Payfone: The Ransom Note Mix


Payphone talk quarantines and international smark. Following two fairly monster releases on Golf Channel Records there has been a bit of a storm surrounding a four to the floor etiquette which surrounds the music. Secretive and infamous there is a radiant swagger surrounding each release and in the forthcoming weeks a third EP will land on Phil South's Golf Channel imprint in which Payfone fits so well. This mix incorporates worldly influences, dynamic musical flair and crashes through the boundaries of 'acceptable', 'normal' club music. Listen to the South American influenced mix and read the interview below:

First of all, who are you, where are you and what are you? 

I am Phil Passera of  PAYFONE. 
I now live in Barcelona. 
Chieka Ononye lives in London and we write / produce and DJ together.
With extra musical collaborators / vocalists Louis Howard Jones and Royce Wood Junior among others. 

So how did the Payfone project become a reality? 

It started as a collaboration between myself and another producer called Jimmy day.

We wrote and produced International's mark the debut 12 inch together but Jimmy couldn't commit to the project in the long haul as he had is own musical output under the moniker > let the machines do the work.

Your fourth release is coming on Golf Channel next month yeah? How has it been received so far? 

Catholic Central will be our fourth release so far, nobody has had this, it comes out in about six weeks time from now, I prefer to do zero promotion and just let the record arrive in the shop and let the record shop be the first people to hear it / promote it. We then usually release digitally three months later.

I saw that D’Marc Cantu is stepping up to remix duties on the release, was he an obvious choice? 

Phil South the label boss at golf channel was very keen to have to D'Marc remix this particular track as it was more of a bass heavy track and he had visions of a dark room or analog techno remix. He has wanted to get D'Marc involved for some time and this was the perfect opportunity we are all extremely happy with the remix. Mark put a lot of time and effort into this remix which is the correct approach to working with music at any level I have a real problem these days with DJs and producers just offering up tracks that have been sitting on the shelf for years. They stick the remix part ( usually a vocal ) on it and try to pass it off as a fresh remix – that's just lazy bullshit.

How would you describe the Payfone sound? 

Well it has changed a little over the releases we are now in the zone I would say of 1981 New York underground disco with growing social political lyrical edge. The lyrical content was crucial to the ‘Quarantine’ track, what was the inspiration behind that? Quarantine is the story of a young boy born into a abusive start in life and how he redirects / rechannels his anger within his situation into a positive – kind of like how in sport – boxers often come from the street and they use that anger and energy to fight their way out and make something of themselves.

Where was the mix recorded?

In Barcelona in my studio.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

On a boat on the Panama Canal.

What should we be wearing?

You should be dressed like Magnum P.I.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: location, system, format?

On the top of a Himalayan mountain surrounded by beautiful Tibetan women and various mountain animals – playing on a massive 1940s WESTERN ELECTRIC CINEMA sound system. All vinyl mixing straight onto studio quarter inch tape on giant 1 hour reels. 

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

Track 2 
Maria Delores Predera
Te Solte' Rienda 

All of the songs on this mix are from S. America 

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Probably one of DJ Harveys sarcastic disco mixes – The first one I think – it's not of this Earth. 

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

It would have to be Larry Levan even though I would be extremely intimidated I'm sure depending on how late into his drug fuelled craziness the gig was –  it would be incredible for me. 

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

The funny thing is it's now exactly the same as my first set up 30 years ago. My older brother had a set of 1210s and I Newmark PPD mixer ( 4 channel with the two second sampler ) which I recently found on eBay and I'm now using again.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

The track you start with always you have probably 30 seconds to catch and hold someone's interest / attention. 

What were the first and last records you bought?

Today I picked up a double CD : The origins of Cuban music 1940 -1961from Oxfam for £1.99.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

A very spicy Fish Burrito. 

If it was an animal what would it be?

 A Cockerel. 

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

Anything by Neil Sedaka. 

Upcoming in the world of… 

We are making an album for release in 2017. 

Anything else we need to discuss?

The 9/11 attacks – I could talk all day about that.

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