Phil Julian lives in London, and has been active in the experimental music underground since the late 90’s under the alias Cheapmachines and lately under his own name. He is dedicated to analogue electronics as well as computer noise. Contact microphones, feedback and modular synthesizers are basic tools to what, after much work, could lead to the perfection of 2014’s “Trace” LP or the excellent “Quiet Trade” tape. A wide spectrum from harsh noise to academic minimalism. An “anything can turn into a composition” logic. He is also a mastering engineer, he runs the Authorised Version label and he is a member of Signals group. The first thing of Phil’s I listened to, was the cassette “Kept: 1994-96” which I had bought from Second Layer some years ago, meaning material recorded on four-track cassete tape during the years in its title: it provided all the reasons for the follow up. Harbinger Sound, Strange Rules, Anarchymoon, Entr’acte, and The Tapeworm are some of the labels responsible for putting his work out. Phil Julian has collaborated with The New Blockaders on some of their strongest releases, like last year’s “Live At The Schimpfluch Carnival” LP featuring also Ace Farren Ford of Smegma and GX Jupitter Larsen of Τhe Haters. All these in the midst of dozens of performances in Europe and North America. One of them with Kostis Kilymis.
Kostis Kilymis hails from Thessaloniki and currently lives in London. He runs Organized Music From Thessaloniki label since mid 00’s and lately co-runs Rekem Records. His work, a study on electronic composition, explores the relation between sound and space, with quietly reflective melodies, layers of rhythmic sound, noise escapism and field recordings. One can listen to all of that in last year’s substantial solo release “Bethnal Greener”, his career summing release, until now at least. After many releases on Entr’acte, Strange Rules, I Dischi Del Barone, Mazurka editions and others, Kostis is preparing for the next European tour, while in the past he has performed with Leif Elggren, Lucio Capece, Nikos Veliotis, Greg Pope and others. And with Phil Julian.
Sometime during the summer, and in particular just after the announcement of their then-forthcoming live set, I asked Kostis “Are you thinking of recording it?”. His answer was, I think, “Let’s find out”. The “Fustian Cutting” cassette, contains the sonically engrossing live set of Phil and Kostis, held in Ryans Bar in Stoke Newington on the 6th of August, 2015. Within 22 minutes one can understand why it was such a good idea to eventually record it to begin with, but also to determine the magnitude of similarities between the musical perceptions of both artists. Needless to say how much we would love to hear a studio collaboration of the two.