Just a week away from Bombay’s newest live arts and music festival, The Sherp caught up with headliner Phon.o to talk musical influences, art festivals and what he’s got in store for us!

Phon.o a.k.a the man with the dot in his name, who claims his music is inspired by life on his aunts farm, is considered to be a pioneer of the IDM genre and one of Berlin’s best gifts to the world of electronic music. With an array of collaborations and original releases to his credit, Phon.o’s unique sounds have spread far and wide with an army of hardcore fans from almost every corner of the globe. And if you haven’t of this genius before, take a look at his newest video to get a better idea of what he has in store for you – All cats and space.

Hey Phon.o, it will be great to see you back in India!  Are you excited about your return?
Yeah I am really excited to come back to India. Was a great expierence last year.


Your moniker is pretty unique. Why the dot and what’s the story behind it?
I chose the name ‘Phon.o’ just for the simplicity and double meaning back in 1994. When I released my first EPs on Californian label Cytrax Kit Clayton (head of the label) recommended that i  add a typographic sign to make it’s unique. He was right. There were other Phonos as well. But this was before you could google it. So I ended up adding a dot. The only stupid thing is, that it always cause problems in registering domains and user names.


Is there anything interesting you learnt from your last performance here and will that influence the set you are going to play?
It ran really well so I don’t know what to change. But I am gonna play a lot of new songs. I will see how they react and if they like it as well.


Your music is largely described as IDM, which is still a fairly new genre in the country. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
I think IDM is such a huge genre description that a lot of music can be categorized under. I think the reason my music is  put under the ‘IDM’ label is because I am not making music of  just one style. I play straight beat tracks (House/Techno) and broken beat stuff. Also I am playing in a bigger tempo range from 120 – 145 bpm.


You have worked with a lot of different record labels including Cytrax, Boysnoize Records, 50 weapons and so on. Which one was your favourite experience?
Working with all the labels was a great experience, for sure. But getting my first international signing on Cytrax was really great, because I was young and this was my favourite label at that time. And also working with 50 weapons was/is super, because i’ve known everyone people for awhile making it a nice family business.


You are pretty close to Modeselektor not just professionally but personally as well, so much so that you even record in their Berlin studio. Do they influence your sound in any way or do you influence theirs?
I am really happy to have used their studio. But this did not effect my way of doing music. I get my influence from totally different artists and genres. They also don’t want to influence me. They support you in doing what you want. And that’s the great thing about them.


Who and what have been your musical influences?
On the electronic music side the main influences were Aphex Twin, Autechre, Basic Channel (with all the related labels and artists), early R&S records and a bunch of different UK-postdubstep and UK-Bass music. But I also got influenced by Bands like Joy Division, New Order, Thom Yorke, Ariel Pink, the Neptunes and so on. There are often a lot of different aspects and details I like for example like the sound aesthetic, structure of a song or the harmonics.


And if you had to describe your sound to someone who has never heard you before, what would it be?
I would describe my sound as an eclectic mixture of UK and Berlin sounds with a focus on melodies and groovy patterns.Its not that i force myself to achieve that. I am just interested in a bunch of different styles and it merges at the end of the day.


How did your connection with EDEN Festival happen? What is your opinion about a festival (like Eden) dedicated to live art and music?
I got the chance to play at Eden Festival via WildCity and DetourAsia. They hooked me up with this gig and I am really happy. Never played on a Indish festival before. I am really curious in which way it will be different to European or American ones. I always like it when a festival combines different kind of arts. It gives me the chance reaching a bigger audience and I will have more input by different artists as well.


What can we expect from your Indian tour + performance at Eden? Do you have anything special in store for your Indian fans?
Something  definitely rave-y.


You can book your slots for the Eden Festival NOW! 

Details: 28 March / Blue Frog:

30 March / Palladium Terraces: