[dropcap]In[/dropcap] a way, Hayden Payne is a really cool example for an artist right on that sweet spot between genres I love so much. Following the blurring of the lines between Industrial, EBM and Techno closely, it was impossible not to stumble across Phase Fatale.
Laying down two excellent EPs on Avant! in 2014 and aufnahme + wiedergabe last year, his most recent release, Jealous God 10, is out on the epynomous label, founded by Silent Servant, Regis and James Ruskin—indeed an excellent opportunity to ask him some questions about Phase Fatale, the past and the future.
Starting to DJ Post Punk and Industrial tunes aged 16, the former New Yorker gives a very clear answer when it comes to his earliest influences. “The Wierd parties, artists and label really got me deeper into that sound”, with a clear emphasis on one artist in particular, Sean McBride a.k.a. Martial Canterel: Seeing him perform “really motivated me to explore more into synthesis and create my own electronic music, all in this very live performance way. His music creates a unique and cold yet emotional atmosphere”.
In fact, the atmospheres are similar, though as Phase Fatale’s approach is unmistakably harder and dystopian: “I want to create something truly dystopian, maybe a world after the nuclear winter, completely backwards and yellow. I try to use harder synth sounds and rhythms that are balanced out with horror strings and soft textures and noises, like an artificial room where things are together that shouldn’t be”.
Though as Techno is one excellent vehicle to transports these atmosphere, he made his first musical steps in very different directions: Playing bass for Anasazi, Frank (Just Frank) and singing and playing guitar in his first own creative vehicle Dream Affair, he was inspired by (apparently not that) different music in the first place: “The Cure‘s Pornography, Killing Joke‘s What’s THIS For, Christian Death‘s Only Theatre of Pain and Cocteau Twins – Head Over Heels” are named, unchallenged Post Punk, Wave and Shoegaze classics, next to Einstürzende Neubauten, Godflesh or The Klinik, reflecting his taste in electronic music.
The bass lines of these records play a crucial role in his music: “The sound and frequency of it really moves me. I like this dub style of post-punk bass and try to carry this same style over to my synthesised bass lines now”, summing up his influences and previous experiences to a coherent point with Phase Fatale. “Silent Servant – Negative Fascination, Adam X – Fate Unknown and State Of Limbo, Terence Fixmer – Muscle Machine, the Ancient Methods 12”s and also some early R&S 12”s” drove him to Techno.
Knowing Juan Mendez/Silent Servant for long, the release of a 12″ on Jealous God was planned for quite a time: After reconnecting two years ago at Berlin’s Tresor Club, he first agreed to remix Grain, a track off his aufnahme + wiedergabe EP, before sending some demos which are now featured on the Jealous God EP in their final forms. “I think it’s a perfect match as we are into a lot of the same stuff, connecting the dots between a lot of different styles of music”, hinting to Juan Mendez’ well-known fascination for Post Punk and Wave.
Certainly moving to Berlin played a crucial part in formulating his current musical outlet. “Berlin has such a vast music history from Iggy Pop to Neubauten and Nick Cave to Tresor. It is the logical place to come to as a musician because many other like-minded people live here and have the artistic freedom to do as they like” with Berlin “as a home base for touring in Europe where everything is nearby”, pointing out the difficulties of living in the USA as a musician: “Touring in the US to sustain oneself regularly is almost impossible as cities to play are far and few between”.
With Phase Fatale as his progressive outlet, “also more reflective of myself”, Hayden adds, there’s more to come this year. “A bunch of remixes and another 12” or two”, pointing towards future releases.
Find Phase Fatale on Facebook
Phase Fatale on Soundcloud