Phantasm Records has shone out like a label of light in the psy trance world. Its almost too fantastical to imagine that John Ford, the label owner and successful psy artist in his own right, has gone on to have a prodigal son. Junya aka Eskimo, the prodigal son, has developed as a DJ and producer and has gone on to inject new life and direction into the genre his father helped shape all those years ago.
Eskimo has had a stream of huge hit releases in the psy world and has toured the world playing at the most successful parties. He is young in years but his production skills are wise beyond belief. He has created an entirely unique sound and is at the forefront of the psy scene and indeed helping shape the dance music world.
Psy trance owes a lot to the Phantasm clan. Having already brought you an exclusive John Ford interview, Jess from Trackitdown thought it was about time to meet the second generation of family von Phantasm and its musical mayhem! The Trackitdown hills are today alive with the sounds of Eskimo and without futher a do, I introduce the young man of the moment:
TID: Your father is John Phantasm of Phantasm Records who has had a successful psy trance career. Have you learnt a lot from him?
Of course! I have learned how the scene works form him, and now I am learning how the business side works and its great that now we can work together on the label.
TID: As a child did you enjoy listening to your fathers productions?
Well when I was really young I heard the music but I was not really listening. But around the age of 12 I really started to like the music and of course I liked the music of phantasm and I still think that the music of that time is some of the best dance music ever written.
TID: When did you decide you wanted to get involved in the industry and make it your career?
I had always wanted to be part of the dance scene ever since I was 9 and listening to prodigy cds, but it was only after I started DJing when I was 11 that I found something that I was good at. And it was the first thing that I have ever done that impressed GROWN UPS. And it felt great! I knew that I had to follow this to the end.
TID: Which came first, Eskimo the DJ or Eskimo the producer? And which do you prefer doing now?
Actually it was a bit of both. I made my first dance music when I was 9 but it was like old ravey-dance-breaks and after that I got into DJing like I said before and when I was 15 I wanted to get back into the producing part of it since the music was getting more technical and sharper production. So the music was first but I was not Eskimo the but DJing under the name DJ JUNYA. That was the first thing that everyone will remember.
TID: You have played at gigs all over the world. What was your highlight of the year so far in terms of playing out?
This year has been amazing! I have been to every corner of the planet I guess, but the highlights would have to be the TOUR OF BRAZIL; 10 live shows all over the country in almost every state
After that Guadalajara in Mexico: Eskimo, X-noise & Astrix with 8000 people outside going crazy.
The Glade in England was amazing although the sound problems on the night were a bit annoying. And of course RIOT @ THE END, not the biggest but was an amazing, rocking event that I would not have missed. oii oiiiii
TID: oiii oiiii! Have you ever experimented in any other genres of music?
I have tried a few times but I believe that I should not fight whatever comes out when I am in the studio. I have a few things up my sleeve that I will unleash later, after my new album project is completed. I am very interested in the possibility of SURROUND SOUND DANCE MUSIC (just a hint)
TID: ooh intriguing! When I first heard Balloonatic I screamed at Ed Real What the hell is this? Its amazing! I was completely blown away before the first track on the album had even finished! Where did the inspiration for the album come from?
It came from every single song that I have liked since I started listening to music! I wanted to make an album using all the influential genres of music by mixing it all up like a DJ can, but of course all of the material written by my self. And I like the way that years ago, people used old sample from other famous tracks, and that has stopped today in dance music and I just wanted to bring it back. Basically I wanted to make an album that I could listen to and not think that it sounded like ESKIMO and I knew that if I could do that, people would love it also.
TID: The Balloonatic album is going to come at us in three parts, is that right? What can we expect to hear from parts 2 and 3?
I want you to expect the best! Because as some people will say, its a risk to release so much music from one artist, part 2 is completely different to part 1, it is still as driving and colourful but its much fatter and a much more serious production.
So part 1 is showing where I came from and part 2 is letting you know where I am going as for part 3 it will be the biggest part to the album. It will be myself collaborating with the finest Israeli artists of today; I cannot say which names but just thing of the biggest headliners that there are (yes them)!
TID: Do you ever release under pseudonyms? Where did Eskimo come from?
Eskimo came because I like names that have nothing to do with what the product is. And also name that when you see the word you get a visual image in your mind to attach it with. Its a very original name and a refreshing name I think, and lets face it, who has a problem with Eskimos ??? hahaha
TID: Well funny you should say that as my nickname as a baby was Eskimo baby due to my fat face and on second thoughts lets leave that there! My favorite element of your productions is the way you throw in crazy samples and sounds which cut out the track. Where do you find your samples?
From anywhere really. I often choose sample that would not normally fit in a track because that way it is more shocking and grabs peoples attention more. I really like the electro idea when I am editing and I love the way that they throw any retro or modern elements into the music and it is considered as cool and not crap.
That is what I want to get out of my music, I have lots of accapellas from songs and instead of using normal vocals, I would cut one word in half and put it next to another from a totally different song, creating the effect like the cd has jumped, just things like that.
TID: Who are your musical heroes and heroines?
Of course the one and the only LIAM HOWLETT (Prodigy). This guy to me opened my world to dance music and I can honestly say that he has influenced my life more than anyone else in this world. Every idea I write I try to imagine what he would do or how he would use it. I think he has played the biggest part in the development of the music that we listen today. Liam if you read this, mail meeeee hahha. I hope one day he will hear my music.
TID: *Silent and nervous ponder of the stalker-esq comment.* Which tracks or artists for you have really shone out in 2005?
For me, in the psy trance scene, I would have to say Infected Mushroom. I mean, they have completely changed their sound to what it was, they still have that element that none else can find and I think that in this day and age of production, it is an amazing thing to have a sound that no one can simulate.
TID: Where do you see your career going from here? Do you think you will end up running Phantasm one day?
Well, I really am setting my mind on pushing the Eskimo name not running a label. Although I love being part of the psy trance scene, I want my music to become a genre of its own that anyone from any background can enjoy. Look at Prodigy or Underworld. Yes they play in dance events but you cant really pin their sound down to one genre; that is was I am looking for.
TID: Here goes my strange train of thought for my final question. Balloonattic makes me think of balloons which makes me think of clowns. Im scared of clowns. What scares you the most in life?
Your questions hahah. Honestly SPIDERS, I dont care about bugs, snakes, rats bats or anything but spiders AHHHHHHH. How can you trust something that can run up your trouser lag in a split second? They take the Jam right out of my doughnut
TID: Excellent line! Im going to put that euphemism aside for later use if you dont mind! Thanks so much for chatting to me and I cant wait for Balloonatic parts 2 and 3!