t plan anything, just feel the vibe of the room and do my thing. It’s a mix between all the new promos I received that I love & more old school stuff. That I play on vinyl. Also, testing a lot of my new shit is something always exciting. The party was great, with great people.
2. Since 1999 Robsoul has become a platform for some legendary house figures such as DJ Sneak, Mark Farina, Mike Dunn…as well as breaking new artists over the last 12 years. How does it feel to work with your heroes and also be in a position to help start someone’s musical career?
It feels great but there’s no ego behind all that. I just Love this music and try to give my passion to the new generation that didn’t get the chance to start at the time where House was House. We are a minority.
3. How does a young house music lover from Paris become one of the scene’s key producers/DJs and label runners?
The answer is: with a lot of work, passion & talent. Since 1998 I knew I will be doing that in my life as a living, no matter what. I got that thing for the music, for the scene. I was lucky enough to have a lot of time and I was just doing music non stop, as soon as I was getting back home. I did my thing alone without the help of anybody, without any connection inside this business…until radio/DJs & the all industry found out about me and my music.
4. As well as DJing all over the world which residencies do you also currently hold and which ones of old were key to your development as a DJ?
Right now, I have my own party “Get Underground” in Paris @ Rex Club (with my partner Didier Allyne, we do also PND label together). Besides that, I don’t hold any other residency even if I usually play some of the same clubs every year. I used to have a residency in Toronto (Boa club, then Footwork), on a boat in Paris (Terrassa Party), at Regine (also in Paris), in Germany (Suxul/ Ingolstadt), in South of France (Biarritz)…I’m sure I forget some. I guess they all have been keys but how I don’t really know. I never think about it & right now I’m on smoke… (lol)
5. If you hadn’t discovered house music, what would you be doing now?
I would be probably doing sport (I don’t like sport anymore), play poker or even grow weed. Something Cool!
6. What plans do you have install for Robsoul’s 100th release?
The Robsoul 100 is now out since around a week or so. It’s the third Single “By My Side” from my “Love Affair” album http://youtu.be/RsFD7qQmpL8 With remixes by Hector Moralez, Inland Knights & Gramophonedzie. Just a very Good release.
7. You have just started the ‘Underground Chronicles’ series of tips on Youtube. How did the idea come about and what are your plans for the series?
The very first idea of doing a video diary came from my PR/manager (Ian Straker @ Kahua music). The concept was simple, open myself more and more and keep my followers updated on what I’ve been doing/working on. His idea was like a bomb for me (got me very scary) cause I knew it was something I would be able to do but also something that needs a lot of investment & time from me. And I was already very busy! I thought about it for a while then I decided to do it as a new challenge and came up with “Underground Chronicles”. After Episode 1 that was very ghetto, I really enjoyed doing it and a lot of ideas start to come in my mind. I decided then to bring things to the next level. (With scenarios, acting game, tips, and lifestyle). Right now I’m working on Episode 5, which one will features Joss Moog (Paris), an amazing producer & a very close friend also. We will be in his studio; he will give a sick production tip about how doing some nice chords. I will be dress up like on the cover of my “Love Affair LP” with the Gangster suit, just to make it funny & beautiful. Big up to Carson (RTHM) who always does his magic to all the videos (Editing).
8. How is the club scene in Paris at the moment? Is there still a lot of support for house music nights in the capital?
It is very good! Parties always busy & a crowd ready to listen to anything from disco to techno. I’m loving it! Come check our “Get Underground” @ Rex Club It’s Thursday night it’s free & always packed! Next one is December 8th with Fred P.
9. What would be your top tips for finding new and rare house music records in Paris?
I think we should think “worldwide” when it’s time to find rare records. About Paris, You need to go check Syncrophone Records Shop. The team is very friendly, and they’ll hook you up with the best shit (new but also old) They know what they talk about.
10. Please give us your top 5 house classics:
Very difficult as I think there’s a lot of records that have been key for me.
So here are 11: (by year)
Adonis – No Way Back - Trax 1986
Frankie Knuckles – Baby Wants To Ride/Your Love – Trax 1987
KC Flightt - Planet E (Acid Drop Mix) – RCA 1989
DJ Sneak – The Polyester EP – Henri Street 1995
Global Communication – The Way – Dedicated 1996
Romanthony – Let Me Show You Love (Quick Dub) – Azuli 1996
Mood II Swing – Do It Your Way - Groove On 1996
DJ Rasoul – Soul Searching (all volumes) – Large 1998/1999
Moodyman – Shades Of Jae – KDJ 1999
Derrick Carter – Boompty Boomp Theme - Classic 1999
Terrence FM –Feelin Kinda High – Cajual 2002