Cut To The Chase with Fagin's Reject

Updated: Dec 17, 2019


More third-nipple than third-eye.

...Cut To The Chase is continuing its series with UK music rebel Fagin’s Reject, also known as Phil Getty in his personal life. Phil is a friend of mine who, in my opinion, is an incredible Psytrance producer, part-time philosopher, rocker at heart and just overall incredible human being at the same time. He is a member of the music label Wildthings Records and I will claim right here that he is even an absolutely integral part of it.

Having met on a train ride to a squat party in London at first, I observe Phil’s story since around 2011 or 2012 and I loved to see how somebody, who I appreciate as much as him, went on to becoming a well known artist in electronic psychedelic music.

Phil (btw, also his sweetheart of a girl Nadja) and I share a taste in music and an overall similar perspective on our world and its quirks. They've helped myself grow as a person and I know from first hand conversations that the project Fagin’s Reject is a source of inspiration for upcoming as well as established artists, at least in Psytrance.

Let’s get stuck in...

1. Phil, I have asked this question before but I have to ask you this one too: How are you so down to earth? What is the secret? :)

Hi Robert! Well I suppose that having a good bullshit detector helps, really. Also being part of a metal scene from about 13 years old (where I was the youngest by far) was very grounding for me. I was taught self-respect, the importance of friendship and to take responsibility for my actions. But I also had very understanding parents. My father was loved by everyone, and my mother was one of the most accepting, non-judgemental, friendly, generous and kind people anyone could ever hope to meet, and I would be very happy if any of those traits were passed down to me. I miss them terribly.

2. Which are the first memories that you have of music?

My first memory of enjoying music was lining up old 7 inch singles on my great-uncle’s 50’s, suitcase record player, and laughing when I played them on 78! But the first record I ever bought was by Adam And The Ants in 1981, and I always remember Motown being somehow in the air. Queen, Johnny Cash, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Iron Maiden were all big factors, too. Actually it was Iron Maiden - Killers LP that got me playing it over and over, and I vividly remember studying the album artwork. So later on, when I stared hanging out with older metal-heads, I’d offer to paint album covers on the backs of their leather jackets, and that’s how I earned extra cash to go to rock-clubs and gigs, fully under age, of course.

3. Outside of psychedelic electronic music, what music do you keep coming back to for leisure-time?

It depends how I’m feeling at the time, but mostly these days I’m listening to heavy rock, and metal, plus some technical metal, and desert rock; bands like Queens Of The Stone Age (easily the coolest band in the world) Mastodon, Red Fang, Lamb Of God, Meshuggah, High On Fire, American Sharks, PigsX7, Every Time I Die, Clutch, Power Trip, Truck Fighters, Graveyard, Cancer Bats, Animals As Leaders, I could go on and on, heheh! My other musical addiction is Funk music, I’ve been collecting it for years and used to DJ it, and personally I think that it’s the best dance music there is, which is why so many of it’s structural elements find their way into my own compositions.

4. How did you develop an interest in the music you’re making today, and did you come across any personally transformative events on that journey?

Quite simply an old friend took me to a massive rave on 14th September 1991. I was 17 years old and totally blown away by it because It was the first time that I saw regular people displaying a togetherness outside of the metal scene. This was the catalyst, and I started going to parties every weekend and recording tracks from pirate radio onto cassette tapes and also collecting vinyl, but within a few months I was taken to my first Goa party in Battersea, London, and my life changed again. From that point there was no turning back, so I did the India thing in 1994, got my Goa badge and I haven’t stopped since, but I’ve never had dreads though, Heheh.

5. What led you to music production?

It really was a natural progression for me, I was already jamming a lot, plus listening to electronic music, so what to do next? I couldn’t find a band to play with, but the desire to make music was really strong. I ended up helping my friends Bill & Ben write an electronic album that we recorded all live on a 32 channel desk in 1994. Those recordings were eventually released as separate EPs and 12 inches, and got Bill & Ben signed to Harthouse Records. But very soon after I sent myself to university to study a degree in Sculpture, and put music production on hold until 2003. That may seem random but I also have a healthy interest in the arts. Anyway, back to it!

6. What is your favourite studio tool?

It’s a tough question as I use so many things that I couldn’t do without, but I suppose my Nord Rack 3 for hardware and NI Reaktor for software. But I really like finding obscure ways of manipulating sounds so I use plug ins like Permut 8 from Sonic Charge, and Reaktor user library for really weird stuff.

7. If you don’t mind me asking, where do you stand on the seemingly eternal battle of “analog vs digital”?

Ah, this old debate! I really don’t care too much about it, if it sounds good it’s good! For instance I prefer to use a Nord Rack for most of my leads, sometimes 90% of my sounds, but in the end I’m manipulating them so much in multiFX plug-ins and post-processing that it’s not too important where the original sounds came from. Then again I can only really get what I’m personally after from my hardware, but I’m after gritty leads and crunchy sounds that stand out in the mix, and I struggle to get that by just using VSTs. So it’s purely subjective, in my opinion.

8. Are you super dedicated to consecutive hours of production time or do you split it up into little bits and pieces. Would you like it to be any different?

Definitely the latter. I take so many breaks as my ears get tired, and I also take big breaks between studio sessions as I have to work sometimes, plus coming back with fresh inspiration is very valuable to me. The only way that I’d prefer it to be different is by having a longer concentration span and to not be so wiped-out after gigs and festivals. I’m getting older and I still like to party, so maybe a new body would help with that.