Getting to know you

Phil Dodds - Waxing Crescent Records

Phil Dodds

Waxing Crescent Records

Hi Phil, first of all, thank you for agreeing to our little quiz, I bet you’re as busy as every other label owner, it seems like a full time job that many people do in their spare time after their full time jobs if that makes sense.

Waxing Crescent Records have made quite a splash already and you are only 6 releases in so well done for that. Can you give us a bit of background on you and why you have set up a label? What are your hopes for the label and if you were to have a mission statement or mantra what would that be?

Hey I’m Phil Dodds, owner/founder of Waxing Crescent Records. I’ve got two beautiful daughters, 9 and 11 and a brand new addition, Isaac. He’s just joined the family and is my first child with my girlfriend Jasmine. When I was 20 years old back in 2004 I actually made beats, I sampled records, chopped them up on an MPC 1000 and laid drum beats over the top. I started with Hip Hop instrumentals and went into a more electronic direction a few years later. I went by the name Still Philosophy, good luck Goggling that one. This started my passion of record collecting. 

During the first 2020 COVID lockdown I started sharing my own collection via my Instagram page. It was quite refreshing and I made so many new contacts, people with the same interests as me. I got more of a buzz sharing releases from independent labels and there were plenty of times when other Instagram users purchased my recommendations, which was great. 

Whilst collecting and supporting labels I was subconsciously studying, watching how certain labels worked and what type of products they were making and selling. I have a strong love for the cassette tape and a lot of the independent labels sell tapes so I’m in my element. 

I was being inspired daily, especially by the likes of Nicholas Langley at Third Kind Records, Mat Handley over at Woodford Halse and Thomas Ragsdale who runs Soundtracking The Void. 

I had a huge desire to start my own label and I spoke to the likes of Mat and Thomas, as well as other awesome label owners and a few artists too. 

I’m very decisive at times and I dived right in, music is a love and passion and it just felt right. I sat down and started writing label name ideas, artists I wanted to work with and ideas surrounding artwork and packaging. I feel pretty lucky to have met Gwen aka Eidolon who does the artwork for Waxing Crescent Records. The artwork is a huge part of the label and I feel and hope it’s offering something a little different. I love Gwen’s work, we’ve become really good friends and we talk pretty much everyday. Six projects have been released and dozens more are scheduled in, I feel very fortunate.

When I started the label I wrote down how I wanted to provide a hub and platform for artists to release quality, weirdly beautiful electronic and experimental music. And that’s what I feel has happened, the guys who have sent me music have been incredible and have played a huge part in setting the foundations of Waxing Crescent Records.

On to the main quiz now and we are staying away from the usual questions to focus more on you, just so readers can get to know a little about you as a person. 

Favourite Dinner 

There’s a Mac ‘n’ Cheese spot in Newcastle called Redheads Mac ‘n’ Cheese, that’s my favourite for sure. 

Favourite Film 

I’m a huge Stanley Kubrick fan and always love a Tarantino movie, however, I’m going to go with Drive. Ryan Gosling is a very cool guy and it’s a movie I can watch time and time again. For me though one of the biggest things with that movie is the soundtrack, it’s stunning. 

Desert Island Disc 

Two Lone Swordsmen’s Tiny Reminders, no matter what time of day I can hit play on that record and just smile and nod my head. *shout out to Wagon Christ’s Tally Ho 

Celebrity Crush 

Nigella Lawson. 

What really gets under your skin 

I can’t stand when the postman folds letters in half to put them through the letterbox. 

You are given £20,000 what would you buy 

A trip to Center Parcs with the family, two or three holy grail records and I’d definitely put some into the label to take any stress away from my own finances. The outgoings soon add up so I’d put some aside for that for sure. I’m fancying a new number place too with WCR at the end, I’d grab one of those. 

Cats or dogs 

If I had to pick I’m going to say cats but I have a rabbit called Jasper and he’s super cool. 

Biggest knob in the industry 

I was never fond of the system shenanigans Simon Cowell set up. 

Time travel, would you go forward or backwards 

Backwards, I feel I’d be more suited to the 70’s and 80’s. I would have loved to experience the early 90’s club scene when I was maybe in my 20’s too. 

Guilty pleasure music 

I have some great memories listening to Harry Styles with the family, in particular Watermelon Sugar from Fine Line, and yeah I have it on vinyl. 

Life defining album 

Nick Drake’s Pink Moon, it’s beautiful. 

Do aliens exist 

I’d like to think so and I feel if they do they’ve probably just been avoiding Earth and having some fun. 

Best gig 

My favourite DJ is Jane Fitz and I went to The Wire in Leeds from 11pm-5am one night and just got lost for a few hours. I’ve also been to Berlin a couple times to experience the nightlife/club culture and that was unbelievable.

