I only ever met Phil Asher once. It was at the Medicine Bar near, or on, Old Street. I’m better with faces than places. Phil was DJing in the basement, while I was playing to the upstairs lounge. Phil was with Lofty from Flying – who by this point was doing Chillifunk with Dr. Bob Jones*. Lofty briefly introduced us as we passed on the stairs. This was perhaps 2 decades ago, perhaps longer.
I knew who Phil was of course. At the end / turn of the millennium he was part of a super cultured West London collective whose productions mixed together boogie, hip hop, house, jazz, latin and soul. Musical elements which could all be heard in Phil`s sets at Inspiration Information, a regular party he hosted – and we attended – at The Notting Hill Arts Club. A sound that, when stripped back to its rhythmic roots, birthed the “genre”, broken beat.
Phil`s lasting impact on me was actually a quote. Something he’d said years and years before, when interviewed by one of the rock music weeklies, very probably the NME. They’d given him an impersonal list of 5 to 10 stock questions, and the piece was little more than a column really. Phil had likely just been asked to fill in the blanks. One of his answers though stuck and stayed with me – instantly adopted as a concrete part of my own personal code. The question was along the lines of “Do you dance while you’re DJing?” to which he’d replied, “Only divs don’t dance.”
Here are 7 selections, touched by the hand of Phil Asher, that I used to completely hammer…a few of them I still do. Phil Asher, Rest In Peace.
Pascals Bongo Massive – Pere Cochon – 1992
Black Science Orchestra – Strong (Move 2 The Knew Family) – 1993
Basic Soul – Over The Moon – 1996
Electric Soul – Here Come One – 1998
Patti Jo – Make Me Believe In You – 1999
Phlash – Participate – 2000
JPR – Hope – 1992