Girl Unit is one of the most potent voices in music production.
Aligned to Night Slugs and Fade 2 Mind, the producer – real name Phil Gamble – has carved out a hyper-fluorescent logo, one that melts together vivid electronics, R&B songwriting, and left field club tropes.
Right from breakout cut ‘Wut’ through to his recent album ‘Song Feel’ the producer’s touch is instantly recognisable, a mixture of bass pressure and that superb rhythmic quest.
Across a dense network of stand alone releases, remixes, and varying projects, Girl Unit has built up a singular catalogue.
Here, the producer offers a few insights into his own work, and the releases that propelled him forward.
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One of my faves still, ‘Club Rez’ has this really bubbly energy and uneasy euphoric sound that when I play it really sends the whole set in a different direction. It has this really big sound that fills the room with very few elements and has this anti-drop that relies on all the melodic elements being stripped away, still a joy to play to this day.
Special mention to the Rizzla remix which I also still play non-stop.
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Kelela – Send Me Out (Girl Unit Mix)
Some remixes can take ages to conceive before even starting to build the track but this one flowed from beginning to finish, I love working with Kelela’s vocals and really enjoyed sinking them in with these big atmospheric pads.
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I wanted to include this track from ‘Song Feel’ as it’s probably the most club focused song on the whole record. It’s been one of my favourite tracks to drop over the past year and for me is exactly the kind of track I want to get lost in on a dancefloor, it has this energy and movement but is still really dreamy and angelic.
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I couldn’t not include ‘Wut’, it changed my life in a lot of ways and allowed me to travel all over the world.
These days I mostly play a chopped up VIP I have of it if I do ever play it – I never know if people are tired of hearing it – but I appreciate that it’s touched a lot of people. Someone broke their leg when I played it in Austria once.
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Korallreven – ‘As Young As Yesterday’ (Girl Unit Remix)
I was really ambitious with remixes in the first few years of doing them and was eager to take anything on, but one of the best outcomes was definitely from Swedish group Korallreven.
Sonically it’s really messy but its filled with all these really hooky little melodies and I think shows an early desire to experiment more with pop production.
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‘Ensemble – Club Mix’
I love this one not only for the thick woody timbre of the percussion, but it was nice to make a track where I could be really indulgent with hardware synths and drum machine programming but still have the track lift off in a different direction.
The big build up and crescendo at 2:30 still makes my hairs stand on end, sends me off to a beach in space like the one in Contact (1997).
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‘Hysterics – Empty’
I might have said before that Girl Unit is a world that I want to create whereas the Hysterics project was more of a reflection of my actual life and this track is like coming home with a tired brain and tired body but having the whole top deck of the bus to yourself.
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‘Song Feel’ is out now.
Photo Credit: David Carvahlo
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