Phuong-Dan is best known for his work as resident of Hamburg's Golden Pudel, one of Europe's finest club spaces. These associations are in themselves illustrative enough of Phuong-Dan's reputation; and it's no stretch to say that you'd likely find his name crop up with regularity were you to ask some educated fans of electronic music to identify today's most exciting and versatile DJs, especially those deserving of more time in the spotlight. To put it simply, he is a fearless selector with a swelling reputation now almost as grand as the club he calls home.
Born of Vietnamese descent, Phuong-Dan grew up in a small town close to Bonn, Germany, before moving to Hamburg after finishing high school, where he continued his studies. A burgeoning interest in breakdance and hip-hop saw him drawn to turntables: together with a close friend who had similar interests, he began throwing parties around Bonn, intent on just sharing the music he was discovering at flea markets and various small stores around the city. "I did not consider myself as a DJ back then," he tells XLR8R. As popularity for his events grew, Phuong-Dan took them to Golden Pudel in 2004, two years after his own relocation.
It was around this time that an interest in Chicago house and Detroit techno began to blossom. His earlier selections in Bonn had broadly covered funk, soul, and jazz, and he'd ventured further into disco in Hamburg; and with its punk origins and encouragement for musical experimentation, Pudel provided a great space for discovering krautrock, electronic avant-garde, wave, industrial, synth-pop, acid, new beat, afro, ambient, fusion, balearic, and more. As a versatility grew, so did an understanding for DJing.
Phuong-Dan has been a regular fixture at Pudel ever since. He ended his first major club night but set up a new one in 2006, named Gatto Musculoso, focusing on diversification; on creating energy on the dancefloor without ever being formulaic. It's a recipe that he's since taken to Düsseldorf's Salon des Amatuers, where he plays regularly, and also to clubs across Europe, as word spreads.
This week's XLR8R podcast captures this perfectly. The mix begins slowly; a throbbing bass creates a tense atmosphere, building and building for 15 minutes, before Iueke's "Champion," one of three focal points of the mix, comes in, presented perfectly for upmost effect. It's a perfect example of Phuong-Dan's skills in curation, and a standout moment in a brilliant mix. Grab it now via the WeTransfer button below
What have you been up to recently?
Really enjoying traveling, the chance to play out music, meeting new inspiring people but also spending a lot of time with my close ones, reading and being involved in curatorial projects in Paris and Amsterdam next year.
When and where did you record this mix?
It was recorded just a couple days ago on a very cold and grey day in my apartment in Hamburg.
Is there a particular theme or idea behind it?
Basically there were three recent releases of friends I got inspired by and wanted to include: Black Merlin's "Cloud," Iueke's "Champion" (Version) and Zaliva-D's "Gone With The Pest" on Amsterdam label Knekelhuis. I went through my shelves on this base and built everything around.
What’s next on the horizon?
I will have a break in January to relax at home and recharge. And yes, being really curious about 2019!
Due to issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.
01. Horizon Two Twenty Two "Spirit Level" (Relative Dimensions)
02. Philipp Otterbach "XSvrIZKI8mk"
03. M.S.B. "Dose O" (Antidose)
04. Black Merlin "Cloud"
05. Iueke "Champion" (Version)
06. Sound Clash Republic "Shiva Shanti"
07. White House White "Oddball Harry"
08. Parrish Smith "Discoursed Discussion"
09. Black Merlin "Machine"
10. Zaliva-D "Gone With The Pest"
11. DJ K.U.D.O. "Pulse" (Message From Space)
12. Bourbonese Qualk "Technophobia"
13. Psychick Warriors Of Gaia "Exit 23"
(Andreas Reihse, ImageMovement, Kreidler)