For fans of the deep, dark, and rolling side of drum & bass, none do it better than the ever-impressive Philth. After surfacing on the Dispatch LTD imprint a little over a year ago, Philth has since become a hot commodity for his ability to unleash intricate beats and grooves atop chest-rattling basslines and hypnotic atmospheres that conjure up visions of futuristic worlds gone bad.
His latest release, ‘The Cosmos’ EP for Dispatch, is a proper mind-bender and kick in the pants as Philth cuts loose a six-track selection of epic proportions. From his collaborations with fellow heavy-hitters like Bredren and Agman Agora on through to the rest of these future-classic cuts, it’s the title track that takes center stage and allows for the full cinematic vision of Philth to unfold.
With a sound that is heavily influenced by space documentaries and film scores we thought it proper to check in with the London-based psychonaut to see exactly which films, documentaries, and soundtracks he cites as essential in plumbing the depths of his vision.
‘THE PLANETS’ (BBC SERIES)
This is the documentary series that really sparked my interest in space and astronomy. Learning about the sheer scale of the cosmos is humbling and awe inspiring, and I became fascinated by the Voyager probe mission.
‘SOLARIS’ ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK BY CLIFF MARTINEZ
I listen to a lot of soundtracks, and this is one I just keep coming back to. I love the fusion of traditional orchestral elements with percussive loops and an electronic touch, and the album is just perfectly suited to the film. A masterpiece.
TED TALKS: SPACE TREK
A series of lectures from leading astronomers that I can lose hours watching. A personal favorite is Carolyn Porco exploring Saturn and its moons. My least favorite is the man who wants to mine the moon commercially. It’s the vision behind “Greed” coming true already.
‘THE GREAT GATSBY’ ORCHESTRAL SOUNDTRACK BY CRAIG ARMSTRONG
For me, Craig Armstrong is the master of strings. He has a very distinctive sound to his strings, and he is able to adapt his work to combine classical and contemporary genres. This album is full of collaborations that seem to favor the style of the contemporary artist until suddenly the Armstrong strings take center stage.
‘WONDERS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM’
It’s an obvious choice but I think it’s important to mention Brian Cox. Whenever I watch him speak he has such a love for science, and a passion to bring it to the general public. I hope he can do what David Attenborough has done for the natural world, and bring space into people’s everyday thoughts.
‘BLADE RUNNER’ ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK BY VANGELIS
Another obvious choice, but both the film and the soundtrack have inspired me so much. I could never get tired of watching ‘Blade Runner’ so I was very happy when it was re-released in cinemas and we went to watch it at the BFI [British Film Institute]. The futuristic sound of the Vangelis soundtrack is incredible, but my favorite is actually a piano piece, ‘Memories of Green’. Vangelis’ idea behind this piece is powerful: “the way in which we treat the earth, there’ll come a time when the color green will be just a memory.”
ED RUSH & OPTICAL ‘WORMHOLE’ (VIRUS)
Ed Rush and Optical ‘Wormhole’: We can’t talk about space without mentioning the greatest sci-fi inspired album of all time. I came back to this LP a few years ago and have been playing lots of them in my sets again. This is the blueprint for the music I write.
CARL SAGAN: ‘COSMOS’
Carl Sagan ‘Cosmos’: Carl is the original. When you watch this now, the effects and style of the series have dated badly – but his sense of wonder and love for the universe never gets old.
Philth’s ‘The Cosmos’ EP is out now via Dispatch Recordings. Prepare for lift-off!