Frazer Brown (Dohnavur & Werra Foxma Records)

Frazer Brown

Musician, labels boss and all round good guy

Hi Frazer, first of all, thank you for agreeing to our little quiz, I know you are busy with everything Dohnavur and the upcoming tour as well as Werra Foxma Records, a full time job and a family, time is precious so thank you, I really appreciate it.

 

Don’t mention it, man. As Scooter once said, it’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice.

 

We are staying away from the usual questions to focus more on you, just so readers can get an idea of the Frazer behind the musician and label boss.

OK, let’s do it.

Favourite Dinner 

I do like a nice bit of steak, and my wife Hazel makes the most amazing red wine sauce to go with it - I swear she could go on Dragons Den and mass produce it. That, and with some asparagus on the side. Heaven. If we are having a meat free day, Mac and Cheese with about 10 different types of cheese in the sauce is a fave. 

Favourite Film 

All The President’s Men - I love movies that uncover and unravel fraud and abuses of power, in the vein of The Big Short, Erin Brockovich and Margin Call. So much more entertaining than the CGI armageddon of modern cinema.  

Desert Island Disc 

ffs just one? My answer will change on a daily basis, so today’s answer is Paul’s Boutique by Beastie Boys.  

Celebrity Crush 

In my younger days, it was Kate Winslet. These days, it’s Gal Gadot. That’s my celeb 1-2 for a big budget Dohnavùr video. Would love to see them in some sort of Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up style video, causing utter carnage on a night out, with a tune like Twenty There as the soundtrack to the mayhem. 

What really gets under your skin 

Jeez, how long have you got? my top 3: 

Extreme narcissism 

The sound of stuff being dropped or knocked over 

Parents who shout at their kids in public  

You are given £20,000 what would you buy 

Family head on - a new car 

Studio owner head on - a new Mac, drum kit, Fender Jazzmaster, Rickenbacker 330 and an automated mixing desk 

Dohnavùr head on - buy a tour van, invest in full time PR, and put the work in to keep building on the foundation that we have built 

WFR head on - the ability to bankroll the label properly would be dream-come-true shit. Pay for vinyl releases in advance, and enjoy the artists take off as well as rewarding everyone on the label for their efforts.  

Cats or Dogs 

Cats - we have 3 of them. I’m so busy I couldn’t give a dog the attention it would need. Cats are right independent bastards, who only come up 3 times a day for attention. The ultimate low maintenance pet. 

Biggest knob in the industry 

Dishing the dirt isn’t my style, but for the most part, people in our small scene know who to avoid working with. Listening to, or even releasing good music from people with questionable behaviours just doesn’t sit right with me, especially people who say one thing publicly when a large amount of people know the opposite is true in reality. Painting a false front is never an optimal strategy. The recent MGK/Corey Taylor thing is a good case in point.  

Time Travel, would you go forward or backwards 

Backwards, without a doubt. I could go and see all the bands I love that are no longer with us - Peak Beatles, Peak Beach Boys, Joy Division, the Smiths, Nirvana, The Police, the Jam, and be able to take in the Chicago House scene in the mid 80s, and the late 80’s Acid House scene breaking in the UK.  

Guilty pleasure music 

Scottish techno from the early-mid 90’s. It’s the first music scene i delved head first into as a youngster. Ultra-Sonic, Q-Tex, Rhythmic State, Scott Brown, Rezerection, Fantazia, Tom Wilson, Stepping Out on Forth One. All that gear. Every now and then i’ll go on a little Discogs Spree and pick up some old skool techno records from the top labels of the time: Clubscene, Evolution, Shoop, Bass Generator. It was an amazing time to be a teenager in West Lothian. Simpler, but not always innocent times. The movie ‘Beats’ covers most bases from that Scottish post-rave, post Criminal Justice Bill period, so check it out if you haven’t seen it already. 

Life defining album 

Probably Aphex Twin - SAW 85-92 for me. It taught me that, as well as being a truly beautiful album, it taught me that true perfection is found in the flaws. Recording onto chewed cassettes, mixing live, deliberately running drums into distortion. It’s as important an album as Pepper, Unknown Pleasures, Pet Sounds, and Computer World. 

Do aliens exist 

I’m so busy thinking about what coloured tissue paper to wrap the next WFR release in to think about such questions. *inbox pings with another demo submission* 

Best Gig 

Another tough one, but Underworld in Creamfields 2002 takes the cake. Underworld were at the height of their powers at the time, and as the sun went down, the beats got cranked up, and everyone was just lost in the moment - pure pre-smartphone euphoria. That whole festival was just incredible - Faithless, Kosheen, peak Sasha, peak Oakenfold, Richie Hawtin - just perfection.

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