The anonymous underground figure of Phoboz is associated with one colour — black. Not only is his online presence a mystery, with alternative stage names such as Doghead, Phaseliner, and Parseq. He is also connected to the well-respected Motorlab label, whose releases from the outset have been devoid of portraiture, biographic information, or textual support. Black covers, a few silver symbols of factory hardware, and nothing more.
Nonetheless, one Russian venue online has referred to Phoboz’s earlier work as ‘digital music for sentient people.’ There’s a vague connection between darkness, industry, and Russian feelings of late. Actuality is black.
These same emphases define the newest release by Phoboz on Resonance Records, entitled ‘Flow’ and overseen by Moscow’s techno kingpin Nikita Zabelin. Forty minutes of resonant, insistent beats, straight from the gut of some abandoned factory. A heavy, even thunderous tradition fades to black, leaving the echo of prior decades to repeat itself, over and over. Even the titles of this release speak of something lost in the dark: ‘Forgotten Planet’ or ‘Shifted Bias.’ One tradition has evanesced; a future equivalent remains vague.
Phoboz gives voice to that shift from erstwhile desire to present-day drive, from industrial progress to post-industrial flow. The sounds of a forgotten culture.