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Striving for the sound that is Phunk De Sonique

Author: Michelle Pirovich
Wednesday, October 8, 2003
They are yet to commit to releasing any of their creations, they don't believe in playing regular gigs but when you experience one of their live shows you can be assured that a lot of what you hear will never be heard by anyone else again. TranZfusion catches up with the elusive members of Phunk De Sonique on the eve of their next live performance.

I'm sitting in the Phunk boys studio where it's a lot more inviting than the harsh winter night outside, the fish tank is humming gently and Christian is nowhere to be found. Chris and George begin the proceedings.

The boy's fascination with sound creation and recording formed in the early eighties, Christian's uncle would bring him the latest in European techno on cassette and from there the sound recordings began.

"We didn't have any recording facility and would just tape things through the recorder. That music is still on tape under lock and key," says Chris.

As digital instrumentation evolved into the Korg M1, the group began the productive process of self-teaching through trial and error, as George explains.

"We started training not really knowing how to use the equipment we had, simply learning how to get things to work became the best way for us to get our grounding."

Chris adds, "As the music we write is so complex, the actual writing process often introduces us to many new methods, so we are always learning."

Phunk began performing live back in the early Phreakin' days at Mansion, back when trance and techno were at their underground best and Chris had committed himself to blue and orange hair.

"I was such a rock star" laughs Chris.

Chris prefers to wear a hat these days, but their trans-continental fundamentals to music making have shifted little since the early days.

"Most of our philosophy is based on a Detroit ideology, in how they work, what they do and what they stand for. The Detroit sound found us. It was the first school of electronic music and one of the only sounds that truly opened itself up.

When you compare our sound now to two years ago its very different, and its different to two years before that as well. It's always evolving. It was a very organic process going from the party stuff to where we are now, the further ahead we go with our sound the further back we go with our influences, but the roots are essentially all the same" says Chris.

George continues, "The thing about the Detroit sound is that its far more of an art form, it's the intricacy of it, its jazz redeveloped and reworked and because of our knowledge of it we can see how music is constructed and we know what elements make it work."

Christian enters the room right on cue and after a quick search for another chair, after declining an offer to sit on George's lap, Christian goes on to tell me about his recent trip to the Detroit music festival.

"There was a weird mix of people there, white raver kids from Canada with black homies from downtown Detroit, with Japanese, Swiss and German ravers. In fact I actually learnt more about the people than the music, but the music was sensational, just spot on."

Perfectionism is the very essence of Phunk De Sonique, and the main reason they are yet to release any material. Still in a highly developmental stage, the group isn't about to succumb to recent trends and release something merely for the sake of it.

"We are still trying to find out where we are going, we are at a very developmental phase in our heads, is this us- is this ready to go out and be released-" says Chris.

George adds, "We are perfectionists and even though something will stand on its own our perceptions change, and that is when you see things differently."

"It's important for us that people know they are listening to 3 producers from Melbourne. We want something that is going to be representative of who we are and what we stand for. We need something that tantalises everyone, rather that just saying here's another record, and<