Published: 11 Sep 2017

A rhythmic oasis.

Perth based band leader, solo artist and all round percussion virtuoso Phil Stroud graces us with his first ever mix, a meditative journey through a primeval forest full of original percussive workouts and ambient beauty. With his 2016 debut LP for local Perth label Good Company showcasing his extensive rhythmic arsenal and an instinctive feel for subtle hypnotic melodies, from the glistening and moody ‘Flow’ to the tribal dance floor fire of ‘Scintillating’, Phil Stroud’s hybrid electronic music has majestic qualities rarely heard in modern day releases. With his first solo live show in Melbourne since performing at this year’s Inner Varnika Festival coming up early next month, we had a quick back and forth to see what he’s been up to..

Hey Phil, how’s things mate? I see you recently played a show over in Tokyo, what can you tell us about that?

I’m feeling good….My friends Larz and Aida run a clothes label based between Japan and Perth called Mantle. They had a showing at Ware Mo Ku, Tokyo. Ware Mo Ku run events out of their store featuring DJs playing records while they showcase designers they stock which includes Mantle, so Larz and Aida asked if I wanted to come over and play. I don’t DJ so I made a few ambient tunes and put together a 3 hour set. I’m working on releasing them soon. That night I played a dance set at Bonobo. It was just two shows, I was there for a week.

Your debut solo LP for Good Company Records last year felt like it was able to cover a number of bases while staying true to your signature percussive style, what can you tell us about the recording process and what was some of the inspiration behind that record?

The tunes were started at the same time as the first release so I don’t really see them as separate. I wanted to explore the potential of percussion in different ways and push my ideas further. Every decision I make is based on how it will make people feel, so the inspiration was how to create a positive feeling record appropriate for meditation and dance.

The initial process changes based on how I’m feeling at the time but soon enough it becomes consistent with my usual work flow. Usually I start with a simple idea then follow my ears.

Besides your recent solo endeavours you’re also known for collaborating with like-minded jazz musicians like Matthew Hatch, Jack Burton and Jack Doepel among a host of others as part of your own band, where are things at with that at the moment?

I’m working on a record with Matthew Hatch for Melbourne label Rotation, playing with Jack Doepel in the live band and talking about recording more together, I’m also working on a new project with Ben Witt and looking at recording a band record.

We were lucky enough to get a preview of your new solo live show in Melbourne last year at Lost Weekend.. what can you tell us about the live set now, how has it evolved since then?

The set has a similar vibe but it’s more refined and dance floor friendly, I’ve added more solos and a bunch of new dub techno tunes.

What can you tell us about this mix you’ve put together for us?

The mix is a combination of a few ambient tunes, a collaboration with Matthew Hatch, two songs from the LP, a remix and a simple techno tune. It’s all original material, most of it is unreleased.

What else is coming up to round out the year?

The band is playing at Freedom Time Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and I have one other band gig booked in November back home. I have a techno record and a few ambient tunes finished that I’m working on releasing. Matt and myself will be working on the record for Rotation and I’ll start recording with Ben Witt. The rest of the time will be spent on the band recording.